Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

The Rocky Mountain News folds

by Rob - February 27th, 2009.
Filed under: Deaths, Publishing.

The Rocky Mountain News, a major daily newspaper in Denver, Colorado, one of the few US dailies to routinely and intelligently review science-fiction novels over the years, is gone.

Mark Graham, the usual SF reviewer there, had been very kind to me. For instance, on Calculating God, he wrote:

“I always look forward to Robert J. Sawyer’s books. One reason is that Sawyer is just about the best science fiction writer out there these days: compelling stories, believable scenarios, science and fiction that really interact. But the main reason is that after reading and reviewing several Sawyer novels, I know that each book he writes will be unique.

I think it is safe to say that no book of popular science fiction exists that is remotely similar to Calculating God. In an effort to convince Tom Jericho of God’s existence, Hollus uses scientific laws and the mathematics of probability. His arguments are the most convincing I have seen since Thomas Aquinas — maybe more so.

I have always thought that a good novel keeps readers turning the pages to find out the fate of characters they care about. But for fiction to be called literature, the story should stay with readers and keep them thinking about it long after the book has been put away. It is safe to say that Sawyer has accomplished both with Calculating God

The paper went on to name Calculating God the best SF novel of the year — giving it the paper’s Rocky Award — and included it on their list of the year’s best books of any type.

And on me in general:

“Here are a few of the things I like about Robert J. Sawyer: His novels are fast moving and tightly constructed; his characters are developed so that I care what happens to them; the science in his science fiction is intrinsic to the plot but not so arcane that readers have to be nuclear physicists to understand it; and he doesn’t imitate others or himself.”

Robert Charles Wilson and I had a wonderful lunch with Mark Graham at last year’s Worldcon in Denver (Mark’s a big fan of Bob’s books, too), and when I was in Denver on book tour for Rollback, Mark gave the introductory comments about me at my event at The Tattered Cover.

The Rocky Mountain News published its last edition today, 55 days shy of its 150th birthday. They will be sorely missed by the science-fiction publishing industry.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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