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On Robert J. Sawyer
by Peter S. Rawlik Jr.
Copyright © 2001 by Peter S. Rawlik Jr.
All Rights Reserved.
From the Program Book for Tropicon 20, a science-fiction
convention at which Robert J. Sawyer was Guest of Honor,
held November 9-11, 2001, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
This is a work of fiction based on actual events.
The names have been changed to protect the innocent.
This is all Dan Foster's fault.
Shortly after my son was born, Dan Foster invited
Shirlene, the baby and I to a signing by an author who
I had never heard of before. Robert J. Sawyer? A
Canadian science fiction writer? Did they even have
science fiction in Canada?
I did remember that The Terminal Experiment
had been a SFSFS book discussion pick, but beyond that I had
never heard of the guy.
So, I broke down and read Starplex.
Here was a writer who managed to combine the hard
science of Clement with the wonder of James White, and
the cosmology of Carl Sagan.
Well, it's been almost three years now and a lot of
End of an Era: Dinosaurs, aliens, time travel, the
tenth planet and interstellar war.
Far-Seer, Fossil Hunter,
tyrannosaurs on a moon of a gas giant discover the
principles of optics, planetary motion, evolution and
FlashForward: A harmless particle physics experiment
causes everyone in the world to step forward to their
future selves and then back again. The future seems
immutable. Then things start to change.
I've finally figured two things out.
1. Robert J. Sawyer is one of the greatest living SF
writers around; and,
2. He's an apology. Thirty years ago, after Star
Trek premiered the U.S. and Canada negotiated the
Shatner Acting Limitation Treaty (SALT). One clause
of SALT required Canada to repair the cultural damage
done to the SF Community.
Robert J. Sawyer has done more than his fair share to
repair the damage.
At this rate, the U.S. will owe Canada more than we
can ever repay.
When he is not helping to raise his son and preserve
his wife's sanity, Pete Rawlik can be found working to
preserve the Everglades, bouncing story ideas off
other sf/f/h enthusiasts and selling you the book you
couldn't live without at a local convention near you!
More Good Reading
Other convention book tributes:
Other interviews with Rob
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