Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

The "Identity Theft" novella

by Rob - March 3rd, 2009.
Filed under: Identity Theft.

So, I’ve been emailing a bit this week with the producers who have motion picture rights to my novella “Identity Theft” under option, and that’s moved me to actually go back and read the story, something I haven’t done for four years now, since before it was first published. I’m pleased to see it holds up well. :)

The easiest place to get it in print right now is in my collection Identity Theft and Other Stories, although that story is also availalbe as a standalone ebook from Fictionwise.

Anyway, here’s the introduction to “Identity Theft” from my collection of the same name:

Doubleday’s venerable Science Fiction Book Club, which normally only publishes reprint editions of books, recently experimented with doing its own original anthologies — special collections of brand-new stories that would only be available through them. One of the first such collections was an anthology edited by Mike Resnick called Down These Dark Spaceways. It contains six SF hard-boiled detective novellas by award-winning authors (Mike, me, Catherine Asaro, David Gerrold, Jack McDevitt, and Robert Reed).

Why did Mike ask me to contribute? Well, my science fiction often has crime or mystery overtones; indeed, I won the Crime Writers of Canada’s Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story of 1993 for my time-travel tale “Just Like Old Times,” and The Globe and Mail: Canada’s National Newspaper called my SF courtroom drama Illegal Alien “the best Canadian mystery of 1997.” My other SF/crime crossovers include the novels Golden Fleece, Fossil Hunter, The Terminal Experiment, Frameshift, Flashforward, Hominids, and Mindscan.

My story for Down These Dark Spaceways follows. At 25,000 words, it’s by far the longest piece in this collection, so I’m leading off with it — but I’ll note up front that the last story in this book, “Biding Time,” is a sequel to it.

To my delight, “Identity Theft” won Spain’s Premio UPC de Ciencia Ficción, which, at 6,000 euros, is the world’s largest cash prize for science-fiction writing. It was also a finalist for the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Award (“the Aurora”), as well as for the top two awards in the science-fiction field: the World Science Fiction Society’s Hugo Award (SF’s “People’s Choice” Award) and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s Nebula Award (SF’s “Academy Award”) — making “Identity Theft” the first (and so far only) original publication of the SFBC to ever be nominated for those awards.

My association with the Science Fiction Book Club continues, of course: my next novel, Wake, will shortly be a Main Selection of the SFBC.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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