Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

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

by Rob - July 2nd, 2009.
Filed under: Uncategorized.

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. The unnamed appointee, chosen from nearly 50 applicants including ‘major Hugo- and Nebula-winning authors’, had been offered the tenured position and accepted.

Well, I know who the unamed appointee was, but I’m not saying — except to say it wasn’t me.

I was, however, solicited to apply by UC Riverside back in October, 2008. This is the solicitation; it would have been an amazing job:

UC Riverside
College of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences

October 27, 2008

Dear Robert J. Sawyer,

I am writing as chair of a search committee for a Senior Faculty position in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside. We are looking for a writer of your stature, someone with a well-established record of writing within the broadly construed field of speculative fiction: science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic realism, slipstream fiction, transrealism, interstitial fiction, the new weird, dark fantasy, new wave fabulism, cross-genre, and post-genre fiction, or related modes that might not even have a name yet. You have been recommended to the committee by a number of people, and we are hoping that you might be interested enough in the position to send an application.

The Department is one of the few such self-governed departments of creative writing in the country. We have excellent relations with the English Department and Comparative Literature and strong support from the college and central administration. We have grown quickly and are fast becoming one of the most important centers of creative writing in the country. We would love to have you as part of this venture.

The University of California, Riverside is the home of the Eaton Collection, the largest publicly-accessible collection of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and utopian fiction in the world. The College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences is in the process of building a core group of writers and scholars in order to make UCR the leading academic home for the study of and training in these literatures.

I’m glad to answer any questions you might have by phone or email, and very much look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks for considering us.


The Department of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside, invites nominations and applications for a senior faculty member (associate or full professor rank) in the writing of speculative fiction. Significant publication required in one or more modes of contemporary speculative fiction: science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic realism, slipstream fiction, transrealism, interstitial fiction, the new weird, dark fantasy, new wave fabulism, cross-genre and post-genre fiction. Additional expertise in new media, new media technologies, and nontraditional ways of disseminating writing would be an advantage, as would professional experience in science writing or writing about technoculture. Successful applicants will demonstrate a commitment to continuing their professional writing and publishing activities and a broad knowledge of relevant literatures. Teaching duties will include undergraduate and graduate courses and the mentoring of MFA students and supervision of their theses.

Starting date for the position is July 1, 2009. First organized teaching would be in the Fall 2009 quarter.

Prerequisites are professional publication and prior teaching experience. Ph.D, MFA, MA in a relevant field or professional equivalent (at least two published books) required. Rank and salary are commensurate with education and experience.

An application letter, curriculum vitae, and the names and addresses of three referees should be submitted to:

Department of Creative Writing
University of California, Riverside, CA 92521

Candidates may be asked to submit additional materials, including evidence of quality teaching, writing samples, and additional letters of recommendation, after initial review.

The review of applications will begin on December 17, 2008, but applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

The University of California, Riverside is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer, committed to excellence through diversity.

It would have been a great job, and, as many commentators had said, a great signal to the world of science fiction’s respectability and stature. Too bad it isn’t going to happen.

Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Leave a Reply