Filed under: Auroras, Awards, Canadian SF, Milestones, Wake, Watch, Wonder.
To my absolute astonishment and delight, my twenty-first novel, Wonder, has just won the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Award (“the Aurora”) for Best Novel of the Year.
An excerpt from the official Aurora Awards press release:
Mississauga, Ontario, author Robert J. Sawyer has done it again. Not only is this his third consecutive Aurora Award for Best English Novel, it gives him an Aurora for all three novels in his celebrated “WWW” science-fiction series.
On Saturday night, August 11, 2012, in Calgary, at the Aurora Awards Banquet, Mr. Sawyer won the coveted award for his novel Wonder, the third volume of his “WWW” trilogy. Last year, he won for Watch (the second volume), and in 2010 he won for Wake (the first volume). All three books are published by Penguin Group (Canada); Mr. Sawyer’s editor, Adrienne Kerr (pictured with Sawyer above), was present along with him at the ceremony in Calgary.
Along with the trophy, Mr. Sawyer was presented with a cheque for $500 from SF Canada, Canada’s Science Fiction and Fantasy writers association.
For over 30 years, members of the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association (CSFFA) have chosen exceptional Canadian works for these trophies. This year the awards ceremony was held in Calgary in conjunction with the When Words Collide festival.
Wonder completes the story of Caitlin Decter, the formerly blind 16-year-old girl who discovers that a vast consciousness has spontaneously emerged in the background of the World Wide Web. She becomes Webmind’s mentor, protector, and public face. The WWW trilogy is published in the US by Ace Science Fiction and in the UK by Gollancz. The audio books are available from Audible.com (downloadable) and Blackstone (physical media), and all three novels were main selections of the Science Fiction Book Club.
Wonder hit #1 on the Amazon.ca science-fiction bestsellers’ list, was the #1 bestselling hardcover for the entire year of 2011 at Toronto’s Bakka-Phoenix Books, was named “Bookseller’s Pick of the Year” for adult science fiction or fantasy by the Canadian publishing trade journal Quill & Quire, and was a finalist for the CBC Bookie Awards. Some reviews of the book:
“Not just an adventure story, Wonder is also (like its predecessors) a starting point for speculations on ethics and morality, the meaning of consciousness and conscience, and the place of intelligence in the cosmos. This is Robert J. Sawyer at his very best.”
—Don Sakers in Analog
“For those of you science fiction fans who have yet to experience Robert J. Sawyer, you’re missing out on one of the most though-provoking writers in the genre. His narrative is a unique fusion of highly intelligent scientific speculation; emotionally-powered, character driven storylines; and offbeat humor mixed with subtle pop culture references. In WWW: Wonder, for example, Sawyer brilliantly references some iconic science fiction images — the Lawgiver from Planet of the Apes, The Six Million Dollar Man, Erin Gray from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, etc.
“This trilogy doesn’t portray humankind in the best of lights but there is an undeniable sense of optimism at work, an irrepressible hope. These novels will change the way you look at the world — and if the epilogue of WWW: Wonder doesn’t deeply affect you, doesn’t utterly blow you away, chances are good that you aren’t human …
“The title of this novel says it all … readers looking for that glorious sense of wonder missing in much of contemporary science fiction will find that and more in this outstanding trilogy. A literary beacon of light in a genre dominated, at least recently, by doom and gloom.”
—Paul Goat Allen’s official review for Extrapolations, Barnes and Noble’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog
“Bucking the dystopian trend of presenting a world threatened by humanity’s own creations, Sawyer presents scientific advances in a kinder, gentler way. It’s key to his now completed trilogy — Wake, Watch and the newly released Wonder.
“It’s telling that Wonder is the first of the trilogy that has a villain in the form of the Pentagon’s obsessive expert on artificial intelligence, Col. Peyton Hume. The lack of antagonists in much of Sawyer’s work is another area where he strays from doom-and-gloom prophecies of the future.”
—Eric Volmers in The Calgary Herald (where Wonder hit #1 on the Fiction Bestsellers list)
“Fast-paced and immediately engaging. Drawing from and distilling a vast pool of scientific, mathematical, political and social theories, Sawyer educates readers on such topics as game theory, government conspiracy, scientific responsibility and modern morality, while encouraging them to ask questions.
“Once again, Sawyer shows mastery in his ability to move between complex scientific concepts and genuine and realistic characters … and serves up a healthy dose of social commentary and critique.
“Sawyer manages to not only make each book work individually, but with Wonder, has adroitly drawn together seemingly disparate threads. There are nuances, themes and subtleties that flow beautifully when the trilogy is read as a whole, and the ability to take it as a work in its entirety, to savour the plot and allow the intricacies of the theories and concepts to meld in one’s mind, is definitely the preferred approach.”
—The Globe and Mail: Canada’s National Newspaper
“Verdict: The conclusion to one of the best SF trilogies of modern times.”
“Wonder is not only a superb conclusion to a tremendous trilogy, but stands alone as one of the best books that Sawyer has ever written.”
—Nick Martin in Winnipeg Free Press
Kerr and Sawyer photo by Tim Reynolds. Trophy photo by Robert J. Sawyer. Click on photos for high-resolution publication-quality versions.