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Philip K Dick Award

Entry updated 1 April 2024. Tagged: Award.

Award founded in 1983 by admirers of Philip K Dick, who died in 1982. Because much of Dick's classic sf was published with no fanfare and initially without a hardcover edition, it seemed appropriate to give the award to a distinguished work of sf or fantasy of the previous year first published in paperback. The award was initially suggested by Thomas M Disch, who was for several years its administrator; he was succeeded by an administrative team of Algis Budrys and David G Hartwell; for a time Hartwell administered the award alone and until his death did so with Gordon Van Gelder. Winners are chosen by a jury (with variously three, four or five members) of writers and critics, most of whom choose their own successors for the following year; usually one judge is the previous year's winner. The award is sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and by the Northwest Science Fiction Society's Convention Norwescon, held in the state of Washington in March or April each year, at which the winner and runner-up ("special citation") are announced. In good years, when the committee has collected enough cash, the winner receives $1000 and the second-place "special citation" winner $500. Plaques are provided by the Philip K Dick estate.

It has been argued that it conspicuously contradicts the original spirit of the Philip K Dick Award to honour US "paperback originals" of books which in fact saw prior hardback publication overseas, as with the successful, widely reviewed, BSFA Award-winning UK edition of Stephen Baxter's The Time Ships (1995). [PN/DRL]



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