Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Archive for the 'Tube Alloys' Category

78 years ago today: Chicago Pile 1

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

Seventy-eight years ago today, the world’s first controlled nuclear chain reaction was achieved at the University of Chicago. Here’s how I dramatized that event in my 2020 novel The Oppenheimer Alternative: “Jim, you’ll be interested to know that the Italian navigator has just landed in the New World.” It was code, of course: the Italian […]

Expert interview for 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima

Sunday, July 26th, 2020

75th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki BOOK AN EXPERT INTERVIEW! Award-winning author ROBERT J. SAWYER has over 800 radio and TV interviews under his belt The world first learned of the existence of atomic bombs seventy-five years ago next week. Commemorate these important anniversaries with an expert interview subject:Thursday, August 6, […]

Bad Day at Red Rock

Wednesday, July 15th, 2020

Fifty-five years ago, we got our first good look at the surface of Mars — a photo that figures prominently in my new novel The Oppenheimer Alternative. As I said five years ago, on the 50th anniversary of this picture from Mariner IV:Possibly the saddest science photo ever. Our first close-up look at Mars, from Mariner 4, […]

Doctor, doctor, give me the news!

Saturday, June 13th, 2020

Six years ago, on June 12, 2014, the University of Winnipeg — the oldest university in the province of Manitoba, Canada — gave me an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree; former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chréitien also received the same degree that day. I was nominated for the honorary doctorate jointly by the Dean of […]

Frank Drake’s 90th birthday

Thursday, May 28th, 2020

Today is the 90th birthday of SETI pioneer Frank Drake. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Frank several times, and his work makes an appearance in The Oppeheimer Alternative:“Yeah, that wouldn’t be so bad.” Feynman held up the latest Astronomical Journal, dated October 1959. “But Frank Drake’s got a note in here. He found decimetric […]

Science fiction: the literature of intriguing juxtapositions

Tuesday, May 26th, 2020

There’s just one week left until The Oppenheimer Alternative comes out, so here’s our penultimate real-life chapter-head epigraph from the novel:“The history of science is rich in the example of the fruitfulness of bringing two sets of techniques, two sets of ideas, developed in separate contexts for the pursuit of new truth, into touch with […]

A stillborn Sieg Heil

Sunday, May 17th, 2020

Each year, July 16 marks the anniversaries of two of the defining moments in the entire history of Homo sapiens, both of which are still within living memory for some. For this year, 2020, July 16 is the fifty-first anniversary of the day on which human beings first embarked on a voyage to another world, […]

Did the US have to drop the atomic bomb on Japan?

Sunday, May 3rd, 2020

In my new novel, The Oppenheimer Alternative — coming June 2, 2020, and available for pre-order now — the following exchange occurs between J. Robert Oppenheimer and his wife Kitty (with Kitty employing a racial slur that was regrettably all-too-common during the Second World War): “They … they’ve dropped a second bomb,” Oppie said, holding her. […]

Getting good press for your novel

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

Many years ago, I attended a talk by Cynthia Good, publisher of Penguin Canada. When asked what was the first thing she looks for in a book submission, she said, “A way to get the author on TV.” I’ve now got over 400 TV appearances to my credit, and an equal number of radio interviews […]

Fat Man and Little Boy

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Watched the 1989 movie FAT MAN AND LITTLE BOY on DVD this evening. Rarely is a film so poorly cast; ironically, the first opening credit after the star names is that of the casting director, Nancy Foy. Paul Newman can be a fabulous actor — by coincidence, the night before, I was watching brilliant clips […]

Today’s history lesson

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016