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For Immediate Release
In Precedent-Setting Deal, Author Retains
Separate U.S. and Canadian Publishers
eBook and Audiobook Rights
for Sawyer's Next Novel
Toronto-based Hugo and Nebula Award-winning science-fiction
writer Robert J. Sawyer
has a truly futuristic publishing arrangement for his 24th novel,
The Oppenheimer Alternative.
Mainstream Canadian publisher Fitzhenry &
Whiteside has licensed Canadian print-only rights for its
Red Deer Press imprint; Fitzhenry is also a major Canadian
book distributor and will handle its own distribution.
Meanwhile, the new U.S. imprint CAEZIK SF&F Books, whose
first title will be the lost Robert A. Heinlein novel
The Pursuit of Pankera, in March 2020, has taken
U.S. print-only rights, and will distribute through Ingram
Sawyer's The Oppenheimer Alternative will be
CAEZIK's second title. Both Red Deer Press and CAEZIK will
release the book on June 2, 2020. In deals negotiated by Chris
Lotts of The Lotts Agency, Sawyer has done the all but
unprecedented, retaining worldwide ebook and audiobook
"I was looking for publishers who could bring my book to market
quickly," says Sawyer. "As an alternate history about The
Manhattan Project, I realized it needed to be out for the
75th anniversary of the Trinity test, which is July 16, 2020. All
twenty-three of my previous novels were done by Big-Five
publishers, but they weren't nimble enough for that and
they all would have insisted on ebook and audiobook rights.
"I've had great success with self-publishing my backlist in ebook
form, and so am confident I can do just fine with a frontlist
title in that space. And I have a great track record in
audiobook, including winning the Audie Award for
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Audiobook of the Year, and so saw
no reason to give a Big-Five publisher, most of whom are only
finally getting their feet wet in that area, a cut."
Sawyer has had a long relationship with Toronto's Fitzhenry &
Whiteside, having edited his own eponymous science-fiction
imprint for them, Robert J. Sawyer Books. Fitzhenry's Red
Deer Press has also published Sawyer's collected short fiction in
two volumes, as well as his acclaimed anthology Distant
Early Warnings: Canada's Best Science Fiction, and a
reprint of one of his backlist novels, Starplex.
To edit The Oppenheimer Alternative, Fitzhenry
engaged Sawyer's former editor at Penguin Random House Canada,
Adrienne Kerr, winner of the Canadian Bookseller
Association's Libris Award for Best Editor of the Year. "It
was an absolute pleasure working with Rob again," says Kerr. "I'm
always astounded by how he manages to make his novels, which
hinge on complex scientific ideas and concepts, accessible to the
lay reader. Not only is the science deftly explained and
explored, his grasp of the moral and ethical ramifications of the
practical applications of these discoveries make the novel feel
urgent and vital."
CAEZIK Books is a new imprint of Arc Manor Press in
Rockville, Maryland. Arc Manor also publishes Galaxy's
Edge science-fiction magazine; Sawyer writes the
"Decoherence" column about the state of the SF industry in every
Sawyer says, "I wanted to work with people I had a history with.
I knew I could absolutely trust my Canadian publishers, Sharon
Fitzhenry and Red Deer Press's Richard Dionne, and my
American one, Shahid Mahmud, and they, in turn, trust that
I'll use my considerable social-media platform and great track
record at landing mainstream radio and TV interviews to make this
hybrid-publishing solution a true win-win-win for all of us."
Sawyer, a member of both the Order of Canada and the
Order of Ontario and past president of the Science
Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, has been interviewed
over 400 times on TV and an equal number of times on radio, and
his website at SFwriter.com was both the world's first
science-fiction author website and also the first website for any
Rob's previous novel, Quantum Night, was a
Maclean's top-ten national bestseller in Canada,
hit #1 on the bestsellers' list published by Locus,
the U.S. trade journal of the science fiction and fantasy field,
won Canada's Aurora Award for Best Novel of the Year, and
was longlisted for CBC's Canada Reads. His older title
FlashForward was the basis for the ABC-TV series of
the same name.
The Oppenheimer Alternative
tells the story of
J. Robert Oppenheimer and the other famous physicists
from the Manhattan Project era, including Edward Teller,
Richard Feynman, Leo Szilard, Enrico Fermi,
and Albert Einstein himself, staying together as a team
after the development of the atomic bomb to save the world from
an impending ecological crisis.
Physicist Lee Smolin, author of the bestselling
nonfiction book Time Reborn, says of The
Oppenheimer Alternative, "I loved it."
And Dr. Doug Beason, former Associate Director of the
Los Alamos National Laboratory where the atomic bomb was
developed, calls the novel, "Incredibly realistic: the
characters, locations, the era, and even the science. I felt like
I was back in Los Alamos and I should know: I worked
The Oppenheimer Alternative
will be published
worldwide in print, ebook (all formats), and audibook on June 2, 2020.
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