A Rising Star

Impassioned Delivery (by StarbuckGuy)

Robert J. Sawyer reading from his novel, Rollback, April 14, 2007, Bakka Books, Toronto

My old friend Rob Sawyer sent an email today about some exciting new developments in his career as a science fiction writer, and, increasingly, as a television personality. I met Rob in the 80’s when we were both writing for InfoAge. He was, at the time, working as a full-time freelance writer for magazines and working on his first science fiction novel, Far-Seer. Little did I know then that he would emerge as a major force in the science fiction world.

His 18th(!!) novel, WWW: Wake, will be coming out in April 2009. The theme is ‘the World Wide Web wakes up…’ I’ll be standing in line at the book signing!

In addition, ABC will soon start filming a pilot for Flash Forward, a new hour-long TV series based on Rob’s award-winning novel of the same name.

The pilot script was written by David S. Goyer  (Batman Begins) and Brannon Braga (Star Trek,  24), and David is directing. Rob is serving as  consultant, and will be writing one of the  first-season episodes.

In addition to this, Rob will begin hosting a new 17-part TV series on VisionTV called Supernatural Investigator.  It airs on Tuesdays, starting Jan. 27 at 10:30 pm ET/7:30 pm PT. (This coming Tuesday if you’re reading this before the 27th)

Produced for VisionTV by some of Canada’s leading independent production companies, the Supernatural Investigator documentaries bring rigorous real-life scrutiny to the murky world of paranormal phenomena. Each half-hour episode follows an expert investigator as he or she searches for the truth behind so-called supernatural happenings.

These investigators – among them futurist Mac Tonnies, archaeologist Joel Palka, science writer and adventurer Jeff Warren, magician Jeremy Bennett, and musician Tara Slone – confront unearthly mysteries with a clear and critical eye: Have extraterrestrials visited this planet? Did vengeful demons hound a Canadian journalist to his death? Why did the U.S. government experiment with ESP during the Cold War? And did the world’s greatest escape artist somehow slip the bonds of death?

It sounds like great fun and I’ll be watching.

Rob is a futurist as well as a writer, and he’s frequently a guest on TV shows in Ontario. It’s not surprising to me that another new half-hour documentary series on VisionTV, I Prophesy, which premieres the same night (one-half hour earlier than Supernatural Investigator), features Rob in its first episode, “Dude, Where’s My Flying Car?” 10:00 p.m. Eastern / 7:00 p.m. Pacific.

Way to go, Rob! And did I mention that Rob is also a really nice guy? In addition to being smart, approachable, courteous, and affable, he has always extended a willing, helpful hand to aspiring writers. It’s nice to see a Toronto boy do so well!

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