Friday, November 25, 2011

Robert J. Sawyer

"I had a frustrating conversation today but now I'm reading a Robert J. Sawyer book and my faith in rational thinking is being reaffirmed." (That's something that I tweeted a couple of months ago and Robert J. Sawyer actually retweeted it, which I didn't actually discover until a couple of weeks later and made me totally excited.)

Last night, I had the privilege of seeing Robert J. Sawyer give a talk at McMaster University. I also got meet him afterwards! I was a complete inarticulate dork. I can't make small talk in regular circumstances and this was far from a regular circumstance.

If you read my blog, you might have seen me mention him a couple of times here before. The first Robert J. Sawyer book that I read was The Terminal Experiment. It was assigned reading for the Comparative Lit class that I took as one of my arts options in university. My room mate at the time was a huge fan of his and had tried to get me to read some of his books, but I never did until I had to for class. I will admit, I was a hard core sci fi snob and did not want anything to do with "new age" science fiction. I read The Terminal Experiment and loved it. Shortly after that I read The Neanderthal Parallax and Factoring Humanity and loved all four of those books. I was hooked. I have devoured almost all of his books in the nearly 7 years that has passed since I took that class. He very quickly became one of my favorite authors.

I grew up in a rather religious house, my parents being ministers and all, but I have always been drawn to science. My parents did an excellent job of encouraging this. However not everyone I have encountered over the years have been as open minded to this science business. I have had a lot of frustrating conversations in my life. Some which left me rather hurt and offended. For me, Robert J. Sawyer's books have always been a reaffirmation and haven for rational thinking. The science in his books is fantastic, but it has always been the logic and open minded ideas that he presents that have kept me coming back. His books have been one of the things that have helped me to see that the ideas that I have are okay to think. I tend to agree with the majority of the opinions expressed by his characters. His writing has played an important part in helping me be the person I am today.

(Given all of that, how could I have possibly said anything to him? I don't understand how people can talk to someone they admire so greatly.)

Robert J. Sawyer is a highly entertaining and engaging speaker. Unlike me, he is very articulate and seems to genuinely enjoy interacting with his fans. If you ever have the chance to see him speak, do so. And of course, read his books. It doesn't matter which one you start with, they are all fantastic.