Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Archive for March, 2008

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

Brian Hades, my good buddy and publisher of EDGE Science Fiction, points out that this headline, over at SFScope, is quite amusing: Robert J. Sawyer’s Wake to be Serialized in Analog Hopefully, there’ll be a brief obit in Locus, too … ;) The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

CBC Radio to serialize Rollback

Friday, March 28th, 2008

CBC Radio One’s Between the Covers will do a serialized reading of Robert J. Sawyer’s Hugo Award-nominated Rollback later this year. Between the Covers airs across Canada, and presents novels in 15-minute chunks each weekday over several weeks. Billed as “Story Time for Adults,” it has a huge positive impact on physical book sales in […]

My Ad Astra schedule

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Toronto’s annual SF con, Ad Astra, begins today. I’ll be there tonight and tomorrow (Saturday) and maybe on Sunday. As it happens, all my programming is tomorrow (Saturday): 10:00 a.m. Panel: Near Future vs. Far Future (Gallery Centre) 12:00 p.m. Reading: First ever public reading from Wake (Ballroom West) 1:00 p.m. Panel: Authors who Edit […]

Aurora voting ballot for printing (PDF) now available

Friday, March 28th, 2008

You can download it here. Ballots should be mailed to: Prix Aurora Awards 20081432 Velvet RoadGibsons BC V0N 1V5 Online voting should be available soon. Postmark deadline is 7 May 2008. It costs $5 to vote. The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Thought experiments in ethics

Friday, March 28th, 2008

In the last week, I received two seemingly unrelated emails. One was from a person whose book club is doing my Rollback, and wanted to locate the reference in the novel to the “Trolley Problem,” a standard poser in philosophy and ethics classes that Sarah Halifax mentions in the book. The other, from an academic, […]

Humor in the SF of Robert J. Sawyer

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

On Thursday, March 20, 2008, Fiona Kelleghan of the University of Miami presented a paper entitled “The Intimately Human and the Grandly Cosmic: Humor and the Sublime in the Works of Robert J. Sawyer” at the 29th annual International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in Orlando, Florida. I was in the audience, and […]

Analog to serialize Wake

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

[Update: Robert J. Sawyer’s novel Wake is now out in book form — read all about it here.] Pssst! Wanna be among the very first to read Wake, the first volume of the WWW trilogy by Robert J. Sawyer? Subscribe to Analog Science Fiction and Fact, the world’s top-selling English-language SF magazine. I’m thrilled to […]

Aurora short-form ballot

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

Quandaries, quandaries! Who to vote for? Here are the nominees for the Aurora Award for Best Short-Form Work in English this year: “Falling” by David Clink (On Spec) “Saturn in G Minor” by Stephen Kotowych (Writers of the Future XXIII) “Metamorphoses in Amber” by Tony Pi (Abyss & Apex) “The Dancer at the Red Door” […]

Rollback nominated for Aurora Award

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

Hot on the heels of its nomination for the Hugo Award, my novel Rollback has just been nominated for the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards (“the Auroras”). Ian Randal Strock over at SFScope has the full list of nominees. The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Losing my virginity

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

… my PowerPoint virginity, that is! ;) I give lots of keynote addresses about science and futurism topics, but I’ve never used PowerPoint before (nor have I ever had any complaints about its absence … oh, organizers sometimes stammer before my talks, “You … you don’t have PowerPoint?,” but after my talks they never mention […]

Is it racist to mention skin color?

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

A letter I received today from a reader: I just finished reading Rollback, Mindscan, and Humans, and while I enjoyed the stories, one thing seriously annoyed me. WHY do you insist upon identifying every character who comes upon the scene by their race and/or skin color? “A black man entered the room.” “A white woman […]

Truly blatant award campaigning!

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

But not by me! (Although I do appear in this YouTube video.) See why Robert J. Sawyer endorses Todd McGuinness for a Spacey Award. (The Spaceys are SF media awards given annually by Space: The Imagination Station, the Canadian counterpart of the SciFi Channel.) (Filmed in my office Wednesday, June 6, 2007; note the Master […]

You’ll have to speak up, sonny …

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

I’m getting old! I remember when I used to be the youngest guy on the Hugo ballot — now I’m the oldest (or possibly the second oldest). Wikipedia doesn’t have a day and month for Ian McDonald’s birthday, but he was born in 1960, like me. This year’s best-novel Hugo finalists, in descending order of […]

Larry Hodges: Top 10 Reasons why Rollback will win the Hugo

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

These are terrific, courtesy of my Odyssey writing student Larry Hodges: Top 10 Reasons Why Rollback Will Win the Hugo. The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Rollback nominated for the Hugo Award

Friday, March 21st, 2008

I am thrilled, honoured, and delighted that my novel Rollback is one of five finalists for this year’s HUGO AWARD, the world’s top international honour for science fiction. The winner will be announced Saturday, August 9, 2008, in Denver at a gala awards ceremony concluding the 66th Annual World Science Fiction Convention. The 6,000 members […]

Sir Arthur C. Clarke passes

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

… and I’m in mourning. I’ve done three radio interviews so far, one for the CBC, and two for the BBC, but it’s hard to do justice to such a great man in sound bites. R.I.P., Sir Arthur. You were, and always will be, my favourite science-fiction writer. The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

The Everyday Fantastic

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Back in 2005, there was a wonderful academic conference at Brock University entitled “The Uses of the Science Fiction Genre.” I gave the keynote address. Michael Berman, a philosophy professor at Brock, has now collected papers inspired by that conference into a terrific new book: The Everyday Fantastic: Essays on Science Fiction and Human Being. […]

Stocking up on ebooks

Monday, March 17th, 2008

I’m on the road for nine days, starting tomorrow, and so swung by and grabbed some ebooks for the trip: The novel (marketed as “mainstream,” but clearly SF from the description) The Philosopher’s Apprentice by James Morrow (whose birthday it is today — happy birthday, Jim!) And these nonfiction books: Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp […]

I came, I saw, Ikea

Monday, March 17th, 2008

I am probably way happier than I should be to have installed two new bookcases in my office. Carolyn and I built two 80 cm wide Ikea Billy bookcases, and put risers (height extensions on them), and added an extra shelf to each one. Total new bookshelf space in our home: 8*76 cm, or 600 […]


Sunday, March 16th, 2008

Carolyn and I had a good time Friday and Saturday at SciBarCamp at the University of Toronto, but we blew off going today. Yesterday, I attended a nice session on John Searle’s classic “Chinese room paradox.” I also led a session on the World Wide Web gaining consciousness. One fellow, thinking he was above the […]

The Elegant Universe DVD

Friday, March 14th, 2008

To get Carolyn up to speed for SciBarCamp, we watched the Brian Greene documentary series The Elegant Universe. Greene is a very engaging presenter, and the series was excellent. Beware, though: don’t buy The Elegant Universe and Beyond — that’s a repackaged DVD set at double the cost with two unrelated Einstein documentaries thrown in. […]

Hyperspace with Sam Neill

Friday, March 14th, 2008

I normally watch sitcoms while doing my half-hour on the treadmill most mornings, but I decided to take a break this week and watch the BBC science-documentary series Hyperspace with Sam Neill (also known, apparently in its original UK run, as just Space). This one is worth watching. The information content is not high, but […]

Calgary McNally Robinson closing

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

The great downtown Calgary bookstore McNally Robinson, on the open-air mall Stephen Avenue Walk, is closing on August 1, 2008. Calgary’s economy is booming — wages are high, rents are higher — and a small-margins business like bookselling can’t make a go of it in such a prime downtown location. I’m really sad about this. […]

Books and Movies

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

On Tuesday, and again today, people have asked me about film options; the implicit assumption was that these are common occurences and lucrative, and that they as often as not lead to the film actually being made. I addressed these issues in a magazine column in 2001, but I thought it was worth resurrecting that […]

Mindscan posthumanism questions

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Got asked some interesting questions about Mindscan this morning by a university student studying the book in a fourth-year honours seminar on “The Rhetoric of the Posthuman.” 1. What do you mean by “uploading” (uploading consciousness? feelings? factor x?) and what do you believe are the consequences of this? That’s the crux of the whole […]

I’m a cover boy again!

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

This time it’s on The Library Link, the quarterly magazine of the Mississauga Public Library. This is the cover of the January-March 2008 edition (Volume 5, Number 1). The photo is by Stephen Uhraney, and was taken October 4, 2007. I live in Mississauga, which is a city of 700,000 just west of Toronto. The […]

Star Trek remastered compilation

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

If you haven’t yet seen the sorts of things that have been done in remastering classic Star Trek, check out this nice YouTube compilation of stills. The remastered episodes — with all-new effects sequences — are in syndication now, and are forthcoming on BluRay DVD. The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

"Living in Toronto" online

Monday, March 10th, 2008

For the rest of this week, the episode of CBC Toronto’s Living in Toronto featuring Robert J. Sawyer is online right here. The segment with me is the first one in the show. The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Free Nebula-award nominee

Monday, March 10th, 2008

My friend Vera Nazarian is up for the Nebula Award for Best Short Story, and the good folks at Fictionwise are giving away her story during the nomination period. You can get it for free right here. Expect to see more Nebula nominees show up for free at Fictionwise over the next few weeks … […]

Rob on Toronto TV today

Monday, March 10th, 2008

Don’t forget I’m on CBC TV Toronto’s Living in Toronto today at 1:00 p.m. :) The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site