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

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Press Release
For Release Wednesday, December 10, 1997

A Canadian and a Puerto Rican Share the World's Largest Cash Prize for Science Fiction

[Factoring Humanity cover]

BARCELONA, SPAIN: Robert J. Sawyer of Thornhill, Ontario, and James Stevens-Arce of San Juan, Puerto Rico, today were jointly awarded the world's largest cash prize for science-fiction writing.

Sawyer and Stevens-Arce share the 1997 Premio UPC de Ciencia Ficción, which carries a cash prize of one million pesetas (approximately Cdn$10,000 or US$7,200). By comparison, the largest North American cash prize available to published SF writers is the annual Philip K. Dick Award, which carries a US$1,000 prize; the largest British prize is the annual Arthur C. Clarke Award, valued at 1,000 pounds.

The Premio UPC de Ciencia Ficción is open to novella-length (25,000 to 40,000 words) manuscripts in Spanish, Catalan, French, and English. This year's competition — the seventh annual one — drew 123 submissions from writers all over the world. Manuscripts were judged blindly; neither the authors' names nor their places of residence were known to the jury while it was deliberating.

Renowned British SF critic Brian Aldiss calls the Premio UPC "the most prestigious science-fiction award in all of Europe."

Sawyer's winning work is a portion of his forthcoming tenth novel Factoring Humanity, which will be published in hardcover by Tor Books (a division of St. Martin's Press, New York), in June 1998. Factoring Humanity deals with the discovery of a technology that allows individuals to directly access the human collective unconscious.

Sawyer has previously won the top SF awards in the United States (the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's Nebula Award), Canada (the Aurora), Japan (the Seiun), and France (Le Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire) — a feat no one else has ever managed. His latest novel is Illegal Alien, just out in hardcover from Ace, a division of Penguin Putnam USA. His previous novels are Golden Fleece, Far-Seer, Fossil Hunter, Foreigner, End of an Era, The Terminal Experiment, Starplex, and Factoring Humanity.

Stevens-Arce's winning work is called Soulsaver. It deals with the increasing intervention of the religious right into the political process. His short fiction has previously appeared in the magazines Amazing Stories and Aboriginal SF, and in the acclaimed 1995 anthology New Legends, edited by Greg Bear. He is a partner in an advertising agency in San Juan; his clients have included Pizza Hut and Citicorp.

The Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya ("the Polytechnic University of Catalonia," a region of northeast Spain), which sponsors the Premio UPC de Ciencia Ficción, is located in Barcelona. The award jury this year consisted of Lluís Anglada, Miquel Barceló, Josep Casanovas, Jordi José, and Manuel Moreno.

More Good Reading

Incredibly, Rob also won the Premio UPC de Ciencia Ficción in 1998 and in 2004.

BEM Website with photos from the 1997 awards ceremony and more information about the award

Rob's essay on winning the Premio UPC de Ciencia Ficción

More about Factoring Humanity

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