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For Release Thursday, January 27, 2000
Creationism and Evolution Clash in Provocative New Novel
CALCULATING GOD, the twelfth novel by acclaimed
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Sawyer's eleventh novel,
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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