Frank M. Robinson is the winner of the 2018 Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award announced at Readercon on July 13.
The juried award goes each year to a science fiction or fantasy writer whose work displays unusual originality, embodies the spirit of Cordwainer Smith’s fiction, and deserves renewed attention or “Rediscovery.”
The award judges are Elizabeth Hand, Barry Malzberg, Mike Resnick, and Robert J. Sawyer.
Frank M. Robinson died in 2014. Among his many novels, Robinson considered The Dark Beyond The Stars his best but said Waiting was the most popular. Several were made into movies: The Power, which starred George Hamilton and Michael Rennie, and two collaborations with Thomas N. Scortia, The Glass Inferno, produced as The Towering Inferno and starring everyone in Hollywood from Paul Newman to O.J. Simpson, and The Gold Crew, retitled The Fifth Missile for the screen.
He authored several coffee-table volumes including Pulp Culture: The Art of Fiction Magazines and the Hugo Award-winning Science Fiction of the Twentieth Century: An Illustrated History.
Robinson received the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award in 2001, and was voted First Fandom’s Moskowitz Archive Award for excellence in science fiction collecting in 2008. When he auctioned off his cherished pulp magazine collection in 2012 it fetched over a half million dollars.
See his entry in the Encylopedia of Science Fiction here.
[Thanks to Robert J. Sawyer for the story.]
AFAICT, the name was a secret until 10pm on July 13 (last night); was there something I missed, or did Sawyer lose a day?
Chip Hitchcock: No, it’s that I can’t read a program grid…. I just confirmed the winner with Sawyer, he’s not to blame for the mistaken date.
Waiting is a personal favorite because of its San Francisco fannish connections. It’s a lot of fun, plus it’s a well-crafted thriller with very fine writing. Frank M. Robinson was such a good writer. This is very well-deserved award and I hope it leads more people to his work.
Is The Power a well known film? It was one of the first “adult” movies I went to, at the age of about 12 half a century ago. I always think of it as a fairly cheesy thing, but I wouldn’t put much trust in my assessment as a kid. The only scene I actually remember is a flirtatious moment between Hamilton and a woman who has just gotten out of the shower.
Tom Becker: It concerns me that the judges don’t prepare a citation explaining why they choose the writers they do. The award gets people’s attention for a moment, but there’s no effort made to explain why the winner’s work deserves to be more widely read.
Mike Glyer: I just submitted a program idea for the San Jose Worldcon. It’s a bit late, but maybe we can get a discussion group organized. Given that Robinson lived in the Bay Area, there really should be something about him on the program.
@StephenfromOttawa: “Is The Power a well known film?”
It is to me. It fascinated me when I was a kid. And I think the woman is Yvonne DeCarlo. I don’t remember the scene; I will never forget that name.
For which the production team did their best to screw Robinson and Scortia out of their money. The logic was R&S sold the right for a silver screen adaptation but The Fifth Missile was a TV movie so clearly the authors wouldn’t want to be paid.