Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mindscan mass-market AWOL at Amazon.com

My poor baby is lost!

There's a glitch in the database over at Amazon.com. If you search there on either "Mindscan" or "Robert J. Sawyer," you'll only find the hardcover of Mindscan -- even though the paperback has been out for over a year.

The only way to get to the ordering page for the paperback right now is to select the hardcover, then root around on that page for where it lists the other editions, and choose the paperback there. Or you could just follow this link. I've let the good folks at Tor know, so hopefully a fix will be forthcoming soon.

(The problem is only at Amazon.com; everything's hunky-dory at Amazon.ca and Amazon.co.uk.)

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Monday, July 30, 2007

Quill and Quire reports on changes at Red Deer Press

Quill and Quire reports today on changes at Red Deer Press, including the departure of long-time publisher Dennis Johnson; Red Deer press publishes Robert J. Sawyer Books, the imprint I edit.

In the article, posted in the subscription-only area of their website, they quote briefly from an email response I sent to Q&Q editor Derek Weiler. For the record, the full email said:

Kirstin Morrell, the fabulous managing editor for almost two years now at Red Deer, is a huge science-fiction fan, and very knowledgeable about the genre; her role will expand, I'm sure (although I will continue to be the actual acquistions and substantive editor for my line).

Richard Dionne is totally behind my line, and very enthusiastic about it -- as is Sharon Fitzhenry herself.

We've had our best initial sales ever with our latest release, Phyllis Gotlieb's Birthstones, and we've had a great initial buy -- our biggest to date -- from Barnes and Noble for our next, Matthew Hughes's The Commons, so it's all ahead at warp speed for Robert J. Sawyer Books.

If you want a comment from me for an article: "Dennis Johnson is a visionary and enormously hard-working. He came to me looking to create a science-fiction imprint, and it's a testimony to his business acumen that he got me to agree to do it for so little money. Calgary is booming right now, and there are so many opportunities out there, I'm not surprised he's gone on to bigger things ... but he'll be missed, and I wish him well."

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Fun and games in Dawson City

Carolyn and I have been at Berton House way up north here in Dawson City, Yukon, for 26 days now, and we're continuing to enjoy it and find it productive. And although we're here on a writing retreat, we're still finding time for some fun too.

Last weekend was the famed Dawson City Music Festival, which was terrific. Carolyn volunteered there for two days, and saw a bunch of the acts -- a very eclectic mix. The night before she caught the closing performance of a children's fiddle group called "Fiddleheads" at the Palace Grand Theatre:

At the festival itself, she saw a variety of international performers:

And some good ole rock-n'-roll:

Of course, the regular summer attractions continue; we've now seen all three floor shows at Diamond Tooth Gerties:

Plus had a wonderful lunch with Dan Davidson and his wife Betty. Dan is the editor of The Klondike Sun, a member of the board here for Berton House, a frequent contributor to my online newsgroup, and one of the people who has long encouraged me to come up here and write.

Which is what I should get back to doing right now! Fortunately, it's good to know that Berton House has a backup for me in case my laptop happens to die up here:

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Saturday, July 28, 2007

My friend H. Don Wilkat found a higher-resolution version of the mass-marekt paperback cover for Rollback online.

On this one, it's easy to read the blurb in the lower-left:

"This is what SF is supposed to be about: discovery as carried out by real people. A joy to read: a superb novel." -- Jack McDevitt, author of Odyssey, on Rollback

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Friday, July 27, 2007

Help bring the Worldcon to Canada!

Carolyn and I are both proud supporters of the Montreal in 2009 Worldcon bid -- a bid to bring the World Science Fiction Convention back to Canada.

And it's time to vote! All the information is here. Check it out!

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Thursday, July 26, 2007

First glimpse of Rollback paperback

Amazon.com has just put up the first glimpse I've seen of what the mass-market paperback of Rollback will look like. Looks gorgeous to me -- although I'm dying to know what the text in the lower left says! (The stuff under my name says, "Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best novel.") The paperback comes out February 5, 2008.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dawson Public Library

For those of you actually here in the Yukon, I will be doing a reading from Rollback followed by a Q&A at the Dawson Public Library on Tuesday, August 14, 2007, at 7:30 p.m. Free refreshments will be served.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Letting Go Of God

In April 2007, The Ottawa Citizen -- the largest circulation newspaper in Canada's capital city -- published a commissioned op-ed piece by me, which I called "A Bright Idea for Atheists." In that piece, I took to task some of the people who are currently trying to overcome the problems religions causes in our world: the fight, I said, was noble, but the sneering techniques being used by Richard Dawkins and others were counterproductive, and would change few minds.

(Now, I in fact love Dawkins' book The God Delusion, and have given it as gifts, and in The Globe and Mail: Canada's National Newspaper, I named it the most important book of 2006 -- but I'm not blind to its flaws, which are mostly not of content but tone.)

My piece in The Citizen was occasioned by the grand opening of the Centre for Inquiry, Ontario, at which I had been a featured speaker, and concluded, "If the Centre can really bring a new voice (one that's polite and charming) and a Canadian voice (one that's self-effacing and inclusive) to the Modern Skeptical Movement, then it might actually do some good."

Well, some atheists reacted negatively to my piece, and several said I was setting an impossible standard because one couldn't talk to religious people without becoming sneering and arrogant, since, well, atheists are right, right, right, and any idiot should be able to see that.

I had some ideas of my own in the op-ed piece about how to better approach the issue, but I didn't have a widely available work to hold up as a better choice than The God Delusion to give to believers that might actually change their minds -- that might actually lead a few more folk to embrace reason instead of superstition.

But now I've found that work: the one-woman stage show Letting Go Of God, by Julia Sweeney, perhaps best known as the androgynous "It's Pat!" from Saturday Night Live.

Ms. Sweeney's monologue -- which is now available on CD and from Audible.com, -- is everything I'd asked for: polite, charming, self-effacing, and inclusive. It's also laugh-out-loud funny, hugely intelligent, and brilliantly delivered.

Letting Go Of God covers all the bases: the journey from childhood religious indoctrination to freethinking adulthood, the contradictions in the Bible, the silliness of New Age thinking as a substitute for reason, the prejudice against atheists, and, most of all, shows that you can be a good, kind, loving person without God (indeed, it's hard not to be totally in love with Sweeney by the end). It never sneers, never uses condescension, and never once tells anyone else what to think -- it trust that the members of the audience can find their own way.

A tour de force; I recommend it highly and wholeheartedly. Get a copy for yourself, and buy others to give to friends.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

New publisher at Red Deer Press

Robert J. Sawyer Books is an imprint of Red Deer Press. Long-time publisher Dennis Johnson has moved on to greener pastures, and Richard Dionne will be the new publisher starting September 1, 2007. Red Deer Press was bought two years ago by Toronto's Fitzhenry & Whiteside, and Richard has been a mainstay there.

My profound thanks to Dennis for taking a chance on me as an editor, and for giving Robert J. Sawyer Books such a great start.

Richard, Sharon Fitzhenry, and Red Deer Managing Editor Kirstin Morrell have all vigorously confirmed their commitment to Robert J. Sawyer Books. Our next title, Matthew Hughes's The Commons, comes out this fall.

New Publisher Announced for Red Deer Press in Calgary

Calgary, AB. -- Sharon Fitzhenry, President and CEO of Fitzhenry and Whiteside Publishing in Markham, Ont. is pleased to announce the appointment of Richard Dionne, Senior Editor at Fitzhenry and Whiteside Publishing, to the position of Publisher of Red Deer Press in Calgary effective September 1st, 2007.

"Richard comes to his new position with extensive experience in publishing and has connections to a great many western Canadian authors and illustrators that will further strengthen our ties and commitment to creating best-selling, award-winning books from the western provinces." said Ms. Fitzhenry.

Richard has already produced a fine selection of books by western Canadians, including titles by Murphy Shewchuk, Lorna Vanderhaeghe, John Wilson, and Scott Wooding. He was also general editor of Canadian Facts & Dates, a landmark chronology of Canadian history, and lead editor on the groundbreaking Canadian Thesaurus, the first of its kind produced for and by Canadians.

Richard is excited about the opportunity to take Red Deer Press to the next step in its long and lustrous history. "Red Deer Press is a small publisher that has made a significant mark on the national publishing scene." says Dionne. "I am looking forward to working with the talented Red Deer family to take this publishing house to new heights nationally."

Richard was born in Montreal and received a graduate degree in History from York University in Toronto. He is looking forward to dividing his time between Calgary and head office in Markham. "Calgary is a terrific city -- I am very familiar with it and have always enjoyed my time spent there."

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Monday, July 23, 2007

Recommended Science Fiction

I was asked to recommend some great science fiction for a sidebar to an interview with me -- but the magazine never used the sidebar, so I thought I'd post my recommendations here:

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (Tor).

Wells created it all: time travel, space voyages, alien invasions, genetic engineering, antigravity, invisibility -- you can't write SF without riffing on good ole H.G. But he also knew that all those things were mere trappings; SF is really a medium for social commentary -- and he rips the British class system a new one here.

Gateway by Frederik Pohl (Del Rey).

The job of good science fiction is to combine the intimately human and the grandly cosmic, and no one has ever done it better than Pohl in this book. Robinette Broadhead recounts his ill-fated encounter with a black hole in sessions with a computerized shrink, in what I think is the finest novel the field has ever produced. (And for all those MFA-in-creative-writing types who think a book has to have a likable protagonist to be moving and engaging, here's the proof that you're wrong.)

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (Vintage).

Sometimes when mainstream authors dabble in SF it goes spectacularly wrong, like Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake. Other times, it's a resounding success, such as this brilliant, heart-breaking story of a librarian unstuck in time, a tale that's both philosophically and scientifically literate.

Gravity Wells by James Alan Gardner (Eos).

SF has always shone at short lengths, and there simply is no better writer of short stories in or out of the field than James Alan Gardner of Kitchener, Ontario. This collection contains fourteen of his wry, knowing, mind-bending tales including the Aurora Award-winning "Muffin Explains Teleology to the World at Large" and the Hugo Award-nominated "Three Hearings on the Existence of Snakes in the Human Blood Stream."

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Berton House renovations

Last winter, Berton House, where Carolyn and I are now staying, was renovated as part of the Canadian TV show The Designer Guys. You can read all about that renovation, and see a bit more of Berton House, in this posting from the Mayor of Dawson's blog.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Rob interviewed by a 17-year-old

And it's a good interview, too. See for yourself.

(The interviewer is Rachel Moran, who was 17 at the time this intervew was done, and was then a senior at Pittsford Sutherland High School in Pittsford, NY. The interview was done in 2003 for a print publication for students about possible careers called NextStep; I only just stumbled on the fact that it's also online.)

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Self-publishing is not the way to go

An email I received today:

I loved your website and was very impressed with your bio and all the awards that you have received. What a wonderful life you must be enjoying. Great!

I have written a mystery novel. The book is already in print, but I need an expert to tell me my next move. The book has been advertised on Amazon.com, but without an agent, I'm having a problem knowing what to do next.

If you could give me some tidbits of how to make this dream a reality, I would love to hear it.

My reply:

I wish I could give you some positive words of advice. If you'd asked me earlier, my advice would have been not to self-publish your book. In terms of interesting a traditional publisher, especially for fiction, that's the worst possible move you can make: sure, if you'd self-published and been a success, selling (at a minimum) tens of thousands of copies, a commercial publisher might become interested. But you haven't; your Amazon sales rank is 4,000,000+ -- meaning a single copy of your book sells now and again.

Yes, you've got seven positive reviews on Amazon.com -- but of those, six are by people who have only reviewed your book and no others, and of the five who say where they live, four are local to you. Again, I'm afraid that's not much help.

Sadly, by self-publishing, you've established a track record for your book, and it's a poor one. I'm trying not to be harsh here, but the sad truth is that you decided to take a shortcut, and, like many shortcuts, it's ended up getting you lost. Self-publishing is the end of a book's life, not it's beginning.

Your only hope for a traditional publisher at this point is to do the standard procedure (well documented in any number of books on the writing game that you could have read prior to choosing the route you took) of submitting (by paper mail) sample chapters and outlines to appropriate publishing houses -- and doing so without mentioning your self-published edition. If a publisher likes what you're offering (and note that the bar is high in commercial publishing, and most people don't manage to clear it simply because their manuscripts aren't good enough), then come clean at that point about the self-published edition (which you'll need to immediately pull from the marketplace).

As for getting an agent at this stage, it's virtually impossible. Most authors who have an agent to sell their first book (including myself, way back when) landed their agents on the strength of professionally published (bought and paid for) short work in their chosen field. It's easy to get an agent after you get an offer from a publisher, but without real publishing credential (that is, without having paid your dues as a writer), your chances of landing one beforehand is a virtually zero -- and I can guarantee will be zero if you start your query with, "I have self-published my novel and now want to find a commercial publisher for it."

I'm so sorry I can't be more encouraging.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Pierre Berton's History for Young Canadians

Aww, those nice people at Fitzhenry & Whiteside!

Pat O'Neill, the sales manager for Canadian publisher Fitzhenry & Whiteside, has sent a donation of four books by Pierre Berton to Berton House; all were published by Fifth House of Calgary, a Fitzhenry & Whiteside company, and are in the series "Pierre Berton's History for Young Canadians." (I edit the science-fiction imprint for Fitzhenry & Whiteside, and when Pat heard I was going up here, she sent these along as a gift to Berton House.) The books are these (and I must say, they're lovely):

The Great Klondike Gold Rush
Foreword by Ken McGoogan
(Ken is a Berton House alumnus)

Canada Moves West
Foreword by Arthur Slade

Exploring the Frozen North
Foreword by Eric Wilson
(Eric is a Berton House alumnus)

The Battles of the War of 1812
Foreword by Charlotte Grey

I've added them to the bookcase in the living room here (I've also added a copy of my own Rollback to the shelf of books by writers who have stayed at Berton House).

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Friday, July 20, 2007

Lots of good writing advice ...

... is here, in this tutorial by George Scithers, the editor of Weird Tales magazine.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Thursday, July 19, 2007

"Identity Theft" option renewed

I'm delighted to announce that Snoot Entertainment in Los Angeles has renewed its option on film rights to my Hugo and Nebula Award-nominated novella "Identity Theft," first published in the anthology Down These Dark Spaceways, edited by Mike Resnick for the Science Fiction Book Club.

And, I've got to say, I love dealing with these guys. The check showed up a month in advance of the renewal date, without any prodding. True professionals. "Identity Theft" is in pre-production, under the working title Talk Talk.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Calgary SF convention in one month

I won't be there -- I'm in the Yukon for the summer -- but one of my absolute favourite SF conventions is happening in just one month: Con-Version in Calgary. Author Guest of Honour this year is my great buddy Jack McDevitt. I recommend the con hightly, and encourage you to attend -- Calgary is gorgeous in the summer, and this is an excellent convention.

Check out the con's website.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Habitable Planets for Man

Holy crap! Just discovered that the Rand Corporation has made its landmark 1964 study Habitable Planets for Man by Stephen H. Dole available for free as PDF (scroll down to the link to the free download, of just click here). This is it, folks, the world-building bible; I paid a fortune years ago for a used hard copy ... Enjoy!

Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site
and WakeWatchWonder.com

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Prisoners of Gravity on YouTube

Hey, I used to have hair! Someone is putting up clips from the wonderful Canadian series about science fiction and comics called Prisoners of Gravity on YouTube. I was the most-frequent guest in that program's history ... and one of my earlierst appearances, from 17 years ago, is here.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Saturday, July 14, 2007

One week left for Aurora nominating

The Auroras are the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards. Any Canadian may nominate, and there is no charge t do so.

Ballots are here.

A good list of eligible works is here.

And my own eligible story, "Biding Time," is here, as a Word document.

Ballots must be postmarked by Monday, July 23, 2007.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Nice write-up about Hominids

Don't know where they got it -- maybe Donato's site -- but the above version of the Hominids cover art without the text overlay -- something I've never seen before -- accompanies a very nice write up about the Hugo Award-winning first volume of my Neanderthal Parallax trilogy over at Site 101.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Friday, July 13, 2007

Settling in at Berton House

Carolyn and I have been here as sole occupants of the Berton House Writers' Retreat for ten days now, and it's high time I posted some pictures!

Berton House is a tourist attraction, with four historic signs for people to read outside. Here I am at the viewing platform, with three of the historic signs (yes, when tourists are there looking at the house, I feel a bit like Captain Pike in "The Menagerie" -- but, then again, I always feel like I'm in some classic Trek episode, and at least I don't have a flying parasite clamped to my back ...).

Tourists come to read the fourth sign, which is attached to the side of the house, and I can see them clearly through the living-room window -- they're only about a dozen paces away from me as I sit in my chair, but they can't see in, really, because it's so much brighter outside. I'm getting used to it, although today someone did come right up to the window! (Of course, I could draw the blind -- but I like the view and the fresh air.)

Visitors aren't allowed to come in the house:

But I'll let you sneak in ... Berton House is bigger than I'd thought it would be: Carolyn and I often lose track of where the other is. Carolyn has set herself up in the very nice office (those are little busts of Shakespeare on the antique desktop):

I've set up my own little writing space in the living room:

For those who think we must be freezing this far north (we're just 165 miles / 266 km south of the Arctic Circle -- same latitude as Anchorage, Alaska), remember, it's the middle of July, and it never gets dark here. The house sits on permafrost, but as you can see the days are balmy -- or even hot (the thermometer is showing 90 degrees Fahrenheit and 32 degrees Celsius):

In this lovely weather (although it does rain and thunder a lot!), our flower boxes are doing fine:

But it is awfully far north -- it's cool to see satellite dishes aimed downward:

Dawson City has a population of 2,000 -- mixed between the First Nations people and those who have come here from Outside (as it's called here, with a capital O). We're 1,050 feet or 320 metres above sea level, at the confluence of two mighty rivers, the Yukon and the Klondike:

The town tries to preserve its historic character, and along Front Street the buildings still have the false fronts that were in style during the Gold Rush days:

There are eight streets in Dawson: Front, Second, Third, etc. -- Berton House is on Eighth Street, the farthest from the rivers. We're right across the street from the Robert Service cabin, where dramatic poetry recitals are held twice every day, and just down the street from the Jack London cabin; it's called "Writers Road" here, and Berton House is part of what draws the tourists. Tour buses and travelers in RVs stop by frequently, and every morning the charming covered-wagon town tour comes by:

Carolyn and I are enjoying it here. The pace is slow compared to the hustle and bustle of our lives in Toronto, but we're relaxing (much needed!). I'm reading some very good books that have been submitted to my Robert J. Sawyer Books imprint, and Carolyn just finished Janet Evanovich's first "Stephanie Plum" novel, which she really liked, and she's enjoying Pierre Berton's Klondike (there's a full set of Pierre's books here, natch). Oh, and in the evening we've been watching some TV shows on DVDs we brought along: some Corner Gas, a couple of episodes of Gilmore Girls, and two episodes of Boston Legal.

But mostly, we're working -- me on my novel Wake, and Carolyn on poetry. After all, that's what this three-month-long writers' retreat is all about ...

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Interview and video tour of Rob's home

Space Channel has just put up a 23-minute interview with me, which includes a tour of my home. You can see it right here.



The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Barry Gray

So, when I was heading up here, the previous writer said the little stereo at Berton House didn't have the right jack to plug in an MP3 player. Well, that turned out not to be true, but I'd left my cable back in Toronto because I'd been told I wouldn't need it.

But a week ago I bought two such cables -- one of which I'll leave behind at Berton House -- off of eBay. They arrived today, and now I have my Sony Clie TH55 (which is a fine MP3 player) plugged into the stero.

Unfortunately, I don't have much music on it (lots of content from Audible.com, though). But I do have my library of music by Barry Gray, the brilliant composer for Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's British science-fiction series, including my personal theme song from Fireball XL5 (click to listen).

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Comic-Con, here I come -- in 2008

Well, what should be in my in-box this morning but an invitation to be a special guest at next year's San Diego Comic-Con! Holy cow! Needless to say, I said yes. So, see y'all at Comic-Con -- the largest popular-culture convention in the world, with 120,000 people attending -- July 24-28, 2008. Yay!

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

13 Free RJS Short Stories

It's been over five years since I've had multiple short stories by me available on my website. But Carolyn has been hard at work here in the Yukon, and the full text of 13 early stories by me is now available for free right here. Enjoy!

(So Google will find this: Free science fiction short stories by Robert J. Sawyer)

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Beardless Rob

"I've seen a part of myself no man should ever see." -- James T. Kirk, "The Enemy Within"

In honour of the beginning of my three months of being in the Yukon, I've shaved off my beard -- for the first time in over three years. I'm going to grow it back immediately, though ... Just, every once in a while, it's nice to get a good scratching in ... :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Stan Schmidt interview

Stanley Schmidt, the long-time (almost 30 years now!) editor of Analog is interviewed by Ernest Lilley over at SF Revu -- and, to my delight, Stan says:

"I like the entire range of lengths in different ways, because they have different kinds of strength when well executed. One of my all-time favorite stories was Robert J. Sawyer's recent Neanderthal Parallax trilogy (Hominids, Humans, and Hybrids), which, despite being published as three novels, is really one grand story. But I'm also a great admirer of Fredric Brown's page-and-a-half short-shorts which, despite many beginners' mistaken impression, is one of the hardest things to write, but unforgettable when it works."

That's Stan and his wonderful wife Joyce, above, in a photo by Ernest Lilley.

Monday, July 2, 2007

SF writers at SETI conferenced

The SETI conference ("The Future of Intelligence in the Cosmos") at the NASA Ames Research Center wrapped up this afternoon, and I thought there should be a picture of the science fiction writers who participated:

Left to right: Andre Bormanis, Jack McDevitt, Robert J. Sawyer, Gregory Benford.

It was a fabulous conference, and I had an amazing time!

I've just arrived in Vancouver, on my trip to the Yukon: San Francisco, Vancouver, Whitehorse, Dawson City -- I'm following the exact route so many of the Klondike Gold Rush prospectors followed a hundred and eleven years ago -- although in more comfort (albeit only marginally so here at the Quality Inn Airport Vancouver).

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Locus Bestsellers' List

I'm delighted to report that Rollback is number five on the Locus hardcover bestsellers' list, as reported in the July 2007 issue (covering the data period of April 2007); Locus is the trade journal of the SF field.

Not only is number five a very good number in its own right, but I'll point out that numbers one through four are all fantasy, meaning my Rollback was the number-one bestselling science-fiction hardcover of the month. Woohoo!

The full list is here.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Happy Canada Day, Everyone!

Although I'm spending Canada Day weekend in the US (at this conference at the NASA Ames Research Center), I'm still celebrating my country's birthday. On Friday night, I went to Kells pub in San Francisco for the "Canada Day in San Francisco" celebration, organized by the Canadian consulate (and I also stopped by the Apple Store, to see the madness on the first day of sale of the iPhone), and today -- Canada Day proper -- I'm meeting up with my old high-school buddy Ariel Reich, to whom my novel Starplex is dedicated.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Ex-CARB chairman Sawyer and I look more alike every day

Another article about the firing (as it turns out) of California Air Resources Board chairman Robert Sawyer -- and what a handsome devil he is!

Hee hee hee.

At least the Pat Murphy they show farther down in the article isn't the SF writer by the same name ... :)

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

A kid in a candy store

That's how I feel here at the NASA Ames research centre. The conference on THE FUTURE OF INTELLIGENT LIFE IN THE COSMOS is going really well. I moderated the session on cultural evolution today.

Dinner was at a wonderful Chinese restaurant called Chef Chu. I sat next to Marvin Minsky, from MIT's AI lab. Also at my table: SF writer Jack McDevitt, NASA Ames director Pete Worden, Star Trek: Enterprise producer Andre Bormanis, Ames chief scientist Stephanie Langoff, Ames data-mining expert Ashok Srivastava, and cetacean researcher Lori Marino.

After, Jack, Lori, Andre, Ashok, Marvin and I hung around in the NASA parking lot, stargazing (and enjoying the rising full moon).

All in all, a terrific day.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site