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Robin McKinley named Grand Master!
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Slinkyboy
Posted 2022-11-29 2:26 PM (#26058)
Subject: Robin McKinley named Grand Master!



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Congratulations to Robin McKinley!

She has been named the 39th Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA).

Check it out:
https://www.sfwa.org/2022/11/28/robin-mckinley-39th-sfwa-grand-maste...
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Administrator
Posted 2022-12-01 12:43 AM (#26068 - in reply to #26058)
Subject: RE: Robin McKinley named Grand Master!



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A worthy recipient. The Grand Master list has been updated. Thanks for the heads-up!
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finminer
Posted 2023-01-13 11:32 AM (#26730 - in reply to #26058)
Subject: Re: Robin McKinley named Grand Master!



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I find this selection kind of odd. I have never even heard of her, and within my SF&F Goodreads group, not one person had read her and most had not heard of her. I realize the need to recognize women authors, to help balance it out, but this is the 3rd woman in a row, and the 7th in 9 years. With more accomplished male authors out there (George R. R. Martin, Kim Stanley Robinson, etc.) that are not getting any younger, this seems like overkill.
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lisagarrity
Posted 2023-01-13 9:31 PM (#26735 - in reply to #26058)
Subject: Re: Robin McKinley named Grand Master!



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I can in no way agree that George RR Martin is a better author but I will agree he has had a great impact on the fantasy community. Kim Stanley Robinson, though, is an excellent author and I hope will be named master in the next few years. Maybe even next year.

I am surprised that no one in your group has read Robin Mckinley. Maybe it's a generational thing? The Hero and the Crown was a required read in Middle School for a lot of people I know. Deerskin is one of the best fairytale retellings I've read. Do you read Jane Yolen? In some ways her fantasy is similar.



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finminer
Posted 2023-01-14 11:34 PM (#26738 - in reply to #26735)
Subject: Re: Robin McKinley named Grand Master!



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I've read some Jane Yolen and I suspected McKinley was similar. We have a full spectrum of generations in the group, but I'm 65, so maybe just missed her myself. Odd that the younger members didn't know her though.

As for GRRM, I suspect most people just know him from the high profile Game of Thrones, and their opinions are probably skewed by the way the showrunners handled it. However, though it may not be your cup of tea, the quality of his writing can't be denied. He's got numerous award nominations and wins - fans and peers - going all the way back to the 70's. Check out Dreamsongs, Volumes 1 and 2, compilations of many pre-GoT short stories, novelettes & novellas. I'd find it hard to believe that McKinley had been honored more and is more worthy.
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lisagarrity
Posted 2023-01-15 3:27 AM (#26739 - in reply to #26058)
Subject: Re: Robin McKinley named Grand Master!



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If I see a copy of Dreamsongs in the store, I'll pick it up. I do have the anthology Run to Starlight that I haven't read yet which has 2 George RR Martin stories including the title story. Maybe my opinion of his writing will improve. Robin McKinley has had her share of awards and nominations as well. I think that perhaps the SFFWA were looking at how she had influenced other writers and how the fantasy genre changed because of what she had written. If it was strictly the number of awards and nominations N K Jemisin would already be Grand Master.
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finminer
Posted 2023-01-15 9:42 AM (#26740 - in reply to #26058)
Subject: Re: Robin McKinley named Grand Master!



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I agree, especially when it comes to fan awards - one popular book or series can set a fan's opinion for a long time, however good the writing. Peer & literary awards are hopefully less susceptible to sensation popularity. Some of Martin's work is more gritty, like GoT, which may take him down a notch on the literary scale, however unfair that might be. Although I think GoT is quite an achievement, I don't think it's his best writing. However, if you look over the list of Grand Masters, there are some who were not literary giants. Van Vogt, for example, was mainly pulp; many of Norton's novels were short adventures; and de Camp wrote a ton of sword-and-sorcery.

I have no doubt that once Jemisin achieves more longevity (which now seems to be a criterium), she will be named, and she well deserves it.

An interesting thing I read about was that C.L. Moore, who wrote prolifically in partnership with her husband, Henry Kuttner, was slated to be the first woman to be selected as Grand Master, around 1982-83, before Andre Norton was selected in 1984. She was very active in the SFWA & had received some significant other awards. However, she was suffering from Alzheimer's and her husband requested her name be withdrawn as he thought it would confuse & upset her.

I checked my library, and they have a good selection of McKinley's works. I'll definitely read some this year as one of my goals. The last few years I've set up a WWE challenge to read the new Grand Master's works.
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