Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The things people say to writers!

Tonight I gave a very-well-received talk and reading at the Saskatoon Public Library, as part of my residency at the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, with 108 people in the audience. And at the end, there was a reception with refreshments, and people came up to say hi, and get autographs, and ask questions, and all was lovely and sweet until one fellow posed his question:
Do you ever get jealous when you read a really good writer like Orson Scott Card?
And I know we writers are supposed to bend over and take it whenever anyone wants to take a whack at us in a review, or on Amazon, or whatever, but you know what? We actually do have feelings -- and I think my response of:
What the fuck kind of thing is that to say?
showed commendable restraint. (Although I did go on to say that, "In point of fact, I admire Scott's writing a great deal and he admires mine." [see last page of PDF])

Ah, well. Otherwise, a really nice evening. :)
Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site



At June 17, 2009 11:45 PM , Blogger Rob said...

You handled that well.
Thanks for Sharing.
Respect & Admiration from Ontario

At June 18, 2009 12:00 AM , Blogger Diane Walton said...

Good answer, Rob! That guy was an ass.

At June 18, 2009 1:12 AM , OpenID raincoaster said...

I just get tired of the ones who think "Yeah, I mastered the alphabet, I bet I could do that." I mean, nobody meets a surgeon and says "I've always been pretty handy with cutlery, I bet I'd be a pretty good surgeon, just never had the time."

At June 18, 2009 7:03 AM , Blogger Diane Gall said...

Give 'em hell, Rob.


At June 18, 2009 8:02 AM , Blogger John F said...

Hey, don't all you writers just crib words from the dictionary and rearrange them? :-)

Seriously, though. That's the sort of comment one would expect from an anonymous Net troll. Do you think this person was trying to wind you up, or was he just oblivious to the niceties of social interaction?

At June 18, 2009 8:15 AM , Blogger Beth said...

I almost feel sorry for the clueless guy who asked that question. He probably felt ten kinds of a fool afterward.

Well, OK, he deserved to.

I commend your restraint. :)

At June 18, 2009 8:34 AM , Blogger Chadwick said...

Well said, Rob. And with considerably more restraint than I would have. :)

At June 18, 2009 10:35 AM , Blogger Silverfish said...


Rob, you know you have an adoring fan base. This guy obviously isn't in it.

Now, if you wouldn't mind reading my manuscript and getting me an interview with your publisher...

:) Just kidding, but you knew that.


At June 18, 2009 10:36 AM , Blogger fheywood said...

Thanks Rob - I just narrowly avoided the dreaded "coffee spit-take on keyboard" because of this.


At June 18, 2009 12:35 PM , Blogger brian_l_raney said...

Now, if this fellow had said, "Do you ever feel jealous of other people's works, like Orson Scott Card?" it wouldn't have been so bad.

This fellow probably didn't know what to ask you and put little thought into his question. Unless he tagged along with a real fan, I can't believe he was just there to throw zingers. It’s just another case of timid-fan-in-mouth disease. Believe me, he now probably feels worse for asking that lame question than you’ll ever feel for hearing it.

At June 18, 2009 1:41 PM , Blogger Ryan McFadden said...

That, sir, is hilarious. (slow golf clap). Well played. Well played, indeed.

At June 19, 2009 8:34 AM , Blogger The Snake said...

I'd've said, "Do you ever get jealous when noticing every man in the world has a bigger dick than you?" or something like that.

At June 20, 2009 6:42 AM , Blogger John Meaney said...

Okay... I dare anyone here to go up to Scott and ask him if he's jealous of really good writers like Rob Sawyer!

At June 20, 2009 8:29 AM , Blogger John Meaney said...

...or to Walter Jon Williams, another nice guy, but also a 4th dan in kempo karate last time I checked.

Violence is so underrated in literary discourse.

Actually I like Snake's comeback.

Well done Rob, for a genuine response!


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