C.J. Cherryh is the winner of the 2021 Robert A. Heinlein Award, given for “outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings that inspire the human exploration of space,” recognizing her body of work, “with emphasis on her detailed social science and commercial relationship based stories set in the space station rich Alliance-Union universe.” The award is administered by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society (BSFS).

The winner will receive a plaque, a sterling silver medallion, and two lapel pins, all featuring the likeness of Robert A. Heinlein. The award will be presented May 28, 2021 during the virtual opening ceremonies of Balticon 55.

Balticon and the Robert A. Heinlein Award are both managed and sponsored by The Baltimore Science Fiction Society. A grant from the Heinlein Society funds half of the costs associated with the award and the family of the late author Dr. Yoji Kondo provides additional funding for the award.

The Robert Heinlein Award medallion

The Robert A. Heinlein Award is a sterling silver medallion bearing the image of Robert A. Heinlein, as depicted by artist Arlin Robbins. The medallion is matched with a red-white-blue lanyard. In addition, the winner receives two lapel pins for use when a large medallion is impractical, and a plaque describing the award for home or office wall display.  

The Robert A. Heinlein Award selection committee consists of science fiction writers and was founded by Dr. Yoji Kondo, a long-time friend of Robert and Virginia Heinlein. Members of the original committee were approved by Virginia Heinlein.

Virginia Heinlein authorized multiple awards in memory of her husband, other awards include the Heinlein Prize, which is fully funded by Virginia Heinlein’s estate, and a National Space Society award for volunteer projects.

More information on the Robert A. Heinlein Award, including past winners, can be found here at the BaltiCon Science Fiction Society page.

Carolyn Janice Cherry, known to readers as C. J. Cherryh, maintains an official website at Cherryh.com. She currently resides in Spokane, Washington.

Past winners of the Robert Heinlein Award include:

  • 2020 Vernor S. Vinge
  • 2019 Gregory Benford
  • 2018 Neal Stephenson
  • 2017 Robert J. Sawyer
  • 2016 Kim Stanley Robinson
  • 2015 Jack McDevitt
  • 2014 Geoffrey A. Landis
  • 2013 Allen Steele and Yoji Kondo
  • 2012 Stanley Schmidt
  • 2011 Connie Willis
  • 2009 Joe Haldeman and John Varley
  • 2008 Ben Bova and Spider Robinson
  • 2007 Elizabeth Moon and Anne McCaffrey
  • 2006 Greg Bear and Jack Williamson
  • 2005 Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven
  • 2004 Arthur C. Clarke
  • 2003 Michael Flynn and Virginia Heinlein

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