Robert J. Sawyer, widely considered the "dean" of Canadian science fiction writers, is in the Sault for a two-day visit to local high schools.
Alicia Sayers, a student at White Pines Collegiate and Vocational School, prepared this article about a presentation made by the author at her school yesterday.
************************* Science fiction author urges students to look to their futures Award-winning science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer delivered an energetic and eye-opening speech to White Pines students yesterday.
His speech, or rather pep talk, gave the students a look at what their future may entail, what they should expect and what they can do to prepare themselves.
Sawyer also spoke about how he overcame failures in order to attain his status and success.
The students were able to question Sawyer about his work and take pictures with the author, who had several of his books on display for interested readers to look at. Sawyer has just received a Doctors of Letters honorary doctorate from Laurentian University.
He is heading to China in August to receive the Galaxy Award, which is China's top honour in science fiction, for the most popular foreign author. Sawyer told the students he has always wanted to be a science fiction author and has been very comfortable in his career choice.
His goal in writing "is not to be blandly acceptable but rather provoking" in order to make the reader strongly agree or disagree with his work. Sawyer's speech also included an exercise for the students to do, in order to receive the review they want.
They were also given a formula which Sawyer believes in.
The formula includes talent, luck and perseverance.
Perseverance is the only aspect of the formula which one can control.
He told students that as artists, they "set their own agenda and their possibilities are only as limited as they let them be." Meaghan Smith, a student in the audience, said: "I liked the presentation – It's not often that students get a chance to meet an author who has made a name for himself. I look forward to reading his novels." An up-and-coming due date which Sawyer will reach is January 8, 2008 for his new novel.
Sawyer writes a new novel every year and has seventeen novels to date.
He continues his work as he is going to Dawson City in the Yukon, to stay at Pierre Berton's house which is known as a writers retreat.
Photograph courtesy of Qua Boissoneau