[Robert J. Sawyer] Science Fiction Writer
ROBERT J. SAWYER
Hugo and Nebula Winner


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Press Release
For Release Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Sawyer wins World's Top Cash Prize For Science Fiction

Robert J. Sawyer of Mississauga, Ontario, today won Spain's top science-fiction award, the Premio UPC de Ciencia Ficción, for an unprecedented third time.

The Premio UPC is the largest cash prize currently given in the SF field. The winner receives 6,000 euro (US$8,000 or Cdn$9,300). Called "the most important science fiction award in Europe" by British author and critic Brian W. Aldiss, the Premio UPC has been given annually since 1991 by the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (the Polytechnic University of Catalonia), in Barcelona.

The winner is selected by a jury, which evaluates submissions blindly (without author names) in Catalan, Spanish, English, and French. The prize is exclusively for novella-length works (70-115 manuscript pages), making it one of the world's top-money-value short-fiction awards in any field of writing.

Sawyer's winning story, "Identity Theft," will appear in print for the first time in the spring of 2005 in the original anthology Down These Dark Spaceways edited by Mike Resnick, and published exclusively by Doubleday's Science Fiction Book Club.

Down These Dark Spaceways is a collection of six all-new hard-boiled-detective science-fiction novellas. "Identity Theft" tells the story of Alex Lomax, the only private detective on Mars. He's hired to find a missing person who has uploaded his consciousness into a nondescript android body and disappeared somewhere on the Red Planet.

Sawyer, 44, is the first English-language winner of the UPC award since he himself last won it in 1998 for his novella "Block Universe," a self-contained excerpt from his novel FlashForward (which itself went on to win Canada's Aurora Award for best English-language SF novel of the year).

Sawyer's other Premio UPC win was in 1997 for "Psychospace," a self-contained excerpt from his Hugo Award-nominated novel Factoring Humanity. Sawyer now has the most UPC Awards of any writer ever; the only other multiple winner is Spanish author Carlos Gardini, who took the prize in 1996 and again in 2001.

Other previous English-language winners of the UPC Award include the Americans Mike Resnick in 1994 for "Seven Views of Olduvai Gorge" and Jack McDevitt for "Ships in the Night." By coincidence, Resnick and McDevitt also both have novellas forthcoming in Down These Dark Spaceways.

Sawyer's previous honors include the 2003 Hugo Award — the world's top prize in science fiction — for Best Novel of the Year (for Hominids) and the 1995 Nebula Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America for Best Novel of the Year (for The Terminal Experiment), as well as France's Le Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire for best foreign short story (for "You See But You Do Not Observe"), and three Japanese Seiun Awards for best foreign novel of the year (for End of an Era, Frameshift, and Illegal Alien). His latest novel is Hybrids, the concluding volume of his bestselling "Neanderthal Parallax" trilogy.

The Premio UPC jury also awarded a special mention of 1,500 euro (US$2,000 or Cdn$2,300), split evenly in a tie between Miguel Luis Hoyuelos of Argentina for his story "Siccus" and Manuel Santos Varela of Spain for his story "Las lunas invisibles."

The jury also cited the following works, in descending order, as honorable mentions:

  • "El estruendo del silencio" by Bernardo Fernández Brigada of Mexico
  • "Otro camino" by Sergio Gaut vel Hartman of Argentina
  • "La cinta de Moebius" by Ignacio Sanz Valls of Spain
  • "La Chute du Haut Ferlin" by Alain le Bussy of Belgium

In addition, a prize of 1,500 euro was given for the best work by a member of the UPC community. That prize was awarded to "El ocio de los sanos" by Santiago Egidi Arteaga, with honorable mentions to "Los asesinos del cielo" by Ferran Canal Bienzobas, and "Dante en inopia" by J. Carlis Aguado Chao.

The jurors — major Spanish SF writers, critics, editors, and academics — were Lluís Anglada, Miquel Barceló, Jordi José, Josep Casanovas, and Manuel Moreno.

UPC Science Fiction Award web site


UPDATE MARCH 2006: Following its publication in English, Robert J. Sawyer's "Identity Theft" went on to be a finalist for both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards for Best Novella of the Year.


More Good Reading

Rob's 1997 Premio UPC Win
Rob's 1998 Premio UPC Win

Rob won the 2003 Hugo!
Press Backgrounder: Robert J. Sawyer
Press Backgrounder: SF Awards
Press Release index
Rob's Newsletter


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