Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

Don Sakers of Analog reviews Wake

by Rob - October 16th, 2009.
Filed under: Reviews, Wake.

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, the world’s top-selling English-language SF magazine, recently changed book reviewers.

Of course, all of us long-time Analog readers have been curious to see what sort of approach the new reviewer, Don Sakers, was going to take, and so I turned with interest to “The Reference Library” section of the October issue, never expecting to see my own latest novel, WWW:Wake, reviewed there.

After all, before Sakers had come on board at Analog, that magazine had serialized the entire book in four parts, in the November 2008, December 2008, combined January-February 2009, and March 2009 issues.

But, lo and behold, Don Sakers does review Wake in the October issue, and indeed starts out by commenting on the fact that my novel was serialized in the same magazine:

Wake was serialized in Analog recently; those who read it in these pages don’t need me to tell them what a good book it is.

He then goes on to do just about the best one-paragraph synopsis of the kind of book that I write that I’ve ever seen:

For many years now, Robert J. Sawyer has been turning out imaginative, thought-provoking science fiction novels set in the present day and dealing with the impact of science and technology upon relatively ordinary people. A typical Sawyer tale brings together multiple diverse elements from popular culture, psychology, physics, and philosophy; stirs together plausible advances in science with appealing characters; adds some realistic depictions of actual scientists at work and a generous helping of old-fashioned sense-of-wonder; and filters the whole mix through a distinctly Canadian filter.

He notes that Wake is no exception to the above, and goes on to say:

Caitlin is an appealing enough character, and the premise is fascinating: a girl, blind from birth, gains the ability to see the structure of the Internet from within. A lesser writer would go with this story, following Caitlin as she learns to deal with this new, expanded world. But this is Sawyer, and there’s much, much more going on …

Along the way, Sawyer raises fascinating, complex questions about the nature of consciousness and self-awareness, of communication between disparate intelligences, and compassion across huge gulfs. This is a book that you’ll still be thinking about for weeks after you finish reading it.

Needless to say, I think Stan Schmidt, Analog‘s redoubtable editor, has made a great choice for his new book reviewer. :)

You can read Don Sakers entire October “Reference Library” column online here.

Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Leave a Reply