[Robert J. Sawyer] Science Fiction Writer
Hugo and Nebula Winner

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Writing "The Shoulders of Giants"

by Robert J. Sawyer

Copyright © 2001 by Robert J. Sawyer
All Rights Reserved.

I was going through a difficult time when the story commission for Star Colonies arrived. Doubtless editors John Helfers and Marty Greenberg knew about my troubles, and I felt extraordinary gratitude to them for having steered some work my way; I wanted to do my absolute best for them.

A while later, my wife Carolyn and I rented a cottage, and in that rustic, wooded setting, I found myself thinking about pioneers and recalling previous trips to cottages as a teenager, during which I'd read much classic SF. The story of the colonists aboard the Pioneer Spirit is my attempt to capture the sense of wonder that drew me into our genre in the first place. The title, of course, is a tip of the hat to Asimov, Clarke, Clement, Herbert, Niven, and all the others upon whose shoulders the SF writers of my generation are fortunate enough to stand.

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