Lest one thinks that I only give space to those who would praise my work, I present another installment of James Valvis’ long-simmering hatred of everything I do, this one off the message boards of the Thunder Sandwich E-zine. James writes, in part:
Scalzi is a shitty writer, plain and simple. No matter how many “books” he publishes. He’s good at playing the publishing game, kissing the right bottoms, and that’s about it. To call his novels (2 of them, I think) insipid is to be polite. I could never get past Chapter 3– and I got that far only because I promised him I would look at it.) Dull and clichéd characters, ridiculous situations, lazy prose, and humor that relies on fart jokes. Ugh. You don’t have to be an “elitist” to demand a writer at least *try* to learn his craft.
He’s right, of course. I totally suck. However, I am reminded of the story in which George Bernard Shaw takes a curtain call to thunderous applause after the premiere of one of his plays. As the applause dies down, someone in the back bellows something along the line of “your play stinks!” To which Shaw replied, “Sir, I quite agree with you. But who are we to oppose the masses?” For some strange and unfathomable reason, despite my entire lack of competence in the field of writing, people buy my books, and publishers insist on continuing to give me work. I am ashamed to say I have not the common decency to refuse the money. Perhaps one day I will have the strength of character not to publish — and indeed, in this endeavor, Jim shall be my role model. Until then, however, I will shamefully continue to put out “books.”
Of course, Jim’s fulminated about my writing before, which I have also duly noted. One does wonder why he bothers. No amount of success I have in publishing will make his writing any more or less than what it is. I would refer Jim here, specifically to peruse tips numbered 2,3 and 4 (and also 9), but inasmuch as the likelihood of him actually following any of my advice is exceedingly thin, I don’t see much point. But it’s nice to see he’s still thinking of me. I regret to say that until pretty much this moment, I could not say the same.