Daily Archives: March 27, 2006

“Coffee Shop” and Subterranean Scalzi Sale

Hey! I have book news, and sale news, and they are magically interrelated. So let me tell you about both. Prepare for pimpage, people.

Book news first: Subterranean Press is now taking pre-orders for You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing. As you may have guessed from the title, this is my book on the writing life, featuring many essays and entires on the subject from this very Web site: all my blatherations on the subject from my “Utterly Useless Writing Advice” entry back in 2001 through to “The Money Entry” this month, including some writing essays and entries which no longer exist on the site (which means that unless you’re willing to trawl through archive.org, the book is the only place to get them). In all, an interesting snapshot of what it’s like to be a writer, right now.

To remind folks, this book originally started out as part of Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded, the upcoming collection of Whatever entries, also from Subterranean, but there was enough interest from Whatever readers for a stand-alone collection of writing entries that we went ahead and spun it off into its own signed, limited hardcover edition. The book is about 75,000 words (pretty hefty for a book on writing) and is divided into four meaty chapters:

1. Writing Advice, or, Avoiding Real Work the John Scalzi Way
2. Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Writer’s Life For Me
3. The Schadenfreude Needle is Buried Deep Into the Red: On Writers
4. Science Fiction, or, Don’t Skip This Chapter, You Goddamned Writing Snobs

Yeah, it’s not your average book on writing, that’s for sure. The book is currently scheduled for an August release.

To celebrate the announcement of the book and to encourage you to pre-order, Subterranean Press is running a special two-day only deal for Whatever readers: Pre-order Coffee Shop now and get 30% off. And if you feel like getting anything else from Subterranean while you’re there, you’ll get 30% off the entire order.* That’s any Subterranean release, not just the ones from me (although I’d note that Subterranean is down to the last couple dozen copies of Agent to the Stars…).

Subterranean has some truly excellent books out now and in the near future, including short story collections by Tad Williams, Robert Silverberg and Philip Jose Farmer, a limited two-volume edition of George RR Martin’s A Storm of Swords, illustrated by Charles Vess*, and limited editions from Jonathan Letham and Charlie Stross. You can also pick yourself up the Cliche issue of Subterranean Magazine.

In short, lots of really cool stuff, all 30% off* when you pre-order Coffee Shop today (March 27, 2006) and tomorrow (March 28, 2006).

(Now the details: When you check out, you must mention “WHATEVER” in the comment area. The shopping cart and automatic email confirmation won’t reflect the sale price. Subterranean will catch that when processing the order (so don’t panic!).

If you want to pay through Paypal, e-mail subpress@earthlink.net with your selections rather than checking out via the shopping cart. Subterranean can then email an invoice for the proper amount.

Any questions? Drop them into the comment thread)

I think you’re going to like Coffee Shop, and if you’ve never looked through Subterranean’s stuff before, I hope this encourages you to do so. Enjoy!

(* Here’s what the asterisk means — one or two things are not available as sale items, including the Storm of Swords set. You’ll be able to note what they are on the Subterranean site because the product description will mention it. But these are in the minority.)

“Coffee Shop” and Subterranean Scalzi Sale

Hey! I have book news, and sale news, and they are magically interrelated. So let me tell you about both. Prepare for pimpage, people.

Book news first: Subterranean Press is now taking pre-orders for You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing. As you may have guessed from the title, this is my book on the writing life, featuring many essays and entires on the subject from this very Web site: all my blatherations on the subject from my “Utterly Useless Writing Advice” entry back in 2001 through to “The Money Entry” this month, including some writing essays and entries which no longer exist on the site (which means that unless you’re willing to trawl through archive.org, the book is the only place to get them). In all, an interesting snapshot of what it’s like to be a writer, right now.

To remind folks, this book originally started out as part of Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded, the upcoming collection of Whatever entries, also from Subterranean, but there was enough interest from Whatever readers for a stand-alone collection of writing entries that we went ahead and spun it off into its own signed, limited hardcover edition. The book is about 75,000 words (pretty hefty for a book on writing) and is divided into four meaty chapters:

1. Writing Advice, or, Avoiding Real Work the John Scalzi Way
2. Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Writer’s Life For Me
3. The Schadenfreude Needle is Buried Deep Into the Red: On Writers
4. Science Fiction, or, Don’t Skip This Chapter, You Goddamned Writing Snobs

Yeah, it’s not your average book on writing, that’s for sure. The book is currently scheduled for an August release.

To celebrate the announcement of the book and to encourage you to pre-order, Subterranean Press is running a special two-day only deal for Whatever readers: Pre-order Coffee Shop now and get 30% off. And if you feel like getting anything else from Subterranean while you’re there, you’ll get 30% off the entire order.* That’s any Subterranean release, not just the ones from me (although I’d note that Subterranean is down to the last couple dozen copies of Agent to the Stars…).

Subterranean has some truly excellent books out now and in the near future, including short story collections by Tad Williams, Robert Silverberg and Philip Jose Farmer, a limited two-volume edition of George RR Martin’s A Storm of Swords, illustrated by Charles Vess*, and limited editions from Jonathan Letham and Charlie Stross. You can also pick yourself up the Cliche issue of Subterranean Magazine.

In short, lots of really cool stuff, all 30% off* when you pre-order Coffee Shop today (March 27, 2006) and tomorrow (March 28, 2006).

(Now the details: When you check out, you must mention “WHATEVER” in the comment area. The shopping cart and automatic email confirmation won’t reflect the sale price. Subterranean will catch that when processing the order (so don’t panic!).

If you want to pay through Paypal, e-mail subpress@earthlink.net with your selections rather than checking out via the shopping cart. Subterranean can then email an invoice for the proper amount.

Any questions? Drop them into the comment thread)

I think you’re going to like Coffee Shop, and if you’ve never looked through Subterranean’s stuff before, I hope this encourages you to do so. Enjoy!

(* Here’s what the asterisk means — one or two things are not available as sale items, including the Storm of Swords set. You’ll be able to note what they are on the Subterranean site because the product description will mention it. But these are in the minority.)

Writing Memes and Hal Duncan

Two writey-like things:

1. Elizabeth Bear rather unintentionally started a “10 Things I Know About Writing” meme, which has prompted folks like Hal Duncan and Meg McCarron and Jay Lake, among others, to drop in their own thoughts on the matter (and Nick Mamatas to snark on the whole lot of them). I’d jump in myself, but I already did this a couple years back, so rather than repeat myself, here’s 10 things I’d tell you about writing. Bear’s original 10 specified fiction writing, but these 10 things work perfectly fine for fiction and non-fiction writers.

2. Speaking of Hal Duncan, I’ve finally had a chance to start reading his novel Vellum, which will be out here in the states in about a month, and I have to join in on the chorus of people who’ve found it to be really excellent dark fantasy, on the same thematic street as you’ll find the work of fellows like Neil Gaiman, Jeff VanderMeer and China Mieville, but with its own distinct voice, which if I had to sum up in two words, might be called “skankily elegant.” And of those two words, the emphasis would be on “elegant,” written as if by someone who picked up his pen after a certain fall from grace (which is not to presume anything about Duncan, whom I’ve met only briefly).

Vellum works on its own, but I’ve also noticed that certain strains of dark fantasy hit the reading pleasure button in my brain, and I don’t doubt the book benefits from that as well. I’m trying to figure out why that is so. One thing simply might be some latent gothiness in me; I’ve never been able to pull off the goth thing myself (I’m just a little too chipper for that), but I’ve got the Siouxsie and Fields of the Nephilim albums to suggest a certain fascination with the ankh-and-kohl lifestyle. What can I say. I guess I like ankhs.

But I think the other more relevant thing is that I like writing that does things with words in ways I don’t and possibly couldn’t. Duncan’s relationship with language is different than mine, more argumentative and pointed and crafty, in more than one sense of that latter term, and that’s something he shares with the previously-mentioned writers, although each exhibit it in their own way. This is a non-jealous admiration, mostly, since I don’t particularly want to write like Duncan (or Gaiman, or Mieville) does, and there are places I want to take my own writing voice they don’t go. But this is not to say I can’t appreciate or even learn from them, and this is my point with Duncan: His style is strong enough that as I’m enjoying the story as a reader I’m also paying attention as a writer, trying to see how he’s put together his edifice. I don’t do this with every writer, mostly just the folks who do things I don’t. So on that level, it’s interesting to watch him work.

In any event, I imagine fans of dark fantasy have already been twigged to Vellum’s upcoming US debut (it’s been out in the UK for some time). If you didn’t know about this book yet, well, now you are, and if dark fantasy rings your bell, this book’s going to set you ringing.