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

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Press Release
For Release Sunday, April 11, 2004

Canadians Sawyer and Wilson Vie for Science Fiction's Top Honour

The final ballot for the 2004 Hugo Awards — the international readers' choice awards of the science-fiction field, and the genre's top honour — was unveiled today in Boston.

Two Greater Toronto Area writers — who happen to be great friends — are the only Canadians on the ballot this year.

ROBERT J. SAWYER, 43, of Mississauga, Ontario — who was last year's Hugo winner — is nominated again this year for his novel Humans, the second volume of his acclaimed "Neanderthal Parallax" trilogy.

And ROBERT CHARLES WILSON, 50, of Concord, Ontario, is nominated for his novel Blind Lake. Both Sawyer and Wilson are published by Tor Books, New York, the world's largest SF publisher.

The complete list of best-novel Hugo finalists this year is:

  • Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold (Eos)
  • Humans by Robert J. Sawyer (Tor)
  • Ilium by Dan Simmons (Eos)
  • Singularity Sky by Charles Stross (Ace)
  • Blind Lake by Robert Charles Wilson (Tor)

Bujold and Simmons are Americans; Stross is Scottish. The Hugo is named for Hugo Gernsback (1884-1967), editor of the first science-fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, which was founded in 1926.

The winners will be announced Sunday, September 5, 2004, in Boston at a gala awards ceremony concluding the 62nd Annual World Science Fiction Convention. The 7,000 members worldwide of that convention will cast ballots to determine the winner.

Sawyer's Humans was a top-ten national mainstream bestseller in Canada, appearing on the Globe and Mail bestsellers list, and it was named the best SF novel of 2003 by authors of any nationality by the editors of Chapters.indigo.ca. It was also the number-one bestselling book for the entire year at Toronto's Bakka Books, the world's oldest SF specialty bookstore.

Humans continues the story begun in Sawyer's previous novel, Hominids, which was last year's Hugo Award winner. A portal has opened in Sudbury, Ontario, between our world and an alternate Earth where Neanderthals survived to the present day and we did not. The opening chapters are at: https://sfwriter.com/schu.htm

And a later section, which Sawyer considers the best thing he's ever written, is at: https://sfwriter.com/vietnam.htm (says bestselling American SF writer Jack McDevitt, "Sawyer's chapter at the Vietnam Wall should be required reading for anyone who wishes to sit in the oval office").

Wilson's Blind Lake was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and the reviews have been stellar:

  • "A superior SF thriller, notable for credible characters and a well-crafted plot." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • "Fizzing with ideas while tightly focused on the characters: intense, absorbing, memorable work." — Kirkus (starred review)

  • "Wilson builds suspense superlatively well, to a resolution that packs all the emotional wallop anyone could wish. Wilson's fans will come looking for this one, and others will follow." — Booklist

Blind Lake tells the story of a secret facility in Blind Lake, Minnesota, where supersensitive telescopes are observing the enigmatic activities of alien beings on a distant planet.

Robert Charles Wilson's home page, with more information about Blind Lake, is at: http://www.geocities.com/canadian_sf/wilson/index.htm

This is Sawyer's eighth Hugo nomination, and Wilson's third. Sawyer's other award wins include a Nebula Award for Best Novel of the Year from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (for The Terminal Experiment) and an Arthur Ellis Award from the Crime Writers of Canada.

Wilson's previous honours include winning the Philip K. Dick Award for Best Novel of the Year (for Mysterium) and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award — SF's top juried prize — for The Chronoliths.

Both Sawyer and Wilson were previously on the Hugo ballot together in 1999, with Sawyer's Factoring Humanity (named one of the top ten works of fiction of any type by authors of any nationality by The Ottawa Citizen) and Wilson's Darwinia (named the best science fiction novel of the year by the US trade journal Science Fiction Chronicle).

Both authors are available jointly or separately for interviews

Tor Books are distributed in Canada by H. B. Fenn and Company. For review copies, or to book interviews, contact Janis Ackroyd at 1-800-267-FENN, Ext. 276

More Good Reading

Rob won the 2003 Hugo!

Other Robert J. Sawyer Hugo nominations:

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