Mercedes Lackey Named the 38th SFWA Damon Knight Grand Master

Mercedes Lackey has been named the 38th Damon Knight Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) for her contributions to the literature of science fiction and fantasy.

The SFWA Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award recognizes “lifetime achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy.” It is named after author Damon Knight, SFWA’s founder and the organization’s 13th Grand Master. Mercedes Lackey joins 37 writers who’ve been granted the title, including other luminaries such as Nalo Hopkinson, Peter S. Beagle, Connie Willis, Ursula K. LeGuin, Ray Bradbury, Anne McCaffrey, and Joe Haldeman. 

Embracing science fiction at the early age of ten or eleven, Lackey immersed herself in the works of James H. Schmitz and Andre Norton. An interest in fan fiction strongly encouraged her writing and her first sale was to Friends of Darkover. Her first novel was Arrows of the Queen, first published in 1987. Best known for her Valdemar series, which spans thousands of years and characters, Lackey has written and published over 140 books and short stories through her 34-year professional career. 

SFWA President Jeffe Kennedy had the following to say about the organization’s newest Grand Master: “From the time I read my first Mercedes Lackey book as a young woman, her stories have illuminated my imagination and brought joy to my life. With multi-layered fantasy worlds, canny magical systems, and characters who step off the page as living, breathing people, Lackey’s books have made an enormous impact on the genre. She gave me warrior women I could believe in, magic-wielding queer heroes, and characters who suffered, then overcame their physical and emotional traumas. Lackey continues to have a lasting influence on my own work and I’m beyond thrilled to see her honored as SFWA’s newest Grand Master.”

In addition to her writing, Lackey has also contributed to the science fiction and fantasy filking community through songwriting, which earned her five Pegasus Awards. She was also part of The Stellar Guild, a project conceived by the late Mike Resnick, which paired well-known authors with lesser known creatives in an effort to boost their visibility. 

An online video gamer, craftsperson, ball-jointed doll collector, radar-enthusiast during tornado season, and raptor rehabilitationist, Lackey’s journeys into all of these hobbies have influenced her most popular works. 

The 38th Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master award will be presented to Lackey during the annual SFWA Nebula Conference and the 57th Nebula Awards, May 19–22, 2022. The conference will be SFWA’s first hybrid event, taking place in person in Los Angeles, and aboard the virtual Airship Nebula online.

[Based on a press release.]

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16 thoughts on “Mercedes Lackey Named the 38th SFWA Damon Knight Grand Master

  1. It is about bloody time. Misty is not only the type of writer that makes the craft look simple and easy, she is also a kind and caring person who pays it forward everyday. Congratulations to Misty!

  2. And the chagua among you can wonder: is Misty the first Grand Master to ride with the Great Dark Horde, or just the first one you know about?

  3. Congrats and well deserved. I thoroughly enjoyed the Valdemarl books that I read.

    I don’t have issues. I have subscriptions.

  4. I went to YALL West some years ago when she was a guest. It was surprising how many teens had no idea who she was. But what was really shocking was that some of her fellow author panelists were unfamiliar with her work!

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