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Last Updated:
September 25, 2003 8:25 PM

Robert J. Sawyer

"Despite the fact that I write at length about what people would consider to be metaphysical issues, I'm a rationalist. I think that the lesson that one should take from science fiction is that there's nothing that's outside of the boundaries of science... The favorite review of my book is one from the Toronto Star which says, 'Sawyer forces us to grapple with questions that we used to think were too metaphysical to deal with rationally.' That's what I think good science fiction is: the rational approach to the metaphysical."
                                                                             -- Robert J. Sawyer (from an interview)

Who is Robert J. Sawyer?

Robert J. Sawyer is Canada's only full-time science fiction author. Author of 12 novels (with 3 more pending), winner of the Nebula and Hugo awards as well as many other international awards, and former President of the Science Fiction Writers' of America.

I had the pleasure of meeting Rob at Eeriecon III, in Niagra Falls, NY. I had scheduled an interview with him because I was incredibly impressed with his work, and wished to get his views on various topics. We discussed writing (both in general and his work specifically), as well as the themes of what science is meant to do, immortality, evolution, and other topics. It was honestly some of the most fun I've had in a long time, and I was as impressed with him in person as I was with the fine stories that he tells.

Themes in Rob's work:

Rob's work tackles heavy themes, and does not shirk from the consequences of them. Whether it's science, religion, or man's role in the universe, Rob is able to juggle these themes on the level of a master of literature. Though not exhaustive, what follows is a list of some topics and themes that have a strong presence in Rob's work:

Evolution & Creationism
Neanderthal Parallax Trilogy (Hominids, Humans, Hybrids), Quintaglio Trilogy (Far-Seer, Fossil Hunter, Foreigner), The Terminal Experiment, Illegal Alien, Starplex, Frameshift & Calculating God
Immortality
The Terminal Experiment, Starplex, & FlashForward
Existence of the soul
Neanderthal Parallax Trilogy, The Terminal Experiment
Role of science in the world (explicit discussions)
The Terminal Experiment, FlashForward & Calculating God
Man vs. Machine
Golden Fleece & Factoring Humanity
Fate vs. Free Will
FlashForward
Artificial Intelligence/Consciousness
Golden Fleece & Factoring Humanity
Replicated Consciousness
Golden Fleece & The Terminal Experiment
Collective unconscious
Factoring Humanity
Racial issues
Neanderthal Parallax, Starplex & Illegal Aliens
Repressed & implanted memories
Factoring Humanity
What is life?
Starplex, Illegal Aliens & Calculating God
Genetics
Frameshift, Illegal Alien, & Calculating God
Nanotechnology
The Terminal Experiment
Quantum physics
Starplex, FlashForward, Golden Fleece, & Factoring Humanity
Quantum computing
Neanderthal Parallax Trilogy, Factoring Humanity & Golden Fleece
Time travel
Starplex, End of an Era & FlashForward

Robert J. Sawyer speaks
(Selected topics from interview,
along with references to specific books where applicable)

Full interview with Robert J. Sawyer

Rob's books
Bibliography with comments/overviews

Links

Robert J. Sawyer Official Homepage: www.sfwriter.com
This site is the most comprehensive science fiction author's page on the internet. It has short stories, book excerpts, articles on writing, reading group questions for Sawyer's books, and many other fine features. You can also order autographed copies of some books through the site!
Join Robert J. Sawyer's Discussion Group
Yes, Rob actually is on the group. He runs it. He responds. Join and hear his words of wisdom.
Join Robert J. Sawyer's Theology Discussion Group
Yes, he's on this one too. If you like what he says in the interview, then jump on over here. As of the time I write this, there are only 4 of us on there, and you need much more for a good discussion.
 

Pictures of Rob from Eeriecon III

Robert J. Sawyer, shrouded in mystery whilst signing my books.

Two pictures of me with Rob.
I knew that, eventually, someone would figure out how to get the damn flash to work!

Pictures Copyrighted 2001, Andrew Zimmerman Jones

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AZJ Essay Appears in
Pink Floyd and Philosophy

My essay, "Exploring the Dark Side of the Rainbow," is out in
Pink Floyd and Philosophy
from Open Court Books'
Pop Culture and Philosophy series.
. In the essay, I explore the mysterious connection between
Dark Side of the Moon
and the classic film
The Wizard of Oz
.

Don't know the connection?
Check out the book!


"Diminished Capacity"
available online at
Abyss & Apex magazine.


Other stories available in these anthologies:

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