In the mail today: The Rough Guide to Blogging, from (naturally enough), the folks at Rough Guides. I have to admit that the first thing I did when I pulled it out of its package (other than suck at a finger I ripped open on the package’s staples) was to check the index to see if I was in it anywhere. And indeed I am, on page 178, where this very site is described: “Writer John Scalzi maintains this entertaining blog, focused mainly on his job as an author.” It’s not just a job, you know. It’s an adventure.
A quick glance through the books shows it to be what a Rough Guide should be: Easy to read, lots of useful information, good advice on how to get started, and tons of links to popular sites. I imagine other bloggers will be doing what I did and checking the index to see if they made the cut; I can see a few of them going Why am I not listed? I’m on the A-list, damn it! We are a petty, petty lot, we bloggers.
Anyway, on first read I can say this is a really fine book to give to that friend of yours who’s been muttering something about wanting to start a blog but doesn’t know where to begin. This will get them up to speed pretty painlessly. And if you get them this, that’s one less conversation explaining the difference between Blogger and Typepad that you’ll have to have. Which leaves you more time for what’s important, like beer and video games.
While I’m thinking about books, two folks I know personally will be getting their books on this year’s preliminary Nebula ballot: Toby Buckell, for Crystal Rain, and Mark Tiedemann, for Remains. For those of you not up to speed on the Nebula selection process, the books on the Nebula prelim list are the ones from which the short list will be selected. That’s pretty damn cool.
I’ve blathered about Toby’s book before (it’s got parrots!), of course, but I’ve missed out on saying too much about Remains, which is a shame because it’s a fine and twisty book. It’s also been a bit of a stealth awards performer: In addition to its Nebula prelim listing, it was also a finalist for the 2005 Tiptree Award, and Tiedemann’s otherwise been a finalist for the Philip K. Dick award. That’s a nice rack of accolades. I’ll probably talk about it more at some future point, but for now I’ll just say it’s worth checking out if you’re in the market for something new to read. Congratulations to both Mark and Toby.
While I’m on the topic of congratulations to authors, congratulations to Pamie (aka Pamela Ribon), whose second novel Why Moms Are Weird hit the stores on Tuesday. I ordered it instantly, of course; Pamie is one of the funniest humans I know, and she was one of the first “old school” bloggers (that’d be bloggers who were blogging before the turn of the millennium, yo) to get a book deal. So it’s always a good day when a book by her gets out into the world.
Finally, if I may be a bit self-serving, two new reviews of The Ghost Brigades are out today, one at SFFWorld (“The Ghost Brigades is a rewarding, entertaining read and keeps the reader guessing”), and another at my pal Jim Winter’s site, where Jim declares “Okay, this is pure buddy pimpage, but it’s also a sincere, honest review.” And then he rips me apart. Okay, not really. He likes the book. But I had you going for a moment, there.
After all that book pimpery, I now declare the comments a book pimp thread. Pimp the book you’re reading now! Pimp a book your friend has written! Pimp your own book! It’s all good, although I will ask, to differentiate this book pimp thread from other self-pimp threads, that you pimp only books that have been physically published. E-books, etc can wait until the next self-pimping thread.
Have at it.