Friday, May 4, 2007

Saskatoon a success -- and finally home!

You know a book tour is ending well when you get bumped up to Executive Class for the flight home. Woohoo!

Today, I finished the second -- and longest -- of the four phases of the book tour for Rollback, my 17th novel. This was the by-plane cross-Canada part, and included stops in Winnipeg, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and Saskatoon.

And an absolutely wonderful trip it was! Every event went well, I saw a lot of old friends and made some new ones, we got lots of media coverage, and lots of books were sold.

Yesterday, H.B. Fenn and Company (Tor's Canadian distributor) had me take Kent Pollard and Ian Goodwillie from the Saskatoon McNally Robinson out to lunch; Chris Pepin -- who was my wonderful handler from the Saskatchewan Library Association -- joined us, and we had a great time talking about bookselling, writing, libraries and more.

My final event for this phase of the tour, last night (Thursday, May 3, 2007), was giving the Mary Donaldson Memorial Lecture, a public lecture given each year as part of the annual meeting of the Saskatchewan Library Association (pictured: me and PJ, the Saskatchewan Library mascot, who came by my talk).

We had an audience of 125, and Kent, Ian, and others from bookseller McNally Robinson were on hand at the Frances Morrison Library to sell books. The whole evening was fabulous: I was on fire, if I do say so myself; the audience was wonderful; and the questions they asked were great; we sold lots of books; and there was a fabulous reception at the library afterwards. After that, it was off to Maguire's, a lovely pub, for drinks with librarian Peggy Sarjeant (the widow of fantasy writer and paleontologist William A.S. Sarjeant), Geoffrey Ursell and his wife Barbara, and Jeff Cutler from the Canadian Light Source, the synchrotron located in Saskatoon.

I'm back home in Toronto now, and have four days off -- then I embark on Phase Three of the Rollback book tour. Phase One was by-car in the U.S.; Phase Two, just finished, was by-plane in Canada; Phase Three is by-car in Southern Ontario (and lasts four days); and Phase Four is by-plane in the US (with stops in Denver and Orlando). For details of the remaining stops, see here here.

A few pictures from Mary Donaldson Lecture:

The Saskatchewan Library Association banner

Robert J. Sawyer and Chris Pepin, who served as Rob's guide, handler, and host on behalf of the SLA

Old friends Les and Ellen Dickson, who are active not only in science-fiction fandom but also with the Saskatoon Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

Rob presenting the Mary Donaldson Memorial Lecture. His topic: "Science Fiction as a Mirror for Reality"

The "World's Best Phi-Fi Writer" T-shirt -- a gift from Montreal fan Debi Ancel -- makes another appearance when Rob speaks about how the genre should really be called "Philosophical Fiction"

Kent Pollard: bookseller from the Saskatoon McNally Robinson, author, and long-time member of
Rob's Yahoo Groups! discussion group

Ian Goodwillie of Saskatoon's McNally Robinson bookstore

After Rob's talk, a crowd converges on the book-sales table -- woohoo! Wearing the white sweater: Saskatoon playwright Geoffrey Ursell

Stephanie Hollinger and Robert J. Sawyer; Stephanie presented Rob with a sketch she'd made of Sal-Afsan, the main character from Rob's 1992 novel Far-Seer

Stephanie Hollinger's sketch of Sal-Afsan, from the Robert J. Sawyer novel Far-Seer

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


At June 05, 2007 12:33 AM , Anonymous Les Dickson said...

Hi Robert. Saw the blog entry for Saskatoon. Thanks (I think ;)) for posting the picture of us on your site. Believe it or not, it is probably the best picture of the two of us I have seen in a long time. I am glad you enjoyed your brief visit to Saskatoon; the audience obviously did. Best wishes for more successes to come. ...Les Dickson / Saskatoon


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