Rob Sawyer — Reviewing WotA. How cool is that?

Normally, I don’t call Ryan.  The man lives in Ontario (!) and so is always living  2 hours in the future, which hardly ever works out well for me.  (I think about giving him a call at 10ish my time — and he is either at work or asleep, depending on the 10 I pick.) It’s inconvenient, because I actually have to think about what the heck I’m doing.  Plan for it.

I don’t do so well with planning, as anyone who has ever received my Christmas cards can attest.  (Mid February, anyone?)

So, when I went on Facebook (Yeah, I know, but whatever) prior to shutting things down for the night, the last thing on my mind was calling Ryan.

Then I saw Rob Sawyer’s post — and I was on the phone in a flash.  Of course, Ryan didn’t answer.  He is, after all, a father — and it was probably close to bedtime for his little girls.  So I left an incoherent message that asked — begged, really — him to check out Facebook.

Then I called Billie.  Luckily she was home.  I told her to check it out — and she did.  Then she lost her mind, and I knew I hadn’t imagined it.

The Hugo Award winning Rob Sawyer, science fiction heavyweight, who gets to go to all sorts of cool places and do all sorts of cool things ,  talked about Women of the Apocalypse.  He didn’t just talk about it.  He gave it an excellent review!

Nothing gives me more joy than when my students do well, and so it’s with great pride and pleasure that I draw your attention to the fabulous new anthology Women of the Apocalypse, an anthology of stories (“Four women, Four Shooters, Four destinies to save the world”) by Eileen Bell, Roxanne Felix, Ryan T. McFadden, and Billie Millholland. The book — a handsome trade paperback with an eye-catching stark black-and-white cover — is published by Absolute XPress, a division of Calgary’s Hades Publications….This is, without doubt, one of the major theme anthologies of 2009, and deserves a place on the Aurora Award ballot — as do the individual stories. The anthology recently made the bestsellers’ list published in the Calgary Herald.”

Ryan eventually called me back, and we did the teenage girl jumping up and down and screaming thing for a while.  (Sorry Ryan, but people deserve the truth.)  And why did we do this?

Because back in 2006, Ryan and I were in Rob Sawyer’s writing class in Banff.  He ripped us both – bad.  He ruthlessly pointed out EVERYTHING we did that was keeping us from being published.  Everything.

We could have run away crying (like those self same teenage girls we emulated a couple of days ago). But we didn’t. Both of us took what he said to heart, and went away, licked our wounds, and stepped up.

Apparently we learned some of those lessons quite well.

Thanks Rob.  You’re the best.