Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What I was doing 40 years ago today

On February 13, 1968, a seven-year-old Robert J. Sawyer -- then known as Robin -- recorded a reading of his short story "Bobby Bug" on audio tape, with the aid of his father (the first voice on the recording). Listen. (45 seconds WMA clip, playable with Windows Media Player, unearthed a couple of years ago by my brother Alan.)

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


At February 13, 2008 2:06 AM , Anonymous Brian L. Raney said...

My God! That is adorable! And it really is you! Maybe I’m imagining it, but doesn’t the inflection in your voice (though much younger) sounds about the same as it does now?

How wonderful that your brother found this treasure for you! And how glad I am that you decided to shared it with us.

Hmmm… I guess I still would have bought all your books if Robin J. Sawyer had written them. ;)

At February 13, 2008 8:20 AM , Blogger Gruntled said...

That's great! What a cool thing to have. I still can't write that well.

At February 13, 2008 8:45 AM , Blogger J0hnnyB said...

I hope to have lots of little recordings like this of my girl someday. She's just five months old now.

I only hope that the digital media we record on will last as long as the analog media you used. What was it? Cassette? Reel-to-reel?

At February 13, 2008 8:48 AM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Reel-to-reel. My father was involved with a then-pioneering project at the University of Toronto to record professor's lectures for distance learning, or some such, and so we had a great big Sony reel-to-reel recorder.

At February 13, 2008 10:34 AM , Anonymous Annie said...

You are adorable. We are all so pleased that your parents encouraged you in such a wonderful way. When I was seven I won a poetry contest and received a signed letter from then Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau. Although I never got rich from my writing, I still think my life is better because of the encouragement I received at such a young age.

At February 13, 2008 11:55 AM , Blogger Stephen Kotowych said...

That's so cute! What a great thing to have after all these years. And I love how you correct your own byline at the end--savvy even back then.

When I was about 7 I did something very similar with the help of my dad. He recorded me reading a story on to a bright yellow casette tape (no reel-to-reel, sadly) but I'm sure it's lost to the dustbin of history now :)

Thanks for sharing this!

At February 13, 2008 1:40 PM , Blogger fheywood said...

This is awesome Rob! Perhaps you can work on a sequel? What happens to Bobby?

@j0hnnyb: The odds are good that your digital recordings will last *much* longer than tape - even high quality reel-to-reel tape starts to degrade fairly quickly (decades) and cheaper formats like cassette go much sooner. Magnetic tape tends to gradually demag, and eventually literally dissolves.

Some CDs have been found to degrade as well, though, so be careful - saving your audio as data is much safer. Just make sure you use a relatively open digital format like wav or aif, and don't forget to back up!

At February 13, 2008 10:37 PM , Blogger Mark Leslie said...

Ah, the first of many a great story from you. Was that your father's voice we first hear in that clip? Amazing how much like him you sound.


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