Saturday, June 28, 2008

SF Crowsnest interviews RJS

Geoff Willmetts over at Stephen Hunt's SF Crowsnest -- one of Europe's most popular SF sites -- interviews Robert J. Sawyer right here.

The teaser for the interview says:
Our glorious editor GF Willmetts sits down with Canadian science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer to chat about whether aliens visiting Earth are likely to be friendly or aggressive, dropping pop-cultural references into his books, why Rob's turning down offers to write short fiction for $1.25 a word, and why what really attracts people to scifi is the need to be amazed.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


At June 29, 2008 6:30 AM , Blogger robotdog said...

is it just me or did that interview get a tiny bit snarky in the middle?

At June 29, 2008 2:14 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Hi, Robotdog. Not to my ear. :) I think what you're seeing, though, is much more interactivity than in the normal by-email interview. Those are usually conducted by the interviewer asking a whole bunch of questions at once, and the author filling in the answers, with no back-and-forth. So you get things like:

Author: ... and that's when I decided that I was going to take an ax to everyone at Stellar Publishing.

Interviewer: What influence did your parents have on your writing?

Geoff and I went back and forth a few times, and that results in a livelier and more interesting read, I think -- a real discussion.

At June 29, 2008 3:44 PM , Blogger robotdog said...

i definitely agree that it was lively and interesting.

i actually know what triggered a sense of tension for me. it was the use of the interviewer's first name.

"I describe the rollback process at length in the novel, Geoff. You make it sound..."

it's rare to read interviewee call interviewer by first name and so for some reason i read the first sentence as an escalation of sorts. like: "did you even read the novel?" i guess the email interview equivalent of mom calling a child by all three names.

i now see that it has a tone of friendly, academic debate.

anyway, it was subtle and probably just me but it is kind of interesting and curious that something as benign as referring to each other by name can carry such tones (at least for me at the time, perhaps no one else.)

i should say this isn't a criticism of the interview. i actually think you are one of the best interviewees in the world. across all fields. which is pretty high praise since i haven't even read one of your books yet. go figure.

At June 29, 2008 4:02 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Many thanks for the kind words.

I called him "Geoff" 'cause I've known him for years. We both hang out on some of the same message boards, including this one devoted to the 1972 NBC TV series Search.


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