Monday, August 11, 2008

Trying Hard to Cheer ...

...for all the Canucks in China. The swim team is breaking Canadian records all over the place -- 13 at last count -- but this is bringing them nowhere near the podium.

Canadian athletes are so polite -- yesterday Leighanne Hobson stood in the pouring rain, her lips blue and shaking, to answer the CBC reporters questions on her 17th place finish. And today, 57 year old Susan Nattrass teared up as she talked about failing to advance in her 6th Olympic Games, but she held it together for the cameras.

Go team Canada!

Speaking of Canadians, I just last night finished Robert J. Sawyer's terrific book ROLLBACK. Sawyer has won every spec fiction award out there -- the Hugo, the Nebula and the Campbell (the only Canuck to have done so) and he's racked up a ton of other awards to boot.

ROLLBACK, itself a Hugo AND a Campbell nominee, is the story of a scientist, who in pursuit of a conversation with the denizens of another galaxy, is offered the gift of life -- a rollback of 60 years -- to give her more time to complete her task. When things go awry, both she and her husband are faced with the biggest dilemma of their lives.

It's a great read, and I loved every Canadian nuance that Sawyer worked into his setting and his characters, from listening to the CBC to being stuck at Union Station waiting for the TTC. It's fantastic to see spec fiction stories emerge out of a Canadian landscape and Sawyer is a terrific story-teller.

He'll be at SiWC 2008 this fall, where, along with the usual workshops and panels, he'll be offering a Master Class AND a keynote speech.

I'm really looking forward to hearing him talk about his craft.


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