A Thematic Approach to Science Fiction: A Workshop with Robert J. Sawyer

By Chiaroscuro Reading Series (other events)

Sunday, September 30 2012 1:30 PM 4:45 PM EDT

A Thematic Approach to Science Fiction

NOTE: Seating is limited to 25 places for this event.

Science fiction is often called "the literature of ideas," and with good reason: the fresh central idea is often the defining characteristic of a science-fiction novel. Join bestselling author Robert J. Sawyer for an interactive discussion of how to come up with and develop a high concept for your own science-fiction novels by finding the theme that will give rise to your plot and characters, and enthrall your readers. Sawyer's own Aurora Award-winning novel FlashForward had its theme summarized in the opening narration of every episode of the ABC TV series based on it: "On October 6, the planet blacked out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds. The whole world saw the future." Come prepared to try to distill your own notions down to something equally succinct and exciting, so that you can focus on what your story is really about.

Robert J. Sawyer has won the Hugo, Nebula, John W. Campbell Memorial, Aurora, Hal Clement, and Audie Awards, all for best novel of the year, as well as the top SF awards in Japan, China, France, and Spain. According to the Locus Index to Science Fiction Awards, he is the #1 all-time worldwide leader in number of award wins as a science fiction or fantasy novelist. His 21st novel, Triggers, a 2012 title from Penguin Canada, was a Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, and Locus bestseller, and he’s hit #1 on the Technothrillers bestsellers list. Rob’s previous novels are all in print, including The Terminal Experiment; Calculating God; Hominids; Mindscan; Rollback; FlashForward (basis for the ABC TV series); and the WWW trilogy of Wake, Watch, and Wonder (each of which separately won the Aurora Award for Best Novel of the Year). His website is at

All attendees will receive a copy of Robert J. Sawyer's bestselling novel, ILLEGAL ALIEN, snacks/drinks at the event, and a 10%-off coupon good for any merchandise in the Bakka Phoenix store.