Edward Willett

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When Words Collide 2017: Canada’s best writing conference

Last weekend my wife and daughter and I made our annual pilgrimage to When Words Collide in Calgary, which has become, not only my favorite writing conference, but, I think, the best writing conference in Canada. (Admittedly, I haven’t been to all of them, but I don’t see how any of them can be appreciably better!) There are panels on every aspect of writing, and even though many of them are aimed at writers who are just starting out, there are plenty of others of interest to more experienced writers. This year, I particularly enjoyed Tawny Stokes’s panel on pitching books to TV/movie production companies—something I ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 13:34, August 20th, 2017 under Blog, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

Great video about best genre literary conference anywhere: When Words Collide

Here's a great video about the best genre literary convention in North America and probably the world: Calgary's When Words Collide. If you're interested in writing, you owe it to yourself to get to When Words Collide. My name gets mentioned about halfway through this video as an example of the kinds of deals that get made at the convention: it was there last year that Hayden Trenholm of Bundoran Press asked me if I'd write a sequel to Right to Know. That sequel, Falcon's Egg, will be out next year. you

Posted by Edward Willett at 22:25, October 19th, 2014 under Blog, Books, Writing and Editing | Comment now »

The Space-Time Continuum: The shape of things to come – science fiction predictions

(My Space-Time Continuum column from the May issue of Freelance, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild.) Science fiction is popularly perceived as being concerned with predicting the future. It’s not hard to see where that notion comes from: after all, over the years science fiction has gotten quite a few things right about the shape of things to come. In fact, The Shape of Things to Come was the actual title of a book by H. G. Wells (made into a landmark 1936 film). Though Wells foresaw submarine-launched guided missiles and got a few other technological predictions right, he was primarily concerned with the problems of society. The ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 10:11, July 28th, 2012 under Blog, Columns, Science Fiction Columns | Comment now »

Saturday Special from the Vaults: Sins of the Father

OK, this is an interesting one. As I have often recounted, Marseguro, which won the 2009 Aurora Award for best Canadian science fiction novel in English, began with a single opening line penned as a morning exercise in the Writing With Style program at the Banff Centre, in a science fiction-writing class taught by Robert J. Sawyer (at 9:15 a.m. on September 20, 2005, to be precise--I love computers). That opening was: Emily streaked through the phosphorescent sea, her wake a comet-tail of pale green light, her close-cropped turquoise hair surrounded by a glowing pink aurora. The water racing through her gill-slits smelled of blood. As the week progressed, ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 9:57, January 28th, 2012 under Blog, The Vaults | Comment now »

Saturday Special from the Vaults: Picking the Bones

This is an unpublished and, as far as I know, never-submitted short-short I rediscovered in my files. I think I may have written it at Banff during the Writing With Style workshop on writing science fiction with Robert J. Sawyer, the same workshop out of which came Marseguro. The landing pod settled in the middle of the alien battlefield in an expanding cloud of copper-colored dust, its antigrav moaning away to nothing and its liftjets sighing into silence. Vultor Caruso watched the pod’s descent through binoculars from the ancient camouflaged pillbox buried in the nearest hill, his lips set in a thin, tight sneer. “Damn claim-jumpers,” he muttered; after years ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 9:14, January 14th, 2012 under Blog, Columns | Comment now »

The winners of the 2010 Prix Aurora Awards

The 2010 Prix Aurora Awards for the best Canadian science fiction and fantasy of 2009 were handed out tonight at KeyCon in Winnipeg. My Terra Insegura was nominated for best novel in English, but didn't win (although all the nominees did receive very nice stainless steel mini-Aurora pins, which were much appreciated!). Instead, the best novel in English award went to Robert J. Sawyer's Wake (and well-deserved it is). Here are this year's nominees and winners. I've arranged the list with the winners at the top of each category, starred and bolded: BEST NOVEL IN ENGLISH : *WAKE, Robert J. Sawyer, Penguin Canada THE AMULET OF AMON-RA, by Leslie Carmichael, CBAY Books DRUIDS, by Barbara Galler-Smith and Josh Langston, Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy STEEL WHISPERS, ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 22:14, May 23rd, 2010 under Blog | Comment now »

Alberta bound

Well, got a couple of nice bits of news this week. First, I've been asked by Pure Speculation, a science fiction convention in Edmonton, to be their Author Guest of Honour, filling in for Spider Robinson, who has had to bow out because of the need to concentrate on helping his wife, Jeanne, as she undergoes a round of chemotherapy. I'm hardly in the same league as Spider, writer-wise, which makes it doubly an honour to be asked. I don't know too many details about programming yet, except that I'll be singing in the Friday night cabaret and I'll be interviewed by Barb Galler-Smith at some point. Pure Speculation runs October 2 to 4 at the Shaw Convention ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 14:09, September 3rd, 2009 under Blog | Comment now »

An interview with Robert J. Sawyer

The following article was just published in the July/August issue of FreeLance, the newsletter of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild. *** Robert J. Sawyer: The Philosophical Science Fiction Writer By Edward Willett The Canadian Light Source, the giant synchrotron in Saskatoon, does not immediately spring to mind as a likely venue for a writer-in-residence. Unless, perhaps, that writer is renowned Canadian science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer. Then it seems like a perfect fit. “Most of my books involve working scientists,” Sawyer notes. “I have often visited science institutions, but I've never been immersed for weeks on end in the ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 11:40, July 29th, 2009 under Blog | Comment now »

Insight into the theory of mind

[podcast]http://edwardwillett.com/wp-content/upLoads//2009/07/Theory-of-Mind.mp3[/podcast] This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention, but in addition to writing nonfiction, I also write fiction—specifically, science fiction and fantasy. Now, the writing of fiction is a very odd thing, in that it involves the making up of characters: people who don’t really exist, but for whom the illusion of existence is created by the words the author puts on the page. Quite often, these people are very different from the author. I recently interviewed renowned Canadian science fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer for FreeLance, the magazine of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild. The main character in his latest book, Wake, is a blind teenage girl, Caitlin Decter. Now, although Sawyer can draw on some experience at ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 10:27, July 1st, 2009 under Blog, Columns, Science Columns | 2 Comments »

An Aurora display at McNally Robinson in Saskatoon

Robert J. Sawyer spotted (and photographed) this "end-cap" display of Aurora Award finalists at McNally Robinson in Saskatoon. Note the multiple copies of Marseguro!* *Oh, have I mentioned recently that Marseguro is an Aurora Award finalist? The voting deadline is July 15! Don't delay, vote today!

Posted by Edward Willett at 23:32, June 30th, 2009 under Blog | Comment now »