Friday, May 12, 2006

Nice things!

A bunch of good things:

I recently bought a couple of the wonderful die-cast Product Enterprises vehicles from Gerry Anderson's old Supermarionation TV series; these are tough to find outside the UK. I got Fireball XL5 (above) and Stingray at Toronto's Silver Snail comic-book shop, and just scored a Supercar (colour version) and an Eagle Transporter (from Space 1999) on eBay from a US dealer. I'm absolutely delighted with the two I've already got -- they are just gorgeous!

Went to my alma mater, Ryerson University, today, for the grand opening of their new HDTV studios (I graduated in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in Radio and Television Arts). A bunch of my old professors were there, and it was a treat to see them again. And to show off the new HDTV field-production equipment, Ryerson had produced a series of mini-documentaries about (cough, cough) illustrious alumni which they showed on giant HDTV monitors during the ceremony, including one about me. It was great to see old friends and the new facilities.

Just sold Italian rights to my Hugo Award-nominated novella "Identity Theft." It's going to be done as a standalone book, under the Odissea imprint -- cool!

And my buddy Daniel Dern pointed out that Michelle West compares me to best-selling mystery writer Walter Mosley -- no, no, wait, it's even better: she compares Walter Mosley to me -- in the June 2006 The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, calling Mosley's new novel The Wave, "a very Robert Sawyer-esque speculative novel -- if you like Robert Sawyer'’s novels, you should read this one." The full review is here.

Got a royalty check from Japan yesterday for Starplex -- nice to see a book that came out ten years ago still generating income.

And remember how I posted last week about going off to give a talk for a big technology firm at the last minute? Well, the firm was Computer Associates, and a vice-president there just sent along a wonderful comment about my abilities as a keynote speaker:

Thanks again for coming to our meeting. I don't have to tell you the talk hit the spot, as you personally saw how the audience engaged in a lively Q&A at the end of your presentation. This continued into the coffee break, which really shows how much your words provoked the reaction I was hoping for, namely a thought-provoking break from our organizational/technical discussions. Informal feedback from the participants was overwhelmingly positive. I am glad you could come on short notice. Your participation certainly contributed to the success of our event.

And, finally, not having to go to ToBeCONtinued this weekend means I get to help my mom celebrate Mother's Day -- in fact, I've now arranged for my two brothers to join Carolyn and me in taking her out for lunch. We're actually doing it on Saturday, instead of Sunday, and I know it'll be lots of fun.


At May 12, 2006 7:32 AM , Blogger E.Jim Shannon said...

Hey Robert

Have you ever been to Warp 1 here in Edmonton? Arguably the best SF/F shop I've seen since Hobbits Fantasy shop mid 1970's-1985. Hobbit's was a great place to hang out in their original location but they ended up getting into selling tv's and were one of the first to sell vcr's when they first hit the Market. I work across the street from the old Hobbit Fantasy shop location now an empty lot. Those were great days.

We had in the mid 1990's Adventure Gaming supplies a block from where I used to live in the West End here in Edmonton and they had war gaming tables. It wasn't like the old Hobbits, but they tried to capture the essence and philosophy of the original Hobbit's Fantasy shop and stayed around since 1995.

Warp 1 is still going strong. Daryl Minty owns it. Don't talk to him about anything video. He hats it;-)

For collectibles, there’s Whyte Knight. Across the street from the Army & Navy Dept store. I've been in there a few times and they have an awesome collection of sf/f collectibles and war gaming tables as well. I don't do much war gaming these days but Advance Squad leader was the game of choice for me.WW2 tactical combat on the squad level. Very technical and the rules book is generous and extensive. Love it.

If your ever in Edmonton again check out Whyte Knight for collectibles. The store isn't much to look at on the inside but the real place to go for SF/F here in Edmonton is Warp 1. It's a cool place and has a great spiral staircase. Mostly comic books (I'm still a fan but can't afford) Warp1, I highly recommend it. Lots of SF/F.

At May 12, 2006 7:45 AM , Blogger E.Jim Shannon said...


As I'm making my daily blog rounds I just saw this blrub on Mindscan

At May 12, 2006 9:25 AM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Hi, Jim. No, I've never been to Warp 1 -- but I'll make a note to go there when I'm next in Edmonton. Thanks for the tip! I'll also check out Whyte Knight.

At May 12, 2006 9:44 AM , Anonymous Simon Jessey said...

It seems weird to see something from Fireball XL5 in color.

At May 12, 2006 9:59 AM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

I hear you, Simon. They actually make an all-gray-scale Supecar, but Fireball XL5 is only available in the color version.

At May 12, 2006 3:11 PM , Blogger E.Jim Shannon said...

I forgot to mention, Warp 1 is just off and behind Whyte Aveand the IGA/Sobey's. About 2 blocks from each other.


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