Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Singapore's The Straits Times on the novel and the TV show

I love Singapore -- I was a guest at a writers' festival there in 2005. And now Singapore's The Straits Times has reviewed my novel FlashForward, comparing and contrasting it with the TV series based on it:
In Sawyer's book, there are great swathes of physics, paragraphs on mathematics and philosophy and also musings about guilt and personal choice -- all of which give the reader something more meaty to think on.

Sawyer's version of FlashForward is more philosophical, it's more complex and detailed. If you enjoy juicy technical science fiction rather than TV-land pap, go for Sawyer's version. You won't be disappointed and you'll learn things about physics that you would never have imagined.
The Straits Times's review is based on the British edition of the book, published by Gollancz (pictured above). You can read the whole review right here.
Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site
and WakeWatchWonder.com



At November 17, 2009 9:47 PM , Blogger g d townshende said...

This is off-topic, but I'm curious: I was looking at pages on your web site on writing. You say your daily goal is 2000 words. Do you use an actual word count to determine when you've reached your goal? Or do you use the printer's rule method, so that once you've created 10 pages of manuscript you're done?

My own goal is in the range of 1250-1350 words per day, simply because 1) it's comfortable and 2) it's how much I produce in the time I set aside each day to write. I occasionally go beyond the usual time limit. Sometimes that's because I haven't hit my goal and sometimes, like today, I'm so close to finishing my current story that I'm not about to stop simply because I've reached my goal. I've always used the actual word count to determine if I've achieved my goal, and I'm curious to learn how other writers make the same determination.

At November 18, 2009 3:25 AM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

I use the actual wordcount as reported by my word-processing program. :)

At November 20, 2009 2:46 AM , Blogger Angela said...

This was an excellent review, and I agree with it wholeheartedly. In my humble opinion, the show is a shadow of a footprint of your great book. It's appalling how little of the book is shining through, but it is that glimmer that keeps me watching it.

Catching up with it on Hulu, I've just watched the episode "Scary Monsters and Super Creeps," in which the "physics supergenius" manages to misrepresent the Schrodinger's cat thought experiment so badly that it's nonsense. You have no idea how sad that scene really was. Reading the very well-constructed explanation in your book exposed me to Schrodinger's cat for the first time, and I think I understood it as well as a person without a science background probably can. Compare that with someone who heard about it from the show. Oh wow. There's nothing there! They have done the opposite of learning!

Suffice it to say, the show would be more compelling and significant if your original input was more present on the screen. But their most science-y character so far doesn't have a leg to stand on, so it's bound to be disappointing from here.

I see that you're in talks about adapting other novels/works. Please don't let them water everything down again! I am still excited to see a successful collaboration and I know you can make it happen!

Any hints on which works are on the table?

Sorry for the length/breadth. Love the blog. Thanks.


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