Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) has named Sir Terry Pratchett (1948–2015) the recipient of the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award.
Created in 2008 and given at the discretion of the SFWA President and Board, the award is for individuals who have had a significant impact on the science fiction or fantasy landscape, and is particularly intended for those who have consistently made a major positive difference within the speculative fiction field, much like its namesake.
In his long career, Sir Terry used humor and satire to entertain and educate, becoming one of the best-selling British authors of the twentieth century. His work has inspired numerous authors and readers. Pratchett has donated his time and money to orangutan conservation efforts and Alzheimer’s research. Pratchett was knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his service to Literature in 2009.
SFWA President Cat Rambo wrote, “I deeply regret Sir Terry’s untimely passing, and my inability to give him the award in person. He’s shaped the genre in ways that will resonate for centuries.”
Sir Terry joins the ranks of previous honorees, including Octavia E. Butler, James Tiptree, Jr., Tom Doherty, Carl Sagan, and Stanley Schmidt.
SFWA renamed the Solstice Award as the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award this year to acknowledge the important role that Wilhelm has played in SFWA’s history and the field of speculative fiction. The change also makes the award’s name more consistent with that of SFWA’s other named awards, such as the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction, and the Kevin O’Donnell Jr. Service to SFWA Award.
The Nebula Awards will be presented during the annual SFWA Nebula Conference, which will run from May 12-15th and feature seminars and panel discussions on the craft and business of writing, SFWA’s annual business meeting, and receptions. On May 13th, a mass autograph session will take place at the Palmer House and is open to the public.
The Nebula Awards recognize the best works of science fiction and fantasy published in the United States as selected by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, membership in which is open to professionals in the science fiction and fantasy genres. The first Nebula Awards were presented in 1966.
[Based on SFWA’s press release.]