As I mentioned yesterday, I’m doing some confirmation research on one of my women in sf projects. I looked up online information about Kate Wilhelm and discovered that her contributions to the field have been marginalized. She’s not listed as one of the co-founders of Clarion in many listings, she’s not even mentioned as an sf writer, let alone an award-winning one on some sites. (These are not easily correctable or I’d send y’all there.) In starting Clarion, in running Milford, in being involved in the early days of SFWA, as well as in her writing, Kate Wilhelm has influenced more generations of writers than almost anyone else still alive in the field.
Whenever I mention her to people running SFWA as a possible Grand Master, I get weird looks. It doesn’t help that I don’t belong to SFWA (long story). But because her importance to the field isn’t obvious to many nowadays, she’s not getting serious consideration.
Folks, she’s 87. The Grand Master Award is named for her husband. She was at his side, as his equal, forming much of the structure of the SF field. She has written consistently in both mystery and science fiction for sixty years.
She’s 87. It’s past time to give her this award. Please, start agitating.