Friday, December 30, 2005

WordStar connections

To my absolute delight, I got an email this week from Seymour Rubenstein. He was the founder of software maker MicroPro International, and co-creator (with Robert Barnaby) of WordStar, the great old wordprocessing program (originally for the CP/M operating system, and later for MS-DOS).

To this day, I still use WordStar for DOS 7.0, Revision D (the last version, released 13 years ago this month); I find it much more efficient than Word. Seymour had run across this essay of mine about WordStar that's been up on my website for years, and he liked it! Woohoo!

If that wasn't enough for WordStar connections, I also just got an email from a librarian who used to work in tech support for MicroPro, asking me if I might be interested in doing a reading at his library in Indiana ...

^KS forever!


Thursday, December 29, 2005

Mindscan paperback in my hands

MindscanWoohoo! A delivery man just dropped off two cartons of the Tor mass-market paperback of my Mindscan. It looks fabulous! It should be showing up in stores shortly (it's a January 2006 title).

I'm pleased that Tor has priced it aggressively. My last mass-market edition, Hybrids, was US$7.99 and Cdn$10.99; Mindscan is the same length (100,000 words), but is priced at US$6.99 and Cdn$9.99.


John Demjanjuk ordered deported

My 1997 novel Frameshift (a Hugo finalist, and winner of Japan’s Seiun Award), which has just been reissued by Tor in a handsome trade-paperback edition, deals in part with the story of John Demjanjuk, the Cleveland autoworker falsely accused of being Ivan the Terrible, the notorious guard at the Treblinka death camp. The real Ivan the Terrible was actually a man named Ivan Marchenko, who bore a passing physical resemblance to Demjanjuk; Marchenko was never apprehended.

A U.S. immigration judge has just ordered Demjanjuk, now 85, deported to his native Ukraine. The Globe and Mail has the AP story, and there’s also coverage on the CNN web site.


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

NYRSF and Locus on Canadian SF

By coincidence, today’s mail contained both the December 2005 issue of The New York Review of Science Fiction and the January 2006 issue of Locus. Both have a decidedly Canadian focus this time out.

The NYRSF features reviews of Peter Watts’s two most recent novels, “Three Snapshots of Canadian SF” by Ursula Pflug (discussing the magazine Neo-Opsis, and recent novels by Marie Jakober and Lisa Smedman), and an article about yours truly by Donald M. Hassler entitled “Robert J. Sawyer in Summer 2005: Mad Play,” which begins: “This past summer I discovered a couple of Robert J. Sawyer’s novels from the last years of the twentieth century, looked once again at his more recent Neanderthal novels, and ended with Mindscan.”

In typical NYRSF fashion the article about me says things like, “At the moment, however, I want to explore a deeper theme in Sawyer’s recent larger fictions. This is the borderless dynamic of narrative and speculative playfulness and joy that distinguishes sf writing from both popular media culture and conventional storytelling and literature … I suppose the high literary theorist, then, would label what follows in my look at Sawyer a study of intertextuality.” I actually quite enjoyed the piece, which touches on Illegal Alien, Factoring Humanity, and The Terminal Experiment, and rather like his description of me as “a gentle giant of a writer.”

The Locus issue features interviews with Canadian writers Geoff Ryman, S.M. Stirling, and Dave Duncan, and short articles about Canadian SF by me, Cory Doctorow, Derryl Murphy, Elisabeth Vonarburg, and Candas Jane Dorsey; my piece is entitled “The Old Pemmican Factory,” and talks about the Canadian fondness for hard SF and space opera. In aggregate, the various piece in the issue provide an interesting overview of that strange beast that is Canadian SF, although I did feel compelled to send this note to Locus:

In the January 2006 Locus, Candas Jane Dorsey says that my imprint, Robert J. Sawyer Books, has only published one book to date; that’s simply not true. We’ve been reliably doing a book every six months ever since our launch in April 2004. Out already are Marcos Donnelly’s Letters from the Flesh, Andrew Weiner’s Getting Near the End, Karl Schroeder’s The Engine of Recall, and Danita Maslan’s Rogue Harvest (the one title Candas mentions). Our fifth book, Nick DiChario’s A Small and Remarkable Life, will be published in April, and our new owner, Fitzhenry and Whiteside, has given me the go-ahead to increase the line to three titles annually.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

North of Infinity II table of contents

Editor Mark Leslie Lefebvre has posted the table of contents for North of Infinity II, the second in the series of Canadian SF anthologies published by Mosaic Press.

My story “Forever,” originally published in Mike Resnick’s Return of the Dinosaurs, is included, as are, to my delight, stories by my writing students Karen Danylak and Doug Smith, plus one by Andrew Weiner, whose novel Getting Near the End was published under my Robert J. Sawyer Books imprint:

North of Infinity II contents

The book should be out early in 2006.

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Monday, December 26, 2005

Time to move into the 21st Century

The problem with being an early adopter is you sometimes get stuck in old ways of doing things. I like to say I’ve had a blog since long before such things were fashionable, and, indeed, since 1990, I’ve been posting regular online updates about my career, first in CompuServe’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature Forum (the command “GO SAWYER” would take you there from anywhere on CompuServe), then for a while also on GEnie, and, later, on my own website at — you can find update posts there going back to 1999.

But creating blog posts by hand with an ASCII editor seems a roundabout way of doing it these days, and so I’m switching to Blogger (although the blog will still be physically hosted on my website).

I’m going to start 2006 with this new version of my blog. For those looking for older posts, they’re still available on my website:If you’re looking for blog entries related to the Rob and Bob Tour — the fourteen days Robert J. Sawyer and Robert Charles Wilson spent on the road together in the spring of 2005, promoting their novels Mindscan and Spin — those entries are here and here.

So, to the future!  Happy New Year, everyone!