Sunday, April 29, 2012

Y: Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded & You're Not Fooling Anyone

You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop by John Scalzi


Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded by John Scalzi

John Scalzi is one of my favorite authors. He’s a rare writer who actually makes a nice full-time living from writing AND is willing to talk numbers. He also writes one of the oldest, most-visited blogs on the internet. I believe the chapters in both these books are pulled from his blog, so theoretically you could read them there. That’s significantly more involved than just getting the books, though. As you can tell from the titles, they’re about writing, and they’re both amusing and insightful.

Because he’s just that awesome, John has a regular feature called The Big Idea, where authors talk about “the big idea” behind their new book. Considering his blog got something like 5.4 million visits last year, that’s a lot of publicity. Based on Big Idea posts, I’ve read:

Starters by Lissa Price

Fair Coin by E.C. Myers

Count to a Trillion by John C. Wright

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Hounded by Kevin Hearne

The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

The Desert of Souls by Howard Andrew Jones

Of Blood and Honey by Stina Leicht

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K.Jemisin

And other books that were profiled, but which I discovered elsewhere.

I’ll read tons more when the A to Z Challenge is over. J

John Scalzi’s work is everywhere: science fiction books, TV shows (he was a creative consultant for Stargate: Universe), nonfiction of all kinds, articles, blog posts, movie reviews, and his latest project – mobile games from Industrial Toys, a new video game company. I’ve even seen him on television – the Science Channel did a pretty cool “what if” program called Alien Encounters (on what it might really look like if aliens decide to visit Earth), and Scalzi was one of the people interviewed, along with Nick Sagan (Carl Sagan’s son), Neil Degrasse Tyson (director of the Hayden Planetarium), Jill Tarter (director of the SETI Institute), David Brin (astrophysicist & SF author) and other people in science research and entertainment. Scalzi also tours and does the big conferences. Paramount Pictures announced last year that it's making a movie of Scalzi's first book, Old Man's War, directed by Wolfgang Petersen.

For anyone, this is a lot. For a guy still in his early 40s, one has to wonder when Scalzi sleeps.

I think I first encountered his writing in the famous article on Being Poor that he wrote in response to “But they were warned, why didn’t people just hop in their cars and drive away?” comments that were everywhere after hurricane Katrina. I’m not sure where I read Being Poor (lots of media carried it), and didn’t know who he was at the time, and didn’t immediately connect the article with him when I discovered his fiction a few years later. His blog is truly entertaining – whether you want to read about books, science fiction movies, publishing industry news, interesting technology, occasional commentary on politics (or politicians), see great pictures of his cats, or anything else that’s caught his interest that day.

Since his name has a Z in it, I’m going to cheat and discuss his fiction for the next entry…


  1. I just finished reading Ready Player One. That was a hell of a novel. I loved it and immediately recommended it to friends of mine.

    I've never been out to Scalzi's blog but I've have to check it out. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Isn't it amazing? I love books with that nostalgic element.

  2. I've read quite a few of his blog posts and love what he has to say. Haven't read his books, but I'll keep an eye out for them. :)

    1. I highly recommend the Old Man's War books. That super-quick wit with a touch of snark really works well for his characters.

  3. Yeah, Scalzi is quite the force. I also enjoy his blog.

    1. I think I'd like to hear him in person sometime. He'll be a special guest at Comic-Con this year.

  4. Wow, I am out of it. Never heard of him. :) but I will have to check him out soon. Thanks and have fun getting to read again now that the challenge is about over. I am so looking forward to it myself!

    1. My TBR stack is about twice as high as usual!

  5. I had never heard of this guy or these books, so thank you for sharing them!