Thursday, May 3, 2007

Calgary -- yeehaw!

The by-plane part of the Rollback book tour is drawing to a close. I'm now at the Calgary airport, in the Air Canada lounge, about to fly to Saskatoon for the final stop on the tour. The event in Calgary at McNally Robinson was excellent -- packed house, ton of books sold.

It was a very special event for me. Rollback is dedicated to my great friend Robyn Herrington, pictured above, who passed away in 2004 after a long battle with cancer. Robyn's parents, John and Gisela Brown, and her husband, Bruce Herrington, were at McNally for the event, and I began with a tribute to Robyn, who was a mainstay of the Calgary writing community.

Also on hand was Hugh Graham; Hugh had written this fabulous profile of me, which was in the current issue of FFWD (Fastforward), the Calgary arts-and-entertainment weekly. McNally Robinson had a stack of copies, and so I told everyone we had a special deal: buy a copy of Rollback, and we'd throw in a free copy of FFWD. This got a big laugh, 'cause FFWD is always free. Still, we gave away a lot of copies of it last night -- because we sold a lot of books!

Earlier in the day, I'd done a quick-and-dirty interview for CBC Radio One in Calgary, and I'd had a wonderful reunion with an old friend from public school, Rice Honeywell, who I hadn't seen in decades. That reunion came about because Rice, who lives in British Columbia, happened to be visiting Calgary on business, and on the weekend he literally walked into this sign out on the sidewalk in front of McNally Robinson:

He sent me an email, and we arranged to get together. We had a fabulous time catching up. Here's Rice:

In addition to the street sign, McNally had done a fabulous job promoting the event, including this gigantic banner (note bookseller in foreground for scale) behind the cash counter at the store for most of the last month:

My reading was introduced by Thomas Chalmers, the new events coordinator at McNally, while a giant tribble looked on in wonder:

(Actually, that's Danita Maslan's hair -- she was part of a big table of members of the Imaginative Fiction Writers Association, the writing group to which Robyn belonged, who came out for the event; my reading took place in McNally Robinson's Prairie Ink restaurant.)

After the reading, there was a huge line-up for my signature; I signed autographs for over an hour:

And, at the end of the night, high-school English teacher Kim Greyson, also a member of IFWA, took home the giant banner; he's going to put it up in his classroom:

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


At May 03, 2007 4:14 PM , Anonymous Paul Bartel said...

Sorry to have missed your reading Rob - hopefully I can catch you the next time through!

At May 03, 2007 4:27 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

No sweat, Paul. But I must say the Ifwa turnout was a bit on the light side, which disappointed me. Randy, Val, Kirstin, Ivan, Danita, Kim, and Susan were the only current members who showed up (although so did ex-Ifwits Angela and Barbara, which was nice). Fortunately, the house was packed and the event went well regardless. :)

At September 21, 2008 6:50 PM , Blogger Anthony Bletchely said...

Hi Rob,

Sept 21 08

So I get home from a film shoot in Saskatoon and my kids tell me that after searching my name on Google, they had found it on your site... a quick scan (ahem) and there I am in living colour... knowing the good fortune of having my image posted on your site... in some rather erudite company, I might add...

I might also add that my youngest son Nate (12) is currently reading Rollback; a voracious reader, I'm proud to introduce him to SF through you...

All the best old friend,



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