Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

My favorite sentence

by Rob - February 1st, 2012.
Filed under: Appreciations, Writing.

I was asked to write a sentence about my favorite sentence from someone else’s science-fiction work. The sentence I chose was from James White’s “Tableau”:

Through them could be seen a tiny, three-dimensional picture in full detail and colour of the original war memorial, placed there to remind viewers that there was nothing great or noble or beautiful about war.
And here’s my sentence commenting about it:
As a pacifist and an idealist whose writing often veers toward Utopian fiction, I’m sometimes embarrassed by the prevalence of military science-fiction books (not to mention SF movies and TV shows with “Wars” or “Battle” in the title) that seem to glorify armed combat, but this lyrical sentence — the concluding one from Belfast writer James White’s “Tableau,” my all-time favorite science-fiction story — proved to me early on that there is also room in this field for hopeful, peaceful, upbeat swords-into-plowshares visions of sunnier tomorrows.
(Illustration: the statue “Swords into Plowshares” on the grounds of United Nations headquarters.)
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