News Local/State

Urbana Native Eugie Foster Nominated For Science Fiction/Fantasy Award


UPDATE: Ursula Vernon's "Jackalope Wives" was awarded the 2014 Nebula Award in the short story category Saturday, beating out Eugie Foster's story and five other nominees. --- Jim Meadows, 6/7/15.

Science fiction and fantasy writer Eugie Foster grew up in Champaign-Urbana before moving to Atlanta, Georgia. And on Saturday (June 6th), she could become the repeat winner of one of the top awards in her field.

The story up for the award is “When It Ends, He Catches Her”, combining the themes of ballet … and zombies.

Foster’s husband, Matthew Foster, says his wife loved ballet, and the zombies served as a springboard for writing about mortality.

Eugie Foster wrote the story while undergoing treatment for cancer, and Matthew says while she had hopes at the time for recovery, she was thinking a lot about life and death.

“It was her way of saying what was important in life in her at this point”, said Foster, also a former Illinoisan, “that she was going to live, but that death wasn’t as problematic to her.”

Eugie Foster died last September 27th at the age of 42, the day after “When It Ends, He Catches Her” was published in the online publication, Daily Science Fiction. The story is up for one of the Nebula awards, which are given out by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. The organization is holding its annual Nebula Awards Weekend in Chicago this weekend, and the awards will be announced at a banquet on Saturday evening.

“When It Ends, He Catches Her” is one of seven pieces nominated for the Nebula award in the short story category.

If it wins, it will be Eugie Foster’s 2nd Nebula. She won the award in 2009 in the novelette category for “Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast”.

Matthew Foster says Eugie Foster was a thoughtful and lyrical writer,

“She liked to play with language, she liked the complexity of the English language”, said Foster of his wife. “But then, she was trying to say something with her writing, always. So, theme is important (to her), but is expressed in as poetic a way that she could think.”

Foster published some 150 stories in her lifetime, concentrating on fantasy, horror and science fiction, for both adults and children.

She maintained her prolific output while working for the State of Georgia Legislative Council, where she edited legislation.

Matthew Foster says he hopes to get the remainder of his wife’s work published, including a novel and a children’s book.