Wednesday, February 3, 2010

DAW is the new Tor

Used to be, back in the day, if you wanted to buy science fiction and fantasy by Canadian authors, you turned to Tor Books: they had tons of Canadian authors on their lists: Charles de Lint, Candas Jane Dorsey, Ed Greenwood, Phyllis Gotlieb, Terence M. Green, Matthew Hughes, Karl Schroeder, Robert J. Sawyer, Robert Charles Wilson, Peter Watts, and more. A few of those are still doing new books with Tor, but it certainly can no longer be called the go-to house for Canadian SF&F.

DAW, on the other hand, has been quietly building a major list of Canadian authors, including Julie E. Czerneda, Tanya Huff, Fiona Patton, Michelle West, Edward Willett (last year's winner of the long-form English Aurora Award), and more. And DAW's on-going commitment to original short-fiction anthologies has provided the home for many a story that has gone on to be nominated for an Aurora Award (and has produced four Aurora winners).

And so it's wonderfully appropriate that Keycon 26, which has been designated this year's Canadian National Science Fiction Convention, has just announced DAW's Sheila Gilbert as its Editor Guest of Honour. Not only is Sheila a terrific person and a terrific editor, but she's done an enormous amount for Canadian science fiction and fantasy authors.
Robert J. Sawyer online:


Friday, November 27, 2009

Phyllis Gotlieb honoured today in Canada's Federal Parliament

My great friend and inspiration Phyllis Gotlieb passed away earlier this year, and today Mauril Bélanger, a Member of Canada's Federal Parliament, rose in the House of Commons to speak to that loss:
Hon. Mauril Bélanger (Ottawa—Vanier, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, this past summer, Canada lost one of its pioneers in science fiction writing, Phyllis Gotlieb, born Phyllis Bloom, in Toronto, in 1926.

The Sunburst Award, an award given annually to Canadian writers of speculative fiction, is named after her first novel, Sunburst, published in 1964.

Thanks to our parliamentary library, I have now had the pleasure to read that novel. I am truly happy to have discovered an author who gives us great characters and an intelligent storyline. I look forward to reading more of her novels.

Some have called her the mother of Canadian science fiction; others, it is grandmother. Robert J. Sawyer, Canada's most successful author of the genre, settled it by calling her “the grand dame of Canadian science fiction”, and I concur.

I wish to extend to her husband, Calvin Gotlieb, her son, Leo, and her daughters, Margaret and Jane, our condolences, but also our gratitude for her legacy.

Pictured: Phyllis and Kelly Gotlieb at my home.

Many thanks to Barb Collishaw for this news item.

Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Labels: ,

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Guest Editorial in On Spec

I've long been associated with On Spec, English-Canada's leading SF magazine. My short story "Just Like Old Times" first appeared there in 1993 (and went on to win both the Aurora Award and the Crime Writers of Canada's juried Arthur Ellis Award for best short story of the year, as well as being reprinted in the best-of anthology On Spec: The First Five Years), and for three years (1995-1997), my "On Writing" column ran in the magazine.

This is On Spec's 20th anniversary year, and I am very proud to have been called upon to write a Guest Editorial for the Fall 2009 issue. For the time being, you can read that editorial right here.
Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

R.I.P., Made in Canada

The Aurora Award-winning webiste MADE IN CANADA -- Don Bassie's elaborate and detailed repository of information about Canadian science fiction and fantasy -- is no more. It had been hosted on Yahoo's Geocities service, and, in a spectacular act of online genocide, Yahoo wiped out all free Geocities sites on 26 October 2009.

Don's site had been an enormous asset to us all, and it's terrible that it's gone. For the record, the URL for it was

Don had stopped updating the site -- which won Auroras in 2000, 2003, and 2004 -- some time ago, but it was still an enormously valuable historical resource.

Thank God for the Internet Archives. The most recent version from there, dated August 2004, can be accessed here. Sadly, it only contains bits and pieces of the now-gone full site, though.
Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


Sunday, October 18, 2009

McNally Robinson interviews Hayden Trenholm

McNally Robinson's Chadwick Ginther interviews Aurora Award-winning Canadian SF writer Hayden Trenholm, whose SF-crime novel Steel Whispers is just out from Bundoran Press, here.
Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Robert Charles Wilson reviews Margaret Atwood

In the Literary Review of Canada. Check it out.

Pictured: Robert J. Sawyer and Robert Charles Wilson with their Hugo trophies.
Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


Friday, September 18, 2009

Great New Canadian SF & Fantasy

YouTube has video of the panel on this topic from the 2009 World Science Fiction Convention in Montreal. Panelists (left to right): Hayden Trenholm, John Park, Robert J. Sawyer.

Direct YouTube link (bigger picture, HQ available)
Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Minister Faust interviews Robert J. Sawyer

Minister Faust -- one of Canada's leading SF writers (author of Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad from Del Rey), and a renowned Edmonton radio personality -- interviews Robert J. Sawyer about Rob's new novel Wake.

You can listen to the 14-minute interview, which was first heard on Edmonton's CJSR Radio on April 24, 2009, right here.

Says Minister Faust in the introduction:
Robert J. Sawyer is a Canadian Michael Crichton, fascinated with how developments in science will affect present-day and day-after-tomorrow individuals and society. His breadth of comprehension of scientific ideas is astounding, and his deployment of that understanding in his fiction is always exciting, memorable, and debate-provoking.
Among the topics we discuss: the inclusiveness, and ethnic/cultural diversity, featured in my fiction; the challenge of writing a trilogy; my approach to high-level metaphors; and how I managed to capture the voice of a 15-year-old girl.

(And more about Wake is here.)

Update: Minister Faust also interviews Robert J. Sawyer in the 10 May 2009 Toronto Star.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Toronto Hydra founded 25 years ago today

One could argue that twenty-five years ago today, the modern Canadian science-fiction movement was born.

On April 29, 1984, Judith Merril invited all the "good science fiction" heads she could find to the founding meeting of Toronto Hydra, a social networking group for science-fiction professionals. That predates the publication of the first Tesseracts anthology by some months, and the founding of SF Canada and On Spec by five years.

Among those attending that historic first meeting: John Robert Colombo, Phyllis Gotlieb, Terence M. Green, Robert J. Sawyer, and Andrew Weiner.

I was the coordinator of Toronto Hydra for the next eight years, until October 1992. More of the group's history is here.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

NYRSF and Locus on 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.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

North of Infinity II table of contents

Editor Mark Leslie Lefebvre has posted the table of contents for North of Infinity II, the second in the series of Canadian SF anthologies published by Mosaic Press.

My story “Forever,” originally published in Mike Resnick’s Return of the Dinosaurs, is included, as are, to my delight, stories by my writing students Karen Danylak and Doug Smith, plus one by Andrew Weiner, whose novel Getting Near the End was published under my Robert J. Sawyer Books imprint:

North of Infinity II contents

The book should be out early in 2006.

Labels: ,