Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Archive for July, 2006

Hugo deadline tonight

Monday, July 31st, 2006

I mistakenly said it was yesterday in an earlier post. The deadline is tonight at midnight Pacific time. If you’re a Worldcon member, you can vote here. You’ll need both your membership number and your voting PIN, which should be on any progress report (or envelope that contained same) for the convention. Your voting PIN […]

Monday Spotlight: Fred Gambino

Monday, July 31st, 2006

For this weeks’ Monday Spotlight, highlighting one of the 500+ documents on my website at, I offer this tribute to Fred Gambino, one of the finest artists working in SF today.

Lou Anders on the Campbell Conference

Sunday, July 30th, 2006

Lou Anders has done up a very nice blog post about the Campbell Conference that took place last month in Kansas. You can read it here.

Hugo voting deadline today

Sunday, July 30th, 2006

Hugo Award ballots must be cast by midnight PACIFIC time today. They can be cast here. Today’s also the last day for getting my Hugo-nominated novella “Identity Theft” for free from me, or from Fictionwise. If you want it, download it now from here.

The State of Science Fiction

Saturday, July 29th, 2006

Lou Anders has a fascinating discussion going on his blog about the state of science fiction. See his posts (and the comments to them) here and here. I just posted almost 900 words over there on this topic, and thought I’d share them here as well: We often hear references in discussions like these (as […]

What to do if an alien shows up in your living room

Friday, July 28th, 2006

I was asked the above question a couple of years ago by a guy writing a book with practical advice for unusual situations. I never heard back from him, and don’t know what happened to the book, but here’s my answer: What to do if an alien shows up in your living room: First, in […]

Talebones on Mindscan

Friday, July 28th, 2006

Talebones has just posted a nice review of my novel Mindscan, using such terms as “extremely satisfying” and “excellent.” You can read it here (you may have to scroll down as they add more reviews, although right now it’s in their “top five” featured on the main page).

How I’m spending my summer vacation

Friday, July 28th, 2006

That’s me standing up yesterday at Fort York in Toronto, site of one of the big battles of the War of 1812. I was guest speaker at the “Junior Authors” summer camp hosted by the Harbourfront Centre, home of the world-famous International Festival of Authors. I had great fun talking to a dozen young people, […]

Aaarrrgh! What a time to cut back!

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

So, the wonderful Chris from Bakka-Phoenix, Toronto’s science fiction bookstore, called today with a classic good-news/bad-news bit. The good news was that the October 2006 issue of Analog, featuring the first of four serialization installments of my latest novel, Rollback, arrived at the store today. The bad news was that instead of their usual order […]

Any typos in Analog serialization of Rollback?

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

For those reading the serialization of my novel Rollback in Analog, which has just begun (with the October issue), I’d be very grateful if you’d let me know about any typos you might spot. I can still get them fixed in the Tor hardcover, coming next year. My email address is sawyer at sfwriter dot […]

Analog with Rollback part 1 on the stands

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

I haven’t seen it yet myself, but it’s been reported in my Yahoo! Groups newsgroup that the October 2006 issue of Analog, which contains part one of my serialized novel Rollback, is now out on newsstands, at least in Ohio. Woohoo!

It’s a good day …

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

… when you make money without working. :) Got word today that my agent Ralph Vicinanza has just sold Spanish rights to my 1996 Hugo, Nebula, and Seiun Award finalist (and Aurora and HOMer Award winner) Starplex to Libros del Atril in Barcelona. It’s way cool when something I wrote more than a decade ago […]

Monday Spotlight: Print on Demand

Sunday, July 23rd, 2006

Well, given all the discussion between me an Evo Terra about new publishing and distribution paradigms here and here and here this past week, my choice for this week’s Monday Spotlight, highlighting one of the 500+ documents on my website at, is this piece I wrote in 1998 about “Print on Demand.”

Parallel universe in which Al Gore is president

Saturday, July 22nd, 2006

I’m not the only one who likes playing with the concept of parallel universes. Saturday Night Live did it recently, with special guest star Al Gore giving his state-of-the-union address in the alternate quantum reality in which he is president. I was lucky enough to catch this live when it was first broadcast, and it’s […]

What’s wrong with this web page?

Saturday, July 22nd, 2006

Have a look at this web page, and ask yourself what’s missing. The answer? The words “science fiction.” Robert A. Heinlein was never coy about what he wrote, but the web page for his centennial celebration makes no mention of the genre by name, instead calling him an “American author, futurist, philosopher and spaceflight advocate.” […]

More on online audiences

Saturday, July 22nd, 2006

Evo Terra answers some of the questions I raised in this posting, but not as a comment to that post; rather, his response is in his comments to an earlier posting by me, in which he says: “6 of the 58 titles [at] have (or have had) over 2000 subscribers. 17 are over 1000.” […]

Rob in The Globe and Mail

Saturday, July 22nd, 2006

Today’s (Saturday, July 22, 2006) Globe and Mail: Canada’s National Newspaper has a nice piece about me, my John W. Campbell Memorial Award win, and the future of Toronto. It’s in the paper’s Toronto section, and also online here.

eReader moribund

Saturday, July 22nd, 2006

You see the above graphic when you visit, which, for my money, has the best ebook-reading software on the market, and the most livable digital-rights-management system. But the graphic lies. “New version,” my ass. They haven’t updated the software in well over a year. Come on, guys! There’s work to be done!

Hugo voting deadline very soon

Saturday, July 22nd, 2006

Cough, cough … The received-by deadline for Hugo ballots sent by paper mail is July 31 — so if you haven’t mailed yours in, you should do so this weekend. :) The deadline for electronic ballots — which you can cast here — is the same date, but you’ll need your Hugo voting PIN to […]

Neanderthal Genome Project

Friday, July 21st, 2006

Read all about it here or here or here. Svante Paabo, one of the participants, was the real-life inspiration for much of Mary Vaughan’s work on Neanderthal DNA in my Hugo Award-winning novel Hominids and its sequels; the work I describe Mary as having done in recovering Neanderthal DNA at the Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Chapter […]

Evo and Rob on the size of online audiences

Friday, July 21st, 2006

In response to another posting of mine on this blog, Evo Terra of and the Dragon Page responded to my comment that online serialization of a first SF novel would probably get the author fewer than 100 readers; in his posting here he says that’s not true — thousands of readers can be reasonably […]

News that wasn’t

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

I happened to stumble across this particular installment of the week’s news from Science Fiction Weekly, dated from April 21, 1997 (scroll down past the long piece on the Nebula winners to see the week’s news). Fascinating to read of the things that we were told were on their way to theatres back then, including: […]

Definitely Not the Opera podcast

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

The interview I did on May 13, 2006, for CBC Radio One’s Definitely Not the Opera is now online here. I come on about the 12-minute mark … but the stuff before me is good, too. :) Host is Sook-Yin Lee, above. The topic: geekiness. :)

Promoting a fantasy novel

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

Got asked today by a new author for advice on promoting a first fantasy novel. Here’s what I had to say: For starters, you should have a look at the promotion stuff on my website, particularly this 37-minute podcast. You should also read this article by me on getting good press, and this one by […]

Mississauga News

Wednesday, July 19th, 2006

For those who live in the same city as me — Mississauga, Ontario (pop: 650,000, abutting the west border of Toronto) — there’s an article about me entitled “Science fiction writer picks up award,” with the subtitle “Lone Canadian to win field’s top awards” on the front page of the Lifestyles section of the Mississauga […]

The value of writing exercises

Tuesday, July 18th, 2006

Saskatchewan writer smilin’ Edward Willett (above) does a weekly science column for the CBC and the Regina Leader Post. You can sign up to have the print version emailed to you for free each week right here. Ed has twice been my writing student at the Banff Centre (in 2003 and 2005), and he begins […]

Monday Spotlight: Point of View

Monday, July 17th, 2006

I had a fabulous time teaching at the Odyssey workshop last week. Part of my job was giving daily lectures on various aspects of writing. The first one I did was on point of view, which had also been the topic of one of my old “On Writing” columns for On Spec magazine. I offer […]

I rejected a novel this evening …

Monday, July 17th, 2006

… which is something I never enjoy doing. The author wanted me to make up my mind about a submission to Robert J. Sawyer Books, because he/she had interest from a PoD publisher, and a web site had expressed interest in serializing the book. And so I did make up my mind. Here’s what I […]

Northview Heights reunion

Sunday, July 16th, 2006

If you’re reading my blog because you knew me back in the late 1970s when I was a student at Northview Heights Secondary School (previously known as Northview Heights Collegiate Institute) in Willowdale / North York / Toronto, please note that the school is having a reunion Friday, May 4, and Saturday, May 5, 2007, […]

Odyssey Workshop

Saturday, July 15th, 2006

Jeanne Cavelos, Rob Sawyer Jeanne Cavelos runs Odyssey, the famed six-week-long science-fiction and fantasy writing workshop held in New Hampshire each summer. Back in October 2005, she asked me to be “Special Writer-in-Residence” at Odyssey 2006. Odyssey and the three Clarion workshops are the best known long-term SF-writing workshops, and they’re often referred to as […]