Robert J. Sawyer
Biography & Resources


Robert James Sawyer was born in Ottawa, grew up in Toronto, and now lives in Mississauga, Ontario. He attended Ryerson University in Toronto, where he received a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree in Radio and Television Arts in 1982. Twenty years later, he was given that university's Alumni Award of Distinction in honor of his international success as a science fiction writer.

Sawyer has won thirty-five national and international awards for his fiction, most prominently the 1995 Nebula Award for his novel The Terminal Experiment, and the 2003 Hugo Award for his novel Hominids, first volume of his Neanderthal Parallax trilogy; he has eight additional Hugo nominations under his belt. His fiction has received starred reviews (denoting books of exceptional merit) in Publishers Weekly, Booklist, Quill & Quire, and Kliatt. His books have appeared on the top-ten national mainstream bestsellers lists in Canada, as published by The Globe and Mail and Maclean's magazine, and they've hit number one on the bestsellers list published by Locus, the trade journal of the SF field. Translated editions have appeared in Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Serbian, and Spanish, and he has won SF awards in Canada, France, Japan, Spain, and the United States.

Sawyer's work frequently explores the intersection between science and religion, with rationalism always winning out. He also has a great fondness for paleontology, as evidenced in his Quintaglio Ascension trilogy (Far-Seer, Fossil Hunter, and Foreigner), about an alien world to which dinosaurs from Earth were transplanted. He often explores the notion of copied or uploaded human consciousness, most fully in his novel Mindscan. His interest in quantum physics, and especially quantum computing, informs the short stories "You See But You Do Not Observe" and "Iterations," and the novels Factoring Humanity and Hominids.

Sawyer's work often crosses over from science fiction to mystery and, indeed, he won both Canada's top SF award (the Aurora) and its top mystery-fiction award (the Arthur Ellis) for his 1993 short story "Just Like Old Times." Illegal Alien is a courtroom drama with an extraterrestrial defendant; Hominids puts one Neanderthal on trial by his peers for the apparent murder of another Neanderthal; Mindscan has the rights of uploaded consciousnesses explored in a Michigan probate court; and Golden Fleece, Fossil Hunter, The Terminal Experiment, Frameshift, and Flashforward are all, in part, murder mysteries. Sawyer has served as a consultant to Canada's Federal Department of Justice on the shape future genetics laws should take.

selected books

Tor Books (2005)
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Tor Books (2005)
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Factoring Humanity
Orb Books (2003)
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The Terminal Experiment
Eos (1995)
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articles & interviews

Articles & interviews in What Is Enlightenment? magazine

We Will Be the Lords of Creation