Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Archive for July, 2008

Four old farts and …

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

… her! Yup, at the Denver Worldcon, you can come to the panel on “The Evolution of Science Fiction” with Ben Bova, John E. Stith, L.E. Modesitt, Robert J. Sawyer — and the brilliant and lovely Shoshana Glick. (That’s Sho pictured above, during her January 2008 visit to Toronto, during which she stayed with Carolyn […]

Analog teaser for Wake

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

The October 2008 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact is out, and in the “In Times to Come” section at the back, which plugs the following issue, we find this teaser for my next novel, Wake: Next month (our November issue) we begin another mind-stretching serial by Robert J. Sawyer, with a cover by […]

Heeeeere’s Enik!

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Enik was the coolest character on The Land of the Lost, the NBC Saturday morning half-hour live-action SF show from the 1970s that had David Gerrold as story editor. And I scored one of the above at Comic-Con: one of 480 Enik banks. Enik was an Altrursian, the ancestors of the Sleestaks (it was quite […]

So, how does a free trip end up costing $2,700?

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

San Diego Comic-Con International 2008 was extremely generous with Carolyn and me: since I was Special Guest this year, we had all our expenses covered — roundtrip airfare for both of us from Toronto, five nights in the Omni right across the street from the convention center (where our suite number was 1701 — the […]

Man, I thought for sure it was Feist singing …

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Okay, I’m no expert on music, but, like millions of people, I found Canadian singer Feist’s nifty “1 2 3 4” (above), which was used on an iPod commercial, quite appealing (in that it-keeps-running-through-your-head sort of way). And I thought for sure the song with the lyric “I crinkle my nose” that’s on the radio […]

San Diego Comic-Con: Day 5

Monday, July 28th, 2008

The final day at San Diego Comic-Con comes to a close. We had a wonderful time. This morning, I hooked up with Anthony Pascale, who runs TrekMovie.Com (for whom I reviewed the Star Trek Classic remastered episode “The Immunity Syndrome” last year). He and I went to the event related to the sitcom It’s Always […]

San Diego Comic-Con: Day 4

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Today started with this panel, masterfully moderated by MaryElizabeth Hart from San Diego science-fiction bookstore Mysterious Galaxy: 10:00-11:00 “Looking at Our World: Eye on the Future”: Speculative-fiction authors discuss shaping the future through their fiction and shaping their fiction to the future. Panelists [pictured, left to right]: Comic-Con 2008 Guest of Honor Robert J. Sawyer […]

San Diego Comic-Con: Day 3

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Today was my “Spotlight on Robert J. Sawyer” event. I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the audience, and very gratified by the quality of the questions in the Q&A. After my talk, I had some nice chats with people, including a woman who is now a Hollywood scriptwriter who had read Far-Seer when […]

San Diego Comic-Con: Day 2

Friday, July 25th, 2008

We had a wonderful first full day at San Diego Comic-Con, at which I’m special guest. (Noel Neill) We started Thursday by attending a session with Noel Neill, now 87, who played Lois Lane in the classic 1950s TV series The Adventures of Superman. Sadly, 15 minutes of her hour were eaten up by a […]

San Diego Comic-Con: Day 1

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Carolyn and I flew from Toronto to San Diego, by way of Chicago, today for San Diego Comic-Con International, at which I’m a Special Guest this year. We were picked up at the airport, and whisked to our lovely hotel suite. Once we got checked in, we took a cab over to the San Diego […]

Visiting MIT and Marvin Minsky

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Man, I love this job! On Monday, following Readercon 19 in Burlington, Massachusetts, I stopped by MIT, and had a wonderful three-hour tour-and-lunch with AI pioneer Marvin Minsky (above: Robert J. Sawyer, Marvin Minsky) and his students Bo and Dustin. We visited the AI Lab and the Media Lab — and I met the robot […]

Birth of a Notion

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

My friend Melody Friedenthal today asked me, “Which idea in the Neanderthal Parallax books did you start with?” For me, book ideas start out quite vague, and only after much research do they become concrete. But, culled from my writing journals, here are notes about the creation of the basic ideas for the Neanderthal Parallax […]

Cordwainer Award to Stanley G. Weinbaum

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

I’m at Readercon 19 in Burlington, Massachusetts, where, on Friday, July 18, 2008, the winner of this year’s Cordwainer Smith Rediscovery Award, honoring a deceased SF writer who has slipped from public consciousness but deserved to have renewed attention brought to his work, was presented to Stanley G. Weinbaum, author of, among others, the seminal […]

The crazy season begins!

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Summer’s here, and the Rob-man is on the road! Thursday, July 17, to Sunday, July 20, 2008: Readercon, Burlington, Massachusetts Wednesday, July 23, to Sunday, July 27, 2008: Special Guest at San Diego Comic Con Wednesday, August 6, to Sunday, August 10, 2008: Denvention 3, the World Science Fiction Convention, in Denver Thursday, August 14, […]

eReader for iPhone and iPod touch

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

My very favorite ebook-reading software, eReader (formerly, Palm Reader), is now available for the iPhone and the iPod touch. Steve Pendergrast of and gives a terrific tour in this YouTube video, as well as a great explanation of the eReader DRM system, which I think is the fairest and easiset to use one […]

Asimov’s 30 Laws of Robotics

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

… are a hoot! See here. (Thanks to my buddy Fergus Heywood of the CBC for the link!) The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Hangin’ with Gar and Judy

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Our great friends Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens are in town, and Carolyn and I just came back from a fabulous three-and-a-half-hour dinner with them. Lots of shop talk, lots of pleasant conversation, and lots and lots of good food. (Here’s a profile I wrote of them when we all guests of honor at MileHiCon in […]

Nice to be appreciated

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

I’m a member of a number of online groups devoted to various aspects of electronic publishing, but I probably post the most over in the Yahoo! Groups Fictionwise group, which is over here. Today, this popped up in my email box: Rob, I’m not writing to tell you how much I love or hate any […]

My San Diego Comic-Con Scheudle

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

I’m lucky enough to be a Special Guest at the San Diego Comic-Con later this month (woohoo!). Here’s my schedule of events there: Spotlight on Robert J. SawyerFriday, JULY 254:00-5:00pm ROOM 4Robert J. Sawyer is one of only seven writers in history to win all three of science-fiction’s top awards for best novel of the […]


Sunday, July 13th, 2008

Used to be, when all computers used fixed-width fonts, that ASCII art was cool: little pictures, often used in the signature blocks at the end of emails, made out of typewriter-style characters. These days, with proportional fonts, they don’t work well. But here’s one of my favorites, a Klingon cruiser seen bow on: //-n-\\ _____—=======—_____ […]

John W. Campbell Memorial Award results

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

Well, although nominated, I did not place in the 2008 John W. Campbell Memorial Awards (and neither did the other Canadian nominees, Nalo Hopkinson and Robert Charles Wilson). The winners, announced last night in Kansas, were: 1st: In War Times, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Tor2nd: The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, Michael Chabon, HarperCollins3rd: The Execution Channel, Ken […]

Free Science Fiction from Robert J. Sawyer

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

With all this talk about giving away science fiction online, I’d be remiss if I didn’t draw attention to my own offerings in this area — after all, I was one of the first professional SF writers to give away work on the World Wide Web. Short stories by me have been available to download […]

Readercon Programming 2008

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

Here’s my programming schedule for Readercon 19, being held near Boston from Thursday evening, July 17, through Sunday afternoon, July 20, 2008: 15. FRIDAY 11:00 ME Science Fiction as a Mirror for Reality. Robert J. Sawyer with discussion by Paolo Bacigalupi, Michael A. Burstein, Lancer Kind, Hildy Silverman, et al. Talk / Discussion (60 min.). […]

More on ebooks

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

For those who enjoyed my post a couple of days ago about Tor’s free ebook program, I’ve just added another 1,300 words by me to the end of the comments section of that blog entry. Also, note that Jeffrey A. Carver, another participant in the Tor program, has now stopped by to comment there, in […]

Tor’s free e-book program

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Simon Owens at Bloggasm sent me this note this morning: I remember seeing one or two posts of yours about Tor’s experiment releasing free ebooks [actually I’ve never posted about that, but I have posted about free ebooks in general]. I got a chance recently to talk to several Tor authors [he quotes three, out […]

Two full years on the Locus Bestsellers’ list

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

I noted earlier that my latest novel, Rollback, is in its third consecutive month on the Locus paperback bestsellers’ list, and, for the second month in a row, it’s the highest-ranked SF title. (Locus is the US trade journal of the science-fiction field.) Three months is a long run on the Locus list, but I […]

Guest Editor at

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

I’m the smiling guest editor at this month in the science-fiction and fantasy section, recommending some of my favorite audiobooks by other authors. Check it out here — click on “(more)” to see the rest of my essay, and my comments on each audiobook. And you can get all my titles here. The […]

My Italian translator

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

… is Dario Rivarossa, and besides being a great translator, he’s also a great photographic artist. Check out his website here, with his art and info about his translation services. And note that the samples of his translations skills are two passages from my Hugo Award-nominated 2003 novel Humans. the first passage in Italian is […]

Calculating God 8th printing in my hands

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

I received today copies of the eighth mass-market paperback printing of my novel Calculating God, a Hugo Award-finalist first published in 2000 (and first in paperback in 2001). So, those of you who’ve had trouble finding it should have trouble no more., which had been showing it as unavailable for the last few months, […]

Quick View Plus: converting DOS word-processing files to Windows

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

There are many ways to convert DOS word-processing files to Windows formats, but one I never see mentione involves using the Windows file-viewing program Quick View Plus. It is, in fact, a quick-and-easy tool for that. (As many of you know, I still write with WordStar for DOS, for all the reasons I explain here.) […]