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Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master

delany (1 of 1)SFWA has named Samuel R. Delany, Jr. (1942– ) as the 2013 DAMON KNIGHT MEMORIAL GRAND MASTER (presented 2014) for his contributions to the literature of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Samuel R. Delany is the author of numerous books of science fiction, including NovaDhalgrenStars in My Pockets Like Grains of Sand, and most recently Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders. Two of his classic works of science fiction criticism, The Jewel-Hinged Jaw and Starboard Wine, have just been brought back into print by Wesleyan University Press, who will reissue a third, The American Shore, in the summer of 2014.

After winning four Nebula awards and two Hugo awards over the course of his career, Delany was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2002. Since 2001 he has been a professor of English and Creative Writing at Temple University in Philadelphia, where for three years he was Director of the Graduate Creative Writing Program. In 2010 he won the third J. Lloyd Eaton Lifetime Achievement Award in Science Fiction from the academic Eaton Science Fiction Conference at UCR Libraries. He is also a recipient of the William Whitehead Memorial Award for a lifetime’s contribution to lesbian and gay literature.


One of the perks of being SFWA president is the option of selecting the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s next Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master. One of the tragedies is we only get to select one a year. That said, from the grains of sand in my pocket, I am delighted to pull this star.

Samuel R. Delany is one of science fiction’s most influential authors, critics, and teachers and it is my great honor to announce his selection. When discussing him as this year’s choice with the board, past-presidents, and members, the most frequent response I received was, “He’s not already?”

Well he is now.


This award astonishes me, humbles me, and I am honored by it. It recalls to me–with the awareness of mortality age ushers up–the extraordinary writers who did not live to receive it: Roger Zelazny, Joanna Russ, Thomas M. Disch, Octavia E. Butler–as well, from the generation before me, Katherine MacLean, very much alive. I accept the award for them, too: they are the stellar practitioners without whom my own work, dim enough, would have been still dimmer. ~Samuel R. Delany

The DAMON KNIGHT  MEMORIAL GRAND MASTER is given by SFWA for ‘lifetime achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy.’ Delany joins the Grand Master ranks alongside such legends as Isaac Asimov, Alfred Bester, Harlan Ellison, Ursula K. Le Guin, Connie Willis, and Gene Wolfe. The award will be presented at the 49th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend in San Jose, CA, May 16-18, 2014.

More information on the award’s history and the Nebula Award Weekend can be found at: http://www.sfwa.org/nebula-awards/nebula-weekend/

To request interviews, or for questions concerning SFWA, the award’s history or the Nebula Award Weekend, please contact publicist Jaym Gates at pr@sfwa.org.

The Damon Knight Memorial Grand Masters
(The year indicates the year that the honor was presented.)

2013 – Gene Wolfe

2012 – Connie Willis

2011 – n.a.

2010 – Joe Haldeman

2009 – Harry Harrison

2008 – Michael Moorcock

2007 – James Gunn

2006 – Harlan Ellison

2005 – Anne McCaffrey

2004 – Robert Silverberg

2003 – Ursula K. Le Guin

2001 – Philip José Farmer

2000 – Brian W. Aldiss

1999 – Hal Clement (Harry Stubbs)

1998 – Poul Anderson

1997 – Jack Vance

1996 – A. E. Van Vogt

1995 – Damon Knight

1994 – Frederik Pohl

1991 – Lester Del Rey

1989 – Ray Bradbury

1988 – Alfred Bester

1987 – Isaac Asimov

1986 – Arthur C. Clarke

1984 – Andre Norton

1981 – Fritz Leiber

1979 – L. Sprague de Camp

1977 – Clifford D. Simak

1976 – Jack Williamson

1975 – Robert A. Heinlein