Joanna Russ and Stanley Schmidt: Recipients of the 2015 SFWA Solstice Awards

Solstice AwardSFWA is pleased to announce Joanna Russ and Stanley Schmidt as the recipients of the 2015 SFWA Solstice Awards. These awards are granted in recognition of the positive impact and influence the recipients and their work have had on the science fiction and fantasy genres. The awards will be presented at SFWA’s 50th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend in Chicago, IL, May 4-7, 2015.

JOANNA RUSS (1937-2011)
Besides honoring her contributions as a fiction writer, SFWA is also honoring her roles as mentor, teacher, editor, and critic–indeed one of the co-creators of SF Feminist Criticism.

How To Suppress Women’s Writing is not just an important work in our field, but an important work in any field. As John Clute wrote in the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction: “With Russ’s third novel, The Female Man (1975), which awaited publication for some time, programmatic feminist fiction may be said to have come of age in American sf, though it would be unfair to describe this complex tale as exhausted by the iteration of its burden… she was a thoroughly grounded intellectual, and every word she wrote, fiction or nonfiction, was shaped by thought in action. Despite this – or perhaps because of this – she remained exceptionally persuasive. She told often unpalatable truths in tales that were, as pure story, a joy to read.”

Russ’s other works included Picnic on Paradise, The Hidden Side of the Moon, Magic Mommas, Trembling Sisters, Puritans and Perverts: Feminist Essays, and The Country You Have Never Seen: Essays and Reviews. She passed in 2011.

“How to Suppress Women’s Writing, taught me how =not= to talk about the quality of others work. I’m pleased that we are honoring Joanna and sad we did not do it while she still lived. In a better world, the Trans Temporal Agency swept her into a future where her back doesn’t hurt and the last thing that beings use to discuss a person’s worth is their gender.” ~Steven Gould, SFWA President

STANLEY SCHMIDT
Stan Schmidt served for an astonishing 34 years at the helm of Analog, the literary heir, in a very real sense, to John W. Campbell. He brought many waves of new writers into the field, nurturing their voices, and if modern “hard” science fiction has had a curator/guide, it was Stan. He was nominated for the editor Hugo from 1980 through 2006 (its final year), and for the Hugo Award for Best Editor Short Form every year from 2007 (its first year) through 2013, when he was presented with the statue, along with a standing ovation.

Schmidt also wrote a great deal of hard science fiction of his own, starting with “A Flash of Darkness” for Analog in 1968. Later works included Newton and the Quasi-Apple, Tweedlioop, and several works of practical advocacy for humanity’s movement into space.

Schmidt retired from Analog in 2012.

“All editors can be compared to racehorse trainers, identifying, nurturing, and pushing writers to achieve their best. For over 34 years, Stan has been influencing the shape of modern SF, both in his fiction, and his editorial choices. Because of the huge number of scientists, engineers, and technologists who grew up reading SF, he’s had an effect on =this= future. I’m very pleased to honor him with the Solstice. Almost as pleased as when he bought my first published story back in 1979 and made me part of his stable.” ~Steven Gould, SFWA President

The Solstice Awards
The Solstice Awards were created to acknowledge individuals who have had a significant impact on the science fiction and fantasy landscape. It is especially meant to recognize the non-authorial figures in the industry, who are all too often taken for granted in regards to lifetime achievement. The award is given at the discretion of the SFWA President, with the majority approval of the SFWA Board of Directors, and upon advice from the past SFWA Presidents.

Up to three awards may be presented each year, awarded to any person, living or deceased, with the exception of recipients of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award, or those who have been named Author Emeritus. Both members and non-members are eligible. The Solstice Awards have most recently been awarded to Carl Sagan, Ginjer Buchanan, Octavia Butler, John Clute, Tom Doherty, Terri Windling and Donald A. Wollheim.

About the Nebula Awards Weekend
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s 50th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend will be held at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, Illinois, June 4 through 7, 2015. The weekend will include tours and workshops, including workshops on self-publishing, IP law and other issues of interest to writers.

For more information on pricing and schedule, please see http://www.sfwa.org/nebula-awards/nebula-weekend/, or contact Steven H Silver at events@sfwa.org.

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