The Fiction in Science Fiction Video

This literature video talks to Robert sawyer, a science fiction writer, he explains what the difference is between science fiction and fantasy.
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Leila: Hi! Welcome to watchmojo.com. I’m your host Leila, joining Robert J. Sawyer, a winner of all of the world’s top awards for best science fiction novel. Let’s just start with perhaps your plans in 2030, I read somewhere to go back and start rereading your work. Robert: Yeah, when I turned 70, I think it would be an interesting thing as a way not just of enjoying the books but reminding myself of who I was when I was 30 years old when I wrote the one in 1990. Leila: Do you want to enlighten us a bit about the difference between fantasy and science fiction writing? Robert: Science fiction is about things that might realistically happen; fantasy about things that never could happen. There’s always a way to get from our here and now to the venue of the science fiction story. Usually, it’s just by time, past into the future and reasonable changes in science and society. Leila: How much risk taking is involved in being a futurist because your predictions might reflect either your accuracy or inaccuracy? Robert: Well, absolutely. A science fiction writer is in part a futurist, somebody who’s trying to predict what’s coming down the pike. So, you are a gutsy. You put your name to a prediction. You say, here’s what I think is going to be like in this particular year. Sometimes you get it right, sometimes you get it wrong but sometimes when you get it wrong, it actually is a good thing because you’ve said, “Hey, if we continue down this road, it’s going to be bad. We need to not go to this future.” So sometimes it’s a warning and we’re very happy when the thing we predicted because we predicted it doesn’t to come to pass. Leila: And how has you interest in quantum physics and quantum computing and human consciousness been important to your success? Robert: In late 70’s, early 80’s, we never want to mention in psychology class the word consciousness and so it was just a black box. Things happen in your head and we couldn’t understand what they were. In the decade since we’ve started to really learn what it is that causes us to be self aware, and a lot of interesting speculative science suggests that there’s a quantum mechanical part to human consciousness which is a really mind blowing idea and I’m fascinated by that. So I’ve used it in a number of novels. I booked about copying human consciousness the may we make, rip a song out of the CD and transferring it into some artificial body and I think we’re going to be able to do that in the next couple of decades. Leila: You’ve won a lot of very prestigious awards. Robert: I have. Leila: So I’m curious as to what the challenges remain perhaps within the publishing realm of science fiction. Robert: Sure. I mean I have won a lot of awards. I’ve won 43 awards for my work, internationally, nationally. The biggest awards in my field which is wonderful but they’re in my field. The biggest challenge for somebody who writes science fiction is to try and convince that 98% of the population that doesn’t read science fiction, that there’s something of value in science fiction. Leila: Between now and your 70th birthday, are you planning on writing more books? Robert: I’ve been doing a novel a year. I slowed down a bit as I get older but I still would like to see the over all Robert J. Sawyer over at least 30 odd novels by the time I’m done.

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