Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Archive for November, 2009

CityTV interviews RJS about Terminator Salvation

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Check it out! (8-minute video). Terminator Salvation comes out on Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow. Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Siteand

Pithy tweets

Monday, November 30th, 2009

My friend Virginia O’Dine put me on to a great Twitter feed called “Shit My Dad Says,” from Justin, who says, “I’m 29. I live with my 73-year-old dad. He is awesome. I just write down shit that he says.” And, I gotta say, his dad is very funny and very wise. No wonder he […]

Basics of book design

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Okay, I gotta say it. You folks who are designing your own books: there are some simple rules you should follow. 1) the first page of a chapter does not have a page header 2) blank pages have no page headers 3) don’t put extra space between paragraphs 4) the first paragraph of a chapter […]

Discover blog on Robert J. Sawyer and FlashForward

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Phil Plait’s blog entry today at Discover magazine (the “Bad Astronomy” blog, but, of course, he’s not accusing me of that) is about me and FlashForward. Way, way cool! Thanks to my friend H. Don Wilkat for the heads-up about this! Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Siteand

Fan letter of the day

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Carolyn, who handles my little eBay book business (through which I sell autographed copies of my books), received this email today: By the way, I’m reading Wake at the moment and absolutely loving it. It’s rare to find a book that works at so many levels: compelling narrative, philosophically and intellectually interesting, fantastic characterisation. I’m […]

Star Trek opening-credits mashups

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

I’m a huge fan of the dying art of TV opening credits; my hero growing up was Jack Cole (who did The Six Million Dollar Man, The Night Stalker, The Incredible Hulk, The Bionic Woman, Planet of the Apes, Ironside, The Rockford Files, Ellery Queen, and others). Here are some cool mashups for various Star […]

The reading of Earthfall

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

I very much enjoyed the WILDsound staged reading at the National Film Board theatre of my TV pilot script for a proposed series called Earthfall tonight. The cast and the narrator (who read the stage directions) did a great job, but the script had been redacted (to my surprise) with the vast majority of the […]

Phyllis Gotlieb honoured today in Canada’s Federal Parliament

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

My great friend and inspiration Phyllis Gotlieb passed away earlier this year, and today Mauril Bélanger, a Member of Canada’s Federal Parliament, rose in the House of Commons to speak to that loss: Hon. Mauril Bélanger (Ottawa—Vanier, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this past summer, Canada lost one of its pioneers in science fiction writing, Phyllis Gotlieb, […]

The eyePod in reality

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Article from UK’s Daily Mail: “Blind man fitted with ‘bionic’ eye sees for first time in 30 years” Very similar to the technology used in my novel Wake. Many thanks to Jeremy Faulkner for drawing this to my attention. Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Siteand

No more rehearsing and nursing our parts

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Come see my pilot script Earthfall live on stage tonight in Toronto. Details. Earthfall stars Pauline Wong, above, as Hannah, and Ian Matthews, below, as the alien Jurteg. Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Siteand

It only took a decade, but …

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Back in June 1998, I met with the then-manager of author relations for at Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle. It was an opportunity to tell her what was wrong with’s online book-review system (in my humble opinion), which had been thrust into the marketplace without any consultation with writers’ groups. I outlined numerous difficulties […] exclusive all-metal Enterprise

Friday, November 27th, 2009

As anyone who has been to my home knows, I’m a reasonably serious collector of Star Trek replicas (I have a Master Replica’s 33-inch Enterprise, for instance). I’m very impressed by the all-metal Enterprise included with the limited-edition (not .ca) exclusive three-disk Blu-ray set of the 2009 Star Trek movie. The ship itself has […]

Toward a Science of Consciousness

Friday, November 27th, 2009

When I’m asked what scientific topic fascinates me the most, I usually cite consciousness studies. Certainly, the nature of consciousness — and the question of why we have internal lives, of why it is like something to be alive — is at the heart of much of my fiction, perhaps most notably these days in […]

Women of the Apocalypse

Friday, November 27th, 2009

I’ve been teaching writing professionally for 19 years now, at such venues as the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, the Surrey International Writers Conference, and the Banff Centre for the Arts, as well as as writer-in-residence at the Richmond Hill (Ontario) Public Library; the Kitchener (Ontario) Public Library; the Toronto Public Library’s Merril Collection of […] says you should watch FlashForward

Thursday, November 26th, 2009 (“News, Reviews & Commentary on Gay and Bisexual Men in Entertainment and the Media”) gives five reasons you should be watching FlashForward, the ABC TV series based on my novel of the same name. Number three is: ” It’s based on the book by the very gay-friendly Robert Sawyer.” Woot! The whole list is […]

FlashForward #2 bestseller in Spain

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

The Spanish edition of FlashForward, my novel that is the basis for the ABC TV series, is the #2 bestseller store-wide at Casa del Libro, Spain’s leading online bookseller: 1. El Simbolo Perdidoby Dan Brown 2. FlashForwardby Robert J. Sawyer 3. El Viaje Intimo de la Locuraby Roberto Iniesta 4. Como Detectar Mentiras: Una Guia […]

New SF convention coming to Toronto in 2010

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

SFContario — a new science-fiction convention — will have its first annual edition just about one year from now: Friday, November 19, through Sunday, November 21. And unlike most Toronto-area cons, this one will be downtown! (At the Ramada Plaza Hotel, overlooking Allan Gardens.) My friend Diane Lacey is part of the concom, and she […]


Saturday, November 21st, 2009

My two weeks in the Writers’ Room for FlashForward, the ABC TV series based on my novel of the same name, came to an end this afternoon — and the writers and their staff very, very kindly made a cake in honor of my visit. The cake says, “He who sees story breaking suffers it […]

Come see my pilot script reading next Friday

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

Next Friday, November 27, 2009, my prize-winning hour-long science-fiction TV pilot script Earthfall will be read at the WILDsound TV and Short Screenplay Festival at the National Film Board of Canada Theatre in Toronto (150 John Street). Tickets are $6 in advance; $8 at the door. Pauline Wong, pictured above, will be reading the main […]

Singapore’s The Straits Times on the novel and the TV show

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

I love Singapore — I was a guest at a writers’ festival there in 2005. And now Singapore’s The Straits Times has reviewed my novel FlashForward, comparing and contrasting it with the TV series based on it: In Sawyer’s book, there are great swathes of physics, paragraphs on mathematics and philosophy and also musings about […]

Jeffrey Combs as Edgar Allan Poe

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

If you live in Los Angeles, go see the one-man play Nevermore starring Jeffrey Combs as Edgar Allan Poe; it’s at the Steve Allen Theatre. People say I read my own fiction well, but I’ve never heard anyone do a better reading of a short story than Combs’s rendition of Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” which […]

LASFS meeting

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

My friend Matthew Tepper, who took the picture above, reminded me that the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (which has its own way-cool clubhouse!) meets on Thursday nights, so this past Thursday, Carolyn and I attended their meeting, since we’re in L.A. so I can work on FlashForward, the ABC TV series based on my […]

In Los Angeles with the FlashForward staff writers

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Having a blast in Los Angeles (have been here since Sunday November 8). Spent five days last week with the staff writers for FlashForward, the ABC TV series based on my novel of the same name. The show’s current staff writers are (alphabetically): Scott Gimple, David S. Goyer, Ian Goldberg, Seth Hoffman, Barbara Nance, Quinton […]

SciFi Wire / SciFi Weekly cancels all columns

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

Ten years ago, I pitched an idea for a monthly column to the SciFi Channel’s SciFi Weekly. They didn’t buy it, and I never got around to pitching it to anyone else. But even if they had bought it, I would have been out of work today; they just dismissed all their columnists because, apparently, […]

The Times reviews the FlashForward novel

Monday, November 9th, 2009

The Times — a major British newspaper — reviewed my novel FlashForward (basis for the TV series of the same name) yesterday; the review is by acclaimed SF writer Lisa Tuttle, and concludes: [T]he novel is an intellectual puzzle, drawing on theoretical physics to raise questions about time and space and the existence of free […]

Starplex now available from

Sunday, November 8th, 2009’s unabridged reading of my 1996 novel Starplex is now available. The narrator is Mark Boyett, and the audiobook also includes an exclusive introduction read by me. The catalog page for Starplex is pretty bare-bones, so I’ll mention a few things they fail to: Starplex was the only novel of its year to be […]

Props to Gough

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

For fans of FlashForward, the ABC TV series based on my novel of the same name, a historical note on Agent Al Gough (played wonderfully by Lee Thompson Young), who had the big story line this past week (in “The Gift”). In the actual TV series, he should be credited as the character who, in […]

On Rochester, NY, NPR station on Friday

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

I’ll be interviewed about my novels Wake and FlashForward on 1370 Connection with Bob Smith, the noon (Eastern time) show on AM 1370, the NPR station in Rochester, New York, this Friday, November 6, 2009. You’ll be able to listen live here, and I’ll be on for most of the hour between noon and 1:00 […]

Five years of working on the WWW books

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Holy cow! It was five years ago today — Friday, November 5, 2004 — that I wrote the first words of what went on to become my WWW trilogy. Back then, it was only going to be a single book (to be called Webmind). I began writing that first book at a Write-Off writing retreat […]

Come see prize-winning Sawyer script performed

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

On Friday, November 27, 2009, Robert J. Sawyer‘s television pilot script for Earthfall will have a staged reading by professional actors at the National Film Board of Canada’s Theatre at 150 John Street, in the Entertainment District in downtown Toronto. I wrote Earthfall as a pilot for an hour-long episodic science-fiction TV series; it’s not […]