Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Archive for December, 2007

Database viewer for Palm

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Besides writing in good old WordStar for DOS, Ialso use a legacy program for maintaining my contacts database: I use Alpha Four for DOS version 1.1b (from 1990), which stores its data in the old dBase *.dbf format. (I use it because WordStar can read data from .dbf files, and because it works well, and […]

Twin studies

Monday, December 31st, 2007

I’ve always been fascinated by studies of identical twins separated at birth, because they shed so much light on the nature-vs.-nurture debate. This one is particularly fascinating, in part because of the questionable ethics involved. The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

A gentleman of impeccable taste …

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

… can be found here, over at The Breathing Corpse blog. The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

EverNote: way cool software

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

I’ve just started experimenting with EverNote, a way cool program good for (among other things) organizing all those little research clippings a writer grabs from various places on the Internet. It has a really slick interface, and I think it’s going to be quite useful — so I went ahead and registered it. It’s on […]

RJS in Report on Business Magazine

Friday, December 28th, 2007

The January 2008 edition of Report on Business Magazine — one of Canada’s top glossy magazines, distributed for free with the Friday 28 December 2007 edition of The Globe and Mail: Canada’s National Newspaper — contains a series of emails from the future by Robert J. Sawyer, along with comments from a bunch of other […]

The actual title is …

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

Remember that Classic Star Trek episode about the Greek god Apollo? The title of that episode is not “Who Mourns for Adonis?” — despite the fact that you see it rendered that way frequently. No, the title actually is “Who Mourns for Adonais?” It’s a line from the poem “Adona├»s: An Elegy on the Death […]

RJS in Report on Business Magazine on Friday

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

Canadian fans of my work: grab a copy of The Globe and Mail on Friday, December 28, 2007. It will include the January 2008 edition of the monthly Report on Business Magazine, which has … well, it’s not quite a story, but it is a creative piece by me in it. Remember, Friday is the […]

When 70 years after the death of the creator isn’t enough …

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

Egypt has decided to essentially copyright its antiquities, according to this article from the BBC. How they’re going to enforce this, and why other countries should pay any attention, I’m not quite sure … The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

One of the most pleasant Christmases in years

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

Carolyn and I started the day by visiting her mother’s house, where her side of the family had gathered, and then it was off to the home of my brother Peter and his wife Jacquie for a wonderful turkey dinner. A really nice day. Among Carolyn and my presents were some TV shows on DVD, […]

A great site for free ebooks

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

Over at manybooks.net, you’ll find 19,000 ebooks available in all popular reader formats, including my own favorite, eReader, plus Kindle, Mobipocket, Rocket, Palm DOC, HTML, and many more — the site will even produce a custom PDF to your exact specifications (font, type size margins, line spacing). Included are almost all the Project Gutenberg offerings […]

OMG, Jeanne Robinson is going zero-G!

Monday, December 24th, 2007

My great friend Jeanne Robinson — co-author of Stardance with her husband Spider — is going to get a zero-G flight experience next week. Read all about her adventure in her new blog — and about the Stardance movie project here. The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Sontarans rock

Monday, December 24th, 2007

The very first Doctor Who serial I ever watched was “The Time Warrior,” featuring the third (and still my favourite) Doctor, Jon Pertwee. When I first saw it, I had no idea that it was a turning point in the series: it contained not only the first-ever mention of the name of The Doctor’s home […]

Fascinating left-brain / right-brain test

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

Check it out: Right Brain v Left Brain For me (and I’m right-handed) she spins clockwise, unless I focus on the lower-left corner of the frame, in which case she spins counter-clockwise, or “anti-clockwise,” as they say on this Australian site — which prompted Carolyn, who is also right-handed and also saw the dancer spinning […]

Dept. of Unfortunate Subtitles

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

Save The Cat!, subtitled “The Last Book On Screenwriting That You’ll Ever Need!” … … now has a sequel! (But both books — Save the Cat! and Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies — are excellent. More info at author Blake Snyder’s website) The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

eBooks that really aren’t properly hyperlinked

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

I’m getting tired of ebooks that aren’t properly formatted, and so I posted the following on the Fictionwise discussion forum, in response to Fictionwise’s founder Steve Pendergrast saying it only costs $20 or $25 to convert a title to an ebook, and they can convert 50 or so a week, with just one staffer doing […]

Seven RJS novels coming from Audible.com

Friday, December 21st, 2007

I’ve been a very satisfied Audible.com customer since March 2001, and so I’m particularly delighted to report that Audible.com has jut bought audio-book rights to seven of my novels: Calculating God Plus the complete Neanderthal Parallax trilogy, consisting of: Hominids Humans Hybrids And (as they are released in print form) my complete upcoming WWW trilogy, […]

WordStar: an oldie but a goodie!

Friday, December 21st, 2007

I still write with WordStar for DOS, and I note that today marks the 15th anniversary of the file-stamp date on the last version ever released: WordStar for DOS 7.0 Revision D was finalized December 21, 1992. I’ve customized the hell out of WordStar over the years, and love it. It’s fast, rock-solid, wonderfully optimized […]

My wonderful publicist

Friday, December 21st, 2007

Today is the last day my wonderful publicist Janis Ackroyd will be with H.B. Fenn and Company, the Canadian distributor for Tor Books. A great many of the good things that have happened to me in the last few years have been the result of Janis’s very hard work. Janis is moving on to new […]

No, no, really, I don’t want you to do my homework for me ….

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Spoiler alert! But if you’ve read my Calculating God you might enjoy these questions a grade-12 student just sent me. Needless to say, I told him he’d have to come up with his own answers. :) 1. Who did you mean your audience to be when you wrote this book and what did you want […]

The 10 Best Science Fiction Stories About Religion

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Gabriel McKee’s blog “SF Gospel” has this fascinating list of The 10 Best Science Fiction Stories About Religion. I’m particularly pleased to see him skipping such simplistic fare as Arthur C. Clarke’s “The Star” and “The Nine Billion Names of God,” and Isaac Asimov’s “The Last Question,” which usually choke such lists; and I’m delighted […]

Harder Star Trek trivia

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

My friend Shoshana Glick mentions in a comment to this post of mine that those weren’t really very hard Star Trek questions on Jeopardy! a few days ago. I agree. So, here are a few super-hard ones of my own devising, with suggested Jeopardy! dollar values. If you know the answers, put them in a […]

Interzone now at Fictionwise

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

The great British SF magazine Interzone joins Asimov’s, Analog, and F&SF in being available in all standard ebook formats at Fictionwise.com. For Interzone, see here. The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Star Trek on Jeopardy!

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

See here. Of course, I knew all the answers. :) The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

What ever happened to WordStar?

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

What ever happened to WordStar, the grand old word-processing program for CP/M and MS-DOS? And what about its clone, NewWord, published by NewStar Software? John C. Dvorak explains: What ever happened to WordStar? What ever happened to NewWord? I still use WordStar for DOS 7.0 (and have been a WordStar user for 24 years, as […]

SF quotes about religion, including RJS

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

Stumbled on this fascinating database, which quotes various SF and fantasy books about real religious groups, including excerpts from my Flashforward and Calculating God. I’ve just sent them an email, though, because they had an amusing typo. In Flashforward, a character says, “Souls are about life immortal” — but they transcribed that as “Souls are […]

Neuromancer print run

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

I get all kinds of interesting questions in email, including this one: For several years, I have been collecting 1st, 2nd and 3rd printings of the original Ace Science Fiction Specials pb of “Neuromancer” (William Gibson). The ISBNs are 0-441-56956-0, 0-441-56957-9, and 0-441-56958-7, respectively. I’m very much interested in knowing how many copies of these […]

10,000 ebooks for Mobipocket and Kindle

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

There used to be a guy online called Blackmask who formatted Project Gutenberg public-domain titles for various ebook readers. He folded his tent, but his old DVD of 10,000 titles for Mobipocket reader (a format supported by Amazon’s new Kindle, the iRex iLiad, and just about every other ebook-reading device) is available again from a […]

If it weren’t for the Worldcon in Denver …

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

… I’d be going here. I love Julian Jaynes’s The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. (That’s Jaynes above; more on the Denver World Science Fiction Convention — the same damn weekend — is here.) The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

So much for the paperless office

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

Almost 12 years ago, in January 1996, I bought a then state-of-the-art printer, a Lexmark Optra R+ monochrome laser printer (16 pages per minute; max resolution 1200 dpi). It’s been having a few problems of late — the fan stalls sometimes, and the duplexer stopped working. So, this morning Carolyn and I swapped out the […]

Happy Birthday, Arthur C. Clarke

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

Sir Arthur C. Clarke turns 90 today — and he’s sent a birthday update to the world via this YouTube video. I’ve never met him (although I did meet his brother Fred once, so, genetically, I’ve met 50% of Sir Arthur!), but he is, and always has been, my favourite SF author, ever since my […]