Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

My 23rd novel will be called Quantum Night

by Rob - July 31st, 2015.
Filed under: Quantum Night.

We still don’t have a cover, but we at last have a final title: my 23rd novel, coming March 1st, 2016, is now officially called:


I’ve never had a title go through so many changes, but with having two different American editors during the creation of this book, a Canadian editor, and separate marketing and sales departments on both sides of the border, there was a lot of back and forth — which was actually nice: it meant everybody was invested in the book.

Here, in chronological order, are the titles this novel has had:

* Thoughtless (but my US editor Ginjer Buchanan thought it was too soft a title, although I liked that it included both “thought” and “ought” (as in ethical behavior), two of the novel’s themes, and also evoked the notion, key to the plot, of beings who were literally thoughtless — with no inner lives)

* The Philosopher’s Zombie (suggested by my friend Nick DiChario and still my favorite title for the book; originally approved by my US editor Ginjer Buchanan, but after she retired, both my new US editor, Jessica Wade, and my Canadian one, Adrienne Kerr, expressed concerns about the z-word, so …)

* Thoughtless (again, as a working title, but my agent thought it was “a terrible title,” so …)

* Quantum Night (my coinage, from a poetic musing by the novel’s main character)

* Psychopath State (my American publisher wanted something that might bring in mainstream readers, so we tried this, then realized it sounded like a scary American university)

* Quantum Psychopath (as I wrote to my editors: “It’s a bit lurid, but it certainly covers both plot elements, and one of my definitions is that ‘science fiction is the literature of intriguing juxtapositions’ — and ‘quantum’ sparking off of ‘psychopath’ certainly is that”)

* Quantum Night (although both my US and Canadian editors, as well as myself, had signed off on Quantum Psychopath, my agent Chris Lotts felt that wasn’t classy enough for this book — a sentiment I secretly shared — and so we reverted to Quantum Night).

And it’s locked — and seven months from tomorrow, it’ll be on bookstore shelves, available in all ebook formats, and also available as an audiobook.

Robert J. Sawyer online:

5 Responses to My 23rd novel will be called Quantum Night

  1. My guess for the plot: Former small-town sheriff David Chalmers leads a ragtag band of survivors through a post-apocalyptic landscape ravaged by people who, to all external appearances, are perfectly normal.

  2. Great news! The title of this book is interesting. Quantum could suggest anything, quantum mechanics, quantum philosophy, just to name a few. Looking forward to this and maybe a reading?

  3. Looking forward to some teaser chapters…

  4. So excited!!!! I can’t wait :)

  5. Awesome news. I’ve been lurking, watching, no pun intended, waiting for your next!

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