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Sawyer Guest of Honorships: Quotes
A few quotes from attendees of science fiction conventions at which Robert J. Sawyer has been Guest of Honor:
People spend too much time talking about others when they do something wrong, and never enough time talking about them when they do something right. Watching you at Con-Version is a prime example, I think, of how to do something right.
It was really a pleasure meeting you at ValleyCon 22 in Fargo last week. I can't remember the last time we had such an entertaining and accessible guest author. Thank you, thank you! You were a great guest, and a damn fine storyteller, too!
On the occasion of Keycon 30, I'm honoured to present you with this award for "Favourite Past Guest" from the previous thirty years, voted on by members of the Keycon Senate.
All of us at ConCat still remember what good sports both you and Carolyn were, and how totally accessible you were as guests, even playing Fan Family Feud with us.
Thank you for being such a delightful Toastmaster for Norwescon this year. It was a pleasure to work with you!
Rob is a convention-goer's delight. You'll spot him prowling the hallways mingling with anyone and everyone. He is always smiling, jovial and in the best Canadian sense of the word polite.
Thank you for the talks at Atomacon. I enjoyed learning from you and found your insights into the writing and television industry to be invaluable.
I didn't attend my first science fiction convention until after I'd sold my first story. It was RavenCon in Richmond, Virgina, and the guest of honor was Robert J. Sawyer, whose novels I'd always enjoyed, especially Calculating God, Hominids, and Rollback. I nervously approached him after a reading, and handed him my copy of the October 2006 Analog (containing part 1 of Rollback). He looked at my badge to see who to make it out to and when he saw my name, he said, "Jamie Rubin? Congratulations on your story sale. A bunch of us writers are going out for dinner tonight. Why don't you join us?"
I first met Mr. Sawyer at the Ask-A-Pro-Anything and signing session. I've navigated through ministers, corporate presidents, lesser authors, and even the odd student government official but this was the first time I deliberately sought out someone with celebrity status. I only knew of him through his Discovery Channel appearances and occasional articles in national magazines so I didn't know what to expect when I asked him to autograph a book for someone else. Knowing I was not yet a fan he obliged anyway.
The charming Robert Sawyer is a sweet, self-effacing man, an absolute pleasure to chat with. He's approachable, witty, and shows real interest in people other than himself. He's not fishing for praise, or trying to build a fan club. Contrary to my expectations, he's not the sort to sell himself at all. You see what I'm saying? He's not a professionally nice guy trying to build a career: he's actually a good fellow who likes meeting and spending time with other people in the science fiction world.
Aurora Awards MC was Robert J. Sawyer, a consummate showman if there ever was one. Sawyer quickly established just the right balance of fannish informality and award night energy, delivering an upbeat line of patter that kept everyone interested and involved throughout.
For me the highlight of the convention came when I was sitting at a table in the hotel restaurant, nursing a beer and trying to relax.
You probably don't remember, but in 2010 down in San Diego for a convention [Conjecture 2010, where Rob was guest of honor] I came up to you at a restaurant to say I was a fan. You invited me to join you and your wife for lunch and I got the best gift a fan boy could receive by being allowed to sit and chat with you for almost an hour.
Before closing the book on CanVention 27, I realize that I must proffer an official, formal and entirely heartfelt thank you for your masterful hosting of the Aurora Awards ceremonies at VCON 32.
Robert J. Sawyer is indeed a gentleman. Not only was he friendly and gracious, not only did he remember who I was, he also knew what my paper was on and chatted with me about the topic. You're a better man than I am, sir.
Many thanks to everyone involved, especially Robert J. Sawyer, in whose honor the event was organized and who went out of the way to make the other guests feel welcome.
I wanted to thank you for the opportunity of meeting you and talking to you! You are probably the nicest author (let alone one as famous as you are) that I have ever talked to! Thank you so much for being so nice!
Thank you for coming to San Diego for Conjecture last weekend. You were a quite enjoyable Guest of Honor.
I first met Rob several years ago at a local SF convention (VCON), back when I was disguised as a beginning writer. I was struck by his generosity, warmth and down-home friendliness. Rob was extremely approachable and more than willing to provide advice and share his wisdom and experience in the challenging field of writing and publishing. I'm eternally grateful for his advice, especially for steering me away from that questionable green and orange dip in the hopitality suite.
As for the "man of the hour," Robert J. Sawyer, and his wife, Carolyn Clink, they were wonderfully open, generous, available, modest and fun. Rob is a fantastic orator, as well as writer, and his numerous talks and discussions over the weekend both informed and entertained.
Robert is a wonderful guest and great speaker. I love having him at my events!
Just a quick note to let you know how thrilled I was to have you read the first chapters of my manuscript for VCON's novel workshop. With your busy schedule (nine conferences in nine weeks yikes!), your generosity in giving back to new writers and the Sci Fi community was much appreciated.
I bumped into Robert J. Sawyer in the hall. When I asked him at what point do you need to explain things, he said, "If people are still asking the question when the book is over, you didn't do your job." He's so amazing. He does amazing books, but if you ever hear him talk about writing it's a masterclass in itself.
I had the opportunity to see Robert a week after the [Ontario Writer's Conference, where Sawyer gave a keynote and critiqued my work]. He was passing through Ottawa on a tour to promote his latest book, Watch, part of his WWW trilogy, and I was curious to see if he was still, in fact, just a normal guy who was also a really good writer. This was supposed to be a promotional gig for him, and, with the laundry list of credits to his name, he couldn't possibly be so down to earth all the time, could he? Half an hour before his reading was set to begin I entered the Clock Tower Pub on Bank to find him chatting with fans, even recognizing some by their first name. His stage presence was just as upbeat and energetic as it had been for the conference, and he answered questions about his book, his life, and his philosophies with fearless honesty.
I've been very lucky here at Keycon the last few years. I've been running a dealer's table for my little book selling sideline and, being partially disabled, have been unable to attend the autograph lines. I've had friends and family take my personal collection books to get signed for me. And then, the GoHs have come into the dealer's room and signed the books I'm selling right at my table! Someone (and NOT at my behest, I swear!) told them I was unemployed and struggling and they were kind enough to come help out. Robert J. Sawyer gets special mention; he attends Keycon every year and we've become friendly. He just cruises the dealer's room and stops at my table. "So, John, what do you have for me?" He signs them, then browses my table and always finds something to buy. Of course I try to have interesting stuff anyway, but two years ago he dropped about $80 in one visit!
I encourage you to take an opportunity to introduce yourself to Rob this weekend. You will not find a nicer human being. Attend his talks and panel discussions. Find him in hospitality and 'hang out' for a while. If you're an aspiring writer, ask him about his secret for success. He may be too shy to tell you, so I'll let you in on the secret here: Robert J. Sawyer is skilled at writing about the human condition because he has made understanding and being sympathetic of the human condition a large part of his life. Take an opportunity to get to know Rob, and you'll learn that secret just as I did.
Thank you so much for accepting my invitation to be Author GoH at VCON 41. And for accepting my email invitation in less than two minutes after I sent it. I can't claim any credit for that. As I recall you said "Absolutely I will come, but on one condition, that I get to interview Jamie Anderson!" (our "Supermarionation" GoH). It was great to see the two of you interacting together. An abundance of enthusiasm.
THANK YOU to our awesome guests @RobertJSawyer @ricksternbach @naominovik @murderofballads for making #Lunacon2016 amazing. We love you all!
Rob is also a hit in the virtual world. Here's what the organizer had to say about one of his appearances in Second Life:
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