[Robert J. Sawyer] Science Fiction Writer
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Press Release
For Release Thursday, January 27, 2000

Creationism and Evolution Clash in Provocative New Novel

CALCULATING GOD, the twelfth novel by acclaimed Toronto-area writer ROBERT J. SAWYER, will be the lead hardcover science-fiction title for June 2000 from Tor Books, New York (the world's largest publisher of science fiction). The novel will be in stores across North America by late May.

Like many of Sawyer's previous novels, CALCULATING GOD takes its premise from today's headlines. As school boards throughout America back away from the teaching of evolution, Sawyer tackles the creationism debate head on.

[Calculating God Cover Art] The novel is set in the present day. An alien scientist arrives at Toronto's Royal Ontario Museum and asks to see a paleontologist. The extraterrestrial thinks that by examining the museum's fossil collections, he can prove the existence of God.

The human paleontologist, Tom Jericho, is a lifelong atheist. But now, unbeknownst to the alien, that life is about to come to an end. Decades of inhaling mineral dust have given Tom terminal lung cancer. As he faces his own mortality, will he waver in his convictions?

Each of Sawyer's last four novels have been nominated for the Hugo Award, SF's highest honor; only two other authors in history have managed a similar run: Robert Silverberg in the 1970s and Orson Scott Card in the 1980s.

Sawyer, past president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, has previously tackled such contemporary issues as the use of genetic information by insurance companies (Frameshift), racism in the courts (Illegal Alien), and false-memory syndrome (Factoring Humanity).

New Scientist magazine says "Sawyer's work is scientifically plausible, fictionally intriguing and ethically important."

The Rocky Mountain News (Denver) declares, "Here are a few of the things I like about Robert Sawyer: His novels are fast moving and tightly constructed; his characters are developed so that I care what happens to them; the science in his science fiction is intrinsic to the plot but not so arcane that readers have to be nuclear physicists to understand it; and he doesn't imitate others or himself."

Meanwhile, Maclean's: Canada's Weekly Newsmagazine says, "Robert J. Sawyer is the genre's northern star — in fact, one of the hottest SF writers anywhere. By any reckoning Sawyer is among the most successful Canadian authors ever."

Sawyer's eleventh novel, FlashForward ("thoroughly entertaining" — CNN), received a starred review, denoting a book of exceptional merit, from Publishers Weekly, and was third on BarnesandNoble.com's list of the best SF and fantasy books of 1999. Tor will re-issue FlashForward in mass market simultaneously with CALCULATING GOD's hardcover release.

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