Pilgrim Award

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The Pilgrim Award was created in 1970 by the Science Fiction Research Association (SFRA) to honor distinguished contributions to scholarship in the fields of SF and fantasy. The award is named for Dr. J. O. Bailey's book, Pilgrims Through Space and Time, a "history and analysis of scientific fiction" that was originally published in 1947 (and based upon his 1934 doctoral dissertation).

A five-member committee appointed by the president of the SFRA selects the Pilgrim nominees and the winner. The committee is reconstituted each year. The physical award consists of a bronze trophy sculpted by Eldon Teftt, one copy of which is housed at the SFRA headquarters in Lawrence, Kansas. Through 1989, the recipient of the award received only a certificate. Beginning in 1990, a bronze plaque with black inset design was designed and presented retroactively to past winners.

Traditionally, the winner gives an acceptance speech at the annual SFRA conference in July, and recipients of the Pilgrim become honorary SFRA members.

Because the Pilgrim Award is given for a body of work rather than for a specific publication, the Pioneer Award was created in 1990 to honor the best single critical work of the past year (of any length) and also is presented at the annual conference.

Appropriately, the first winner of the Pilgrim Award was Dr. Bailey in 1970. Subsequent awards have gone to a variety of scholars and critics, academic and otherwise. The recipients have included Jack Williamson, Damon Knight, James E. Gunn, Brian W. Aldiss, Peter Nicholls, Sam Moskowitz, Neil Barron, Samuel R. Delany, Joanna Russ, Ursula K. Le Guin, John Clute, L. Sprague de Camp, Mike Ashley, Algis Budrys, and Pamela Sargent.

Brian Stableford, H. Bruce Franklin, Carl Freedman, and I. F. Clarke all have won both Pilgrim and Pioneer Awards.

Pilgrim Award
Year Winner
1970 J. O. Bailey
1971 Marjorie Hope Nicolson
1972 Julius Kagarlitski
1973 Jack Williamson
1974 I. F. Clarke
1975 Damon Knight
1976 James E. Gunn
1977 Thomas D. Clareson
1978 Brian W. Aldiss
1979 Darko Suvin
1980 Peter Nicholls
1981 Sam Moskowitz
1982 Neil Barron
1983 H. Bruce Franklin
1984 Everett F. Bleiler
1985 Samuel R. Delany
1986 George Slusser
1987 Gary K. Wolfe
1988 Joanna Russ
1989 Ursula K. Le Guin
1990 Marshall B. Tymn
1991 Pierre Versins
1992 Mark Hillegas
1993 Robert Reginald
1994 John Clute
1995 Vivian Sobchack
1996 David Ketterer
1997 Marleen Barr
1998 L Sprague de Camp
1999 Brian Stableford
2000 Hal Hall
2001 Dave Samuelson
2002 Mike Ashley
2003 Gary Westfahl
2004 Edward James
2005 GĂ©rard Klein
2006 Fredric Jameson
2007 Algis Budrys
2008 Gwyneth Jones
2009 Brian Attebery
2010 Eric S. Rabkin
2011 Donna Haraway
2012 Pamela Sargent
2013 Joan Gordon
2014 Henry Jenkins
2015 Mark Bould
2016 Tom Moylan
2017 Carl Freedman
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