Genre Legend Nalo Hopkinson Is The New Grand Master of The SFWA - Comic Years
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Genre Legend Nalo Hopkinson Is The New Grand Master of The SFWA

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BY December 7, 2020

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is an organization that helps protect and promote authors of genre fiction. They are also responsible for the prestigious Nebula Awards. This year, the SFWA has named legendary author of speculative fiction Nalo Hopkinson as the newest Damon Knight Grand Master. Hopkinson is the 37th person to hold the title since the organization started in 1975.

SFWA Image via the SFWA

Nalo Hopkinson Is The First Black Woman To Become Grand Master of the SFWA

The Damon Knight Grand Master award is given to an author in the genre (virtually) every year. Sci-fi legend Robert A. Heinlein first held the title in 1975. The award was named for him until 2002 when it was renamed for Damon Knight – one of the founders of the SFWA – after his death. Many notable authors have held the title of Grand Master over the decades, but few women have held the title. Nalo Hopkinson is the first ever woman of color to hold the title, marking a historical moment for the organization.

President of the SFWA – Mary Robinette Kowal – had the following to say about Hopkinson receiving the title of Grand Master.

“I have loved Nalo Hopkinson’s work since 1999 when I discovered her through the short story “Precious” in a Datlow/Windling anthology Silver Birch, Blood Moon. Each new piece continues to delight me and stretch me as a reader and makes me bolder as a writer… Naming Nalo as Grand Master recognizes not only her phenomenal writing, but also her work as an educator who has shaped so many of the rising stars of modern SFF.”

A Prolific Author Of Genre Fiction In Various Forms

Nalo Hopkinson SFWA Photo by PD Entertainment via the SFWA Website

Nalo Hopkinson is the author of half a dozen speculative fiction novels including Brown Girl In The Ring and The Salt Roads. She also has several short story collections and anthologies to her name. Since 2018, Hopkinson has written in the Sandman universe for House of Whispers. Her work is influenced by the folklore and fairy tales of her youth, and draws heavily from her Afro-Caribbean culture. For the past decade she has also taught creative writing at various universities and writer’s workshops.

Hopkinson claims the title of Grand Master from genre author Louis McMaster Bujold, and will officially receive the award at the 2021 Nebula Awards due to take place (virtually) in June. For more genre news, be sure to follow Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter today!

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Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.

AuthorsBlack AuthorsFemale AuthorsNebula AwardsScience Fiction and Fantasy Writers of AmericaSFWAWriters

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