Monday, April 19, 2010

Upcoming Canadian events for Watch

All events are free and open to the public. I'll be reading from Watch, doing a Q&A, and signing books at each one:

# Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver Public Library Central Branch
Alma VanDusen Room on the lower level
350 West Georgia Street
In conjunction with (but not at) White Dwarf Books
Wednesday, May 5, 2010, at 7:30 p.m.

# Calgary, Alberta
Pages on Kensington
1135 Kensington Road NW
Friday, May 7, 2010, at 7:30 p.m.

# Edmonton, Alberta
Audreys Books
10702 Jasper Avenue
Saturday, May 8, 2010, 3:00 p.m.

# Ottawa, Ontario
Clock Tower Brew Pub
575 Bank Street
In conjunction with (but not at) Perfect Books
Monday, May 10, 2010, 7:30 p.m.

# Halifax, Nova Scotia
Spring Garden Road Memorial Public Library
5381 Spring Garden Road
Sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts
Tuesday, May 11, 2010, 7:00 p.m.

# Waterloo, Ontario
Words Worth Books
100 King Street South
Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 7:00 p.m.

# Winnipeg, Manitoba
McNally Robinson
1120 Grant Avenue
Saturday, May 22, 2010, at 2:00 p.m.
(and at Keycon the rest of that weekend)

# Prince George, British Columbia
Books and Company
1685 3rd Avenue
Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
Robert J. Sawyer online:

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Canadian booktour for Watch starting to shape up

Had a fabulous meeting with Adrienne Kerr, my new editor at Penguin Canada, yesterday, followed by an amazing meeting with the whole marketing team there.

We're definitely going to have a cross-Canada book tour for Watch next spring. Anchor points will include Ad Astra in Toronto (at which I'm guest of honour); Keycon in Winnipeg (which will be the Canadian National Science Fiction Convention next year, and at which, fandom willing, perhaps Wake will be an Aurora finalist), plus Halifax (which I missed -- except for a radio interview at the CBC studios there -- last time).

Other cities will almost certainly include Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, plus more of Southwestern Ontario, which got short-shrift last time.

(That's the US cover above; the Canadian one will lack the "WWW:" prefix and have a different quote.)
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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Touring for Wake comes to an end

And that's a wrap!

Today I did my final scheduled touring event to promote my new novel Wake.

The touring started on Monday, April 13, 2009, at Borderlands Books in San Francisco.

That was followed April 17-19, 2009, at Xanadu Las Vegas, the wonderful science-fiction convention I was author guest of honor at.

Then there were stops in Vancouver, British Columbia; Calgary, Alberta; Edmonton, Alberta; Moncton, New Brunswick; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Montreal, Quebec; Ottawa, Ontario; Toronto, Ontario; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Waterloo, Ontario; Sudbury, Ontario; Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; and finally, this afternoon, in Regina, Saskatchewan. It's been exhilarating, exhausting, and, I believe, effective.

Many thanks to the people who made this tour possible. All the wonderful booksellers; Penguin Canada (and my publicist there, Debbie Gaudet); plus Carolyn Clink, who worked very hard booking media for me; and the friends who lent a hand as I traveled across the continent: Kaye Mason, Bonnie Jean Mah, Kirstin Morrell, Randy McCharles, Vanessa G. Gaudio, Hayden Trenholm, Liz Trenholm, and Edward Willett -- I couldn't have done it without you!

Of course, my travels are by no means over: I've still got numerous trips still coming up this year.

Photograph copyright 2009 by Charles Mohapel.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking ...

It's been a busy seven days of public appearances and interviews -- in three different cities:

Saturday evening, June 13, 2009, I appeared in Calgary, Alberta, reading from Wake at the EDGE Publishing book-launch event.

Monday, June 15, 2009, I gave an hour-long creative-writing lecture on "Great Beginnings" to the staff of the Canadian Light Source.

That evening, I gave a talk on science fiction and astronomy for the Calgary Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

Wednesday evening, June 17, 2009, I gave a public lecture entitled "Science Fiction as a Mirror for Reality" at the Frances Morrison Theatre of the Saskatoon Public Library, and, after the talk, I gave a reading from Wake.

Thursday, June 18, 2009, I did a half-hour radio interview on John Gormley Live, Saskatchewan's most-popular morning show.

Thursday evening, June 18, 2009, I gave the banquet speech at the Canadian Light Source's annual users meeting.

Today, I record another radio interview down in Regina.

And this Saturday afternoon, June 20, 2009, at 2:00 p.m., I'm reading from Wake at Book and Brier Patch in Regina.


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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Events in Saskatoon and Regina this week

I'm doing two free public events in Saskatchewan this week:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009 (tomorrow), at 7:00 p.m.: Free public lecture at the Frances Morrison Library Theatre in Saskatoon: "A Galaxy Far, Far Away My Ass: Science Fiction as a Mirror for Reality."

Saturday, June 20, 2009, at 2:00 p.m.: Reading from Wake and signing at Book & Brier Patch, 4065 Albert Street in Regina.
Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Planet S loves the Rob-man

Planet S: Saskatoon's City Magazine comes out every two weeks. The last page is a section called 14 Days which lists "City Events * Movies * Music" for the next two weesk, and at the right side of the page there's a sidebar labelled Top 6, listing the six best bets for the coming fortnight. The current issue's top pick?

He's probably the best sci-fi writer Canada has ever produced — and he's coming to hang out as the writer in residence at the U of S for June and July! Catch Sawyer reading from and signing his latest novel, Wake (June 4, McNally Robinson).

(#2: a concert by Mark Ceaser and Kirby Criddle, "Saskatoon's best singer-songwriters"; #3: Saskatchewan Children's Festival.)

I was also the cover story in Planet S back on April 9, 2009.

And the event was packed at McNally; I was trilled!

(The Canadian Light Source is on the University of Saskatchewan campus.)
Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


First five days in Saskatoon

Carolyn and I are safe and sound in Saskatoon (say that five times fast!). We're having a blast, but -- man! -- I haven't had a chance to catch my breath.

We flew here from Toronto on Monday, June 1, had lunch with Canadian Light Source's Matthew Dalzell, then did our safety training at CLS, got our access cards, and had a tour of the synchrotron facility.

Tuesday was spent settling in, etc., and doing a bunch of things.

Wednesday, I spoke at at high school, did an interview for Saskatoon CBC Radio One's "Blue Skies" program, had dinner with DAW SF writer Edward Willett and Kent Pollard of McNally Robinson Saskatoon, then attended Ed's reading from his new novel at McNally.

Thursday, I had an interview at the local CTV station, then was interviewed at CLS by the local Shaw (cable-service provider) community channel, then had dinner with Matt and his wife at Prairie Ink at McNally Robinson, then I did my own event at McNally, a very well attended reading and signing for Wake.

Today, Friday, June 5, I read four manuscripts in preparation for my critiquing sessions tomorrow, did a by-Skype podcast interview with a fellow in Wellington, New Zealand (about which more later), and went over to the home of Yann Martel, the Man Booker Prize-winning author of Life of Pi, and fellow author Alice Kuipers for a wonderful dinner party.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sawyer in Sudbury tomorrow

Tomorrow -- Monday, May 25, 2009 -- I'm off to Sudbury, Ontario, to give the closing keynote address at the Canadian Science Writers Association's annual meeting, and am also doing a free public reading and signing for Wake at the Chapters superstore, 1425 Kingsway Road, Sudbury, at 7:00 p.m. If we're lucky, Ponter Boddit will drop in!

(I'm very fond of Sudbury. Not only is my Hugo Award-winning Hominids set there, but I received an honorary doctorate a couple of years ago from Sudbury's Laurentian University.)

Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


Saturday, May 23, 2009

North Perth Public Library blog on my Waterloo event

My event in Waterloo for Wake on Thursday was terrific (and my friend Marcel Gagné saved the day by getting the sound system working with literally seconds to spare).

And now the North Perth Public Library has put an entry about my event in their blog. Check it out.
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Holy cow! I'm on the front page of The Record!

The problem with reading newspaper articles online is that you miss seeing the layout of the article in the actual printed paper. To my astonishment and delight, it turns out that the article about me and my novel Wake in today's Waterloo Region Record, a major Canadian daily newspaper, is on THE FRONT PAGE!

The article begins on A1, and is continued on A2. You can read the full text right here, and my commentary about the article here.

Click images for larger versions
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Waterloo Setting a "No-Brainer"

That's the headline for the article about me, my novel Wake, and why it's set in Waterloo, Ontario, that appears in today's edition of The Waterloo Region Record, the major daily newspaper serviing the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo, Ontario.

And, indeed, it really was a no-brainer: people would accuse me of making up a Canadian city that was home to the world's top physics think tank (Perimeter Institute), a place that Stephen Hawking is coming to visit; that is home to the makers of the one device the President of the United States has said he can't live without (Research in Motion, who make the BlackBerry); that has one of the world's leading facilities for research into quantum computing (the Institute for Quantum Computing); that has a major Google facility, that has a world-class math department (at the University of Waterloo); that has a major public-policy think tank, and is surrounded by Mennonites who reject high technology. I literally could not have made this place up -- but it really exists, in all its myriad wonder, just a hour west of where I live now, and it was my home in the summer of 1980.

You can read the whole article (by Brent Davis) right here.

And don't forget to come see me in Waterloo tomorrow night!

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hey, Waterloo, Wake Up! :)

My new novel Wake is set in Waterloo, Ontario -- Canada's computing and high-tech capital -- and to celebrate that, I'm doing a reading and Q&A at The Waterloo Entertainment Centre on Thursday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m.

Admission is $10 (to defray facilities rental) or free if you buy a copy of Wake from Words Worth Books in Waterloo either in advance of the event or at the beginning of the event. It'll be a blast -- come on out! More info is here.

Pictured: the apartment building at 11 Austin Drive in Waterloo that Carolyn and I lived in back in the summer of 1980; ours was the basement unit to the right of the front door, behind the tree.
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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Waterloo: The Centre of the Universe

A posting to the blog of Waterloo's Words Worth Books

I've long known that Waterloo was a special place. I lived there in the summer of 1980 -- has it really been almost 30 years? -- and was immediately aware of how much intellectual excitement there was in your city. Of course, the fact that there were two universities helped a lot.

Still, even I, a science-fiction writer, didn't predict a future in which one of the world's top high-tech companies (Research in Motion), or the world's leading physics think-tank (The Perimeter Institute), or one of the planet's top quantum-computing facilities (Institute for Quantum Computing) would all soon be there.

But now, as a science-fiction writer, I can think of no better place to set a novel than Waterloo, and that's precisely where my new book Wake is set.

Wake is the story of Caitlin Decter, a 15-year-old math genius whose father works on quantum gravity at the Perimeter Institute. It's the first volume of a trilogy; I've already finished the second book, Watch, and in it some CSIS agents tell Dr. Decter not to leave town, to which he replies: "Where would I go? This is the centre of the universe."

It certainly is in a very real sense for me. In fact, I got some of the biggest news I ever had while I was in Waterloo last Friday: I'd come there to help my friend Marcel Gagné celebrate his birthday by going to see the (way cool) new Star Trek movie with him, and after, back at his place, I checked my email, and received the wonderful news that ABC -- the most-watched television network in the United States -- had just ordered 13 episodes of a TV series based on my novel Flash Forward. As my character Caitlin would say, "Sweet!"

I spend a lot of time in Waterloo (and not just because my novel Hominids was the Waterloo Region "One Book, One Community" choice a couple of years ago), and I will be back again next week, on Thursday, May 21, doing a reading and talk at the Waterloo Entertainment Centre, 24 King Street North, starting at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free if you buy Wake at the start of the event or in advance from Words Worth Books; otherwise, admission is $10 to defray facilities rental. Please came out and say hello!

"Wildly thought-provoking. The thematic diversity — and profundity — makes Wake one of Sawyer's strongest works to date." —Publishers Weekly (starred review, denoting a book of exceptional merit)

"Sawyer's erudition, eclecticism, and masterly storytelling make Wake a choice selection." —Library Journal

"Clashes between personalities and ideologies fuel Wake's plot, but they're not what the book is about. It's about how cool science is. Sawyer has won himself an international readership by reinvigorating the traditions of hard science fiction, following the path of such writers as Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein in his bold speculations from pure science." —National Post

"A fast-paced and suspenseful story full of surprises and humour." —The Saskatoon StarPhoenix

"It's refreshing to read a book so deliberately Canadian in a genre dominated by Americans, and it's easy to see why Sawyer now routinely wins not only Canadian science fiction prizes but also international accolades. His fans won't be disappointed, and readers picking up his work for the first time will get a good introduction to a writer with a remarkable backlist." —Winnipeg Free Press

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Friday, May 8, 2009

Autographed copies of Wake in Kitchener-Waterloo

Wake is set in Kitcener-Waterloo, Ontario, and now you can get signed copies there, either at Words Worth Books in Waterloo, or the Chapters superstore on Gateway Blvd. in Kitchener, as well as the Chapters at the north end of Waterloo.

And don't forget that I'm coming to Waterloo soon for a public event:

Reading & Signing
Waterloo Entertainment Centre
24 King Street North
Waterloo, Ontario
Thursday, May 21, 2009, 7:30 p.m.
Hosted by Words Worth Books
IMPORTANT NOTE: Admission is free if you buy Wake at the start of this event, or in advance from Words Worth Books; otherwise, admission is $10 to defray facilities rental. See details here.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pictures from the Ottawa Wake event

There was a wonderful book-launch party for Wake in my home town of Ottawa, Ontario, on April 29, 2009, which happened to be my birthday. Hayden and Liz Trenholm took these pictures of the event, which was held at the Clock Tower Pub:

As I blow out the candles on my birthday cake, Pat Cavan (far right) of Perfect Books looks on.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Toronto book launch for Wake: Photos

Above: Chris Szego and Aurora Simmons from Bakka-Phoenix Books selling copies of Wake at the launch.

Above: Robert J. Sawyer reading from Wake.

Above: Mark Askwith (producer for Space: The Imagination Station), who interviewed Rob on stage at the launch; Lesley Livingston, author of the YA fantasy novel Wonderous Strange from HarperCollins; and Robert J. Sawyer.

Above: The real Lee Amodeo, who appears as a rock-star character in Wake, with author and Robert J. Sawyer; Amodeo is chair of Toronto's annual science-fiction convention Ad Astra.

Above: Debbie Gaudet (Senior Manager, Publicity for Penguin Canada), Chris Szego (Manger of Bakka-Phoenix Books), and Robert J. Sawyer.

Above: Robert J. Sawyer and fan Troy Perault, who had Rob's autograph tattooed onto his leg after a previous event.

All photos by Carolyn Clink.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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Quill Blog has photos of Toronto launch

Quill Blog -- the blog of the Canadian publishing trade journal Quill & Quire -- has some photos of the Toronto launch for my new novel Wake on Thursday, April 30, 2009 at the pub Dominion on Queen. Have a look.

(In the article, Quill Blog calls me, "Robert J. Sawyer -- a.k.a. the Canadian author most likely to have his brain kept alive in a jar for centuries to come.")

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Charles Mohapel's pictures of my Montreal event

Charles Mohapel -- the great Canadian photographer of all things science fiction -- came out to my event for Wake at Parragraphe Bookstore in Montreal on Tuesday, April 28, 2009, and took some wonderful pictures, including the ones below. Many thanks, Charles!

Photographs copyright 2009 by Charles Mohapel.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Hardcore Nerdity on Toronto book-launch party for Wake

Hardcore Nerdity discusses the Toronto launch of Robert J. Sawyer's Wake.

Pictured: Mark Askwith, Robert J. Sawyer

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Jean Chr├ętien is on my flight!

How cool is that! Former Canadian prime minister Jean Chr├ętien is on the same plane as me; we're both flying to Toronto from Ottawa (and I'm finally getting home after 18 days on the road). Tonight: the big launch party for Wake at Dominion on Queen, 500 Queen Street East, Toronto, at 7:00 p.m.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wake events in Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto this week

Montreal Reading!
Librairie Paragraphe Bookstore
2220 McGill College Avenue
Montreal, Quebec
Tuesday, April 28, 2009, 6:30 p.m.

Ottawa Book Launch Party!
The Clock Tower Brew Pub
575 Bank Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Wednesday, April 29, 2009, 7:30 p.m. (not 7:00 p.m., as previously announced)
Hosted by Perfect Books

Toronto Book Launch Party!
Dominion on Queen (pub)
500 Queen Street East
Toronto, Ontario
Thursday, April 30, 2009, 7:00 p.m.
Hosted by Bakka Phoenix Books

All events are free and open to the public, and no invitations are required. Come on out!
"Sawyer continues to push the boundaries with his stories of the future made credible. His erudition, eclecticism, and masterly storytelling make this trilogy opener a choice selection." --Library Journal

More about Wake
The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pictures from Vancouver and Calgary

Photos from the book tour stops in Vancouver (at White Dwarf) and Calgary (at Sentry Box:

A packed house at White Dwarf. Photo by kc dyer.

Part of the crowd at Sentry Box. Calgary photos by Kirstin Morrell.

The shirt I'm wearing depicts the famous S. Harris cartoon that figures a couple of times in the plot of Wake, including its first appearance here:
Kuroda had brought his notebook computer with him. Caitlin, curious, ran her hands over it. When closed it was as thin as the latest MacBook Air, but when she opened it she was astonished to feel full-height keycaps rise up from what had been a flat keyboard. She'd read that lots of technology appears in Japan months or even years before becoming available in North America, but this was the first real proof she'd had that that was true. "So, what's on your desktop?" she asked.

"My wallpaper, you mean?"

"Yes." Caitlin had had her mom put a photo of Schrödinger -- the cat, not the physicist -- on as her wallpaper; even though she couldn't see it, it made her happy knowing it was there.

"It's my favorite cartoon, actually. It's by a fellow named Sidney Harris. He specializes in science cartoons -- you see his stuff taped to office doors in university science departments all over the world. Anyway, this one shows two scientists standing in front of a blackboard and on the left there are a whole bunch of equations and formulas, and on the right there's more of the same, but in the middle it just says, `Then a miracle occurs ...' And one of the scientists says to the other, `I think you should be more explicit here in step two.'"
The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Edmonton Journal profiles RJS

And a very nice piece it is, too. You can read it here (as reprinted in The Ottawa Citizen).

(The Edmonton Journal is the major daily newspaper in the capital city of the province of Alberta.)

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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Vancouver was great

The event at White Dwarf was packed, and I believe they sold out of Wake hardcovers. And, amazingly, some old friends from public school back in Toronto showed up. Cool!

Bonnie Jean Mah and her infant son Jason were my escorts in Vancouver, and we were joined for dinner beforehand by Rhea Rose (Bonnie was my writing student at Banff in 2000; Rhea was my student in Calgary in 2003).

I'm at the Vancouver airport right now, waiting for my flight to Calgary; I sign tonight at Sentry Box there.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Vancouver on Monday! Calgary on Tuesday!

Wake book tour events:

# White Dwarf Books
3715 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, British Columbia
Monday, April 20, 2009, 7:00 p.m.

# Sentry Box
1835-10th Ave SW
Calgary, Alberta
Tuesday, April 21, 2009, 7:00 p.m.

"Sawyer continues to push the boundaries with his stories of the future made credible. His erudition, eclecticism, and masterly storytelling make this trilogy opener a choice selection." -- Library Journal

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


Xanadu Las Vegas is rockin'

Xanadu Las Vegas, the convention I'm Author Guest of Honor at right now, has been great fun so far. Today I gave a talk on writing, attended talks by Chase Masterson (above) and Lawrence Montaigne (below, with me and Carolyn), watched Chase's excellent new movie Yesterday was a Lie, and had a wonderful three-hour Chinese dinner with Chase, James Kerwin (who wrote and directed the movie), Bob Patula (a programmer who wrote the math engine for the Excel spreadsheet), and Bob's wife Melanie -- a wonderful time.

And yesterday, we hung out a lot with Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin, the wonderful team of writing brothers, authors of The Unincorporated Man, just out from Tor.

(Chase played Leeta the Bajoran on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Lawrence was Stonn the Vulcan in the classic Star Trek episode "Amok Time.")

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Important update on Waterloo Wake event

An important update on the Robert J. Sawyer event for Wake at the Waterloo Entertainment Centre in Waterloo, Ontario, on Thursday, May 21, at 7:30. I just learned this myself (I was not involved in the discussions between the bookseller and my publisher):

Waterloo's venerable bookshop Words Worth Books is sponsoring this event, and paying the rental fee on the Waterloo Entertainment Centre.

The bookstore's policy is to let people in for free who have bought the book (either at the start of the event, or in advance at Words Worth), and to charge $10 to those who just want to attend but not buy the book from Words Worth. (As you can see, they do this for most of their out-of-store events.)

I apologize for the inconvenience, and hope people will still come out for what I'm sure will be a great evening.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Penn & Teller

Just saw Penn & Teller's live show here in Las Vegas. It was awesome -- funny, amazing, thought-provoking. Nice to have a little break before the truly hectic part of the book tour begins!

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ottawa book-tour event: time change!

Uh-oh! The time for my event in Ottawa on April 29, 2009, is 7:30 p.m., not 7:00 p.m. as previously announced. Sorry about the confusion!

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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SLACking off near San Francisco

I took a little time for sight-seeing in San Francisco, accompanied by my dear friend Kaye Mason, Ph.D., who works at EA. We had private behind-the-scenes tours at the American Academy of Ophthalmology's Museum of Vision, the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, and the Googleplex -- I love my job!

I've now arrived in Las Vegas (where the weather is cold and rainy -- dang!). Carolyn has joined me here. In two days the convention Xanadu Las Vegas, at which I'm Author Guest of Honor begins, but until then, we're chillaxing. Tonight we go see Penn & Teller, and tomorrow we go see comedian Louie Anderson.

Pictured, left to right: Kelen Tuttle and Daniel Ratner of SLAC; Dr. Kaye Mason; the tunnel over Kelen's shoulder runs for two miles into the distance

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


Borderlands signing rocked

My event at Borderlands Books went fabulously: big crowd, lots of books sold, and lots of fun. A special treat was that my cousin Eric Peterson came to the event.

Before my reading, I met a fellow named Sean, who seemed intrigued by my books. He bought a mass-market paperback of Calculating God -- used! But he gave me the 56 cents in royalties I would have earned if he'd bought it new -- two quarters, a nickel, and a penny. :)

It was also great meeting a young man named Don and his father; Don had never read until he'd discovered my books, starting with Starplex. It was very gratifying to meet someone who'd become a reader because of me!

I signed lots of stock of various titles at Borderlands, so you can still get an autographed copy of Wake or my other books if you stop by the store.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

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