First off, this is not an interview blog. I would love to do one, and I think I could get enough people on here to interest readers, but basically I don’t have the time for it. No, this is just a blog about a writer I’ve known for some years, who is now selling some of his own work. I’m boosting his signal, so to speak. Now, I’m sure there are a lot more fans of Robert J. Sawyer than there are for Doug Dandridge. But I’ve learned over the years that among the casual reader, probably the majority of fans, great knowledge of the field is not a given. I have mentioned famous authors to many of my more nerdy friends, and even some fans and conventions, and all I get back is a blank look. So this is my shout out for Rob. And I may be doing this kind of blog more often in the future.
I met Rob Sawyer about six years ago on the internet. I was browsing for science fiction author sites, and came across his, aptly named www.sfwriter.com. It looked familiar, and I realized I had found it several years before. I had a question about something, publishing, websites or some such. I sent him an email, not really expecting an answer. And received an answer that very same day. I followed him on Facebook, and I think he was over the limit for friends at that time. The first time I met him in person was at DragonCon in 2012, just after I had started to make enough money to become a full-time writer. I was sitting there waiting for a panel on which he was featured. I called out to him, told him my name, and he came and sat down next to me to talk for about five minutes. I was amazed. This was a Hugo and Nebula award winning author, and he spent time before his panel to talk with me. I’ve seen him over the years at every DragonCon, and we were always able to talk for some minutes, sometimes longer. Some years later I proof read a speech he was to give in Great Britain, and finally was able to get friend status on Facebook. And this year he congratulated me on my book deal with Arc Manor, and we talked for some time about things in general.
Rob is a true scholar of science fiction. He’s a great fan of the original Star Trek and Planet of the Apes, as anyone who follows him on Facebook would know. As said above, he’s won the two major science fiction award, Hugo and Nebula. Also the Aurora, the Seiun, the Campbell Memorial Award, the Hal Clement and others. He is considered Canada’s gift to science fiction. So, he’s as well known as they get, but still not universally known. I doubt anyone is in this field unless your name was Heinlein. I was only able to put in the links for his work at Amazon.US, but he can be found on just about every platform in existence, in eBook, paperback and audio.
I’ve always enjoyed Rob’s work. Now I’m a military science fiction writer, with lots of explosions and death and all the exciting things my fan base likes. Rob’s works are different. He puts a positive spin on things. Not to say there are some horrific moments in his stories. Assassinations, murders on the surface of Mars, the government overstepping its bounds and terrorizing citizens. But who else would write a story about an emerging AI (Awake), and make it benevolent. Great three book series by the way, and if you haven’t read it, you need to. Or his tale about an alternate dimension where Neanderthals became the dominant species, a three novel series (Hominids). His series about intelligent dinosaurs living on a doomed moon that is destined to fall apart as it passes the Roche limit of the gas giant it is in orbit around (Quintaglio Ascension Trilogy). Or an avowed atheist writing about an alien race that has discovered God through mathematics (Calculating God). One of my favorites was Red Planet Blues, about a detective in the one domed city on Mars, and the murder he tries to solve. And Flashforward, a novel about the world jumping ahead temporarily twenty-one years in to the future for two minutes, and seeing what their lives had been like. That one was the basis of a TV series.
Rob has recently gained the rights to some of his works and is selling them under his own name, something quite a few of the scifi and fantasy writers I know have done. They had a chance to get their work out with some more publicity, and make a fair wage on their writing. Again, I recommend his work. His grasp of science is fantastic, his grasp of human behavior is terrific, and most of all, his grasp of story is out of this world. So, if you haven’t read this artist of an author, might I recommend that you pick up one of his books today. You’re in for a treat.