Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Archive for June, 2009

Table of Contents: Distant Early Warnings

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

DISTANT EARLY WARNINGSCanada’s Best Science Fictionedited by Robert J. Sawyer Robert J. Sawyer Books [Red Deer Press],trade paperback, August 2009 [Award wins cited are for the stories listed; all the short-story authors have won or been nominated for the Hugo or Nebula, or have won the long-form Aurora] Table of Contents “Copyright Notice, 2525” by […]

Distant Early Warnings

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Cover art by James BeveridgeCover design by Karen Thomas Click picture for a larger versionBehold the cover for Distant Early Warnings: Canada’s Best Science Fiction, edited by Robert J. Sawyer, and published by the Robert J. Sawyer Books imprint of Red Deer Press. Copies arrived in our warehouse from the printer today. We’ll be launching […]

Freedom Scientific podcast features RJS and Wake

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Freedom Scientific makes JAWS, the screen-reading software that Caitlin Decter uses in my novel Wake. JAWS is the world’s most popular screen-reading program for the blind. A quite lengthy and detailed interview between Robert J. Sawyer and Jonathan Mosen, Freedom Scientific’s Vice-President of Blindness Hardware Product Management, begins a couple of minutes into the podcast […]

Aurora Awards endcap display

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

So, I wandered into the local McNally Robinson here in Saskatoon, and what should I find in the science-fiction section but this wonderful endcap display honouring this year’s Aurora Award nominees. W00t! Titles pictured: Identity Theft and Other Stories by Robert J. Sawyer Marseguro by Edward Willett After the Fires by Ursula Pflug The Year’s […]

James Alan Gardner wins the Sturgeon

Monday, June 29th, 2009

James Alan Gardner’s “The Ray-Gun: A Love Story” is this year’s winner of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for Best Short Story of the Year. I’m thrilled because Jim is my friend; because Jim is in my little writers’ group, and we workshopped the story; and because I’m reprinting the story next month in Distant […]

The Dragon Page reviews Wake

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Saying, among other nice things: “I shouldn’t be shocked that Sawyer has done has homework and is able to predict things that could happen in the near future. He’s had a long, distinguished career of doing just that and his new novels are always those I look forward to reading next. WWW: Wake is no […]

Writers make their characters up

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Yesterday, as part of my outreach duties as writer-in-residence at the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, I attended a book club meeting; the clubs members — six very nice women — had all just read my John W. Campbell Memorial Award-winning 2005 science-fiction novel Mindscan. At one point, I got asked the inevitable question: who are […]

Wake "a counterargument to Neuromancer"

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Over at The Grumpy Owl, Ryan Oakley has a detailed review of my novel Wake. It’s a flattering review, yes, but more than that, Oakley gets the book: Wake often feels like a counterargument, both in style and content, to Neuromancer. One hopes that the next two volumes will step out of Gibson’s long, dark […]

Trekkie word of the day: Supererogation

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

In the 2009 Star Trek film, young Spock is being quizzed by computers, and we hear him answer a question but do not hear the question he was answering. His answer was, “When an act is morally praiseworthy but not morally obligatory.” And, in fact, there is a term in ethics for such acts: Supererogation […]

What I’m reading

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

Was asked over on Facebook what I’m reading. I dip in and out of several things at a time. Yesterday, I read, and enjoyed, parts of all of these: Julian Comstock by Robert Charles Wilson The Evolution of God by Robert Wright Big Brain: The Origins and Future of Human Intelligence by Gary Lynch and […]

Regina Leader-Post profiles RJS

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

Photo of Robert J. Sawyerby Troy Fleece, Regina Leader Post. Click photo for larger version.Today’s (Saturday, June 27, 2009) Regina Leader-Post — the major daily newspaper in the capital city of the province of Saskatchewan — has a wonderful profile of me by Samantha Maciag. The article covers my writer-in-residence position at the Canadian Light […]

The case of the missing Amazon reviews

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

The case of the missing Amazon reviews … Well, okay, it’s not much of a mystery. :) But if you’ve only seen the (very nice) reviews of my Wake on, you’re missing the ones that have been posted on (the Canadian counterpart). Often, Amazon consolidates reviews across its divisions — but in this case […]

National Federation of the Blind launches lawsuit to prevent Kindles from being used

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

Because, as I’ve said all along, the text-to-speech feature on the Kindle series of ebook-reading device was not conceived as, never was intended to be, and can’t be used as an assistive technology for the blind. Read about the lawsuit here. Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Siteand

Hayden Trenholm for the Aurora

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Yesterday, I put up a post pimpin’ my Identity Theft and Other Stories, from Red Deer Press, which is one of five finalist for the Aurora Award for Best Long-Form Work in English this year. And, indeed, I owe it to the publisher, who invested a lot of money in publishing my book, to do […]


Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Geek Monthly, that is. And the June 2009 edition of this glossy American newsstand magazine features a wonderful two-page spread on Robert J. Sawyer and his new novel Wake. The text isn’t available online (hence the greeked Geek you’re seeing here), so get thee to a newsstandary! But it sure is a cool-looking layout: The […]

Congratulations, Alistair Reynolds!

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

British SF writer Alistair Reynolds just did a 10-book one-million-pounds deal with Gollancz, as reported in The Guardian. I think I’ve only ever met Alistair once — we were on a panel together about hard SF at the 2006 Los Angeles Worldcon — but GOOD FOR HIM! Still, I’m irritated by the reportage, because the […]

Full text of "Identity Theft" novella online

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

My short-story collection Identity Theft and Other Stories from Red Deer Press is currently one of five finalists for the Aurora Award for Best Long Form Work in English. In honour of that, I’m pleased to offer the Hugo and Nebula Award-nominated title novella, “Identity Theft,” for free during the remainder of the voting period. […]

RJS on WordStar cited in paper about accessibility for the blind

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Stumbled on this quite by accident, and found it an interesting coincidence, given that my current novel, Wake, deals with a blind teenager trying to deal with computers: a January 2006 technical paper entitled “A Personal Information Management Approach for People With Low Vision or Blindness” by Silas S. Brown and Peter Robinson of University […]

Wake is Halfax’s top beach-reading pick

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

No, not Don Halifax — the main character in my novel Rollback — but the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, the major daily newspaper in the capital city of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, which starts its list entitled “Beach Reading: Fiction Picks for Summer,” compiled by David Pitt, with my Wake, published in Canada under Penguin’s […]

Touring for Wake comes to an end

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

And that’s a wrap! Today I did my final scheduled touring event to promote my new novel Wake. The touring started on Monday, April 13, 2009, at Borderlands Books in San Francisco. That was followed April 17-19, 2009, at Xanadu Las Vegas, the wonderful science-fiction convention I was author guest of honor at. Then there […]

Tanya Huff on the Globe and Mail bestsellers’ list

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

W00t! My great friend Tanya Huff is now officially a Canadian national bestselling author! Her Valor’s Trial, just out in mass-market paperback after a successful run in hardcover, is on The Globe and Mail‘s Canadian Fiction Bestsellers’s List, published in today’s (Saturday 20 June 2009) edition of the paper, and also available online. The Canadian […]

Authors@Google: Robert J. Sawyer

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Now available on YouTube: my full 1 hour and 12 minute talk given at Google Waterloo on Wednesday, May 27, 2009. Wake up, Watch it, and Wonder about it … ;) (If you prefer an audio podcast, you can get that here.) Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Siteand

Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking …

Friday, June 19th, 2009

It’s been a busy seven days of public appearances and interviews — in three different cities: Saturday evening, June 13, 2009, I appeared in Calgary, Alberta, reading from Wake at the EDGE Publishing book-launch event. Monday, June 15, 2009, I gave an hour-long creative-writing lecture on “Great Beginnings” to the staff of the Canadian Light […]

Rob on John Gormley Live

Friday, June 19th, 2009

John Gormley Live is Saskatchewan’s most-popular radio morning show, and I was guest for almost half an hour this morning. Missed it? No problem! You can hear the whole interview right here (I start at the 16 minute 9 second mark, and, in this version, with the commercials trimmed out, it lasts about 18 minutes). […]

The things people say to writers!

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Tonight I gave a very-well-received talk and reading at the Saskatoon Public Library, as part of my residency at the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, with 108 people in the audience. And at the end, there was a reception with refreshments, and people came up to say hi, and get autographs, and ask questions, and all […]

It’s a book and a movie!

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Someone wrote me this morning saying (of the novel this person was writing): “I think my story has great potential to be a film; my goal is to find an agent that will promote this project as both a film and a book.” My response: The reality is that agents can sell finished manuscripts to […]

Remembering William A.S. Sarjeant

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Carolyn and I are having lunch today with my friend Peggy Sarjeant. Peggy is the widow of William Antony Swithin Sarjeant, who had managed to do both of the things I wanted to do with my life: he was a professional paleontologist and a published science-fiction writer. Read more about him here, and read my […]

Events in Saskatoon and Regina this week

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

I’m doing two free public events in Saskatchewan this week: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 (tomorrow), at 7:00 p.m.: Free public lecture at the Frances Morrison Library Theatre in Saskatoon: “A Galaxy Far, Far Away My Ass: Science Fiction as a Mirror for Reality.” Saturday, June 20, 2009, at 2:00 p.m.: Reading from Wake and signing […]

Anticipation’s Aurora Awards banquet — a significant break from tradition

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

A few interesting facts about this year’s Aurora Awards and the ceremony at which they will be presented, courtesy of the website for Anticipation, the World Science Fiction Convention in Montreal, which is hosting the Auroras this year: “Since the Awards will be held in Montreal, we are placing emphasis on access to French works, […]

CLS: Tempus fugit

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Carolyn and I have been in Saskatoon for two full weeks now. Incredibly, my writer-in-residence gig at the Canadian Light Source, Canada’s national synchrotron, is already one-quarter over. But what a two weeks it’s been. During it, I: Did safety training at CLS Was interviewed by CBC Radio One in Saskatoon Was interviewed by CBC […]