SFWA Grand Master – next prediction

You may have heard that Samuel R. Delany was recently named 2013 Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA). He will receive the award at the Nebula Awards weekend in May 2014.

Long time readers of this blog knew he would win the honor last September. Following up on my prediction that Gene Wolfe would receive the award in 2013.

To whom will SFWA give the Grand Master award in 2015?

To be eligible, a candidate must be a living writer of sf/f. It helps to have a long career, a productive career, and mutilple award wins or other acclaim.

Recent events involving SFWA and sf fandom suggest future winners will tend to be one or more of non-white, non-straight, or non-male. (Take this statement as is, not should be).

Given all that, my prediction for the next SFWA Grand Master: C.J. Cherryh.

Long career? About 40 years.

Productive career? Over 60 books.

Award wins? A Campell for Best New Writer, and three Hugos. Probably best known for Downbelow Station and Cyteen.

Non-male? Check, plus the oppressed woman marker of being forced into her byline to disguise her sex and sound more rigorous than “Carolyn Cherry.” And “She now lives… with science fiction/fantasy author and artist Jane Fancher.”

Caveats: I’m not a SFWA member, and wouldn’t bother spending time in the organization’s private chat rooms if I were. I don’t know what sort of gossip, back-scratching, and other primate coalition building goes on in there that can impact the grand master selection. Also, I’ve read a few of Cherryh’s novels and some of her non-fiction on her website. I don’t know Cherryh at all. Given her subject matter and themes, she doesn’t seem the type to wilt and complain about sexism. She seems she could fire a rifle, field dress a deer, solve a calculus problem, and translate text into Latin. In sum, to my mind, Cherryh has some parallels to Elizabeth Moon. And we all know what happened to her.

They say prediction is difficult, especially about the future. Check back in a year to see how it turns out.