Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award 2011

As announced at Readercon 22 last weekend, the 2011 Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award went to Katherine MacLean. A good choice, I think — not quite as obscure as last year’s awardee Mark Clifton, but obscure enough (from the viewpoint of current science fiction readers) to need rediscovery. The really astonishing thing about this year’s Rediscovery Award is that for the first time it went to a LIVING writer! Indeed, Katherine MacLean at 86 was still quite alive enough to be interviewed at the Readercon session where the award was announced. Scott Edelman filmed the interview (by Samuel Delaney Jr.) and posted it on YouTube: McLean interview.

I’ll warn you that the interview is 48 minutes along and is rather slow-going until the last 20 minutes or so. MacLean’s recollections tends to wander, and Delaney is a better interviewee (I once interviewed him onstage when he was a NASFiC Guest of Honor) than an interviewer. You can find the basic information about MacLean in a well researched entry on Wikipedia. She has mainly been a short story writer, and her short stories have often been anthologized, for instance in the Norton Book of Science Fiction. At least two of her books are available in paperback from, apparently kept in print-on-demand by small-press publisher John Betancourt.

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