Thursday, March 31, 2016

Robert J. Sawyer

Robert J. Sawyer is one of only eight writers in history — and the only Canadian — to win all three of the world's top Science Fiction awards for best novel of the year: the Hugo, the Nebula, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.

Sawyer's new novel is Quantum Night.

The CBC asked eight authors to pose questions to Sawyer. One exchange:

Kate Pullinger asks, "What relationship does your writing have to your own childhood, both in terms of where you grew up as well as whether or not you were a happy child?"

I grew up in Canada, which seems like a trivial observation for a Canadian writer to make - but in my field of science fiction there were almost no Canadian writers when I was a child (Phyllis Gotlieb was the only significant Canadian SF writer, and - speaking as the person who ultimately was the editor of her final novel - her work had not a single hint of her national origin). I decided to ignore the advice I heard constantly when starting out: "Don't set your stories in Canada; they'll never sell to the States or internationally." Twenty-three novels for major New York publishers later, the flagrantly Canadian settings, Canadian values, Canadian multiculturalism and Canadian humour in my books has proven to be one of the most popular elements of my writing worldwide; my books have been translated into 20 languages, and I was recently flown to China to receive an award as the most popular foreign science fiction author there.

As for my childhood, yes, I know the quintessential CanLit novel is the angsty boy coming of age on the prairies or in Montreal; done to death. Perhaps writing is a form of therapy, but it should never be self-indulgent or self-important. I'm much more interested in...[read on]
Visit Robert J. Sawyer's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: WWW: Wake.

The Page 69 Test: WWW: Watch.

The Page 69 Test:: WWW: Wonder.

The Page 69 Test: Triggers.

The Page 69 Test: Red Planet Blues.

The Page 69 Test: Quantum Night.

--Marshal Zeringue