Wednesday, May 2, 2007


Edmonton was fabulous -- one of the very best stops on the entire Rollback book tour. I flew in from Calgary (only 250 km away), and was pleased to see that the Indigo bookstore at the Edmonton Airport had a whack of hardcover copies of Rollback. I signed their stock, then was picked up by Barb Galler-Smith, my longtime friend, and a very fine writer. Barb acted as my guide and handler in Edmonton.

We rushed from the airport to the Edmonton CTV studios, where I was interviewed on the noon newscast; a great interview.

Then we headed to the Edmonton City Centre mall, and went to the Coles store. There'd been a little miscommunication. I'd thought I was only doing a drop-in signing (where an author makes no public appearance, but signs the store's stock), and I'd said I'd show up sometime between 1:00 and 2:00. They'd thought I was doing a formal public signing between 1:00 and 2:00, and had a table all set up for me at the entrance to the store. I didn't get there until 1:30, sadly -- but some customers were waiting for me, and we actually sold a good number of books. And the enthusiasm of bookseller Irene Hall there made the whole trip to Edmonton worthwhile in itself!

I was met at the signing by Joel Gotlib, an old friend from Toronto. He's one of the weekend news anchors for the CTV station in Edmonton (and he makes appearances in my novels The Terminal Experiment and Flashforward). Joel, Barb, and I went to a pub (the Elephant and Castle, I think), and Barb patiently listened while Joel and I got caught up.

We then headed off to PALS, an Edmonton adult-literacy centre. Barb is on the board of directors, and my longtime friend Ann Marston, who is a wonderful fantasy writer, works there, and we got a chance to see her.

Then it was off to dinner with Minister Faust, his wife, and infant daughter. Minister Faust had written the very nice article about me in the current edition of Edmonton's VUE magazine, and he's also one of my SF-writing colleagues: author of Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad and From the Notebooks of Dr. Brain. It was great to spend time with him and his family, talking shop.

We then headed over to Audreys, a wonderful independent bookstore in Edmonton. Lots of old friends were there, including my Banff writing students Eileen Bell and Darlene Jones; SF artist Jim Beveridge; fan Jim Shannon (who is the most frequent commenter in this blog); and -- a special treat! -- Jerry Bellikka and his wife Lorraine. Jerry and I had been students together at Ryerson in Toronto; I hadn't seen him since 1982. He looked great -- and still has the best broadcaster's voice I've ever heard!

I thought I read particularly well (the acoustics were good, and the venue was comfortable -- both of which help), and the Q&A session was particularly good. And -- woohoo! -- we sold a ton of books.

After that, it was back to Barb Galler-Smith's place, where I crashed for the night. Early in the morning (of Wednesday, May 2, 2007), Barb drove me to the Edmonton airport, and at 8:00 a.m. I did a phoner interview from the Maple Leaf (Air Canada) Lounge at the airport with the CBC Radio One station in Regina, Saskatchewan (on Thursday -- tomorrow! -- I'm giving the Mary Donaldson Memorial Lecture at the annual meeting of the Saskatchewan Library Association).

Some photos, again taken with my Clie TH55; if you were at these events, and have better photos, please email some to -- thanks!

An intriguing sign at the CTV Edmonton studios, where Rob appeared on the noon newscast ... and I, for one, welcome our new robot masters!

Irene Hall of the Coles bookstore at Edmonton City Centre

Robert J. Sawyer and Joel Gotlib; Joel is one of the weekend anchors for CTV News in Edmonton

Wonderful window display at Audrey's, the bookstore Rob did his Edmonton event at

Canadian SF artist Jim Beveridge and Canadian SF writer Barb Galler-Smith; Barb was Rob's host and handler in Edmonton

A packed crowd in Edmonton; at the right-front is Jim Shannon, the most frequent commenter in this blog, and in the back at right is Minister Faust

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


At May 02, 2007 4:36 PM , Anonymous Jim Shannon said...

Hi Rob, kind words. Thanks for a great night. I'm the ugly guy there in the center just fresh off the job. Don't blame me, blame the system :-)


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