This year’s Robert A. Heinlein Award goes to science fiction author Connie Willis. The award is bestowed for outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings to inspire the human exploration of space. Space exploration was a frequent topic of Heinlein’s novels.

This is Willis’ first Robert Heinlein award, though she is the recipient of numerous Hugo Awards (11), Locus Awards (11), and Nebula Awards (8). Her most recent book is the multiple award-winning two-part time traveling novel ‘Blackout/All Clear’.

Superstar science fiction author Robert Heinlein, who passed away in 1988, was once part of what was known as the “Big Three” of science fiction (along with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke). The award was established (along with multiple Heinlein awards) by his widow, Virginia Heinlein.

The award committee is comprised of science fiction authors and chaired by a longtime friend of Robert and Virginia Heinlein, Dr. Yoji Kondo. The Baltimore Science Fiction Society provides logistical support for the award including the manufacture of award materials, shipping and processing of donations. This award is supported by independent donations from the interested public.

Since 2003, the following authors have received this award: Connie Willis, Joe Haldeman, John Varley, Ben Bova, Spider Robinson, Elizabeth Moon, Anne McCaffrey, Greg Bear, Jack Williamson, Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven, Arthur C. Clarke, Michael Flynn, and interestingly Virginia Heinlein.

You can view the Baltimore Science Fiction Society website here.