Rollback, the Hugos, and Stanley Schmidt …

July 5, 2008

In my increasing quest to fill up the 23 minutes of free time I have per day, I finished Robert J. Sawyer’s Hugo nominated Rollback the other night.

I’m somewhat embarrassed to say that this is the first Sawyer I’ve read of the four or five books of his on my shelf. I’ve been missing some good stuff, I think, and enjoyed it a great deal.

I won’t go into the details of the story or even attempt some high-browed critique that others are much better at.  I just liked the damned book.  But I especially enjoyed the “tidbit lessons” Sawyer provided, some of it related to old television shows, for example, like Star Trek and Lost in Space. For example — I knew this but had forgotten – the robot from Lost in Space was actually designed by the guy who designed Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet? Or how about the robot’s name? Or that Pamela Anderson was the first person born in British Columbia on Canada’s centennial?

Tidbits! How cool. Makes me think that meeting Robert Sawyer at a convention sometime would be pretty cool. Too bad kayleigh an I aren’t going to Denver this year.

I’ve gone onto Sawyer’s Calculating God, which has an interesting concept that I want to see how Sawyer carries off. A first-contact alien shows up on Earth, pointing out that the mass extinctions on both his planet, another planet, and Earth, all occurred at the same time. He believes that God is the culprit, and wonders what God’s plan is.

As a side note, Robert J. Sawyer points out a couple of things on his website today I’d like to mention. First, the Hugo voting deadline is Monday, so if you’re attending (or are a non-attending member), vote!

The second thing he points out seeks to rectify a decades long wrong: the editor of Analog, Stanley Schmidt, has been editor of the magazine for 30 years. Thirty years! Schmidt has been nominated for a Hugo every year but has never won, although Analog continues to be the best-selling science fiction magazine in English! What kind of wacked out neglect is that? So consider a vote for Stanley Schmidt!

And Stanley once wrote me a nice constructive rejection letter about a horrible story I wrote a thousand years ago or so. Rejection, yes, but it was a personal letter!


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