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SFF Author: Robert J. Sawyer

Robert Sawyer(1960- )
Robert J. Sawyer was born in Toronto, Canada. He studied Radio and Television Arts, and after graduating in 1982 he began a lucrative career in journalism. He began writing science fiction in 1988 and is now a full-time writer. Sawyer has twice won the Aurora, the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Award; and in 1993 he won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story, by the Crime Writers of Canada. He won the 1995 Nebula Award for his novel ‘Terminal Experiment’. Learn about his science fiction stand-alone novels at Robert J. Sawyer’s website.



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The Terminal Experiment: A substandard Crichton-style thriller

The Terminal Experiment by Robert J. Sawyer

Robert J. Sawyer is a very popular Canadian science-fiction author, with many novels under his belt and several major awards, including the 1995 Nebula Award for The Terminal Experiment, 2003 Hugo Award for Hominids, and 2006 John W. Campbell Award for Mindscan. I hadn’t read anything of his so I decided to give The Terminal Experiment a try. It’s about an engineer who creates three artificial copies of his consciousness,


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Hominids: What if Neanderthals survived on a parallel Earth?

Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer

What would it be like if Neanderthals had become the dominant race of humans on the planet? Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer explores that very idea. This book follows a brilliant Neanderthal physicist named Ponter Boddet. Ponter and his partner, while working on experimental quantum computers, accidently open a bridge between universes. The bridge leads to the world we (Homo sapiens sapiens) currently reside in. Ponter fell into our world accidently and has now become stranded here.


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Humans: A love polygon

Humans by Robert J. Sawyer

Ponter, the Neanderthal from another dimension, is back on Earth – our Earth.

This time, Ponter has brought nearly a dozen of the most celebrated scientists and intellectuals from his world. Though we humans are a difficult bunch to deal with, the Neanderthals seem determined to make contact work. Thank goodness, since a lone gunman on our side shoots a member of their delegation as soon as he gets the chance. Mary, meanwhile, is recruited into an American think tank that is determined to figure out how the Neanderthals and their technology work.


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Rollback: A surprisingly moving and humane story

Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer

Robert J. Sawyer is a very reliable writer. His books rarely blow you away, but they’re always thought provoking, well crafted and very readable — and Rollback is no exception. In this novel, the SETI effort finally pays off when a message arrives from the distant star Sigma Draconis. Professor Sarah Halifax is instrumental in decoding the message and composing a response, but because the star is over 18 light years removed from Earth, it’ll take nearly 40 years before a response can be expected.


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WWW:Wake: I was simply left in awe

WWW: Wake  by Robert J. Sawyer

It’s been a long time since I read Calculating God, and I’d forgotten how good Robert J. Sawyer was. As I was reading Wake, the wonderful, smooth rhythm of Sawyer’s writing came back to me, and I wondered why I ever stopped reading his stuff. I loved Wake, but defining exactly why I loved it will be somewhat difficult.

Caitlin is a 15 year old math genius who was born blind.


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WWW:Watch: Sweet ideas sometimes feel forced

WWW: Watch by Robert J. Sawyer

Note: This review is slightly spoilerish; some of the themes I discuss are important to the overall story, but no actual plot points are revealed. Sawyer delivers his message through dialog between characters, so some of the ideas I mention do not get discussed till later in the book. If you had mixed feelings about book 1, you should read this review before deciding to read book 2.

The story of Caitlin and the emergent entity WebMind continues in Watch.


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WWW: Wonder: Ties up the story nicely

WWW: Wonder by Robert J. Sawyer

WWW: Wonder is the third and final book in Robert J. Sawyer’s WWW trilogy. It continues the story of visually challenged Caitlin Decter and the self aware web-based intelligence that she has named Webmind. Caitlin and Webmind struggle to deal with the sudden attention Webmind’s emergence has brought on them all. Caitlin believes that Webmind is a benevolent entity, but the government considers it a threat and wants to eradicate it. There are a couple of other subplots that come to together in WWW: Wonder,


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Identity Theft: Hugo & Nebula nominated novella on audio

Identity Theft by Robert J. Sawyer

Alex Lomax, a private detective on Mars, has been hired by Cassandra Wilkins to find her missing husband, Joshua Wilkins. At first the solution to the mystery seems obvious, but Lomax soon discovers that it’s a lot more unusual, complicated, and dangerous, than he originally thought. Both Mr. and Mrs. Wilkins are Transfers — they’ve had their consciousnesses uploaded to artificial bodies. But that’s not the only reason the Wilkins case isn’t routine — it also involves a paleontologist who has discovered a large cache of valuable Martian fossils.


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Red Planet Blues: Doesn’t justify its length

Red Planet Blues by Robert J. Sawyer

Red Planet Blues, by Robert J. Sawyer, is a sci-fi noir novel a la Raymond Chandler set, unsurprisingly, on Mars. More specifically, in New Klondike, the domed city built during the time of the Great Martian Fossil Rush (thus the name Klondike), sparked when the pair of explorers who had found “Alpha” — the motherlode of pristine and incredibly rare Martian fossils  — died without having revealed the fossil bed’s location. The rush was on to be the first to find it,


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Magazine Monday: Galaxy’s Edge Magazine, Inaugural Issue

Galaxy’s Edge Magazine is a new bimonthly publication appearing in both paper and electronic forms. The March 2013 issue is the first, and I purchased a copy of the electronic version as soon as it came to my attention. However, compared to Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, and F&SF, among others, it is a mediocre collection of mostly reprints.

Galaxy’s Edge appears to be aimed toward those who miss the old pulps or want more hard SF that reads like the present Analog.


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The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Sherlock in fantasy land

The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes edited by John Joseph Adams

In this collection of stories, compiled by John Joseph Adams, a variety of authors invent cases that Sherlock Holmes might encounter if our world were just a bit different. These are cases in which the “improbable” occurs. Most of the stories involve some sort of fantastical situation in which Holmes is required to go outside of his normal logic-based abilities and enter the realm of fantasy. The array of horror, fantasy, and sci-fi authors is quite extensive. Laurie King,


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Next SFF Author: John Scalzi
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