Daily Archives: November 21, 2006

Reviews and Etc

While I wasn’t paying attention, some nice things have happened, review-wise, for some of my books:

* The Android’s Dream got a good review from the good graces of Paul Di Filippo over at SciFi Weekly, who writes:

[T]he SF ancestors of Scalzi’s newest book are masters like Keith Laumer, Christopher Anvil, Eric Frank Russell and Gordon Dickson—humorists who contemplated mankind’s role as underdog or newcomer among self-serving alien races who were often goofy, nasty, aesthetically repellent or some combination of all three traits. Think of Harris Creek as Jame Retief updated for 2006, and you won’t be far astray. And I have to affirm most heartily that Scalzi has the craft and chops to pull off his homage, upgrading and reimagining what might have seemed a tired subgenre to full-strength comedic relevance and un-put-downability.

Filippo also namechecks Donald Westlake, Elmore Leonard, Carl Hiaasen and Christopher Moore in describing the book. And he gave the book an “A”. As the kids say: w00t! The review is here, but be warned that there are a couple of fairly meaty spoilers.

* Over at The Agony Column, Rick Kleffel has nice things to say about both The Android’s Dream (“[The book], which should have long ago been on your auto-buy list, is another combination of intelligent humor, clever world-building and sparkling prose”) and my upcoming book on writing, You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop Into a Coffeeshop: Scalzi on Writing, of which he says, ” Scalzi’s advice on writing is filled with the same humor and intelligence that makes his fiction so entertaining. And it’s not just about writing fiction, but about all the kinds of writing you might end up doing.” Indeed. Lord knows I’m still writing other things besides fiction. His column on both is here. Coffee Shop is still on track for a February 2007 release, incidentally.

* I’m especially delighted to note the presence of The Ghost Brigades on the San Francisco Chronicle’s “Best Of” list for science fiction this year, sharing the list with work by Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Ian McDonald, Jeff VanderMeer and others. Hey, that’s nice company to be in.

There, we’re all up to date with that stuff.

Bright Red Clouds

sunset112106.jpg

I was going to write a piece on what you need on your Web site if you’re a writer, but ironically it just doesn’t seem to be coming at the moment, and I have other things to do. So: Here, have a sunset. Not as spectacular as some I’ve posted before, but I like how the sun is setting those low clouds on fire.

Also, damn, Thanksgiving is barreling up on me. I’m so not ready for it, even though “being ready” largely equates to “opening my gullet and letting my mother-in-law slide food down it.” It still takes preparation, you know?

Robert Altman, RIP

Nuts. Robert Altman has passed away. I interviewed him once when I was full-time movie critic, and I’m here to tell you he’s probably one of the smartest people I ever interviewed in the film industry, as well as disarmingly practical and modest about what he was doing with his films and his life. He was 81, so you can’t exactly say he was taken too soon. You can say that the film industry is not likely to see a director like him again.

For those of you who don’t know too much about him, a Wikipedia article. He’d be remembered for M*A*S*H* alone; that there was also McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Nashville, The Player and Gosford Park (among many others) is a hell of a bonus.