[Robert J. Sawyer] Science Fiction Writer
Hugo and Nebula Winner

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Press Release
For Immediate Release

This press release as a PDF

In Precedent-Setting Deal, Author Retains
eBook and Audiobook Rights

Separate U.S. and Canadian Publishers
for Sawyer's Next Novel
[Oppenheimer Alternative Canadian Cover]

Toronto-based Hugo and Nebula Award-winning science-fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer has a truly futuristic publishing arrangement for his 24th novel, The Oppenheimer Alternative. Mainstream Canadian publisher Fitzhenry & Whiteside has licensed Canadian print-only rights for its Red Deer Press imprint; Fitzhenry is also a major Canadian book distributor and will handle its own distribution.

Meanwhile, the new U.S. imprint CAEZIK SF&F Books, whose first title will be the lost Robert A. Heinlein novel The Pursuit of Pankera, in March 2020, has taken U.S. print-only rights, and will distribute through Ingram Publisher Services.

Sawyer's The Oppenheimer Alternative will be CAEZIK's second title. Both Red Deer Press and CAEZIK will release the book on June 2, 2020. In deals negotiated by Chris Lotts of The Lotts Agency, Sawyer has done the all but unprecedented, retaining worldwide ebook and audiobook rights.

"I was looking for publishers who could bring my book to market quickly," says Sawyer. "As an alternate history about The Manhattan Project, I realized it needed to be out for the 75th anniversary of the Trinity test, which is July 16, 2020. All twenty-three of my previous novels were done by Big-Five publishers, but they weren't nimble enough for that — and they all would have insisted on ebook and audiobook rights. [Oppenheimer Alternative US Cover]

"I've had great success with self-publishing my backlist in ebook form, and so am confident I can do just fine with a frontlist title in that space. And I have a great track record in audiobook, including winning the Audie Award for Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Audiobook of the Year, and so saw no reason to give a Big-Five publisher, most of whom are only finally getting their feet wet in that area, a cut."

Sawyer has had a long relationship with Toronto's Fitzhenry & Whiteside, having edited his own eponymous science-fiction imprint for them, Robert J. Sawyer Books. Fitzhenry's Red Deer Press has also published Sawyer's collected short fiction in two volumes, as well as his acclaimed anthology Distant Early Warnings: Canada's Best Science Fiction, and a reprint of one of his backlist novels, Starplex.

To edit The Oppenheimer Alternative, Fitzhenry engaged Sawyer's former editor at Penguin Random House Canada, Adrienne Kerr, winner of the Canadian Bookseller Association's Libris Award for Best Editor of the Year. "It was an absolute pleasure working with Rob again," says Kerr. "I'm always astounded by how he manages to make his novels, which hinge on complex scientific ideas and concepts, accessible to the lay reader. Not only is the science deftly explained and explored, his grasp of the moral and ethical ramifications of the practical applications of these discoveries make the novel feel urgent and vital."

CAEZIK Books is a new imprint of Arc Manor Press in Rockville, Maryland. Arc Manor also publishes Galaxy's Edge science-fiction magazine; Sawyer writes the "Decoherence" column about the state of the SF industry in every issue.

Sawyer says, "I wanted to work with people I had a history with. I knew I could absolutely trust my Canadian publishers, Sharon Fitzhenry and Red Deer Press's Richard Dionne, and my American one, Shahid Mahmud, and they, in turn, trust that I'll use my considerable social-media platform and great track record at landing mainstream radio and TV interviews to make this hybrid-publishing solution a true win-win-win for all of us."

Sawyer, a member of both the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario and past president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, has been interviewed over 400 times on TV and an equal number of times on radio, and his website at SFwriter.com was both the world's first science-fiction author website and also the first website for any Canadian author.

Rob's previous novel, Quantum Night, was a Maclean's top-ten national bestseller in Canada, hit #1 on the bestsellers' list published by Locus, the U.S. trade journal of the science fiction and fantasy field, won Canada's Aurora Award for Best Novel of the Year, and was longlisted for CBC's Canada Reads. His older title FlashForward was the basis for the ABC-TV series of the same name.

The Oppenheimer Alternative tells the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the other famous physicists from the Manhattan Project era, including Edward Teller, Richard Feynman, Leo Szilard, Enrico Fermi, and Albert Einstein himself, staying together as a team after the development of the atomic bomb to save the world from an impending ecological crisis.

Physicist Lee Smolin, author of the bestselling nonfiction book Time Reborn, says of The Oppenheimer Alternative, "I loved it."

And Dr. Doug Beason, former Associate Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory where the atomic bomb was developed, calls the novel, "Incredibly realistic: the characters, locations, the era, and even the science. I felt like I was back in Los Alamos — and I should know: I worked there!"

The Oppenheimer Alternative will be published worldwide in print, ebook (all formats), and audibook on June 2, 2020.

For interviews, please contact publicist Carolyn Clink:
clink.ink@gmail.com or 905-507-1346

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