Yes, it’s true: Connie Willis has been given the 2011 Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (of which, as most of you know, I am the current president). It was a tremendous thing to call her and let her know, and now it’s a tremendous thing to tell you all about it.
Here’s what I said in our press release on the subject:
“The first time I met Connie Willis in person was at the 2003 Worldcon in Toronto. In the middle of a party, she was holding an entire room of writers and fans rapt with an extraordinarily funny story she was reeling out off the top of her head. This is the essence of Connie – her wit, her skill, her storytelling and herself, all combined to hold readers and writers spellbound. There are few writers in the history of science fiction and fantasy as awarded as she is, and none more beloved by readers and peers. It’s a genuine delight to officially grant her the title she has clearly already earned: Grand Master.”
We’ll be handing the Grand Master award over to her at the Nebula Awards ceremony, which happens (naturally enough) at the Nebula Awards Weekend, which this year will be May 17-20 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia. You don’t have to be a SFWA member to attend the Nebula Weekend or the Award ceremony (although you’ll have to purchase tickets), so if you’d like to cheer on Connie, here’s your chance.
I’m still geeked about this. Congratulations, Connie. It’s so deserved.