Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award

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The Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award is a lifetime honor presented annually by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America to no more than one living writer of fantasy or science fiction. It was inaugurated in 1975 when Robert Heinlein was made the first SFWA Grand Master and it was renamed in 2002 after the Association's founder, Damon Knight, who had died that year.[1][2]

The presentation is made at the annual SFWA Nebula Awards banquet, commonly during May, but it is not one of the Nebulas—which recognize the preceding calendar year's best works of SF and fantasy, selected by vote of all Association members. SFWA officers and past presidents alone submit Grand Master nominations and the final selection must be approved by a majority of that group.[1] The recipient is announced in advance, commonly during the preceding calendar year, which is the publication year and official award year for the Nebulas.


The Grand Master Award was originally limited to six per decade[citation needed] and six were presented in the ten years to 1984; twelve in the twenty years to 1994. All were 67 years old (Isaac Asimov) to 75 years old (Lester del Rey) at the time of presentation; Alfred Bester had died at 74. Andre Norton was the only woman, as she remained until Ursula K. Le Guin was made the 20th Grand Master and first "Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master" in 2003. From 1995 the award has been conferred annually with exceptions only in 2002 and 2011 (2001 and 2010 Nebula award years).[1] Anne McCaffrey and Connie Willis made four women among the first 30 Grand Masters; Joe Haldeman and Willis were the youngest to receive the honor, age 66.

Also from 1995, SFWA has annually named as many as one Author Emeritus, "as a way to recognize and appreciate senior writers in the genres of science fiction and fantasy who have made significant contributions to our field but who are no longer active or whose excellent work may no longer be as widely known as it once was." The Author Emeritus is invited to speak at the annual Nebula Awards banquet.[3] Fourteen were created in 16 years to 2010[3] (the 2009 Nebula award year), none of whom had been named Grand Master—as remains true through 2013/2014. Its status as a consolation prize was one matter of controversy[4] and by October 2013 the Author Emeritus webpage had been unpublished by SFWA.[5]

Grand Masters[edit]

A total of 30 SFWA Grand Masters have been created in 40 years from 1974/1975 to 2013/2014.[1][2]

Year of presentation[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master". Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). Retrieved 2013-04-01.
  2. ^ a b "SFWA Grand Master Award". The Locus Index to SF Awards: About the Awards. Locus Publications. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
  3. ^ a b "SFWA Author Emeritus". SFWA. Archived 2013-04-09. Retrieved 2013-12-06.
  4. ^ "Other SFWA Awards". The Locus Index to SF Awards: About the Awards. Locus Publications. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
  5. ^ "SFWA Author Emeritus" (unavailable). SFWA. Archived 2013-10-12. Retrieved 2013-12-06.
  6. ^ "2005 Nebula Award winners". Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Inc. May 6, 2006. [dead link]
  7. ^ Nawotka, Edward (April 24, 2008). "Nebula Awards puts Austin and Texas writers at center of science fiction world". Dallas Morning News. [dead link]
  8. ^ "Michael Moorcock named SFWA Grand Master". Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Inc. February 28, 2008. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Nebula Awards 2009". Cover It Live. April 25, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  10. ^ "SWFA live". Twitter. 2009-04-25. Retrieved 2009-04-25. [page needed]
  11. ^ "Joe Haldeman named Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master". SFWA. December 15, 2009. Retrieved 2013-12-06.
  12. ^ "SFWA names Connie Willis recipient of the 2011 Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award". SFWA. January 16, 2012. Retrieved 2013-12-06.
  13. ^ 2012 Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master awarded to Gene Wolfe". SFWA. December 13, 2012. Retrieved 2013-12-06.
  14. ^ Alison Flood (December 14, 2012). "Gene Wolfe wins grand master award for science fiction and fantasy". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  15. ^ "2013 Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award: Samuel R. Delany". SFWA. December 4, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-06.

External links[edit]