[Robert J. Sawyer] Science Fiction Writer
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Press Release
For Release Thursday, January 1, 1998

[Made in Canada]

"The Best Canadian Mystery of 1997" Chosen As Coles/Smithbooks' Featured "Made in Canada" Title for January

Robert J. Sawyer's just-released ninth novel, ILLEGAL ALIEN, which The Globe and Mail called "the best Canadian mystery of 1997," will be the featured "Made in Canada" fiction title for January 1998 at all Chapters, Coles, Smithbooks, and The Book Company Stores across Canada.

Each month, Toronto-based Chapters, Inc., Canada's largest book retailer, selects one fiction and one non-fiction title by Canadian authors to spotlight in their Coles, Smithbooks, and The Book Company mall stores. The very first promotional display as you enter one of these stores is the "Made in Canada" stand; the program always provides a huge boost to sales.

The same titles are showcased in the chain's Chapters superstores, but, in keeping with the chain's efforts to differentiate its various retail operations, this promotional program is called "Write from Canada" in the Chapters stores.

Unlike traditional bookstore co-op advertising schemes and display allowances, this prominent positioning is not paid for by the book's publisher. Rather, as part of its ongoing commitment to Canadian authors, the program is funded entirely by the Chapters chain. Competition is very stiff for the coveted "Made in Canada" slots; hundreds of books are submitted each month for consideration.

During January, Illegal Alien will be discounted by 20% in all Chapters, Coles, Smithbooks, and The Book Company stores coast-to-coast from its usual cover price of Cdn$30.95 to just $24.76 (the chain normally only discounts the top-ten bestsellers). The novel will also be promoted in the Coles/Smithbooks magazine The Readers Showcase, and in Chapters superstore newspaper ads.

Sawyer's book is the first science-fiction novel ever selected for the "Made in Canada" program.

[Illegal Alien] Illegal Alien is a courtroom drama with an extraterrestrial defendant. As the only winner of both the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's Nebula Award for Best Novel of the Year and the Crime Writers of Canada's Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story of the Year, Sawyer is uniquely qualified to tell this story, which should appeal equally to fans of mystery and SF. The 37-year-old Ottawa-born Sawyer lives in Thornhill, Ontario.

Illegal Alien has received rave reviews. The Toronto Star calls the book "an immensely satisfying whodunit."

Science Fiction Chronicle declares, "Add another hit to Sawyer's string."

And The Globe and Mail says, "This is one fine courtroom drama, with enough twists in the plot to keep any mystery fan flipping the pages; it puts Perry Mason and John Grisham to shame. The novel is far too good to attempt to summarize; let's just say that Sawyer delves into all sorts of strange and wonderful conflicts, including the war between science and belief, and just what God may or may not be. Illegal Alien is the best Canadian mystery of 1997."

Illegal Alien is published by Ace Science Fiction, New York, and distributed in Canada by BeJo Sales of Mississauga. The book was a selection of the Science Fiction Book Club; a signed, numbered leather-bound limited collectors' edition was produced by The Easton Press.

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