Daily Archives: February 21, 2006

Miracles and Wonders, or, Holy Crap

Two signs that The Ghost Brigades is doing okay today:

The Ghost Brigades is actually available in my local bookstore on release day. As many of you may remember, I kvetched long and hard about the fact I never once saw the hardcover of Old Man’s War in my local bookstore in the year between when the book was published and when was brought out in trade paperback. But look! Here’s the sequel! Two copies, actually. I could weep. It wasn’t face out when I saw it, but of course I fixed that. Sorry, R.A. Salvatore. You can face yourself out at my expense at your own local bookstore.

The other sign:

The Ghost Brigades at #9 on the Amazon SF bestseller list, as of about 7:40pm, just below George RR Martin and Robert Jordan. As the kids say: Holy crap. Now, tomorrow morning these guys will still be loitering on the upper regions of the list and I’ll probably have slid back down the list somewhat. But you know what? Tonight, I’m doing fine, and I’m going to enjoy the view from up here. Thanks, folks, for getting me up there. I do appreciate it.

Update, 2/22, 9:54pm — #4 on the Amazon SF list, #88 overall. w00t! I love you all. Like siblings.

Subterranean Sale

Along with the release of The Ghost Brigades, here’s something those of you in a purchasing mood might be interested in: Subterranean Press is doing a two-day sale in which if you buy four books on their sale list, you’ll get 40% off. Both Agent to the Stars and “Questions for a Soldier” are on the list, as are books from Dan Simmons, Orson Scott Card, Charles de Lint, Joe Lansdale and Charlie Stross. I’m pretty sure these are all signed, limited editions, so this is good for you collectors. I’ll also note that I know for a fact that were down to the last few dozen copies of Agent (I personalized #1496 at Boskone), so if you’ve been wanting to get that but have been putting it off, this might be a not bad time.

Okay, I think that’s enough bald-faced commerce for one day.

My iTunes Top Ten

Stephen Green of VodkaPundit has done a musical meme based on one I suggested a while back. Mine was telling what ten randomly selected songs your iPod or iTunes pulled up; his is showing off the top ten most-played tracks from your iPod/iTunes. Stephen Bainbridge has followed suit, and I suppose as I am the distant progenitor of this new meme, I should as well. So below you’ll find my personal iTunes Top Ten, annotated for your pleasure. The only kink I’ve thrown in (because I tend to listen to full albums rather than just single tracks) is that each artist appears only once; if there’s a tie between a previously-noted artist and a new artist, I’ll note the new artist.

1. “Run Baby Run” by Garbage — A classic Garbage tune, with an extra special New Order-like bass line. I’m a sucker for New Order-like bass lines.

2. “This is Halloween” by Danny Elfman — from the Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack. This is here because Athena recently went through a period where she wanted to hear it a couple of times a day, and I didn’t mind.

3. “Whatsername (Susanna Hoffs)” by Dean Gray — this is an unauthorized mash-up between Green Day’s “Whatsername” and the Bangles’ “Manic Monday,” and it’s absolutely brilliant because the songs quite accidentally “talk” to each other, with the Bangles’ tune detailing the life of the woman whom the Green Day song wonders about. I own both the original tunes, so I don’t feel the slightest bit guilty in having downloaded this one.

4. “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers — The whole album Hot Fuss has been on a constant play here at the Scalzi household recently, but this track has been played slightly more than others, which surprises me, since I like “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine” and “All These Things That I’ve Done” more. However, this merely shows how the “iTunes Top Ten” methodology breaks down, because as much as I play songs through iTunes, I also play them through Rhapsody, which as far as I know doesn’t count how many times you play a particular song. So this list is just my iTunes Top Ten, not my overall Top Ten (although, to be fair, ultimately I suspect this list is not far off in representing my current tastes).

5. “The District Sleeps Alone” by The Postal Service
— Almost unbearably wistful. I like The Postal Service rather better than I like Death Cab for Cutie (whose lead singer TPS borrowed), and the whole Give Up album is pretty great all around.

6. “Valley Winter Song” by Fountains of Wayne — Another wistful one. I was late coming to the Fountains of Wayne but have been making up for lost time.

7. “Beverly Hills” by Weezer — another Athena-influenced presence. She’s seen this song on one of the ads for the odious “Kidz Bop” collections and started singing it, and I declared that if she was going to do that, then by God she should listen to the actual track. So I listened to it a whole lot over a two-week period.

8. “Too Pieces” by Yaz — I will go through phases where I can listen to this particular song, like, six times in a row. I recently went through one of those patches. Why this song and not other, more popular Yaz songs? Got me. But there it is.

9. “The Golden Boy” by Shelby — Shelby is an indie band that is a particular favorite of mine; this was the lead-off single of their most recent album.

10. “Kiteflyer’s Hill” by Eddi Reader — Eddi Reader has one of the best voices out there, period, end of sentence, full stop, and this particular song (written by her former Fairground Attraction bandmate Mark Nevins) shows off the range and quality of her voice brilliantly… and is just a fabulous song in itself. If you’ve never heard this song, I pity you.

That’s my iTunes Top Ten. What’s yours? Don’t feel the need to annotate as extensively as I have if you don’t want to; a simple list will do. But now I’m curious.

The Ghost Brigades: Officially Out!

It’s time: The Ghost Brigades is now officially released and should be available at your favorite online and real-world stores. As always, I encourage you to head over to your local bookstore and demand a copy, but as I can’t link to every single real-world bookstore, here are the links to TGB at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s and Clarkesworld Books (the latter being an SF/F/H-focused online seller, the proprietor of which I met at Boskone). I’ll toss in a link to Borderlands Books here as well — they don’t have TGB listed yet, but I’m sure they will soon, and they’ve always been good to me. I’m sure if you ask them to get a copy for you, they will.

Needless to say, I’m thrilled to have TGB officially out in the world and making its way. I’m personally quite pleased with it, which is always a positive thing, and so far the reviews have been good and the feedback I’ve been getting back from folks who have read it is equally encouraging. And that’s good too. As you may imagine this all has been something of a relief; notwithstanding Agent to the Stars, which was written pre-Old Man’s War but published after, this is the first novel I’ve written since OMW that’s made it out into the stores. Its (so far) happy reception allows me to have hope for its fortunes going forward.

As the book debuts, I want to make sure to acknowledge the people other than me who have had a hand in getting this book out to the rest of you: Patrick Nielsen Hayden, whom I am fortunate to call my editor; Irene Gallo and John Harris, who have given the book its look; Rich Klin, whose copy-editing was key (as anyone who saw the pre-copy-edited ARC would be able to tell you); and Dot Lin, who has done a fabulous job as TGB’s publicist so far, and who I expect will continue in her fabulousness from here on out. And of course Tom Doherty for running the entire show from that office of his with the truly choice view. These are only the Tor folks I know had a hand in the book; there are others as well who I don’t know but wish I did so I could also thank them.

The point of the above paragraph is to drive home the fact that while as an author it’s my name on the cover of the book, the book itself wouldn’t get to the readers’ hands without an entire team of people behind it. These are the people you don’t normally hear about, which is not to say that what they do for the book is not worth hearing about. If you don’t think I’m absolutely grateful of everything they’ve done for the book (and by extension, for me), you’re totally high. So thank you Patrick, Irene, John, Rich, Dot, Tom and everyone else at Tor. I am honored to have worked with you. Whatever success this book has is yours as well as mine.