Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Archive for September, 2008

Sending agent part of an unfinished manuscript

Monday, September 29th, 2008

An email I received just now, seeking advice: I have contacted an agenency in New York that likes to see the first five pages of a manuscript first before anything. Would it be acceptable, or fair to them rather, to send the first five pages even though the whole thing is not finished. If they […]

A year since Berton House

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

It was one year ago today that Carolyn and I began the long journey home from the Berton House Writers’ Retreat in Dawson City, Yukon. We’d spent three fabulous months there, at the childhood home of famed Canadian nonfiction writer Pierre Berton. We both miss it. A note for posterity: any writer seriously thinking about […]

For those who like the hominid skulls in my home

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Visitors to my home frequently remark on the life-size reproductions of fossil hominid skulls I have in my living room and office. For those who are curious, most of them are from Bone Clones. The ones in my living room are: Australopithecus aethiopicus (aka Paranthropus aethiopicus) (“the Black Skull”) skull only KNM-WT (pictured above) Australopithecus […]

Word on the Street

Friday, September 26th, 2008

This Sunday, September 28, 2008, I’ll be at Toronto’s open-air book festival, Word on the Street, all day long (11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) at Queens Park, at the Science Fiction Writers booth. Terence M. Green will be there all day, too, as will the lovely Halli Villegas from Tightrope Editions. From 1:30 to 2:30, […]

TV rights to Sawyer’s novel Flashforward sold to ABC

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Left to right: David S. Goyer, Robert J. Sawyer, Brannon Braga (click on photo for larger version; photo credit: Carolyn Clink) The Hollywood Reporter published an article at 10:00 p.m. Pacific time on Thursday, September 18, 2008, saying we were close to selling my novel Flashforward and a pilot script based on it written by […]

UFOs and SF

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

I got asked today whether a UFO novel might do well with a science-fiction publisher, or if flying saucers were a taboo subject. My response: It’s not that UFOs are taboo per se, it’s just that (perhaps paradoxically) they’re not considered part of science fiction. Rightly or wrongly, most SF readers and editors have decided […]

I love eReader, but …

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

… they’re driving me nuts on my Palm by insisting that the text for introductions/forewords/prefaces be displayed in small type, despite the user having selected a large typeface. As I observe below, this might perhaps be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. I first raised this issue on July 10, 2008, in the […]

Why I say no

Monday, September 15th, 2008

I’m saying no more and more to things these days. It doesn’t mean I don’t like you — I probably do! — but way too often these days I get asked to do events that pay very little (or nothing) and yet require me to commit to being in Toronto (or somewhere else) on a […]

Italian interview re: Neanderthals

Monday, September 15th, 2008

A little while ago, I was interviewed by an Italian journalist named Davide Ludovisi about recent findings related to Neanderthal tools. The interview is published today in the Italian national newspaper L’Unità, and is also online (in Italian) here. The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Thunderbirds are Go!

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Today, Carolyn and I had a few friends over: high-school buddies Ted Bleaney and Gillian Clinton, and our dear friends Marcel Gagné and Sally Tomasevic for a day of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. We put in episodes of Supercar, Fireball XL5, Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, and UFO, and watched them on our […]

Dr. Strangelove and the Hideous Epoch

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

You know what many of my favourite films have in common? A fervent desire to see the world avoid a nuclear war. WarGames (which I’ve commented on repeatedly this year), the original Planet of the Apes (“You maniacs! You blew it up! God damn you — God damn you all to hell!”), and Dr. Strangelove, […]


Sunday, September 14th, 2008

The season premiere of Saturday Night Live just started here in the Eastern time zone, and, yay, Tina Fey is on as Sarah Palin (totally nailing her manerisms and speech patterns), and William Shatner appears during the opening monologue. Yay! The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

WarGames 25th-anniversary DVD

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

The 25th-anniversary DVD of WarGames is well worth picking up. It’s only about $12, and it’s a beautiful new transfer of the film — much, much nicer than the previous DVD edition. Also, the new making-of documentary is really quite good, and, to my delight, spends a lot of time interviewing the writers (often given […]

The Last Theorem

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

The late Sir Arthur C. Clarke has always been my favourite science-fiction writer, and Frederik Pohl’s Gateway has been, for decades, my pick for the finest science-fiction novel ever written. So when their collaborative novel The Last Theorem was published a few weeks ago, I immediately grabbed it. And now I’ve finished it. What I […]


Friday, September 12th, 2008

As of today, I’m wearing bifocals. :) I tried once before (in February 2007), getting a pair of progressive (no-line) bifocals, but I couldn’t stand them. My normal workstation is two 19″ LCD monitors side-by-side; with my regular glasses, the entire sweep of workspace left-to-right is in focus through my lenses, but with those progressive […]

Two months on the Locus Bestsellers’ List!

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

I’m delighted to report that my short-story collection Identity Theft and Other Stories is on the bestsellers’ list published by Locus, the American trade-journal of the science-fiction and fantasy fields, for a second consecutive month. Last month, it was #3; this month, it’s #5 (tied with Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policeman’s Union). I’m particularly pleased […]

Robert J. Sawyer Books at World Fantasy Convention

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

As we did last year, Robert J. Sawyer Books and the rest of Red Deer Press will be exhibiting in the dealers’ room at this year’s World Fantasy Convention in Calgary, and there will be an RJS Books room party one night. We’ll be selling all our books, including our latest book, The Savage Humanists […]

Large Hadron Collider goes online

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Today, I’m flashing back to my 1999 Aurora Award-winning science-fiction novel Flashforward. Flashforward tells of the first experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. Today the first beam was sent around the 27-kilometer-long tunnel of the Large Hadron Collider. There are news reports of it everywhere; here’s one from the BBC, and another from the Associated […]

A very good day

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Oh, my, yes, indeed. :) A very, very good day. Details later, when I can talk about it. But … Happy feet! The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

"My new favorite S/F writer"

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

According to the Sacrmento News & Review, that’d be me. Their full review of Hominids is here. The reviewer is Kel Munger. The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Questions from one of my translators

Monday, September 8th, 2008

My very conscientious Italian translator, Dario Rivarossa, today asked me what the following phrases mean in Rollback: “One of my favorite authors once said, `Virtual reality is nothing but air guitar writ large.’” I’m having a bit of fun there, because the character is quoting me, from my 1995 novel The Terminal Experiment. But as […]

Fictionwise finally has part one of Wake

Monday, September 8th, 2008

The first of four installments of the full-text serialization of my next novel, Wake, is in the November 2008 issue of Analog, released electronically today (weeks after it came out in hardcopy!). You can get it at Fictionwise here. The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Latin and French nouns are gender-specific

Monday, September 8th, 2008

So, today, I was at a writers’ festival, and, when it was time to do my autographing, I was sitting next to a very nice female writer. She had a copy of her book, and I asked if I could see it. I turned to the back and read the “About the Author,” which said […]


Sunday, September 7th, 2008

Just finished watching (recorded earlier) the 2008 HBO film Recount, about the process of determining the winner in the US presidential election in Florida in 2000. The film stars Kevin Spacey. I thought it was terrifically well done; check it out if you have a chance. The Wikipedia entry on it is here. The Robert […]


Sunday, September 7th, 2008

So, this evening, after a wonderful dinner out with my family, Carolyn and I went on to pick up a friend. Said friend lives in an apartment building with very nice grounds, but as we opened the door of our car to let him in, I remarked that “it smells like a cloud of pesticide […]

If you like Scotty, Next Gen, and remember the 1970s Buck Rogers …

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

… you’ll love this! (Direct YouTube Link) The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

I love SeatGuru!

Friday, September 5th, 2008

As those who follow my travel schedule know, I fly a lot (next month, I have eight flights booked). I rely on SeatGuru for information about which are the good seats and which are the bad ones on planes. When you’re flying across country, as, for instance, I am on the trip I just booked […]

Any typos in the Analog version of Wake?

Friday, September 5th, 2008

For those reading my new novel Wake, now being serialized in Analog: please let me know if you spot any typos or errors. I still have time to correct them in the Ace hardcover, which comes out in April 2009. Many thanks! Rob

Srinivas Krishna display at ROM

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

I mentioned back in June 2008 that Srinivas Krishna, the director who has my Nebula Award-winning novel The Terminal Experiment under option, has renewed his option for a third year. And I note now that his large-scale public art installation When the Gods Came Down to Earth is on display outside the Royal Ontario Museum […]

Free Jeffrey A. Carver ebooks

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Jeffrey A. Carver is a good friend of mine, and also one heck of a good hard SF writer. To set the stage for Tor’s forthcoming release of his next novel, Sunborn, Jeff is giving away ebook versions of his older titles. Highly recommended. The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site