[Robert J. Sawyer] Science Fiction Writer
Hugo and Nebula Winner

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Press Release
For Release Friday, April 27, 2001

Canadians Robert J. Sawyer and Nalo Hopkinson vie for Science Fiction's Top International Award

The final ballot for the 2001 Hugo Awards — the international readers' choice awards of the science-fiction field — was unveiled today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

For an astonishing fifth time, acclaimed Mississauga, Ontario, writer ROBERT J. SAWYER, 41, is a finalist for the Hugo Award for Best Novel of the Year.

Sawyer is nominated this year for his novel Calculating God, published by Tor Books, New York, and distributed in Canada by H.B. Fenn and Company Ltd.

Also on the ballot, for the first time, is Toronto's NALO HOPKINSON, 40, for her novel Midnight Robber, published by Warner (and also distributed in Canada by H.B. Fenn). The complete list of all five best-novel Hugo finalists for 2001 is as follows (Sawyer and Hopkinson are Canadians; Martin is American; Rowling and MacLeod are British):

  • Calculating God by Robert J. Sawyer (Tor)
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (Levine/Scholastic/Raincoast)
  • Midnight Robber by Nalo Hopkinson (Warner Aspect)
  • The Sky Road by Ken MacLeod (Tor)
  • A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin (Bantam Spectra)

Calculating God is Sawyer's twelfth novel. In its hardcover release, it was a national top-ten mainstream fiction bestseller in Canada, appearing on both the Globe and Mail and Maclean's bestsellers' lists. The paperback will be out in July 2001.

Calculating God tells the story of an alien who lands out front of Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum as part of an interplanetary quest to scientifically prove the existence of God.

Sawyer has previously won the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's Nebula Award for Best Novel of the Year (for The Terminal Experiment, published by HarperCollins in 1995).

Midnight Robber is Hopkinson's second novel. It tells the story of Tan-Tan, a young woman on a planet colonized by people from Earth's Caribbean.

Two years ago, Hopkinson won the World Science Fiction Society's John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer of the Year. The Campbell Awards are also presented during the Hugo ceremony. One of this year's five finalists is also a Canadian: DOUGLAS SMITH of Aurora, Ontario.

The Hugo Awards honour science fiction first published anywhere in the world in English in the preceding year. Nominations are made by the members of the current year's and previous year's World Science Fiction Convention (or "Worldcon"). The final ballot will be voted on by the 6,000 members of the 2001 Worldcon, which will be held August 30-September 3, 2001, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Both Sawyer and Hopkinson will be in attendance.

The Hugo Awards are named after Hugo Gernsback, an immigrant to the United States from Luxembourg, who founded the first science-fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, in 1926. The awards have been presented annually since 1953. Previous Hugo Award-winning novels include such SF classics as Frank Herbert's Dune, Isaac Asimov's The Gods Themselves, and Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama. The only Canadian winner to date of a Best Novel Hugo is Vancouver's William Gibson, who won the 1985 award for his Neuromancer.

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