She's already won more Nebula and Hugo awards than any science fiction writer. And now, Connie Willis (author of so many wonderful books, including "Fire Watch," "Lincoln's Dreams," "Doomsday Book," "Remake," "Passage," "To Say Nothing of the Dog," and the recent "Blackout/All Clear" duology) has been awarded the 2011 Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award. That puts her in some pretty rarified company -- the writers who defined science fiction. Robert Heinlein. Ray Bradbury. Isaac Asimov. Arthur Clarke.
The honor is absolutely deserved. I know Connie from the days when I was the Library Administrator of the Greeley Public Library, where Connie wrote "Doomsday Book" on her trademark Indian Chief tablets. She is a woman of uncommon insight and intelligence. She also works hard on her writing. This award marks that transition from just a really good writer, a commercial and critical success, to something even harder to come by: someone who produces real literature, grounded in a profoundly wise and warm humanity. I'm proud to know her, and as always, fascinated and moved by her writing.