Robert J. Sawyer

Hugo and Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Writer

NYRSF and Locus on Canadian SF

by Rob - December 29th, 2005.
Filed under: Canadian SF.

By coincidence, today’s mail contained both the December 2005 issue of The New York Review of Science Fiction and the January 2006 issue of Locus. Both have a decidedly Canadian focus this time out.

The NYRSF features reviews of Peter Watts’s two most recent novels, “Three Snapshots of Canadian SF” by Ursula Pflug (discussing the magazine Neo-Opsis, and recent novels by Marie Jakober and Lisa Smedman), and an article about yours truly by Donald M. Hassler entitled “Robert J. Sawyer in Summer 2005: Mad Play,” which begins: “This past summer I discovered a couple of Robert J. Sawyer’s novels from the last years of the twentieth century, looked once again at his more recent Neanderthal novels, and ended with Mindscan.”

In typical NYRSF fashion the article about me says things like, “At the moment, however, I want to explore a deeper theme in Sawyer’s recent larger fictions. This is the borderless dynamic of narrative and speculative playfulness and joy that distinguishes sf writing from both popular media culture and conventional storytelling and literature … I suppose the high literary theorist, then, would label what follows in my look at Sawyer a study of intertextuality.” I actually quite enjoyed the piece, which touches on Illegal Alien, Factoring Humanity, and The Terminal Experiment, and rather like his description of me as “a gentle giant of a writer.”

The Locus issue features interviews with Canadian writers Geoff Ryman, S.M. Stirling, and Dave Duncan, and short articles about Canadian SF by me, Cory Doctorow, Derryl Murphy, Elisabeth Vonarburg, and Candas Jane Dorsey; my piece is entitled “The Old Pemmican Factory,” and talks about the Canadian fondness for hard SF and space opera. In aggregate, the various piece in the issue provide an interesting overview of that strange beast that is Canadian SF, although I did feel compelled to send this note to Locus:

In the January 2006 Locus, Candas Jane Dorsey says that my imprint, Robert J. Sawyer Books, has only published one book to date; that’s simply not true. We’ve been reliably doing a book every six months ever since our launch in April 2004. Out already are Marcos Donnelly’s Letters from the Flesh, Andrew Weiner’s Getting Near the End, Karl Schroeder’s The Engine of Recall, and Danita Maslan’s Rogue Harvest (the one title Candas mentions). Our fifth book, Nick DiChario’s A Small and Remarkable Life, will be published in April, and our new owner, Fitzhenry and Whiteside, has given me the go-ahead to increase the line to three titles annually.

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