Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Archive for July, 2009

The Adolescence of P-1

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

In the summer of 1980, Carolyn and I moved to Waterloo, Ontario, for four months, to share an apartment with our great friends Lynn Conway and Fraser Gunn. (Their previous roommates, students at the University of Waterloo, had moved out at the end of the academic year.) That summer, I did a few things that […]

Taking off for Launch Pad

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Carolyn and I are leaving Saskatoon today for a week (then return to finish off my residency at the Canadian Light Source synchrotron). We’re both attending the NASA-sponsored Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop for Writers in Laramie, Wyoming, 14-21 July 2009. I was given early acceptance to the workshop (along with my friend Andy Duncan, a […]

Charles N. Brown, R.I.P.

Monday, July 13th, 2009

I’ve been subscribing to Locus, the trade journal of the science-fiction field, since 1982. Its editor in chief, Charles N. Brown, passed away yesterday, on his way home from Readercon 20. He was 72. We ran into each other for the final time on Saturday afternoon, I think, in the Green Room. He was on […]

FlashForward and Kant’s Third Conundrum

Monday, July 13th, 2009

In 2000, my Italian editor, Sergio Fanucci of Solaria, asked me to write an introduction to the Italian edition of my novel FlashForward. Here’s what I had to say . . . The German philosopher Immanuel Kant claimed that the three fundamental problems of metaphysics are “Is there life after death?,” “Does God exist?,” and “Do we have […]

Thirteen hours, forty-five minutes

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Door-to-door from Readercon in Boston to the house I’m renting in Saskatoon. Ugh. Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Siteand

Oh, joy

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Flaps failed on my plane from Toronto to Saskatoon; had to return to Pearson, and will board a new aircraft shortly. Frustrating: I’ll have spent a total five hours here at Pearson, 15 minutes from the home I haven’t been to since June 1st. Sigh. Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Siteand

Readercon reflections

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

Random thoughts on Readercon 20: I’m at Pearson — Toronto’s airport — changing planes on my way back to Saskatoon from Readercon 20 in Boston. It was a great, great convention — and I made a point of telling both Eric Van (this year’s programming chair) and Bob Colby (who founded Readercon 20 years ago) […]

Come to my Readercon Kaffeeklatsch

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Tomorrow (Friday, July 10, 2009), at 5:00 p.m. in Room 458 (but you have to sign up in advance at the con, and space is quite limited): an opportunity to spend an intimate hour over coffee (or whatever) with me. Always one of my favourite parts of any convention that has them. Visit The Robert […]

Star Trek Viewmaster

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Click picture for larger versionOver at, someone asked, about the Star Trek Viewmaster reels from the 1960s: “Always wondered why there was not a real shot of the Enterprise and the Exeter in the set … instead of a shot of two of the model kits in space. Anyone know?” Yes, indeed. I do. […]

Aurora Voting deadline crunch

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

If you’re voting by mail, tomorrow — Wednesday, July 8, 2009 — is the postmarked-by deadline. If you’re voting online, you have until Wednesday, July 15. If you’re a member of this year’s Worldcon in Montreal (and a Canadian) you can vote for free; otherwise, there’s a $5 charge to help defray the cost of […]

Hangin’ with Saskatoon writers

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Last night, Carolyn and I had dinner with some of the great writers here in Saskatoon. Back row: Saskatchewan Book Award winner Brenda Barker, Governor-General’s Award winner Arthur Slade. Front row: Books in Canada First Novel Award winner Geoffrey Ursell, Hugo Award winner Robert J. Sawyer, John W. Campbell Memorial Award finalist Barbara Sapergia. Visit […]

Dean Wesley Smith on "Life After Copyright"

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Well said, and well worth reading. “Life After Copyright” by Dean Wesley Smith. Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Siteand

Another thread at the Borders Science Fiction blog

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

I’m the guest blogger at’s science-fiction blog Babel Clash right now. Here’s my latest post — but, as before, I’ve turned off comments here; come join the fun at Babel Clash, and share your views: Does the Science in Science Fiction Matter? Okay, I confess: tonight I’m off to see the new Star Trek […]

It’s a different world

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

From TCON-News, the email newsletter of Toronto’s Polaris, a science-fiction media convention coming up this weekend (I won’t be there this year, but it is a very good convention): Autograph fees per actor will vary, and you can expect guests to charge between $25.00 – $30.00 per autograph, as the market is leaning this way. […]

Penguin Canada appoints new genre-fiction editor

Monday, July 6th, 2009

My new editor at Penguin Canada is Adrienne Kerr. Formerly a Penguin Canada sales representative for Southwestern Ontario, Adrienne won this year’s Libris Award from the Canadian Booksellers Association as Sales Rep of the Year. Prior to joining Penguin in May 2006, she was a book buyer with HDS Retail (which operates airport bookstores in […]

RJS guest blogs in Boders SF blog

Monday, July 6th, 2009

I’m the guest blogger for July 2009 in Borders Books’s science-fiction blog “Babel Clash,” co-sponsored by i09. My first post — my opening salvo, if you will — is over there, and also posted below, but I’m turning off comments on this topic here; come on over to and chime in there! Time has […]

CompuServe Classic: R.I.P.

Monday, July 6th, 2009

I joined CompuServe sometime in 1987. I used to be a sysop (system operator) of the WordStar Forum there, and I hung out a lot in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum (so much so that the command GO SAWYER at the CompuServe prompt would take people there). On October 10, 1989 — almost 20 […]

My Readercon programming

Monday, July 6th, 2009

I’ll be attending Readercon 20, July 9-12, 2009, near Boston. Here’s the programming I’ll be on: Friday 11:00 AM, Vineyard: Reading (60 min.) from his recently published novel WWW: Wake. Friday 5:00 PM, Room 458: Kaffeeklatsch. Saturday 10:00 AM, Salon F: Autographing. Saturday 12:00 Noon, VT: Federations Group Reading (60 min.) John Joseph Adams (host) […]

Aurora Award banquet tickets can now be purchased online

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

… using PayPal. See here. Carolyn and I just bought ours. Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Siteand

Cool YouTube promo for Calgary’s Con-Version

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

Con-Version is Calgary’s annual SF&F convention. Author Guests of Honour this year are Terry Brooks, Tanya Huff, and Robert J. Sawyer — and now there’s a nifty promo for the con on YouTube. Check it out. See you in August! Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Siteand

Book Banter podcasts Rob

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

Book Banter, a podcast produced by Alex C. Telander of Sacramento, interviews Robert J. Sawyer, talking about his novel Wake. Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Siteand

Bringing some sense to ebook pricing

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

My favorite ebook format is eReader (now ultimately owned by Barnes & Noble), and they’ve announced some nice pricing initiatives over at, which should help to bring some sanity to ebook pricing: has the most competitive pricing in the industry, including: All new titles are $9.95 or less for the first week after […]

It’s official: you’re in the right place!

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Yep, according to Speculative Fiction Examiner, this here blog is one of “10 author blogs to follow.” If that ain’t cool enough, SciFi Wire just included my Twitter feed on its list of “40 more sci-fi Twitter feeds you should be following” — one of only two author feeds to make the list (the other […]

As Kor once said, "Pity. It would have been glorious."

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

From Ansible 264, a news note from Farah Mendlesohn: Educational Supplement. Rob Latham of the University of California at Riverside told the SF Research Association that UCR’s ‘senior-level position in science fiction writing’ was cancelled owing to huge state budget cuts — notably in higher education — announced on 19 May by Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger. […]

Edward Willett on the science of Wake

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

You gotta love Edward Willett. Here it is, in the thick of Aurora Award voting, where his absolutely first-rate Marseguro is competing against Hayden Trenholm’s wonderful Defining Diana and my own Identity Theft and Other Stories, and what does Ed do? Why, he writes a glowing review of Hayden’s book, and then follows that up […]