Daily Archives: April 20, 2006

Coffee Shop on Amazon

The Amazon listing for You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing is now up, so if you’re interested in pre-ordering through your Amazon account, now you can. The release date is sometime in the August timeframe. You can also still pre-order it via the Subterranean Press site.

This is going to be a “boutique” sort of book (i.e., fairly low press run), and the size of the press run will be to some extent gauged on early pre-orders. So if you want to be an active influencer of my immediately literary future, buy now!

(Well, not buying now will also cause you to be an active influencer of my immediately literary future, as well, I admit. Just not in a “buy Athena a college education” good sort of way. Hey, your choice.)

As an aside, the Amazon ranking for Coffee Shop at this very moment is 1,021,762 (on account that no one has bought one yet), while Old Man’s War is at 953. That’s a spread of 1,020,809 positions. I wonder if that’s the widest range between books on Amazon.

(checks something)

Hmmmm. Nope. Seems my Rough Guide to Money Online is at 1,601,456. That’s a 1,600,503-position spread! I’m an even bigger loser than before! Whoo-hoo!

A Quick Observation

Men, if you want to flummox a telemarketer, use the following words:

“I’m sorry, you’re going to have to speak to my wife. She is the one who makes all the major financial decisions in the household.”

I guarantee several seconds of silence as the telemarketer grinds his or her gears getting what passes for their brain around the concept that a man would say that his wife is the primary financial decision-maker in the house. Really, they just don’t know what to do with that sort of information. Some of them (for example, the one who called me today) try to roll with it by saying “well, sir, I understand the importance of talking to your spouse…” and then try to get back onto the script. To which I say “No, you don’t understand. She makes the decisions.” And then we’re back to stuttering and grinding. It’s really kind of fun.

Want to know the irony? Some of them actually call back and ask to speak to Krissy. And in the rare case where Krissy actually asks for them to send some more information through the mail, you know what happens? The information comes addressed to me. And then it goes right into the trash, because if these people can’t manage to address the person who makes the financial decisions, even after they’ve been told, why would we trust them to do anything right?

Anyway, endless fun. Try it sometime!

Penguicon 4.0 Schedule

Tomorrow I’m off to Penguicon 4.0, that mash up of science fiction and open source, in convention form. For those who are going, or are not going but just like to know what I’m doing at all times, here’s my panel schedule:

Friday:
No events scheduled. Which, you know, is groovy with me.

Saturday:

1:00 pm
Worldbuilding
Steve Miller, Karl Schroeder, Nancy Atwell, John Scalzi
Some worlds you believe in, and some interfere with the story. How to build and portray your fictional world.

4:00 pm
Warfare in SF
Jeff Beeler, John Scalzi, Barbara Trumpinski-Roberts
Which authors, past and present, do the best job of looking at warfare in a science fiction context? What’s most important: that it is convincing, that it is plausible, or something else entirely?

8:00 pm
Why Didn’t Science Fiction Predict That?
Frank Hayes, Karl Schroeder, John Scalzi
SF predicted moon colonies by 2001 and computers so big they’d mostly exist in hyperspace. That wrongheadedness has something to say about predictions we’re making today. And why DIDN’T SF predict Frogurt instead of yeast cigarettes, anyhow?

Sunday:

11:00 am
Blogging for Life
The Ferrett, John Scalzi, David Klecha
News pages. Online journals. Web logs. A lot of people are using them. What are the tools available, and what are the best ways to use them?

12:00 pm
Best SF Books of 2005
Jeff Beeler, John Scalzi, Tobias Buckell, Karl Schroeder
What were the outstanding works of 2005? What are the titles to look for, and who are the authors to watch?

The rest of the time I’m sure to be floating about, so if you see me, feel free to come over and say hello or whatever.