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

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Press Release
For Release Friday, November 14, 1997

Author Robert J. Sawyer Joins Canada's Top Science TV Program

[Discovery Channel] [@discovery.ca logo]

Starting Friday, November 14, 1997, and regularly thereafter until the end of June 1998, Nebula Award-winning science-fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer will appear on the popular prime-time Canadian TV series @discovery.ca (yes, it looks like part of an Internet address, but it's really the title of a television program).

[2020 Vision logo] @discovery.ca is the world's only daily science-news program. It is the highest-rated series on the Canadian version of The Discovery Channel, which, in turn, is the highest-rated Canadian cable TV network.

Sawyer's segments are called "2020 Vision." Each segment begin with Sawyer taking on the role of a person from the year A.D. 2020. @discovery.ca co-host Gillian Deacon interviews him, in whatever persona he's adopting, about a specific aspect of life in the future.

Once the interview is over, Sawyer then joins three other experts for a 13-minute roundtable discussion of the scientific, sociological, and moral implications of the scenario presented in the opening interview. The roundtable is moderated by @discovery.ca's other host, Jay Ingram.

[2020 Vision panel]
The other three people joining Sawyer for the panel discussion are Scientific American columnist A. K. Dewdney, University of Waterloo religious-studies professor Michael Higgins, and University of Toronto medical doctor and science historian Pauline Mazumdar. (Pictured left to right: Ingram, Higgins, Mazumdar, Sawyer, and Dewdney.)

[Gill Deacon] [Rob and Gill Deacon]
In the interview part of the first segment, Sawyer plays a pregnant man, about to give birth. In the second, Sawyer is a member of a SETI team that has just made contact with aliens. In the third segment, Sawyer is lawyer arguing for civil rights for apes; in the fourth, he's a person presenting a different virtual-reality version of himself to each of his relatives.

In later segments, Sawyer will be a man denied a job because of his genetic profile, and — in what will doubtless prove the most controversial installment — a reporter investigating claims of the putative Second Coming of Christ. Ten other segments are planned, as well, to round out the season.

@discovery.ca is broadcast weeknights at 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. Eastern time, with repeats the following weekday at 9:00 a.m. and noon. The series is taking a two-week hiatus over Christmas, but "2020 Vision" returns Friday, January 2, 1998, and continues every other week until the end of June 1998.

Sawyer, 37, is Canada's only native-born full-time science-fiction writer, and is the only person in history to win the top national SF awards in Canada (the Aurora), the United States (the Nebula), Japan (the Seiun), and France (Le Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire). His latest books are Frameshift from Tor Books, New York, and Illegal Alien, just released this week by Ace Books, New York.

Sawyer lives in Thornhill, Ontario, and is already a familiar face to Canadian TV viewers through his 75 other television appearances on such programs as Benmergui Live, Canada A.M., The CBC Evening News, The CTV National News, Imprint, Midday, Pamela Wallin Live, Prisoners of Gravity, Saturday Night at the Movies, and W-Five.

More Good Reading

A dialog between Rob Sawyer and A. K. Dewdney about the ideas
in Ray Kurzweil's book The Age of Spiritual Machines

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