Monday, October 6, 2008

Warning: Bambi's mother gets shot

A letter I received today from a library patron (I'm hoping she'll ask the library to ban my books -- nothing is better for sales) ... :)
Since I wrote you, I've devoured another 10 or so of your novels. I'm on Frameshift, and I've been traumatised by Chapter 1 (nazi concentration camp...). You should really preface it with a disclaimer, "dear loyal readers, the following is graphic, but trust me it's not gratuitous, there is a point..." It's only because you've gained my trust in your other novels that I'm going to read the rest of this one. For that matter, I didn't much like the rape scene in the beginning of Hominids either. And in Rollback, why did Hubby have to cheat on Sarah?

If you could please reassure me that there is a point to the graphic depiction of events in the concentration camp, I would be extremely grateful.
My reply:
There is nothing gratuitous in any of my books, in the opinion of myself and of my editors -- gratuitous material (were I ever to try to include any, which I honestly don't think I ever have) would not make it through the editorial process.

Hominids won the Hugo Award for best science-fiction novel of the year; Rollback was nominated for that same award, and received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, denoting a book of exceptional merit; Frameshift was also a Hugo finalist and won Japan's top SF award, the Seiun, in the category of best foreign novel. Those things were because of their content, not despite it, you know. :)

As for a disclaimer, here's one: "Warning: This is a book. Open at your own risk."

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


At October 07, 2008 5:19 AM , Blogger msv said...

was that a rollback spoiler? i haven't read it yet. :(


maybe we need a disclaimer for the internet: "warning: you will learn things you don't want to know out here."

i think that one also applies to life.

At October 07, 2008 11:01 AM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Realistically, in discussions of any author's work, anything that begins, "In [insert title or book you haven't yet read] ..." has to serve as a sufficient spoiler warning." Otherwise, we're limited to not discussing anything of substance.

Applies to films, too. :) You gotta stop reading after "In The Empire Strikes Back," if you don't want to read, "wasn't it shocking to find out that Darth Vader was Luke's father?" :)

At October 07, 2008 3:33 PM , Blogger fheywood said...

Yeah, but thanks for the Bambi spoiler. Sheesh.

At October 10, 2008 12:45 PM , Blogger Louis said...

Hi Rob!

Warning: You are about to read a post... ;-)

Love your comeback for the disclaimer! It is so true...

;-) Louis.


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