Mercedes Lackey

Local fantasy author Mercedes Lackey’s work earned her The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award.

A Claremore resident for 25 years, Lackey will soon reach 145 published books, both alone and in collaboration. The Grand Master Award recognizes her lifetime achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy. The SFWA’s website said the award is one of the highest honors it can bestow.

The official award will be presented to Lackey at the SFWA Nebula Conference on the weekend of May 19, 2022.

Lackey said she was “flabbergasted” to learn that she had won.

“I never had any idea I was being considered,” Lackey said. “It never actually crossed my mind that I would get it. I’m not the type of writer that wins awards, I am the kind of writer that wins readers, which is why I can write for a living.”

Lackey said the SFWA Board of Directors are the ones who chose the winner of the Grand Master Award. The board reviews the writer’s entire body of work and the only rule, Lackey said, is “you can’t be dead.”

A self-proclaimed unashamed escapist, Lackey began writing at a young age for her own amusement. She wrote about a million words of fan-fiction, which she said were published in paper “fanzines.”

Her first paying short stories were published in 1982, her first trilogy of novels was bought in 1985 and she became a full-time writer in 1992.

“I read to get away from the ‘real’ world and I write for the same reason,” Lackey said.

Lackey has several new projects in the works including her and her collaborator’s sequel superhero series to “Secret World Chronicles,” called “ECHO High: Welcome New Students.” In addition, she is working on the third book of the “Silence” trilogy with Cody Martin and the next book in her “Founding of Valdemar” trilogy with James Mallory.

The award serves as acknowledgement from Lackey’s peers for her hard work and dedication to the science fiction and fantasy world. She said it might also help her with future pitches to turn her biggest series into a streaming series.

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