Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Archive for August, 2008

Everyone is hard at work

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

We had a long lunch at The Mad Hatter, a pub near Carolyn and my home; it was a wonderful walk to the pub and, once again, the Toronto weather is perfect. David Clink is rejoining us this evening after his day of golf. Paddy Forde is in the sun room; Carolyn and Liz Trenholm […]

Sawyer starships at Brickfest 2008

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Ben Wall, a fan of my stories, just sent me the above photo from BrickFest in Washington D.C., a convention for adult fans of Lego. The placard says: Brickfest 2008Starships Merelcas and Starplexby Phillip Thorne, 33 Exploratory starships from the Robert J. Sawyer novels “Calculating God” (2001) and “Starplex” (1996) How cool is that! :) […]


Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Pat Forde got us all to watch this online video, entitled “Where the Hell is Matt?” Next time we send something like the Voyager record out into space, we should include this. It’s us — the joy of being human. The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

David Clink bows out …

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Carolyn just drove her brother, the poet David Livingstone Clink, home; he’s off to play golf tomorrow. But he was a great writing-retreat participant, and we were glad to have him. Still going strong: Robert J. Sawyer, Carolyn Clink, Hayden and Liz Trenholm, Al Katerinsky, Herb Kauderer, and Pat Forde. Tomorrow’s our final day. A […]

Lessons from the Write-Off

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

1) Don’t eat so much for lunch. 2) There is no number two. The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Clearly working too hard!

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

Herb Kauderer has gone downstairs (we’ve booked the guest suite in our condo for the weekend to house Herb and Al Katerinsky at night) and is napping there; Al is napping in a Muskoka chair on the balcony; and Liz Westbrook-Trenholm is having a nap on the couch in Carolyn’s office. Clearly, everyone has been […]

Paddy Forde is in the house …

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

… and so is Al Katerinsky; both arrived just in time for dinner out at Montana’s (a roadhouse chain restaurant). Pat Forde was nominated for a Hugo for his remarkable novella “In Spirit,” first published in Analog. He and Al — one of my writing students — will be with us until Monday. David Livingstone […]

The Savage Humanists in my hands!

Friday, August 29th, 2008

And, OMG, it looks gorgeous! This is the latest book under my Robert J. Sawyer Books imprint for Red Deer Press; my copies were just delivered to my home. It looks fabulous. The anthology, edited by Fiona Kelleghan, will be hitting the stories shortly. That’s Fiona, below, in a photo I took at the International […]

The Mississauga Write-Off Begins

Friday, August 29th, 2008

Herb Kauderer, Hayden Trenholm, and Elizabeth Trenholm all arrived around 9:00 p.m. last night. No writing was done, but we did talk a lot about writing and literary matters (and I made chocolate-chip cookies!). We watched the opening ten minutes of both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report — which Liz and Hayden had […]

Interview with JJA about Identity Theft

Friday, August 29th, 2008

Two months ago, the SciFi Channel’s SciFi Wire ran a nice little piece by John Joseph Adams entitled “Identity Theft is Sawyer’s Last Collection.” To prepare that article, John did a much longer by E-mail interview with me, and I thought I’d share the whole thing here: (1) Please describe the book — just enough […]

F.A.B., Virgil!

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

Remember back in July, in reference to my stint as Special Guest at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, I asked, “So how does a free trip end up costing $2,700?” The answer — in part — has arrived! I’m torn between announcing “Thunderbirds are Go!” and “The Eagle has Landded!” :) When Americans interview me, […]

Sorry, miss. I was giving myself an oil-job.

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

One of the more memorable lines from the 1956 classic SF film Forbidden Planet. And the most memorable character from that film was the one who said it: Robby the Robot. Carolyn got me this fabulous seven-inch-tall diecast Robby figure, manafacutred in Japan by X-Plus, at the Denver Worldcon. It sits next to my living-room […]

Cleared my plate!

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

Man, have I been swamped! In the last month, I’ve had lots of writing projects that had to be done — two major ones that I can’t say anything about just now, but I got them done ahead of deadline (go, me!); another that I turned in yesterday on deadline; and today I finished writing […]

Caitlin revealed!

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

On top is the cover for my next novel, Wake, coming in April 2009 from Ace Science Fiction and Penguin Canada. The girl depicted is Caitlin Decter, the novel’s protagonist. On the bottom is a picture of my wife, Carolyn Clink, when she was in Grade 6. I think the resemblance is uncanny. :) And, no, […]

Neanderthals in the news

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Yesterday, a study was announced that showed that although our ancestors made different stone tools than did Neanderthals living at the same time, our designs weren’t in fact better. Among the news stories picking up on the study was this. Because of my Hugo-Award winning novel Hominids and its sequels (“The Neanderthal Parallax” trilogy), I […]

World Fantasy Convention, here we come!

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

After gnashing teeth for months over the outrageous airfares (all air travel is expensive these days; domestic travel in Canada is outrageous, because of lack of competition), I bit the bullet and booked flights today for the World Fantasy Convention in Calgary. Carolyn and I arrive early Thursday afternoon, October 30, and are staying to […]

Funniest line I’ve heard this week

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

If I had a quarter for every time I said, “If I had a nickel …,” I’d have five times as much theoretical money. — Stephen Colbert The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

That’ll teach ’em!

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

I’m delighted to report that an excerpt from my Aurora Award-winning short story “Stream of Consciousness” will be used in the new middle-school Canadian textbook Literacy in Action 8: Time Will Tell, edited by Chris Atkinson, and coming out in September 2008 from Pearson Education Canada. The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Catching up with friends

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

These days, so much of my communication with people is via email. That’s certainly efficient. But, still … So, in the last couple of days I picked up the phone, and called two of my closest friends — people I hadn’t talked to in far too long. And it was great to just hear their […]

Wake part 1 in Analog out now

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

The November 2008 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact is now on newsstands. It contains the first of four installments of a full-text serialization (not an abridgment) of my 18th novel, Wake — so here’s your chance to be among the first (30,000 or so!) people to read it. :) The rest of the […]

Today’s additions to my to-be-read pile

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

I got asked in my Yahoo! Groups newsgroup today what was in my to-be-read pile. Well, as it happens, my favorite ebook retailer,, is having a big sale right now, so I picked up the 27 books below. Some — Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot; William Gibson’s Neuromancer; and James Alan Gardner’s brilliant collection Gravity […]

Just call me Mr. Clean Copy

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

I just received this note from the editor I’m working with on an essay I was commissioned to write: I must say, I feel defunct! This is fabulous. I loved it. Thank you. I have one minuscule suggestion … [an excellent point about adding a comma]. But that’s my only comment. My work on this […]

What authors make

Monday, August 25th, 2008

There’s a discussion over in about what authors make. Jeffrey A. Carver already chimed in there, and I just added this: To expand a bit on what my friend Jeff Carver said above, many major US publishers pay the following royalty rates, or similar amounts: Hardcovers: 10% on the first 5,000 copies; 12.5% on […]

Five years of The Fledglings

Monday, August 25th, 2008

Five years ago today — on Monday, August 25, 2003 — I sent out the following email notice to 21 very talented new writers. The workshop that grew out of this notice, The Fledglings, is still going strong, and the members are producing some very fine work. (As an example, last year Fledgling member Stephen […]

Identity Theft option renewed

Monday, August 25th, 2008

I’m delighted to report that Snoot Entertainment in Los Angeles has renewed its option on my Nebula Award-nominated novella “Identity Theft” and its sequel short story, the Aurora Award-winning “Biding Time,” for a third year. When Carolyn and I were in Los Angeles earlier this month, we had a wonderful meeting at Snoot’s offices with […]

Bacheloring it

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

Carolyn is away for the weekend. She’s helping our niece Melissa move into residence at McGill. I’m bacheloring it. Lunch was chicken wings from Swiss Chalet. Dinner was a frozen pizza onto which I added a lot of garlic. For desert, I had a chocolate bar sweetened with sugar alcohols. Memo to self: don’t mix […]

Howard Gluss show archives online

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

You can hear my appearance from Tuesday, August 19, 2008, on psychologist Howard Gluss’s radio show online right here. Dr. Howard Gluss is a psychologist in Los Angeles. The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

In a feisty mood …

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

I’m speaking and reading at a Canadian literary festival next month, and I confess to have been in a rather feisty mood when it came time for me to answer a by-email interview sent to me by the publicity manager for the festival. Here’s what I had to say: 1. How is the role and […]

RJS on Howard Gluss show Tuesday night

Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

I’ll be the guest for an hour tomorrow night (Tuesday, August 19, 2008) on The Howard Gluss Radio Show, starting at 11:00 p.m. Eastern time (8:00 p.m. Pacific). The topic: The psychology of science fiction. More info is here A podcast will be available. :) The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Home at last!

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Carolyn and I are home after 12 days on the road. Our trip took us to Denver for the World Science Fiction Convention, to NORAD’s Cheyenne Mountain Complex, to Los Angeles for four days, and finally to Malibu for the Writers of the Future conference/ceremony. All in all, a wonderful trip, and I think I’m […]