Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Archive for the 'Reviews' Category

The wisdom of Erle Stanley Gardner

Thursday, July 28th, 2022

The wisdom of Erle Stanley Gardner, from the Perry Mason novel The Case of the Careless Kitten, published eighty years ago in 1942. Defense attorney Perry Mason is speaking to Hamilton Burger, the district attorney: “Because the public has sat idly by and let the organized prosecutors amend the law until the constitutional guarantees of […]

Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space

Wednesday, November 24th, 2021

We just finished watching the Blu-ray version of the very first Jon Pertwee Doctor Who serial (Pertwee was the Third Doctor, and my all-time favourite), “Spearhead from Space.” It was first broadcast almost 52 years ago in January 1970, and was the first Doctor Who made in colour. We hadn’t seen it since it aired […]

Nichelle Nichols’s amazing debut

Wednesday, September 1st, 2021

My friend Asbed, visiting Toronto from Los Angeles, came by again yesterday, and, in honor of the Gene Roddenberry centenary, we watched the only never-broadcast episode of his series The Lieutenant, entitled “To Set It Right,” written by Lee Erwin and directed by Vincent McEveety, both of whom went on to work on Star Trek. […]

The Trial of the Chicago 7 — and Sorkin’s miscarriage of justice

Sunday, March 7th, 2021

We recently watched the new movie The Trial of the Chicago 7 (we watched the DVD I’d been sent for Writers Guild of America awards consideration, but it’s also on Netflix). Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, it’s a socially relevant courtroom drama right up there with Judgment at Nuremberg, To Kill a Mockingbird, Inherit […]

A Future of What to Read Next

Saturday, February 13th, 2021

Did you enjoy my The Oppenheimer Alternative? Then your next read should be A History of What Comes Next, the brand-new Tor novel by the great Canadian writer Sylvain Neuvel, which is set against the same backdrop. I loved it! Here’s the blurb I gave it: Sylvain Neuvel proves once again he deserves the title […]

Why the Crawdads Stink 2 of 2

Thursday, June 25th, 2020

MORE SPOILERS — BIG ONES — YOU’VE BEEN WARNED! Yesterday, in PART ONE of his discussion, I wrote about some of my problems with Delia Owens’s debut novel Where The Crawdads Sing. As I said then and I reiterate now, I did enjoy the book, and certainly don’t want to take away from anyone else’s […]

Why the Crawdads Stink 1 of 2

Wednesday, June 24th, 2020

THIS IS PART ONE OF TWO; PART TWO IS HERE SPOILER ALERT! Last week, I finished reading Where the Crawdads Sing, the much-lauded bestselling debut novel by Delia Owens. I’M NOT KIDDING: SPOILERS! I understand that a great many people love this book, and I myself enjoyed it a lot, although parts of it — […]

50th anniversary of Beneath the Planet of the Apes

Tuesday, May 26th, 2020

Today is the 50th anniversary of the release of Beneath the Planet of the Apes, the second film in the series. I gain more respect for that film on each viewing. There were production choices, dictated by budget I suppose, that bothered me when I first saw it as a kid: the use of so […]

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 […]

The inner life of a man who had none

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

My on-and-off bathroom reading for some time has been David A. Goodman‘s The Autobiography of James T. Kirk. I just finished it, and I quite enjoyed it. Goodman took on two very difficult tasks. The first, obvious one, is making a coherent whole out of the contradictory mess that was TOS; the creators, after all, […]

Arrival review

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

Okay, look, I know I’m supposed to say I loved the movie Arrival, but, um, well, I admired it, but, my God, new rule: no one who liked Arrival is ever allowed to complain that Star Trek: The Motion Picture was slow-paced again. A different director could have executed Arrival‘s entire screenplay without dropping a […]

Reviews of Quantum Night

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

“Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author Sawyer’s latest work is a fast-moving, mind-stretching exploration of the nature of personality and consciousness; it balances esoteric speculation with action and character. Sawyer is very good at grounding the technical speculation in personal conflict, as Marchuk’s utilitarian principles struggle with his emotional impulses and the political/media references keep the […]

Publishers Weekly gives Quantum Night a starred review

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Publishers Weekly just gave my Quantum Night a starred review! The most-coveted review in the industry, a “starred review” from PW indicates a book of exceptional merit. PW is the trade journal of the publishing industry. Note: There are spoilers in the full review, but here are the first and last lines: “Hugo and Nebula […]

Taschen’s 2001 making-of book

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

My review of Piers Bizony’s The Making of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (published by Taschen) is up now at SFRevu. Robert J. Sawyer online:Website • Facebook • Twitter • Email

Five year’s-best lists for Triggers

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

My novel Triggers — first published by Ace after serialization in Analog, and currently eligible for nomination for the Hugo, Nebula, and Aurora Awards — had a very good showing on year’s best lists, and has just been nominated for one of Canada’s top literary awards. The award is the Ontario Library Association’s Evergreen Award […]

For your Hugo consideration: Triggers

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Now that Hugo Award nominations are officially open, I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you that my novel Triggers, published in the US by Ace Science Fiction following serialization in the January-February, March, April, and May 2012 issues of Analog (and Audio version from Audible), is eligible for nomination in the Best Novel category. […]

The movie Contact

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

I got asked yesterday what my favorite parts of the movie Contact were — the questioner took it as a given that I must love the film. Well, I know we’re all supposed to like it because it was based on a book by Carl Sagan, and because, y’know, it’s about a kick-ass female scientist, […]

Financial Times loves Triggers

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Financial Times — The Financial Times of London, one of the most-read newspapers in the world — just reviewed my novel Triggers. It’s a short but sweet review, but wonderfully quotable:“It’s a national security nightmare — someone has access to the secrets lodged in the brain of the most powerful man in the world. There’s […]

Triggers reviews including Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Reviews for Triggers by Robert J. Sawyer: “Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer returns with a new hard science fiction novel which pulls together elements of a gripping political thriller with cutting edge psychological insights to create a story that works on many levels. Triggers has the pacing of an episode of […]

Triggers now out!

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Today is the official publication date of my 21s novel Triggers. The hardcover, ebook, and versions are all out now. I begin my book tour tonight!“Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer returns with a new hard science fiction novel which pulls together elements of a gripping political thriller with cutting edge […]

The Wall Street Journal loves Triggers

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Tom Shippey — the world’s top Tolkien scholar — reviews my novel Triggers in the March 31, 2012, edition of The Wall Street Journal. The review concludes:Mr. Sawyer works through the permutations with one surprise after another, including the president’s deep, dark secret–now in somebody else’s possession–that would make him a one-termer for sure. The […]

Mississauga Life interview and review

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Mississauga Life, a glossy magazine in Mississauga (Canada’s sixth-largest city, and where I live), has a lengthy, meaty interview with me in its March-April 2012 issue, as well as a wonderful review of Triggers, which says in part:Triggers is congruent with the best science-fiction in that it’s not about blasters, but about issues and social […]

Four “must-read” science-fiction books

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Five years ago this month, TORO Magazine asked me to recommend four “must-read” science-fiction books. Half a decade later they’re still great reads: THE TIME MACHINE by H.G. Wells (Tor): Wells created it all: time travel, space voyages, alien invasions, genetic engineering, antigravity, invisibility — you can’t write SF without riffing on good ole H.G. […]

Winnipeg Free Press loves Wonder

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

The Winnipeg Free press loves Wonder, as you can see in Nick Martin’s review here. The review concludes:Wonder is not only a superb conclusion to a tremendous trilogy, but stands alone as one of the best books that Sawyer has ever written.I’ll be in Winnipeg on book tour on Thursday, May 19, 2011, signing at […]

The Globe and Mail loves Wonder

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

The Globe and Mail: Canada’s National Newspaper reviewed Wonder, the “much anticipated finale to the WWW trilogy,” yesterday. I must say I like the opening:Okay, new rule. Effective today, Canadian reviews of Robert J. Sawyer and his fiction should no longer begin with “Robert J. Sawyer is a Canadian science-fiction writer” or any variation on […]

Barnes & Noble’s SF&F Blog loves Wonder

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Over at Extrapolations: The Barnes & Noble Science Fiction and Fantasy Blog, Paul Goat Allen has posted a wonderful review of Wonder and the whole WWW trilogy. As Caitlin would say, “W00t!” Robert J. Sawyer online:Website • Facebook • Twitter • Newsgroup • Email

Wake review roundup

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Since we’re in the thick of Hugo, Nebula, and Aurora Award-nominating season, forgive me for this roundup of reviews of my 2009 novel Wake (published in the US by Ace as WWW: Wake). “The thought-provoking first installment of Sawyer’s WWW trilogy explores the origins and emergence of consciousness. The thematic diversity — and profundity — makes […]

It only took a decade, but …

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Back in June 1998, I met with the then-manager of author relations for at Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle. It was an opportunity to tell her what was wrong with’s online book-review system (in my humble opinion), which had been thrust into the marketplace without any consultation with writers’ groups. I outlined numerous difficulties […]

The Times reviews the FlashForward novel

Monday, November 9th, 2009

The Times — a major British newspaper — reviewed my novel FlashForward (basis for the TV series of the same name) yesterday; the review is by acclaimed SF writer Lisa Tuttle, and concludes: [T]he novel is an intellectual puzzle, drawing on theoretical physics to raise questions about time and space and the existence of free […]

Don Sakers of Analog reviews Wake

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, the world’s top-selling English-language SF magazine, recently changed book reviewers. Of course, all of us long-time Analog readers have been curious to see what sort of approach the new reviewer, Don Sakers, was going to take, and so I turned with interest to “The Reference Library” section of the October […]