William Gibson Named SFWA Damon Knight Grand Master


The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA, Inc.) has named William Gibson the 35th Damon Knight Grand Master for his contributions to the literature of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

The Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award recognizes “lifetime achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy.” Gibson joins the Grand Master ranks alongside such legends as C. J. Cherryh, Peter S. Beagle, Ursula K. Le Guin, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and Joe Haldeman. The award will be presented at the 54th Annual Nebula Conference and Awards Ceremony in Woodland Hills, CA, May 16th-19th, 2019.

Gibson is known for his cyberpunk novels Neuromancer, Virtual Light, and Mona Lisa Overdrive, and co-wrote the steampunk novel The Difference Engine with Bruce Sterling. Gibson’s writing, through novels such as Pattern Recognition and The Peripheral, continues to break new ground and stimulate conversation about the cyberworld. The influence of Gibson’s writing has not only been felt within the science fiction community, but has expanded to other forms of art, as seen in the music of Billy Idol and Warren Zevon and the Matrix films, as well as throughout computer culture. 

SFWA PRESIDENT, CAT RAMBO

William Gibson coined the word cyberspace in his story “Burning Chrome,” expanding on that concept two years later in the novel Neuromancer. He forged a body of work that has played a major part in the coalescing of the cyberpunk movement, influencing dozens of writers of cinema, fiction, and games, among other creatives. Not content to be one of the definitive writers in only one subgenre, he then went on to help engender steampunk with Bruce Sterling in their collaborative work, The Difference Engine. Gibson continues to produce taut, evocative works that reflect the despair and hope of the 21st century. To be a SFWA Grand Master is to be a speculative fiction writer that has shaped the genre and make it what it is today. Gibson fills that role abundantly.??

The Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award will be presented along with the Nebula Awards during the annual SFWA Nebula Conference, which will run from May 16th-19th and features seminars and panel discussions on the craft and business of writing, SFWA’s annual business meeting, and receptions. On May 18th, a mass autograph session will take place at the Warner Center Marriott Woodland Hills and is open to the public.

The Nebula Awards, presented annually, 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. The first Nebula Awards were presented in 1966.

The Nebula Awards include four fiction awards, a game writing award, the Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book. SFWA also administers the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award, the Kevin O’Donnell Jr. Service to SFWA Award, and the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award

One thought on “William Gibson Named SFWA Damon Knight Grand Master

  1. As someone who worked at Ono-Sendai (not a joke, && we had Gibson’s permission), I think this is fantastic. Neuromancer brought the concept of Virtual Reality into the general public culture.

    Science fiction has had the concept of VR for many decades (“The Dueling Machine”, “Way Station”, “The Velte”, etc). And I also need to point out “Snow Crash” by Stephenson, which cause a huge impact in the VR community.

    Gibson has the two basic qualities of a SF author: a free-ranging and *really oddball* imagination that could see the start of cultural trends, and the ability to tell a great story. About bloody time. You have earned this. Well Done, Sir.

    (For those who are interested, this is an interview about my time at Ono-Sendai. We were contracted by SEGA to do a 3-DOF tracker for the Sega VR game, which was supposed to come out Christmas of 1993. Please keep in mind others involved have their own experiences. It was intense.
    link

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