Returning now after a long silence, here are some things I feel compelled to comment on.
Samuel R. Delany to be named SFWA Grand Master
Naming Delany a Grand Master will be a wonderful thing, and a long overdue honor for the author of one of the greatest bodies of work in the science fiction and fantasy genres. As with the previous year (naming Gene Wolfe Grand Master) my first thought is: Why wasn't Delany given this honor many years ago? Delany and Wolfe would both make my list of the top five authors in the genre in the past 50 years. Perhaps next time SFWA can add a woman's name to the predominantly male Grand Master list? (Here is the list.)
Neal Barrett, Jr. (1929-2014)
The under-appreciated and unique work of this author deserves continued attention. See especially the novels Through Darkest America (1987) and The Hereafter Gang (1991). For more information, follow this link to the SF Encyclopedia.
Sofia Samatar wins 2014 Crawford Award
This is an award for first fantasy novel. Samatar's A Stranger in Olondria (Small Beer Press, 2013) is an exceptional first novel and signals the arrival of a first-rate literary voice. This award is well-earned and the novel is highly recommended. (More about the award.)