Daily Archives: November 23, 2006

New Book Announcement

In the previous entry I hinted that I had a little something that would help me replace the income I lost when Official US Playstation Magazine went down the tubes, but said I couldn’t discuss it yet. Well, the person who can give me clearance to discuss it happens to read the Whatever, and he’s given me permission. So:

Tor’s asked me to write a follow-up to The Android’s Dream, and I’ve said oh my, yes. We’re aiming for an early 2008 release, which means I will have to start writing it, oh, probably tomorrow. At the moment I can’t share much in the way of title and plot, because I’m still thinking of all of that. But I will share with you the very first sentence of the novel, which should have some added amusement for those of you who have already read the TAD:

“Judge Sn’s assassination was really getting in the way of his golf game.”

Yeah, I’m going to have fun with this one. Which is, incidentally, one of the reasons I was really happy to hear that Tor wanted a follow-on to TAD. This is a universe that is a kick to write in.

Some of you who follow my career with stalker obsessiveness will note that my agreement to write a TAD follow-up in an expedited fashion means that The Secret Project I Can’t Tell You About gets bumped back until after I finish this book. I’m fine with this because with TSPICTYA, more research time is not a bad thing. This isn’t the first time that a novel of mine has gotten bumped back for another; The Android’s Dream was originally slated to be my second book from Tor, but had its release date bumped back after OMW took off and Tor wanted another book in that universe. These things happen. The important thing is that I’m getting paid to make things up. The order in which they’re released is a small matter after that.

Surveying my next twelve months (which is not the same as the next calendar year, by about 8% or so), this means I am writing two novels, a novella, a novelette, an as-yet-undetermined number of short stories, and an update to one of my non-fiction books (on top of whatever other ephemeral writing I’m doing online and in print). 2007 should also see the release of one novel, one novelette, two and a half non-fiction books, and an as-yet-undetermined number of short stories. Some of the latter group are in the former group; some are not. Also, of course, this being the writing/publishing field, all of this is subject to change instantly and randomly. However, it certainly beats working.

Among the things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving day: That I get to write, that I get to support my family through that writing, that I get to write things that are fun for me, and that when I’m done writing it I get to share all of it with other folks. It’s a good life, and I’d be an idiot not to realize how lucky I am. I’m not an idiot. I’m thankful, and the people to whom I’m thankful for all of this includes you guys. So: Thank you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

Random Thoughts Early on a Thanksgiving Morning

In no particular order:

* I just got my final four contributor copies of Official US Playstation Magazine in the mail today. They look great, and I’m sad not to be writing for the magazine anymore, and even more sad that it will stop existing at the end of the year. A reminder, as I’ve noted before, that everything passes, even the really sweet jobs that allow you to write off all your video game, DVD and music purchases.

The good news here is that I’ve already managed to replace that income, and then some. But I can’t go into detail about that yet. Don’t worry, I’ll explain it later.

* My father-in-law put down some mulch in the garden to prepare it for next year, and it’s apparently some pig-based mulch; not only pig manure but also some actual chunks of pig carcass, or something. Naturally, the dog is all over that, and I do mean all over that; she comes into the house smelling like a slaughterhouse. I let her in the house not ten minutes ago and she stank so bad I actually sprayed her down with Fabreeze. Now, I deeply suspect that Febreeze is not meant to be applied to live animals, but, look, you don’t have to smell the dog. Now she’s got a delightful clean linen scent, which is somewhat better than the rotting pig smell she had before.

* So, if any of you out there actually play in Second Life, you really need to tell me what the big deal is about that place. I’ve been wandering around in there for the last couple of days and as far as I can see its major attraction is that it gives you something to look at while you’re performing IRC. I mean, sure, that’s nice and all, but is that all there is? Am I missing something? Someone please explain this to me.

Oddly, Athena finds Second Life far more compelling than I do — aside from the flying around thing, she eager to explore and poke around odd corners. I’m ambivalent about this since there are lots of places in Second Life that aren’t suitable for a seven-year-old, so I haven’t let her play on her own. Second Life does have a teen version that I might let her wander around in, however. I would find it deeply amusing if she got in there and passed for a thirteen year old. Although I’m not entirely sure the Linden Labs folks would be happy with me if I let her do that. I’ll have to think about it some more.

* I’ve found or was sent three additional reviews of The Android’s Dream: First, a four-star review of the book from Romantic Times Book Review (“A fantastically funny caper… fast paces and dazzlingly inventive”); second, a good review from the San Diego Union Tribune (“The pace is quick-to-breakneck, and Scalzi’s obviously had a great deal of fun spinning a light, romping tale”); and third, a review at Fantasybookspot.com (“It is the quintessential page-turner”). This stuff makes me happy. And makes my editor and publicist happy. And makes my mortgage bank happy, hopefully.

* I think I’ve hinted at this before, but let me come out and say it: having a monitor that flips to portrait mode is Teh Crack. Finally, a computer monitor orientation that fits my need for having a crapload of reading material on the screen at one time without having to scroll the damn article. It makes the Internet the “drinking from the firehose” experience it always should have been. No, it’s not perfect for video games or watching movie or whatever, but for those I can just flip the screen back into landscape. Honestly, I’m simply appalled I didn’t get a portrait-mode monitor before. I may never be able to forgive myself for wasting all those years. Writers, save your pennies for one of these things. It is so totally worth it.

* Finally, your Geek Envy moment for the day: Last night, I interviewed Jonathan Coulton and you didn’t. So ha! Ha on you, I say! The interview is for the Dayton Daily News, because he’s coming to town in the first week of December, but there’s a good possibility I’ll post the interview here as well, at some point. Because even though you didn’t get to interview him, you still want and need to see the interview. Admit it, you do.