Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Archive for February, 2010

Vanity request: FlashForward screen grab

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Now that the first 10 episodes of FlashForward are out on DVD, I have a favour to ask. Could somebody please send me high-resolution screen captures of my two credits from the ending credits (from any of the 10 episodes)? My first credit is the first one in the ending credits, and says “Based on […]

Aurora Award finalists 2010!

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

I’m delighted and thrilled to be on the 2010 Aurora Award ballot twice: in the “Best Long Form English” category for Wake, published by Viking (Penguin) Canada, and in the “Best English Other” category for Distant Early Warnings: Canada’s Best Science Fiction, which I edited for Red Deer Press. The full list of nominees is […]

FlashForward is coming back in style

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

ABC remains totally committed to FlashForward, the TV series based on my novel of the same name, and we’ll be having a massive relaunch in March: On Tuesday, March 16, 2010, at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, right after Lost, ABC will be airing a one-hour clip show summarizing our first ten episodes. Two days later, on […]

Toward a Science of Consciousness

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

I’m giving a keynote at this upcoming conference, my great friends James Kerwin and Chase Masterson will be on hand to talk about their quantum-physics noir movie Yesterday was a Lie, and Chase will be singing songs from Star Trek on Wednesday night. Join us! Toward a Science of Consciousness 2010 April 12-17, 2010 Tucson […]

Hungarian cover for FlashForward

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

That’s the cover for the Hungarian edition of FlashForward, my novel that’s the basis for the TV series of the same name, published by Galaktika. I think it’s terrific. For more about the Hungarian edition, see the publisher’s website. Robert J. Sawyer online:Website • Facebook • Twitter • Newsgroup • Email

FlashForward DVD on sale today

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

The first ten episodes of FlashForward, the ABC TV series based on my novel of the same name, are now available on DVD. W00t! Robert J. Sawyer online:Website • Facebook • Twitter • Newsgroup • Email

Come join me for a weekend of book chat in Banff

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

The weekend of May 28-30, 2010, at the Banff Centre, it’s the 49th annual Banff Book Discussion Weekend, this year featuring Robert J. Sawyer and his Aurora Award-nominated novel Wake, with Rob in attendance, plus discussions of three other books. Banff is a gorgeous ski-resort town in Alberta (although skiing season will be long over […]

B&N nook: There’s no justification for this!

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

It’s bad enough that the Barnes & Noble nook forces text to be fully justified left and right, whether the user wants that or not, but it does an atrocious job of producing that justification — among the worst I’ve ever seen on any e-reading device (and I’ve been using such devices for nine years […]

YouTube video of my ebook reader collection

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

My first-ever YouTube video, recorded Saturday, February 20, 2010: a survey of nine different devices I’ve used over the years to read ebooks. “You’re looking at in aggregate at about $3,000 worth of ebook-reading hardware here, and my own personal use almost nine years now of using devices to read ebooks. I’m an absolute convert […]

Steady growth: the name of the game

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

I’ve had seven different new mass-market paperback releases in the last decade. Here they are, in Canadian besteller order (from most copies sold to least): FlashForward (published in mass-market 2000) Rollback (2008) Mindscan (2006) Hominids (2003) Calculating God (2001) Hybrids (2005) Humans (published 2004) Of course, FlashForward — the oldest book on the list — […]

Foxit eSlick: poor line justification

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

I’m getting tired of high-priced ebook readers that are brought to market without anyone who knows anything about book layout and design having vetted the software they use. Have a look at this photo, which shows a Foxit eSlick ebook-reading device displaying a .PDB eReader book from Barnes and Noble’s under the new 2.0.1 […]

Not even close, guys

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Often, Amazon’s recommendations are reasonably useful, but this one isn’t even close. Come on, guys! If the recommendation feature decays into nothing but noise, it’s self-defeating. I’m sure someone said, “Hey, if we make the recommendations more general, we’ll sell more books.” Nope; if I get a few more like this, I’ll just turn on […]

Public Lending Right 2010

Friday, February 19th, 2010

I’ve been telling other writers about Canada’s Public Lending Right system for 18 years now, and it always amazes me that some Canadian authors still haven’t bothered to register. The Public Lending Right compensates (to some degree) Canadian authors for the loss of royalty income they have because their books are in public libraries. Most […]

Julian Jaynes news

Friday, February 19th, 2010

(This entry has been deleted due to formatting problems.)

More on self-publishing

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

An interesting exchange took place on my Facebook wall recently (starting on 8 February 2010). Facebook content scrolls away and is very hard to access after a few days, so I thought I’d reproduce some of it here. There were 109 messages posted in the exchange, but the first two were the first two below, […]

The scandalous state of ebooks

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

An email I received this morning from my colleague Jamie Todd Rubin: I ran into the same problem with the Kindle that you reported with the Nook regarding hyphenation. They implement full justification without adherence to any hyphenation rules and that makes some lines look awkward (4 words, widely spaced). The other thing I’ve noticed, […]

nook suggestion: swap page buttons

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

I sent this suggestion to Barnes and Noble tech support today, and posted it on the nook discussion forum: To my way of thinking, the page-forward and page-backward buttons are in the reverse of where they should be, given the weight and design of the nook. If you hold the nook with your thumbs over […]

Why the aesthetics of ebooks suck

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

A perfect example of why ebook readers are so crappy at formatting these days: the people who make them don’t even have a rudimentary familiarity with typography. As I observed in my review of the Barnes & Noble nook, the algorithms used to justify text there are atrocious, making for awful-looking pages. The Foxit eSlick […]

The Neanderthal Parallax began 10 years ago today

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

It was ten years ago today, on Thursday, February 17, 2000, that I wrote the first words for what became Hominids, the first volume of my “Neanderthal Parallax” trilogy. That day, I wrote the opening below — not one line of which made it into the final book — leading up to establishing the setting […]

Rick Wilber’s Rum Point

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

My great friend Rick Wilber has a new novel out called Rum Point: A Baseball Novel. Rick is well known in SF circles for (among other things) being the administrator of the Dell Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing, associated with Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine. But he’s also a life-long baseball […]

FlashForward DVDs land one week from today

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Over on my Facebook page, I noted the above fact, and someone popped up to say, “Anybody else remember when they sold whole seasons on DVD?” My response: Sure, but we’re competing now with Hulu and online viewing and the whole darknet, where episodes are available pirated the day they’re broadcast. There’s a market out […]

A nook of the north!

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Last weekend, in Chicago, I bought a Barnes & Noble nook ebook reader. Since they’re not for sale in Canada, I probably have one of the very few units in all of Canada now — a nook of the north! (Yes, it was worth the US$259, just to get to make that pun.) My initial […]

Letter in The Mail on Sunday

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Britain’s The Mail on Sunday (which has a circulation of 2.2 million copies) solicited a Letter to the Editor from me about the forthcoming Apple iPad and its science-fictional precursors. Here’s what I had to say in full; a shorter version appears in today’s (14 February 2010) print edition of the newspaper: Once again, science […]

New showrunners at FlashForward

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

The new showrunning team at FlashForward, the ABC TV series based on my novel of the same name, is: Jessika Borsiczky, Lisa Zwerling, and Timothy J. Lea. Jessika — who is from Montreal — was the person who first read my novel a decade ago, and pursued getting it made as a TV series; that’s […]

Toronto Life profiles RJS

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Toronto Life, a glossy newstand magazine devoted to the finer things in Canada’s largest city, profiles Robert J. Sawyer in the March 2010 issue; as a subscriber, I received my copy in the mail today. It’s a terrific article; I’m absolutely thrilled with it. And it’s accopanied by an amazing photo of me in my […]

Short stories: five years after giving them up

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

It was five years ago today that I finished writing my last short story. That story, “Biding Time,” was written for the DAW Books anthology Slipstreams, edited by Martin Harry Greenberg and John Helfers. I guess I went out with a bang. The story was reprinted in the prestigious Penguin Book of Crime Stories and […]

Just to prove I’m not clueless: see this weekend’s TV Jumble

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

TV Jumble by David L. Hoyt is a syndicated puzzle from Tribune Media Services, Inc., that appears in countless newspapers, including The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest circulation paper. This weekend’s jumble has, as the answer to its puzzle the name of a TV show I’m involved with. The cartoon illustration that’s part of the puzzle […]

FlashForward staff writers

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

The Hollywood Reporter has now posted a comment from David S. Goyer about him stepping down as showrunner of FlashForward, the ABC TV series based on my novel of the same name: “As my feature projects have started ramping up again, I felt I was being pulled in too many directions. I’m proud of the […]

Amazon reinstates sales of Macmillan titles

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

After six days of being unavailable for purchase there, paper editions of Macmillan books — including Tor Books such as my novels FlashForward, Hominids, and Rollback — are now back on sale at Robert J. Sawyer online:Website • Facebook • Twitter • Newsgroup • Email

David S. Goyer steps down as FlashForward showrunner

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

David S. Goyer has stepped down as showrunner (head of the writing staff) on FlashForward, the ABC TV series based on my novel of the same name. The Hollywood Reporter has a brief notice here. David is extremely talented, and he ran the writing room with verve, panache, courtesy, and intelligence. Above, left to right: […]