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ROBERT J. SAWYER
Copyright © 2006 by Robert J. Sawyer
All Rights Reserved.
[Awards and Honors]
[Talks and Readings]
[Canadian Science Fiction]
Robert J. Sawyer "Canada's best speculative fiction writer, by
far" (About Books); "the dean of Canadian science fiction"
(The Ottawa Citizen); "Canada's answer to Michael Crichton" (The Montreal
Gazette); "the standard bearer for the SF genre in Canada"
(The Sudbury Star) has sold seventeen science fiction
novels to major New York publishers, and has won
thirty national and international writing awards.
Robert J. Sawyer novels:
- Golden Fleece (Warner, 1990)
- Far-Seer (Berkley/Ace, 1992)
- Fossil Hunter (Berkley/Ace, 1993)
- Foreigner (Berkley/Ace, 1994)
- End of an Era (Berkley/Ace, 1994)
- The Terminal Experiment (HarperCollins, 1995)
- Starplex (Berkley/Ace, October 1996)
- Frameshift (Tor [St. Martin's Press], June 1997)
- Illegal Alien (Ace, December 1997)
- Factoring Humanity (Tor, June 1998)
- FlashForward (Tor, June 1999)
- Calculating God (Tor, June 2000)
- Hominids (Tor, June 2002)
- Humans (Tor, February 2003)
- Hybrids (Tor, September 2003)
- Mindscan (Tor, April 2005)
- Rollback (Tor, April 2007)
- Wake (Ace/Penguin Canada, April 2009)
- Watch (Ace/Penguin Canada, April 2010)
In addition to these U.S. editions, his bestselling novels are
also published in Britain, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany,
Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland,
Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain, and Turkey.
Ten of Sawyer's books have been selections of Doubleday's
Science Fiction Book Club and five have
been serialized in Analog, the world's top-selling science-fiction magazine.
Since 1980, Sawyer's short fiction has appeared in
Analog, Amazing Stories, The Village Voice, and many
anthologies, including Ark of Ice
(alongside Margaret Atwood, W. P. Kinsella, and Timothy Findley),
100 Great Fantasy Short Short Stories (co-edited by
Janis Ian's Stars,
The Hard Science Fiction Renaissance,
and Northern Stars.
Awards and Honors
- Winner, World Science Fiction Society's
for Best Novel of the Year: Hominids (2003).
- Winner, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's
Nebula Award (the "Academy Award" of Science Fiction)
for Best Novel of the Year: The Terminal Experiment (1996).
- Winner, John W. Campbell Memorial Award
(the world's top juried prize
for science fiction) for Best Novel of the Year: Mindscan (2006).
- Eight-time finalist,
Hugo Award (Science Fiction's International
"People's Choice" award) for Best Novel of the Year:
Calculating God (2001),
Factoring Humanity (1999),
Starplex (1997), and
The Terminal Experiment (1996).
- Two-time finalist, Hugo Award for Best Short Story of the Year:
"Shed Skin" (2005), and "The Hand You're Dealt" (1998).
- Finalist, Hugo Award for Best Novella of the Year:
"Identity Theft" (2006).
- Finalist, Nebula Award for Best Novel of the Year: Starplex (1996).
- Nine-time winner of Canada's Aurora Science Fiction Award.
Best Novels of
1995 (The Terminal Experiment),
and 1990 (Golden Fleece);
Best Short Stories of 2002 ("Ineluctable"),
2000 ("Stream of Consciousness"),
1996 ("Peking Man"),
and 1993 ("Just Like Old Times");
Best Other of 2003 (Relativity: Essays and Stories).
- Three-time winner,
Seiun Award (Japan's highest science-fiction honor)
for Best Foreign Novel of the Year:
Illegal Alien (2002),
Frameshift (2001), and
End of an Era (1996).
- Three-time winner, Premio UPC de Ciencia
Ficción (Spain's highest science-fiction honor, and the world's largest cash prize for
"Identity Theft" (2004),
FlashForward (1998) and
Factoring Humanity (1997).
- Winner, Le Grand Prix de
l'Imaginaire (France's top honor in science fiction) for Best Foreign
Short Story of 1996:
"You See But You Do Not Observe."
- Six-time winner of the Homer Award for Best Novel of the
Year, voted on by the 30,000 members of the CompuServe Science
Fiction and Fantasy Forum: Starplex (1996), The Terminal Experiment
(1995), End of an Era (1994), Fossil Hunter (1993),
and Far-Seer (1992).
- Two-time winner of the Homer Award for Best Short Story of
the Year: "Above It All" (1996) and
"You See But You Do Not Observe" (1995).
- Winner, Crime Writers of Canada's
Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story
of the Year: "Just Like Old Times" (1993).
- Best Science Fiction Novel of the Year as chosen by critic Orson Scott Card
in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction:
Talks and Readings
Sawyer has given public readings at over 100 venues, including the
Harbourfront International Festival of Authors, the Winnipeg Writers
Festival, the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts, the Canadian
Embassy in Tokyo, and and the National Library of Canada.
spoken at the Library of Congress, the
McLaughlin Planetarium, six times at the Ontario Science Centre,
at dozens of libraries and universities, and at
annual meetings of many associations.
Sawyer was keynote speaker at the 1997 Conference of the
Canadian Authors Association, and he's been
Guest of Honor at science-fiction
conventions from Los Angeles to Halifax, and as far away as Tokyo.
Sawyer has taught science-fiction writing at the University of Toronto,
Ryerson University, Humber College, the National University of Ireland,
the Banff Centre for the Arts, and the Odyssey Workshop,
and he's been a "Writer in Electronic Residence" for the national
high-school workshop Wired Writers.
His "On Writing" column appeared for three
years in each issue of On Spec magazine.
He spent two months in 2009 as the Writer in Residence at the Canadian Light Source
synchrotron in Saskatoon. In 2006, he was
the Edna Staebler Writer in Residence at the Kitchener Public Library;
in 2003, he was Writer in Residence at the Toronto Public Library's
Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy;
and in 2000, he was
the Writer in Residence at the Richmond Hill (Ontario) Public Libraries.
Canadian Science Fiction
Sawyer founded the Canadian Region of the Science Fiction and
Fantasy Writers of America (and later served as that organization's
president, the first non-American ever to hold that post).
He edits the acclaimed Robert J. Sawyer Books imprint
for Red Deer Press, and is The Canadian Encyclopedia's
authority on science fiction. With his wife Carolyn Clink,
he edited the Canadian science-fiction anthology
Sawyer has been interviewed for print well over 100 times, including:
Sawyer has done over 300 radio and TV interviews, including:
- Rivera Live with Geraldo Rivera (CNBC)
- The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos (CBC-TV)
- Q with Jian Ghomeshi (CBC Radio)
- Pamela Wallin Live (CBC Newsworld)
- W-Five (CTV)
- Open Mike with Mike Bullard (CTV)
- Talk of the Nation (NPR)
- three times on Midday (CBC-TV)
- twice on Morningside (Canada's highest-rated radio show)
- twice on Sci-Fi Buzz (Sci-Fi Channel)
- three times on Benmergui Live (CBC Newsworld)
- four times on Canada A.M. (Canada's most-watched morning show)
- 16 times on Prisoners of Gravity (TVOntario and PBS)
Sawyer hosted a 17-part television documentary series for Vision TV called
Supernatural Investigator in the Spring of 2009.
In addition, during the 1997-98 season, he was a regular
commentator on life in the future for the prime-time television
science series @discovery.ca, the
highest-rated TV program on the Canadian version of
The Discovery Channel.
As an author and futurist, Sawyer's writings often tie into major
news stories. He's been interviewed about these and many other
topics on national television programs:
- the rise of machine intelligence
- the possibilities of living forever
- the cloning of humans
- the future of the family
- our fascination with alien life
- the evidence for life on Mars
- the popularity of dinosaurs
- the problems aboard the International Space Station
- the 50th anniversary of Sputnik
- the 40th anniversary of Star Trek
- the 30th anniversary of Star Wars
- science fiction movie reviews
- the future of the book
- the science in science fiction
- the landing of the shuttle Atlantis
- the future of NASA.
Sawyer is a trained broadcaster. He's completely comfortable on
camera or in front of a mike, and has done many solo interviews,
panel shows, and call-in programs.
Themes and Issues
Sawyer's novels are always issue-oriented. Consider:
What does it mean to be human?
- Is a copy of you still you?
- The widening gulf as Canada grows more liberal and the USA more right-wing
- Authors' control of copyright
What if Neanderthals had survived and we had not?
- Was religion inevitable?
- The downside of agriculture
- The advantages of no privacy
Aliens think they can prove the existence of God
Everyone gets a glimpse of what the world will be like 21 years later
- free will vs. determinism
- science and responsibility
A courtroom drama with an extraterrestrial defendant.
- racism in the courts
- celebrities and justice
- the effect on society of contact with aliens
A thriller about the Human Genome Project.
- the future of health insurance in the genetic age
- the misidentification of John Demjanjuk as Ivan the Terrible
- new reproductive technologies
An odyssey through billions of years and millions of light-years.
- the origin and ultimate fate of the universe
- the possibilities for human immortality
A biomedical engineer discovers scientific proof for the existence of the human soul.
- the conflict between science and religion
- the abortion debate
- organ transplantation
Quotes From Broadcasters Who
Have Interviewed Robert J. Sawyer
"A pleasure having you on the air. You should be doing radio or
television yourself your personality comes through via the
microphone, and you have an infectious enthusiasm."
Peter Anthony Holder
Host, CJAD Tonight
CJAD 800 A.M. Montreal
"I have interviewed over 600 writers, and one of the most
thoughtful, provocative, and articulate is Robert J. Sawyer. Rob has a degree in Radio and Television Arts, and
he knows how to deliver what producers want. This knowledge of media,
coupled with his wide-ranging and thorough grasp of science and science
fiction, makes him an ideal guest. Rob's real gift is the ability to
find the most compelling and correct metaphor, guiding viewers effortlessly
through a landscape they might otherwise find forbidding or inaccessible. He
made more appearances on Prisoners of Gravity (a show
about the intersection of science and science fiction which I co-created
and co-produced for five seasons) than any other guest more often than
Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, or William Gibson. I have repeatedly
recommended Mr. Sawyer to producers with the CBC, Discovery, and CTV
and many have called me back to thank me for his name."
TVOntario and Space (Bell Media)
"Robert Sawyer is not only a brilliant writer but also an insightful
broadcaster who is as compelling to watch on television as he is to read in
print. Robert has mastered the skill of turning his powerful visions of the
future into relevant and thought-provoking commentary on the major issues
facing us today."
The Discovery Channel
"It was a pleasure to work with you, and I look forward to the next time."
Talk of the Nation: Science Friday
National Public Radio
"Great interview! Thanks for being informed, eloquent, and
fun. We got a lot of calls afterwards asking about you, your book,
etc. Let's be in touch, and let us know when the next book is available.
Till then, Thanks again!
Morning Drive-Time Host
Colorado Springs, Colorado
"Thanks for talking with me on WBAA's AM920 Magazine.
It was a pleasure to talk with you again. You made the scientific
theories and issues raised in Calculating God come to life
for our listeners. It was an enlightening and enjoyable hour. I
look forward to talking with you again."
Public Radio WBAA AM & FM
West Lafayette, Indiana
"Robert J. Sawyer has twice been my guest for the full two hours
of KINN's Afternoon Alamogordo. His books encompass so many
topical themes, there's never a lack of discussion ideas. Having
him on the air is like hitting the warp-drive button: times goes
way too fast. Robert Sawyer's the perfect guest: a writer with
great ideas, thoughtful topics, and a future vision that can't be
Host, Afternoon Alamogordo
KINN-FM, Alamogordo, New Mexico
"When asked who my favourite person in the world to
interview is, my answer is always 100% Robert J. Sawyer,
because he's so smart and his answers are always killer."
Space (Bell Media)
"At last count, I've interviewed Robert J. Sawyer seventeen times,
covering ten novels and various awards. He's always entertaining and
extremely well-versed in the science behind his stories, whether it's alien
messages, computers, dinosaurs, or murder."
CHAY-FM, Barrie, Ontario
"In 139 episodes of Prisoners of Gravity, the one guest
we would tape for 30 minutes and have all 30 minutes end up
on the air was Rob Sawyer. When we needed a quote on a subject,
we'd phone him up, he'd come boogying down to our studio, give us
twelve pithy quotes, and go home again."
Host, Prisoners of Gravity
Praise for the Novels of Robert J. Sawyer
"A new novel by Robert J. Sawyer is always a
major event." Quill & Quire: Canada's Magazine of Book News and Reviews
"A friend of mine used to ask, 'Why are you still writing that
spaceship stuff?' Now I can answer. Because this is possible."
Orson Scott Card in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction on
"A tour de force. Vastly enjoyable, beautifully realized."
Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine on
"Thoughtful and compelling; belongs in most science-fiction collections."
Library Journal on Fossil Hunter
"Sawyer deserves a round of vigorous applause."
Analog on Foreigner
"Refreshing fun and thought-provoking entertainment."
Booklist on End of an Era
"A terrific mix of science, technological derring-do, and murder.
A great story; a crackerjack novel."
The Globe and Mail: Canada's National Newspaper
on The Terminal Experiment
"An enormous grab bag of ideas and a whole lot of fun."
The New York Review of Science Fiction on
"Exciting and engrossing."
Kirkus on Frameshift
"An intriguing mystery and some of the best trial scenes in science fiction.
Add another hit to Sawyer's string."
Science Fiction Chronicle on
"Sawyer's finest novel to date: scientifically plausible, fictionally
intriguing, and ethically important."
New Scientist on
"Terrific, a first-rate philosophical journey. Should have wide appeal."
Publishers Weekly on
FlashForward (starred review)
"Spectacular. This is unusually thoughtful SF."
Publishers Weekly on
"One of the year's best."
San Francisco Chronicle on
"Extremely well done."
Publishers Weekly on
"An anthropological creation worthy of Ursula K. Le Guin."
Science Fiction Weekly on
"Sawyer lucidly explores fascinating philosophical conundrums."
Entertainment Weekly on
"A novel to be savoured by science-fiction and mainstream
readers alike." The Globe and Mail: Canada's National
Newspaper on Rollback
Praise for Robert J. Sawyer
"Sawyer is just about the best science fiction writer out there these days."
Denver Rocky Mountain News
"Sawyer is a writer of boundless confidence and bold scientific
The New York Times
"Sawyer is Canada's answer to Michael Crichton."
The Montreal Gazette
"Sawyer's novels intelligent, literate, and
immensely readable explorations of the biggest
ideas there are prove that science fiction is
The Halifax Chronicle-Herald
"Sawyer is a brilliant stylist who depicts daily-life events
with a shattered world view."
The Gainesville (Florida) Sun
"Sawyer's novels combine the sheer fun and
big ideas of the Golden Age of Science Fiction with
modern, literate, flesh-and-blood
The Ottawa Citizen
"Sawyer expands his range with every new book; he has elected
to forgo the easy path."
Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine
"Sawyer is Canada's best speculative fiction writer, by far."
World Wide Web Site
More Good Reading
Rob's Curriculum Vitae
Backgrounder: Science Fiction Awards
Entry on Robert J. Sawyer in Canadian Who's Who
Robert J. Sawyer Novels in the Classroom
Press Release Index
Rob on TV
Radio-TV Interview Report ad for Factoring Humanity
Radio-TV Interview Report ad for Frameshift
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