SFWA has announced that the recipient of the Damon Knight Grandmaster Award will be Connie Willis. Willis will be honored during the 2012 Nebula Award Weekend in Arlington, Virginia the weekend of May 17-20, 2012. Willis is the author of Remake, Bellwether, Passage, and other novels and short stories. She has won 11 Hugos and 7 Nebulas, including both awards for her novels Doomsday Book, All Clear, Blackout, and the short story “Even the Queen.”
The SFWA Board has voted to extend the probationary period for Dorchester Books until January 31 with a vote of 6-0 with two abstentions. The board determined that with the probationary period coming to an end with the close of 2011, holiday, family, and other end-of-year obligations kept them from reviewing the situation in a complete manner and voted to extend the period. Dorchester was placed on probation in December, 2010.
SFWA has announced the lifting of the probation period for Night Shade Books. Night Shade was placed on probation on July 8, 2010 after irregularities surfaced in Night Shade’s contractual fulfillment and rights. Night Shade has worked closely with SFWA during the intervening period to ensure that the infractions were rectified. Fiction contracted during that probationary term is acceptable for qualification for SFWA membership.
The Nebula Awards were presented on the evening of May 21 at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C. as part of the Nebula Award Weekend. The Ceremony also included the presentation of the Service to SFWA Award, the Solstice Awards, the Bradbury Award, and the Andre Norton Award.
- Service to SFWA: John Johnston, III
- Solstice Award: James Tiptree, Jr./Alice B. Sheldon
- Solstice Award: Michael Whelan
- Ray Bradbury Award: Inception, written and directed by Christopher Nolan
- Andre Norton Award: I Shall Wear Midnight, by Terry Pratchett
- Best Short Story: (tie) “How Interesting: A Tiny Man,” Harlan Ellison; “Ponies,” by Kij Johnson
- Best Novelette: “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made,” by Eric James Stone
- Best Novella: “The Lady Who Plucked Flowers beneath the Queen’s Window,” by Rachel Swirsky
- Best Novel: Blackout and All Clear, by Connie Willis
A mass signing, featuring more than 40 science fiction and fantasy writers including Connie Willis, John Scalzi, Joe Haldeman, Allen Steele, James Morrow, Michael Whelan, Michael Swanwick, and Laura Anne Gilman will take place as part of the Nebula Award Weekend on Friday, May 20 from 5:30 to 7:00 at the Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut NW, Washington, DC. The signing is open to the public.
SFWA President John Scalzi has announced that Executive Director Jane Jewell will step down after nine years in her position. Jewell will continue to act as a Special Advisor to the 2011 Nebula Award weekend next month. Kate Baker has been hired as Interim Office Manager and will handle administrative tasks, including membership services following Jewell’s departure.
Atlanta Nights, by Travis Tea, has been optioned for a film. The book was created in 2004 as part of a sting operation by members of SFWA against the publisher PublishAmerica. After the book was accepted the the hoax revealed, PublishAmerica canceled the contract. Each chapter of the work was written by a different author with no regard for plot, continuity, spelling, or grammar. According to one of the authors, the film would take the form of a joint documentary and partial dramatic presentation. As with the money raised through past sales of the book, the option money will be used for the SFWA Emergency Medical Fund. The project is being crowdfunded.
Following complaints by authors about Dorchester Publishing’ practices and discussions between SFWA and Dorchester to correct their mistakes, SFWA has placed Dorchester on a one-year probation as a qualifying market for SFWA Membership. During that time, fiction contracted by Dorchester will not be considered qualifying (although it may be retroactively if Dorchester completes the terms of its probation).
John Scalzi, the President of SFWA, has announced the appointment of Cynthia Felice as the organization’s ombudsman. The ombudsman serves as the members’ advocate to the board of directors, on any issue of concern to the organization or its individual members. The position was created in 2008 by Russell Davis and was previously filled by Lee Martindale.
Li Chang, the editor of Science Fiction World, the largest circulation sf magazine in the world, has been removed from his post. Li’s removal comes after many months of complaints about his practices and he is being replaced, temporarily, by Liu Shucheng, the vice president of SFW. Li was described in an open letter signed by numerous editors as unprofessional, arbitrary, and impracticable.