Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Archive for December, 2009

Calgary event: "How To Be a Kick-Ass Writer"

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Mark your calendars: An event is being planned for Saturday, August 14, 2010, in Calgary, Alberta, called “How To Be a Kick-Ass Writer,” at which guest speakers (including Robert J. Sawyer) will discuss how Canadian genre writers can succeed in a global print and film market. More details as they become available. Visit The Robert […]

Kirstin Morrell for the Aurora

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

There is an Aurora category for “Fan Achievement – Organizational.” If you enjoyed the programming at Con-Version 25 this past year in Calgary (which was some of the best in years), don’t forget to nominate Kirstin Morrell in that category. She did an amazing job — a job that was all the more remarkable because […]

Aurora Award nominations now open

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Nominations are now open for the 2010 Aurora Awards, honouring science fiction and fantasy work from 2009. Any Canadian may nominate, and there’s not cost to do so. The nominating ballot is here, and a reminder of what works are eligible can be found at the Canadian SF Works Database. My novel Wake is eligible […]

McNally Robinson Toronto and Winnipeg Polo Park stores close

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

The Toronto store, which opened earlier this year, was gorgeous, and I had many friends who worked there. And the Polo Park store will always have a special place in my heart, because the premiere party for FlashForward, the ABC TV series based on my novel of the same name, was held there on Thursday, […]

Canadian SF publishers and writers: Get with the program

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Judging by the entries in the Canadian SF Works Database, there were all of five stories published in On Spec this past year, and just two in Neo-opsis, and just two in Tesseracts Thirteen. That’s all that are listed in the wiki that many Canadian nominators rely on in filling out their Aurora and Hugo […]

The gift I enjoyed giving the most

Friday, December 25th, 2009

I gave inscribed copies of the anthology Distant Early Warnings: Canada’s Best Science Fiction to four very special ladies today. The book. which is edited by me, carries this dedication: For My Nieces Melissa Jasmine BeckettMegan Rose BeckettAnnabelle William ClinkAbigail Maria Clink Canada’s Future Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Siteand

Rob and Carolyn’s 2009 Christmas Letter

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

The huge news for 2009 was the debut of FlashForward, the ABC TV series based on Rob’s novel of the same name. The series is produced by ABC Studios in Hollywood, and airs Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. Central) in the US and Canada. FlashForward has sold to over 100 markets worldwide. Carolyn […]

Fictionwise updates ECTACO jetBook – Lite ad

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Yesterday, in reviewing the $149.95 ECTACO jetBook – Lite (currently on sale at with a $50 store credit toward ebook purchases), I pointed out that the device does not support dictionary lookup when reading eReader-format ebooks (eReader is Fictionwise’s own format), despite the graphic to the contrary, saying, “Really, Fictionwise-folk, you must take down […]

Sawyer to present keynote at Julian Jaynes conference

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Those of you who have read my novel Wake, about the World Wide Web gaining consciousness, know how prominently Julian Jaynes’s famous book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind figures in the book. In fact, my main character, Caitlin Decter, even posts a review of the book (under her online […]

ECTACO jetBook – Lite and eReader

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Here’s my experience after two hours with the ECTACO jetBook – Lite, an AA-battery-operated dedicated ebook reader with a very nice black-and-white non-backlit LCD sceen (instead of an e-ink display). I bought this specifically to read eReader-formatted books from; Fictionwise is promoting this reader on their site. Despite Fictionwise’s ad here, which shows “Dictionary” […]

Foxit eSlick and eReader ebooks

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

I’ve just received my Foxit eSlick, a dedicated ebook-reading device, under the current Fictionwise promotion. Delivery was very fast, even to Canada. I’ve waited a long time for an e-ink ebook-reading device that supports secure eReader format. This device does, but with some major deficiencies. These eReader features, standard on other platforms, are NOT supported: […]

Nightmare Tales of Sherlock Holmes

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

There’s a great article in today’s Calgary Herlad about the new anthology Gaslight Grotesque: Nightmare Tales of Sherlock Holmes, edited by my friends J.R. Campbell and Charles Prepolic. You can read it here. (The Herald has the photo caption backwards, by the way. That’s Jeff on the left and Charles on the right.) More about […]

Sci-Fi Talk interviews Robert J. Sawyer

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Sci-Fi Talk interviews Robert J. Sawyer, about FlashForward, the ABC TV series based on my novel of the same name, my new novel Wake, my love for classic Star Trek and Search, and more. You can listen to the 40-minute podcast, recorded in October 20, 2009, here. Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Siteand

Huge changes at

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

I’ve long been a customer of, which was recently purchased by Barnes & Noble. But there’s been a huge change in Fictionwise policy, and the only announcement I’ve seen is a notice at the very end of the pro forma receipt email you’re sent after making a purchase there: NOTICE: You should download your […]

FlashForward coming to DVD 23 February 2010

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

ABC and Disney are releasing the first 10 episodes of FlashForward, the TV series based on my novel of the same name, on Tuesday, February 23, 2010 (Region 1 DVDs, wide-screen). Included: No More Good Days White To Play 137 Sekunden Black Swan Gimme Some Truth Scary Monsters and Super Creeps The Gift Playing Cards […]

Boneheaded Facebook anti-creation-science petition

Friday, December 18th, 2009

I’ve written before about how the skeptical movement has all the PR savvy of the New Coke team (and how they end up making people who otherwise might be sympathetic to their position simply find them unpleasant and unlikable). Here’s another such boneheaded move: a new Facebook group entitled, Can we find 10.000.000 people that […]

New Canadian editions of The Terminal Experiment and Illegal Alien

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

In stores now across Canada: new premium mass-market paperback editions from Penguin Canada of the Nebula Award-winning The Terminal Experiment and the Seiun Award-winning Illegal Alien by Robert J. Sawyer. (For American readers, Ace Science Fiction recently acquired reprint rights to these titles, and will be doing their own editions later.) The Globe and Mail […]

Book Reviews with Simon Mayo on BBC 5

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Tomorrow — Thursday, December 17, 2009 — at 10:00 a.m. Eastern / 3:00 p.m. GMT, authors Robert J. Sawyer (FlashForward) and Michael Morpurgo (The Kites are Flying) will be the guests on Book Reviews with Simon Mayo on BBC Radio 5 Live (and a podcast will eventually be available here). I just finished reading Michael’s […]

311-page free holiday book sampler: Sawyer, Hamilton, Doctorow, 9 more!

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Books make terrific holiday gifts, but finding perfect books for friends and family can be a time-consuming challenge. If only if the bookstore could come to us. Thats the idea behind this In the Nick of Time! holiday sampler PDF. Inside are excerpts from a dozen new novels and nonfiction books by these bestselling authors, […]

My new local pub

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

I have a nice new pub in my neighbourhood, in a renovated, century-old house. Been there twice now (both times with Hugo and John W. Campbell Memorial Award finalist Nick DiChario), and both times it’s been very good. If you also live in Mississauga, give ’em a try — a new business has a hard […]

Free Microsoft-compatible office suite

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

A year ago, the fine folks at SoftMaker in Germany were giving away their terrific SoftMaker Office Suite 2006 for free; I blogged about it here. They’re repeating the offer — except this time it’s the newer SoftMaker Office Suite 2008 that’s free. It’s well worth grabbing — and SoftMaker makes a donation to charity […]

Peter de Jager receives Lifeboat Foundation’s Guardian Award

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

I am a proud member of the Advisory Boards of the Lifeboat Foundation, which is dedicated to ensuring that humanity survive the advent of artificial intelligence and other perils. In that capacity, I was asked to nominate a potential recipient for the organization’s highest honour, the Guardian Award. I submitted this nomination: On this tenth […]

RJS on Twitter

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Just FYI, I’m also on Twitter as RobertJSawyer. Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Siteand

New edition of Starplex coming in March 2010

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Red Deer Press (a Fitzhenry & Whiteside Company) is re-issuing my 1996 novel Starplex in trade paperback in March 2010. Starplex won the Aurora Award, and was the only novel of its year to be nominated for both the Hugo and the Nebula. The cover for the new edition is shown above. More about Starplex […]

The Best SF&F of — 1999!

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Here’s an interesting historical artifact: Barnes and Noble’s list of the top science fiction and fantasy books of the year — from 10 years ago: Best SF&F of 1999 Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon Neil Gaiman, Stardust Robert J. Sawyer, Flashforward Michael Crichton, Timeline Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Shadow Elizabeth Haydon, Rhapsody Brian Herbert & Kevin […]

String Theory for Dummies

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Recently, I blogged about the new anthology Women of the Apocalypse, containing wonderful stories by my writing students Eileen Bell and Ryan T. McFadden. I said that nothing gives me more joy than when my students do well. Now, to my delight, another of my students has a book out: Andrew Zimmerman Jones, the Physics […]

Is atheism a religion? Is the many-worlds interpretation pseudoscience?

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

In response to my op-ed piece “A Bright Idea for Atheists” (expanded from a speech I gave at the grand opening of the Centre for Inquiry Ontario), and the essay “Science and God” I wrote for Borders Books to help promote the release, back in 2000, of my novel Calculating God, a friend wrote to […]

Jagster lives!

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

My latest novel, Wake, postulates a competitor for Google named Jagster. As the novel says: In the tradition of silly Web acronyms (“Yahoo!” stands for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle”), Jagster is short for “Judiciously Arranged Global Search-Term Evaluative Ranker” — and the battle between Google and Jagster has been dubbed the “Ranker rancor” by […]

Op-ed piece in today’s Ottawa Citizen: Science decade in review

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Today’s (Wednesday, December 9, 2009) Ottawa Citizen — the largest-circulation newspaper in Canada’s capital city — contains a commissioned op-ed piece by Robert J. Sawyer entitled “The Future Disappoints,” looking back at the progress in science and technology over the last decade. This is the first of a series of decade-in-review op-eds that will be […]

The Chronic Rift interviews Robert J. Sawyer

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

The Chronic Rift: Spotlight on Robert J. Sawyer. Check it out. (35 minutes MP3.) Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Siteand