Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Archive for February, 2006

Monday Spotlight: Going to Mars

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

Time for another Monday Spotlight, highlighting one of the 530 articles on my website at As NASA continues to struggle with budget cuts, and a presidential vision of spaceflight that came with no guaranteed funding, I’m reminded of the speech the fictitious US president gave in my novel Hybrids. There, the speech is divided […]

Rob’s "Identity Theft" a Nebula Award finalist

Saturday, February 25th, 2006

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America have just announced the final ballot for this year’s Nebula Awards. My “Identity Theft” is one of five finalists in the novella category. “Identity Theft” has already won the world’s top prize for SF writing, the 6,000-euro Premio UPC. For the convenience of SFWA members — who […]

Toronto’s Ad Astra loses three of its Guests of Honour

Friday, February 24th, 2006

It’ll still be a wonderful con, with authors Terry Brooks and Peter David, editor Betsty Mitchell from Del Rey, and fan David Warren (who, among other things, is also my real-estate lawyer), but the other announced guests have all bowed out. Here’s the scoop from Ad Astra’s website: As I’m sure some have now noticed, […]

Apes live!

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

Coming March 28, 2006: Planet of the Apes – The Ultimate DVD Collection – With Ape Head Packaging. All five original movies, the entire live-action TV series, the entire animated TV series, Tim Burton’s remake, and all sorts of extra features. Woohoo!

Hartwell wins Skylark

Tuesday, February 21st, 2006

My editor, Dr. David G. Hartwell, won the Skylark Award this past weekend: The Edward E. Smith Memorial Award for Imaginative Fiction (the Skylark) is presented annually by the New England Science Fiction Association to some person, who in the opinion of the membership, has contributed significantly to science fiction, both through work in the […]

My GoH streak continues: Winnipeg

Monday, February 20th, 2006

Accepted another Guest of Honor offer today; this one from KeyCon 23 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. That makes three GoH offers in the last month: To Be CONtinued in Chicago, MileHighCon in Denver, and KeyCon in Winnipeg. The KeyCon one is particularly sweet, because, I’m told, this is the first time in the 23-year-history of KeyCon […]

Monday Spotlight: Fermi Paradox

Monday, February 20th, 2006

Time for this week’s Monday Spotlight, highlighting one of the 530 articles on my website at I’ve always been fascinated by the Fermi Paradox (and offer one fanciful solution to it in my Sherlock Holmes pastiche “You See But You Do Not Observer”, which is available through Fictionwise). Here, in today’s spotlighted article entitled […]

Aurora Award nominations now open

Sunday, February 19th, 2006

Nominations are now open for this year’s Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards (the Auroras). Any Canadian may nominate, and there’s no charge to do so. The ballot, in PDF format, is here. And more info about the awards is here. I confess to having Aurora hopes for my novel Mindscan (in the Long-Form English […]

Interesting website

Saturday, February 18th, 2006

Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies

Mad Scientist at the CBC

Saturday, February 18th, 2006

My friend Joe Mahoney, the producer at CBC Radio who I worked with on the various pilots for Faster Than Light, our aborted series about SF, has uploaded some humorous audio clips that include me to his blog: Part One Part Two Part Three Enjoy!

Public Lending Right

Friday, February 17th, 2006

Things like the Book Lover’s Ball (see the next entry) are one of the reasons I love being an author in Canada — it’s hard to imagine a genre-fiction writer being so well treated in the States. Another thing I love is that my federal government sends me a kickback every February to compensate me […]

Book Lover’s Ball a success

Friday, February 17th, 2006

The Book Lover’s Ball yesterday went fabulously, and was a first-class event from beginning to end — valet parking, open bar, amazing food, the works. They’d been hoping to sell at least 200 tickets at Cdn$350 a pop, but actually sold 410. Besides the authors (including Margaret Atwood and Peter C. Newman), notables on hand […]

My home on display

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

Just received the February 2006 issue of The New York Review of Science Fiction. It starts with six black-and-white photos taken during my editor David G. Hartwell’s December 2005 trip to Toronto, during which he stayed at my home. Four of the photos are actually in Carolyn and my penthouse apartment, taken during a reception […]

Natural dialogue

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

It’s very difficult for most writers to do natural-sounding dialogue. Whatever skill I have at it came from years of being a freelance magazine journalist, and transcribing hundreds of hours of interviews, and also from the countless hours I spent editing audio tape back in the 1980s, when I was doing some work for CBC […]

Japanese Hybrids

Thursday, February 16th, 2006

Today’s mail brought my author’s copies of the lovely Japanese edition of Hybrids, final volume of my Neanderthal Parallax trilogy, translated, as always, by my friend Masayuki Uchida.

GoH at MileHighCon

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006

I’ve accepted an invitation to be Guest of Honor at MileHighCon 38 in Denver, Colorado, October 27-29, 2006. This on top of the invitation I accepted six days ago to be Guest of Honor at To Be CONtinued in Chicago. Woohoo!

Monday Spotlight: Science and God

Monday, February 13th, 2006

Time for another RJS Monday Spotlight, calling out one of the 500+ documents on my website at Back in 2000, Borders Books asked me to write an essay to help promote my novel Calculating God. I was glad to oblige, and this provocative little piece, entitled “Science and God” was the result … I […]

Arthur C. Clarke

Monday, February 13th, 2006

Here’s a lovely page of tributes to Arthur C. Clarke by other SF authors. The tributes are alphabetical by author; scroll down to see mine, which says: Arthur C. Clarke has been the single greatest influence on me, and, in fact, I just quoted one of Clarke’s dicta on writing (‘the best way to end […]

The Time Tunnel

Saturday, February 11th, 2006

Needing a break from a day of furious editing, Carolyn and I watched the first episode of The Time Tunnel on DVD this evening. Of course, the show has all sorts of logical problems, but it’s still enormous fun. The first episode features Michael Rennie (Klaatu from The Day the Earth Stood Still) as the […]

Pros and Cons

Friday, February 10th, 2006

A writer friend is contemplating going to a science-fiction convention (“a con”) to promote a first novel from a small press. Here’s the advice I offered: I feel I should say a few words, one writer to another, about going to conventions on one’s own nickel. The upcoming con you’re thinking of going to will […]

GoH at To Be CONtinued

Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

I’ve accepted an invitation to be Author Guest of Honor at the science-fiction convention To Be CONtinued in suburban Chicago on May 12-14, 2006. Info about the convention is here.

Get a life!

Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

Came across this transcript of William Shatner’s famous “Get a life!” appearance on Saturday Night Live. Amazing to think that as many years have now elapsed since this skit first aired in 1986 as separated the skit from the debut of Star Trek …

Nick DiChario website

Monday, February 6th, 2006

The next book under my Robert J. Sawyer Books imprint for Red Deer Press is A Small and Remarkable Life, by Hugo, Campbell, and World Fantasy Award-finalist Nick DiChario. Check out Nick’s spiffy new website for all the details.

Winnipeg Free Press on Mindscan

Monday, February 6th, 2006

The Winnipeg Free Press, the major daily paper in Winnipeg, Manitoba, ran a brief review of Mindscan yesterday; the review is by David Pitt: Once again Ontario’s Robert J. Sawyer takes something that seems wildly improbable — the notion of transferring human consciousness to an artificial body — and uses it as a jumping-off point […]

Monday Spotlight: Nuclear-waste markers

Monday, February 6th, 2006

Just after midnight here in Toronto, meaning it’s time for another RJS Monday Spotlight! I’ve long had a great relationship with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, going back to 1985, when I wrote and narrated three hour-long documentaries on SF for their venerable Ideas series. More recently, I did a series of brief commentaries on cutting-edge […]

The moment I became RJS …

Monday, February 6th, 2006

My brother Alan dug this up going through some old audio tape. It’s from February 13, 1968, when I was seven years old. The first voice you’ll hear is my father … The clip runs 45 seconds, and you’ll need Windows Media Player, or something else that plays WMA files, to hear it …

Boarding the Enterprise cover

Monday, February 6th, 2006

Here’s a look at the cover for Boarding the Enterprise: Transporters, Tribbles, and the Vulcan Death Grip in Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek, edited by David Gerrold and Robert J. Sawyer, coming this fall from BenBella Books to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the debut of Star Trek. It’s a terrific collection of essays; I’ll post […]

My Alberta adventures

Friday, February 3rd, 2006

A fabulous week on the road come to an end. On Friday, January 27, 2006, I flew to Edmonton, Alberta, courtesy of the Canada Council for the Arts. That afternoon, I had a terrific get-together with Diane Walton and Danica LeBlanc, both of On Spec: The Canadian Magazine of the Fantastic, at the magazine’s offices […]

Jack McDevitt

Thursday, February 2nd, 2006

People often ask me to recommend other authors, and I’m always happy to do so. One of my all-time favorites is Jack McDevitt. Locus unveiled its current bestsellers list today, and the paperback of Jack’s Polaris is number one on the list. Congratulations, Jack!