People

BARBARA WICKENS August 19 1996

People

BARBARA WICKENS August 19 1996

People

BARBARA WICKENS

Heroes' welcome

It was a scene repeated the world over: medal-winning athletes returning from the Atlanta Olympic Games being greeted by cheering crowds, festive celebrations—and the potential for plumper wallets. In Canada, kayaker Caroline Brunet, 27, who won a silver medal in the K1 event on the last day of the Games, received an unusual salute at the Quebec City airport—an arch of paddles. Fredericton honored swimmer Marianne limpert, 23, who won silver in the women’s 200-m individual medley, by renaming a street limpert Lane. But Oakville, Ont, will have to wait until mid-September to fete double gold winner Donovan Bailey. He is touring Europe and Japan, where he could earn up to $75,000 a race, before returning home. Bailey will also be busy signing enough commercial endorsements to make him a millionaire.

A Canadian writer's newfound respect

Canadian science fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer is achieving a status seldom accorded his counterparts—mainstream respect. One illustration of that acceptance: the second paperback edition of his sixth novel, The Terminal Experiment, is labelled simply fiction. “Most people won’t read science fiction and need something external to say it isn’t junk,” says Sawyer, 36, of Thornhill, Ont., who is grateful for the opportunity to reach a wider audience. Despite its new labelling, The Terminal Experiment—a murder mystery set in Toronto in the near future after a biomedical engineer discovers scientific proof of the existence of the human soul—is receiving raves from Sawyer’s traditional fans. First published in April, 1995, it won the Nebula Award, which is voted on by U.S. SF writers, last April, and the Aurora Award, chosen by Canadian readers, last month. As well, the book is one of five novels shortlisted for the Hugo Award, science fiction’s international readers’-choice award, to be announced on Sept. 1. There is no prize money with the award, but Sawyer says he is still thrilled to be nominated: “It increases my advances on future novels.”

A new star on the country music horizon

Receiving seven nominations last week for the Canadian Country Music Awards in September took singer Terri Clark by surprise. “I thought I might get one or two,” she told Maclean’s, “but seven, holy cow.” The 27-year-old singer, who was born in Medicine Hat, Alta., but has lived in Nashville since she was 18, is in good company: she tied the record number of nominations that country superstar Shania Twain received last year for The Woman in Me, which has sold more than eight million copies. But Clark, in Montana while touring to promote her debut CD, Terri Clark, which has sold more than 100,000 copies in Canada, says there is no rivalry between her and Twain. In fact, she adds, Twain’s success is good for all women in the industry: “It just keeps opening doors for all of us.”

No escape from Hollywood

In his new feature film, Escape from L.A., actor Kurt Russell shares writing credits with director John Carpenter and producer Debra Hill. And while the sequel to Carpenter’s 1981 cult classic, Escape from New York, is full of action and adventure—not to mention violence—Russell also shows that he has a sense of humor. He has reprised his role as Snake Plissken, a famous desperado who the government occasionally puts to use. When characters first encounter Snake, they invariably say to him: “I thought you’d be taller.” Russell, 45, who at five-feet, eight-inches is not all that short, says he included the line in the movie because fans so often tell him the same thing. Adds Russell: “When you’ve been on a movie screen that’s 100 feet by 50 feet, people think you’re 20 feet tall.”