Edward Willett

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Robert J. Sawyer honored by Toronto Public Library

Robert J. Sawyer, a friend and someone whose Writing With Style sessions on writing science fiction I've twice attended at the Banff Centre, has received the Toronto Public Library Celebrates Reading Award.Established in 2001, this is one of Canada's top book-related honours. The award, which includes a cash prize of $2,500 and a crystal sculpture, was presented in front of a sold-out audience of 640 at the second annual Book Lover's Ball, a gala, $350-a-plate black-tie event held at Toronto's Liberty Grand on Thursday.Toronto Mayor David Miller was on hand, as were authors Allan Fotheringham and Peter C. Newman, and the emcee was Seamus O'Regan, co-host of Canada AM.Margaret Atwood ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 6:07, February 16th, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »

John Scalzi interviews Robert J. Sawyer…

...and you can read it here.

Posted by Edward Willett at 14:57, June 27th, 2007 under Blog | Comment now »

All Sawyers look alike

Reports the San Francisco Sentinel:Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger pledges a quick replacement for California green czar Robert Sawyer whom the governor fired this week.The photo accompanying the story? A picture of Robert J. Sawyer, noted Canadian science fiction writer.Oops!

Posted by Edward Willett at 15:41, July 4th, 2007 under Blog | 1 Comment »

Roboethics

Download the audio version.Get my science column weekly as a podcast.***A couple of weeks ago I wrote about research aimed at making robot-human interactions more comfortable for humans. With more and more robots finding more and more uses in society, that kind of research is important. But there’s something else we’re going to have to consider as robots become ubiquitous: ethics. How do we insure that robots don’t pose a threat to the much frailer humans they interact with (especially with robot caregivers being developed for use in places like Japan, where the elderly already make up 20 percent of the population and are swelling in number)?The risk to humans from robots isn’t just hypothetical, especially with ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 17:40, November 19th, 2007 under Blog, Science Columns | Comment now »

First lines

Io9 had an interesting post on great first lines in SF*, which prompted Scott Westerfeld to post the first lines of some of his novels, which...Well, you know where I'm going with this, don't you?Here are the first lines of my novels. Are they great? Hard for me to judge. But they each got the story going:SoulwormThe lights of the car slashed through the deluge, twin spears of illumination impaling falling raindrops that glittered silver against the blackness of the wet pavement, the wet sky, the wet world.The Dark UnicornThe actors on the rickety wooden stage had almost finished their bawdy skit.Andy Nebula: Interstellar Rock Star...

Posted by Edward Willett at 4:49, July 26th, 2008 under Blog | Comment now »

Robert J. Sawyer calculates God

The notion that the universe has a designer, that it didn't occur entirely as the result of blind cosmic forces, is not one that gets a lot of attention from the media. Many people assume that all reputable scientists dismiss the notion out of hand. Many reputable scientists do--but not all. There are actually strong scientific arguments to be made that the universe in which we live does show evidence of a guiding intelligence. In fact, one can make the argument that it is intellectually far easier and satisfying to believe in a designed universe than in one that occurred by chance. During my recent visit to Chicon 2000, the ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 11:00, September 4th, 2000 under Blog, Columns, Science Columns | Comment now »

Robert J. Sawyer to be writer-in-residence at the Canadian Light Source

I'm tickled pink with the announcement that Robert J. Sawyer, a friend of mine and Canada's most acclaimed science fiction writer, will be writer-in-residence at the Canadian Light Source in Saskatoon this June and July.If you're an aspiring writer, book a time to talk to Rob. I twice took part in his classes on writing science fiction at the Banff Centre (part of the Writing With Style program) and he's an excellent teacher, critiquer and mentor. (And as I've recounted before, Marseguro was born from a writing exercise one morning in one of his classes, which is why Sawyer's Point is a prominent landmark in a key scene in that novel, and the name ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 5:21, January 9th, 2009 under Blog | Comment now »

A recommendation from Robert J. Sawyer

Robert J. Sawyer, Canada's best-known science fiction writer, has written a series of blog posts discussing people and things he believes are deserving of nominations for the Aurora and Hugo Awards, which will be presented at the World Science Fiction Convention in Montreal this August. In the last of the series, he recommends work by his writing students...one of whom is me!It was in Rob's class in writing science fiction, part of the Writing With Style program at the Banff Centre, that Marseguro was born, on September morning in 2005.Besides Marseguro, he also recommends Tony Pi, one of his students at the University of Toronto in 2001, who has stories ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 14:20, January 18th, 2009 under Blog | Comment now »

The first sentence I wrote today…

Mother Northwind's smile faded. Words today: 1,072 Total thus far: 21,062 I only had about thirty-five minutes of actual writing time today, although I did a lot more typing than that: at 2 p.m. I went to the Book & Brier Patch, our local independent bookstore, for Robert J. Sawyer's reading from his new novel Wake (a copy of which I bought, of course), and then after that I interviewed Rob at the request of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild, which plans to run the interview in the next issue of its news magazine Freelance. (I'll be sure to post that interview online as well, of course.) Rob, of course, is someone I've known for years now, and as I've ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 22:20, June 20th, 2009 under Blog | Comment now »

Photos of the (yester)day

I don't usually feel the need to unburden myself of deep philosophical musings on politics, the meaning of life, or the place of humanity in the universe, but after deep soul-searching, I have come to the point where I simply must--oh, look, a squirrel! Sorry. As I was saying, I don't usually feel the need to unburden myself of deep philosophical musings on politics, the meaning of life, or the place of humanity in the universe, but after deep soul-searching, I have come to the point where I simply must--oh, look, Robert J. Sawyer! Where ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 22:10, June 21st, 2009 under Blog | Comment now »