The Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) has named fantasy author and filk composer Mercedes Lackey the new SFWA Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master for her contributions to the literature of fantasy and science fiction. Her first novel was Arrows of the Queen, first published in 1987. Best known for her Valdemar series, which spans thousands of years and characters, Lackey has written and published over 140 books and short stories through her thirty-four-year professional career. 

SFWA President Jeffe Kennedy had the following to say about the organization’s newest Grand Master, “From the time I read my first Mercedes Lackey book as a young woman, her stories have illuminated my imagination and brought joy to my life. With multi-layered fantasy worlds, canny magical systems, and characters who step off the page as living, breathing people, Lackey’s books have made an enormous impact on the genre. She gave me warrior women I could believe in, magic-wielding queer heroes, and characters who suffered, then overcame their physical and emotional traumas. Lackey continues to have a lasting influence on my own work and I’m beyond thrilled to see her honored as SFWA’s newest Grand Master.”

In addition to her writing, Lackey has also contributed to the science fiction and fantasy filking community through songwriting, which earned her five Pegasus Awards. She was also part of The Stellar Guild, a project conceived by the late Mike Resnick, which paired well-known authors with lesser known creatives in an effort to boost their visibility. 

SciFi.Radio congratulates Ms. Lackey on this well-deserved honor.

The 38th Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master award will be presented to Lackey during the annual SFWA Nebula Conference and the 57th Nebula Awards, May 19–22, 2022. The conference will be SFWA’s first hybrid event, taking place in person in Los Angeles, and aboard the virtual Airship Nebula online. Registration will be opening soon, so keep an eye on for more information.

About the Damon Knight Award

Damon Knight (1922 -1979) was a science fiction author, editor, and critic. Many of his short stories were adapted for TV, especially for Twilight Zone. He wrote the original story for the classic episode “To Serve Man.” He was one of the co-founders of SFWA, and co-founder of the Clarion Writers Workshop. He was also founder of the National Fantasy Fan Foundation.

The Damon Knight Grand Master Award has been presented annually since 1975 to a living author of science fiction or fantasy to honor a career and a body of work. The first winner was Robert A. Heinlein. The name of the award was changed to honor Damon Knight in 2003.

Mercedes Lackey is only the seventh woman to win this award. The others were Andre Norton, Ursula K. LeGuin, Connie Willis, C. J. Cherryh, Jane Yolen, and Lois McMaster Bujold.


Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.