Larry Niven Named SFWA Grand Master

Niven with a Puppeteer. Photo by Gordon McGregor from

Niven with a Puppeteer. Photo by Gordon McGregor from

SFWA has honored Larry Niven with the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award “for his invaluable contributions to the field of science fiction and fantasy.”

“I’ve always wanted one of these,” responded Niven. “It does definitely mean I’ve gotten old. I’ve been publishing fiction for more than fifty years now. I’m convinced I picked the right career.”

Niven won SFWA’s Nebula Award in 1971 for Ringworld (which also won the Hugo). His eight career Nebula nominations include two stories that made the very first Nebula shortlist (1966). His many other honors include five Hugos and five Seiun Awards.

Niven’s fabled ability to transform hard science into cosmic predicaments has enriched his Known Space series. His wild imagination also has given the sf and fantasy fields gems like “Inconstant Moon,” “The Magic Goes Away,” “All The Myriad Ways,” the humorous essay “Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex,” and the teleportation stories from which the word “flash mob” is taken.

He has collaborated with several authors, most notably Jerry Pournelle, who explicitly credits Niven for coming up with great scenes in their books like the surfer riding a tsunami caused by the impact of Lucifer’s Hammer.

6 thoughts on “Larry Niven Named SFWA Grand Master

  1. Huzzaahh! Wonderful news! He’s produced so many towering works of SF that some of his excellent lesser works seem to be permanently stuck in the shade. Hopefully, works like WORLD OUT OF TIME and “Flare Time” will getting a fresh look by critics and readers and become better appreciated by all for the great works they are! Is it time for a “Best of” anthology collection?

  2. Some of the earliest SF I read, back in the late 70’s, were Known Space stories. For a good long while, I read every novel he wrote. I’ve fallen off lately as his output has. Still haven’t cracked his new pair of collaborations with Benford, for example.

  3. @sanford @michael. That’s the one that Strahan did, yeah. It’s a fairly good one volume overview of his work.

  4. I’ve found Larry a fine person, and a good — even ecellent — s-f writer, most of whose works I’ve enjoyed greatly. A “Grand Master” in terms of the next thousand (or even huindred) years…. maybe not quite, but I’m not bitching about this Award.

  5. Don: You indirectly reminded me of his story “What Can You Say About Chocolate Covered Manhole Covers?” Did you attend the party that inspired the story? That was a few years before I joined LASFS but you were a member then.

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