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Announcing the winner of the "Tweets from 2112" Challenge

Are you sci-fi enough to know why judge Robert J. Sawyer chose this winning tweet? Read on, comrades!

Just to recap, a week ago on Wednesday, Oct. 24 we asked you to take a time machine 100 years into the future and send us a message via Twitter (while using the hashtag #canadawrites). 

Throughout the day, six talented and dedicated members of SF Canada read the thousands of Tweets we received, and selected a longlist. We published some of this longlist in the form of five All-Star installments

And from that longlist, our judge, the "dean of Canadian science fiction" Robert J. Sawyer, chose the following Grand Prize winner:

And the winner is...

....So what exactly is an Oort cloud, you say? Glad you asked. For all of us sci-fi ignoramuses out there, Professor Sawyer is on hand to decipher his winning pick.

Robert J. Sawyer's thoughts 

They say if you have to explain a joke, it’s not funny. Thing is, though, this was a science-fiction writing contest, and you wouldn’t have to explain the term 'Oort cloud' in this clever one-liner to a science-fiction reader, because we all know it’s the shell a light-year out from the sun filled with giant dirty snowballs. When the Oort cloud gets perturbed, some of these snowballs fall in toward the inner solar system, becoming comets.

But this was also a Canadian contest, and Earl J. Wood’s joke at our own expense—noting that Canadians are so polite, we apologize even when it’s not our fault—is about as Canuck as you can get.

Now, some might argue that a hundred years from now—the contest, after all, was for tweets from the year 2112—Canadians might no longer be that polite. Ah, but not all science fiction is dystopian. We SF writers also paint positive pictures, and this future in which Canada is still wonderfully civil is a completely reasonable extrapolation. Oh, sure, by then it might be the Great Green North, but as we Canadians like to say, 'Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.'


Well said, Mr. Sawyer. We all had fun with this challenge, sci-fi fans or not—but we couldn't be happier with a Grand Prize-winning tweet that reflects the spirit of our whole Sci-Fi Odyssey here at Canada Writes. We've had a blast.

Congratulations to Earl J. Woods on his iPod Touch-winning Tweet—and surprise, Earl! We know you're a hardcore Robert J. Sawyer fan, so a copy of his latest book, Triggers, is also winging its way to you.

Thanks to everyone who took part in the "Tweets from 2112" Challenge and made October 24 such a wild ride.

»Read our All-Star Tweets from the "Tweets from 2112" Challenge.

« Read other posts from our "Sci-Fi Odyssey" series

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