Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Archive for the 'Milestones' Category

Lifetime Achievement Aurora Award

Friday, September 20th, 2013

A press release from the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association: For the first time in 30 years — and only the fourth time ever — the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association (CSFFA) is bestowing a Lifetime Achievement award on an author. The award will be presented in Ottawa on Sunday, October 6, 2013, […]

McMaster conference absolutely wonderful

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Science Fiction: The Interdisciplinary Genre turned out to be one of the best weekends of my life. Over one hundred scholars from all over North America joined us for this amazing conference in honour of the donation of my archives to McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The conference was sponsored by the McMaster Faculty of […]

R.I.P., Alan Sawyer

Monday, June 10th, 2013

My younger brother Alan Bruce Sawyer passed away Saturday night. He was born September 12, 1961, in Toronto, and died in that city June 8, 2013, at the age of 51. Alan was diagnosed with lung cancer last September [2012], and by the time it was diagnosed, it had already metastasized to his brain, abdomen, […]

30th anniversary as a full-time writer

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Today is my 30th anniversary of being a full-time self-employed freelance writer. On Friday, April 29, 1983, I finished the last job I ever had — being a teaching assistant in the School of Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson in Toronto. I’ve never had a boss since then. I spent most of the rest […]

Remembering the 1993 Books in Canada SF issue

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Twenty years ago, the March 1993 issue of Books in Canada — at the time, an influential book-review magazine, although long defunct now — devoted a special issue to science fiction. It was a watershed moment in Canadian SF&F — some of the first serious consideration the field got by the mainstream press here. For […]

Call for papers

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

In honour of the donation of Robert J. Sawyer‘s papers and archives to McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario, that institution is hosting an academic conference entitled “Science Fiction: The Interdisciplinary Genre” Friday, September 13, through Sunday, September 15, 2013. The call for papers (CFP) is here. Special guests at the conference are Hugo Award-winning author […]

Three For The Future

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

Thirty years ago, the November 1982 issue of Leisure Ways (the members’ magazine for the Canadian Automobile Association) published “Three For the Future” — three short-short science-fiction stories by Terence M. Green, Robert J. Sawyer, and Andrew Weiner, collected and introduced by John Robert Colombo. Last night, at John’s house, we all got together for a 30th […]

RTA School of Media Wall of Fame

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

On Saturday, September 22, 2012, the RTA School of Media Wall of Fame was unveiled at my alma mater, Ryerson University in Toronto; I am thrilled to be one of the initial twelve inductees. The Wall of Fame is sponsored by the RTA School of Media (formerly the School of Radio and Television Arts, the […]

History-making Aurora Award win

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

To my absolute astonishment and delight, my twenty-first novel, Wonder, has just won the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Award (“the Aurora”) for Best Novel of the Year. An excerpt from the official Aurora Awards press release: Mississauga, Ontario, author Robert J. Sawyer has done it again. Not only is this his third consecutive Aurora […]

Humanism in the Arts Award

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

On Saturday, August 4, 2012, at the annual conference of Humanist Canada, held this year in Montreal in conjunction with the General Assembly of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, bestselling science-fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer was presented with Humanist Canada’s first-ever Humanism in the Arts award (click the photo above for a high-resolution version). […]

30 years ago: working at Bakka

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Pictured: Dune author Frank Herbert and Bakka owner John Rose, outside of Bakka’s old 282 Queen Street West location in Toronto, where Robert J. Sawyer worked in 1982; Bakka was named for “the weeper who mourns for all mankind” from Dune. Photo by Tom Robe from 1981. Just about exactly thirty years ago, I started […]

Two million words of science fiction

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Now that I’ve received the first copies of my 21st novel, Triggers, I am delighted to realize that I have published two million words of science fiction in my career. More than that — and here’s a claim very few authors can make — all two million words of it are still in print. My […]

Finished with the WWW books

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Just sent corrections for the paperback of Wonder to Ace and Penguin Canada — the very last work I’ll ever do on the WWW trilogy books. It’s the end of an era that began getting on to nine years ago, on Friday, January 10, 2003, when I wrote this in my journal:Wrote 300 words explaining […]

Ten years of reading ebooks

Friday, September 16th, 2011

This week marks my tenth anniversary as a reader of ebooks. I got in early because, as a science-fiction writer, I’d long been expecting this technology. After all, Captain Kirk read reports off a wedge-shaped device back in 1966, and the astronauts in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey used tablet computers for viewing […]

Martin H. Greenberg, R.I.P.

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Rest in peace, Martin H. Greenberg. Marty was a consummate anthologist. He bought one of my very first short stories (“The Contest,” for 100 Great Fantasy Short Short Stories, way back in 1984), and bought many others from me since, and I had the honor of late to serve with him on the jury for […]

15th anniversary of winning the Nebula Award

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Many articles about me have suggested that having ABC make a TV series out of my 1999 novel FlashForward was the biggest thing that ever happened to me. Yes, that was cool, but it wasn’t the thing that changed my life the most. No, that was winning the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s […]

30 Years Ago Today: My First SF Publication

Friday, January 14th, 2011

The second (and most recent) print edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction by John Clute and Peter Nicholls begins its entry on me thus: SAWYER, ROBERT J(AMES) (1960-        ) Canadian writer who began publishing sf with “If I’m Here, Imagine Where They Sent my Luggage” for The Village Voice in 1981 … And indeed I did. […]

Ralph Vicinanza, R.I.P.

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Literary agent Ralph Vicinanza, 60, died peacefully Sunday night, September 26, of a brain aneurysm. He was my agent for the past fifteen years, and one of the executive producers of FlashForward, the TV series based on my novel of the same name. I remember, years ago, when I was looking for a new agent […]

Short stories: five years after giving them up

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

It was five years ago today that I finished writing my last short story. That story, “Biding Time,” was written for the DAW Books anthology Slipstreams, edited by Martin Harry Greenberg and John Helfers. I guess I went out with a bang. The story was reprinted in the prestigious Penguin Book of Crime Stories and […]

30th anniversary of my first sale

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Thirty years ago today — Friday, January 18, 1980 — I made my first writing sale, launching my career as a professional science-fiction writer. All the details about that first sale are here. Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Siteand

Peter de Jager receives Lifeboat Foundation’s Guardian Award

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

I am a proud member of the Advisory Boards of the Lifeboat Foundation, which is dedicated to ensuring that humanity survive the advent of artificial intelligence and other perils. In that capacity, I was asked to nominate a potential recipient for the organization’s highest honour, the Guardian Award. I submitted this nomination: On this tenth […]

Phyllis Gotlieb honoured today in Canada’s Federal Parliament

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

My great friend and inspiration Phyllis Gotlieb passed away earlier this year, and today Mauril Bélanger, a Member of Canada’s Federal Parliament, rose in the House of Commons to speak to that loss: Hon. Mauril Bélanger (Ottawa—Vanier, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this past summer, Canada lost one of its pioneers in science fiction writing, Phyllis Gotlieb, […]

Forty years after that one small step

Monday, July 20th, 2009

My reminiscences of July 20, 1969, are on Check it out! Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Siteand

Charles N. Brown, R.I.P.

Monday, July 13th, 2009

I’ve been subscribing to Locus, the trade journal of the science-fiction field, since 1982. Its editor in chief, Charles N. Brown, passed away yesterday, on his way home from Readercon 20. He was 72. We ran into each other for the final time on Saturday afternoon, I think, in the Green Room. He was on […]

CompuServe Classic: R.I.P.

Monday, July 6th, 2009

I joined CompuServe sometime in 1987. I used to be a sysop (system operator) of the WordStar Forum there, and I hung out a lot in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum (so much so that the command GO SAWYER at the CompuServe prompt would take people there). On October 10, 1989 — almost 20 […]

May 2009: An Amazing Month!

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

What a month this has been! For all of May — starting Friday, May 1 — I was “Author of the Month” at McNally Robinson, Canada’s second-largest bookstore chain. Independently, both The Toronto Star (on Saturday, May 2) and The Globe and Mail (on Monday, May 4) had me as answers to clues in their […]

Calculating God wins the Audie Award!

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

My friend Alethea Kontis is in New York City at the Audie Awards and reports that Calculating God by one Robert J. Sawyer just won the 2009 Audie Award from the Audio Publishers Association for best Science Fiction or Fantasy Audio Book of the Year! I’m super-proud of the team at that produced the […]

First time in 26 years a major US network has based a series on a Canadian novel

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

1983: HOTEL comes to ABC2009: FLASH FORWARD comes to ABCIn the 500-channel universe, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the big-four American broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox — still dominate in terms of audience size. Nothing on cable comes close in audience reach as far as dramatic television is […]

Penguin Canada’s edition of Wake going into a second printing!

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

On Thursday, May 7, I was in at Penguin Group (Canada)’s offices for some meetings, and received the wonderful news from Don Robinson, Vice President of Sales, that just twenty-three days after the Canadian release of Wake, Penguin Canada is going back to press for a second hardcover printing. W00t! Of course, Penguin has done […]

I’m a crossword puzzle clue!

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

I’m the answer to clue 36-Down in the May 4, 2009, crossword puzzle in The Globe and Mail: Canada’s National Newspaper. The clue is: Robert ____ (renowned Canadian novelist)You can access it online here. Many thanks to my old friend CBC Radio producer Doug MacDonald (who produced “What If? An Exploration of Alternative Histories,” a […]