The Winnipeg Science Fiction Association has created the A. E. Van Vogt Award to spotlight the best Canadian science fiction in past years. The club wants the award to (1) draw attention to Canadian Science Fiction, (2) demonstrate that Canada has been producing World class writers for some time, (3), cause more people to talk about Science Fiction, (4) promote better writing and (5) help discover more writers.
Van Vogt was born a century ago in Canada. While living in Winnipeg, he launched his pro sf career with the short story “Black Destroyer,” published in Astounding in 1939. There he also wrote the iconic “Slan.” He relocated from Winnipeg to Hollywood in 1944.
His career honors include SFWA’s Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award (1995) – the only Canadian-born recipient to date. It’s an ironic coincidence that the award’s namesake once panned Van Vogt’s novel The World of Null-A in a critical essay, and a testament to the power of his writing that Philip K. Dick came to his defense —
Damon feels that it’s bad artistry when you build those funky universes where people fall through the floor. It’s like he’s viewing a story the way a building inspector would when he’s building your house. But reality really is a mess, and yet it’s exciting. The basic thing is, how frightened are you of chaos? And how happy are you with order? Van Vogt influenced me so much because he made me appreciate a mysterious chaotic quality in the universe which is not to be feared.
The Winnipeg Science Fiction Association is creating the award with the permission of Van Vogt’s family. The award will consist of a presentation piece and monetary prize. It will be given for the first time in September 2012.
The full press release follows the jump.
[Thanks to John Mansfield for the story.]