Daily Archives: March 27, 2007

Various & Sundry 3/27/07

jlmc0327.jpg

Various things:

* I meant to pimp Justine Larbalestier’s Magic’s Child last week, when it hit the stores, but then collapsed into my own belly button. Let me rectify that now by saying that Justine has written not only a terrific book here — this should not be a surprise, given that she’s up for the Norton Award this year — but also managed to stick the landing with her “Magic or Madness” trilogy, which is very cool. Justine and I did our trilogies more or less at the same pace, and it was great to be able to have someone out there who was going through the same crap I was, pretty much in step with me. It was helpful, you know?

But that’s all backstage stuff. Up front, as I mention, Justine’s got a great book and an excellent conclusion to her series. You must go out and buy copies right now.

* If you’ve been following the SFWA elections in the ElectionBlog (actually a newsgroup), you’ll know that Will Shetterly has been asking interesting questions of the candidates and making some cogent observations. Now he has some questions about electronic piracy (and SFWA’s engagment with the issue) and about SFWA’s current “newsgroup”-style online discussions. If you’re a SFWA member (or are thinking about becoming one, ever), head over to Will’s blog, read the questions, and leave your answers to the questions there.

* If you’re in the Dayton, Ohio area and you’ve thought to yourself, “gee, I wonder what Scalzi would be like, lecturing on how to write fiction,” you’re in some luck, since I will be lecturing on that very same topic on Friday, April 13, as part of Sinclair College’s 33rd Annual Writers’ Workshop. There will be two 90-minute sessions, and there will also be other instructors, schooling participants on poetry, non-fiction and screenwriting. The cost of the workshop is $25, unless you’re a Sinclair student, in which case it’s just $15. Anyone who’s ever seen me live knows I’ll have no problems talking for an hour and a half solid, but I do also plan on answering questions as well.

* Athena just wrote a four page, single-spaced ghost story. She is made of awesome.

Various & Sundry 3/27/07

jlmc0327.jpg

Various things:

* I meant to pimp Justine Larbalestier’s Magic’s Child last week, when it hit the stores, but then collapsed into my own belly button. Let me rectify that now by saying that Justine has written not only a terrific book here — this should not be a surprise, given that she’s up for the Norton Award this year — but also managed to stick the landing with her “Magic or Madness” trilogy, which is very cool. Justine and I did our trilogies more or less at the same pace, and it was great to be able to have someone out there who was going through the same crap I was, pretty much in step with me. It was helpful, you know?

But that’s all backstage stuff. Up front, as I mention, Justine’s got a great book and an excellent conclusion to her series. You must go out and buy copies right now.

* If you’ve been following the SFWA elections in the ElectionBlog (actually a newsgroup), you’ll know that Will Shetterly has been asking interesting questions of the candidates and making some cogent observations. Now he has some questions about electronic piracy (and SFWA’s engagment with the issue) and about SFWA’s current “newsgroup”-style online discussions. If you’re a SFWA member (or are thinking about becoming one, ever), head over to Will’s blog, read the questions, and leave your answers to the questions there.

* If you’re in the Dayton, Ohio area and you’ve thought to yourself, “gee, I wonder what Scalzi would be like, lecturing on how to write fiction,” you’re in some luck, since I will be lecturing on that very same topic on Friday, April 13, as part of Sinclair College’s 33rd Annual Writers’ Workshop. There will be two 90-minute sessions, and there will also be other instructors, schooling participants on poetry, non-fiction and screenwriting. The cost of the workshop is $25, unless you’re a Sinclair student, in which case it’s just $15. Anyone who’s ever seen me live knows I’ll have no problems talking for an hour and a half solid, but I do also plan on answering questions as well.

* Athena just wrote a four page, single-spaced ghost story. She is made of awesome.

Various & Sundry 3/27/07

jlmc0327.jpg

Various things:

* I meant to pimp Justine Larbalestier’s Magic’s Child last week, when it hit the stores, but then collapsed into my own belly button. Let me rectify that now by saying that Justine has written not only a terrific book here — this should not be a surprise, given that she’s up for the Norton Award this year — but also managed to stick the landing with her “Magic or Madness” trilogy, which is very cool. Justine and I did our trilogies more or less at the same pace, and it was great to be able to have someone out there who was going through the same crap I was, pretty much in step with me. It was helpful, you know?

But that’s all backstage stuff. Up front, as I mention, Justine’s got a great book and an excellent conclusion to her series. You must go out and buy copies right now.

* If you’ve been following the SFWA elections in the ElectionBlog (actually a newsgroup), you’ll know that Will Shetterly has been asking interesting questions of the candidates and making some cogent observations. Now he has some questions about electronic piracy (and SFWA’s engagment with the issue) and about SFWA’s current “newsgroup”-style online discussions. If you’re a SFWA member (or are thinking about becoming one, ever), head over to Will’s blog, read the questions, and leave your answers to the questions there.

* If you’re in the Dayton, Ohio area and you’ve thought to yourself, “gee, I wonder what Scalzi would be like, lecturing on how to write fiction,” you’re in some luck, since I will be lecturing on that very same topic on Friday, April 13, as part of Sinclair College’s 33rd Annual Writers’ Workshop. There will be two 90-minute sessions, and there will also be other instructors, schooling participants on poetry, non-fiction and screenwriting. The cost of the workshop is $25, unless you’re a Sinclair student, in which case it’s just $15. Anyone who’s ever seen me live knows I’ll have no problems talking for an hour and a half solid, but I do also plan on answering questions as well.

* Athena just wrote a four page, single-spaced ghost story. She is made of awesome.

Various & Sundry 3/27/07

jlmc0327.jpg

Various things:

* I meant to pimp Justine Larbalestier’s Magic’s Child last week, when it hit the stores, but then collapsed into my own belly button. Let me rectify that now by saying that Justine has written not only a terrific book here — this should not be a surprise, given that she’s up for the Norton Award this year — but also managed to stick the landing with her “Magic or Madness” trilogy, which is very cool. Justine and I did our trilogies more or less at the same pace, and it was great to be able to have someone out there who was going through the same crap I was, pretty much in step with me. It was helpful, you know?

But that’s all backstage stuff. Up front, as I mention, Justine’s got a great book and an excellent conclusion to her series. You must go out and buy copies right now.

* If you’ve been following the SFWA elections in the ElectionBlog (actually a newsgroup), you’ll know that Will Shetterly has been asking interesting questions of the candidates and making some cogent observations. Now he has some questions about electronic piracy (and SFWA’s engagment with the issue) and about SFWA’s current “newsgroup”-style online discussions. If you’re a SFWA member (or are thinking about becoming one, ever), head over to Will’s blog, read the questions, and leave your answers to the questions there.

* If you’re in the Dayton, Ohio area and you’ve thought to yourself, “gee, I wonder what Scalzi would be like, lecturing on how to write fiction,” you’re in some luck, since I will be lecturing on that very same topic on Friday, April 13, as part of Sinclair College’s 33rd Annual Writers’ Workshop. There will be two 90-minute sessions, and there will also be other instructors, schooling participants on poetry, non-fiction and screenwriting. The cost of the workshop is $25, unless you’re a Sinclair student, in which case it’s just $15. Anyone who’s ever seen me live knows I’ll have no problems talking for an hour and a half solid, but I do also plan on answering questions as well.

* Athena just wrote a four page, single-spaced ghost story. She is made of awesome.

Various & Sundry 3/27/07

jlmc0327.jpg

Various things:

* I meant to pimp Justine Larbalestier’s Magic’s Child last week, when it hit the stores, but then collapsed into my own belly button. Let me rectify that now by saying that Justine has written not only a terrific book here — this should not be a surprise, given that she’s up for the Norton Award this year — but also managed to stick the landing with her “Magic or Madness” trilogy, which is very cool. Justine and I did our trilogies more or less at the same pace, and it was great to be able to have someone out there who was going through the same crap I was, pretty much in step with me. It was helpful, you know?

But that’s all backstage stuff. Up front, as I mention, Justine’s got a great book and an excellent conclusion to her series. You must go out and buy copies right now.

* If you’ve been following the SFWA elections in the ElectionBlog (actually a newsgroup), you’ll know that Will Shetterly has been asking interesting questions of the candidates and making some cogent observations. Now he has some questions about electronic piracy (and SFWA’s engagment with the issue) and about SFWA’s current “newsgroup”-style online discussions. If you’re a SFWA member (or are thinking about becoming one, ever), head over to Will’s blog, read the questions, and leave your answers to the questions there.

* If you’re in the Dayton, Ohio area and you’ve thought to yourself, “gee, I wonder what Scalzi would be like, lecturing on how to write fiction,” you’re in some luck, since I will be lecturing on that very same topic on Friday, April 13, as part of Sinclair College’s 33rd Annual Writers’ Workshop. There will be two 90-minute sessions, and there will also be other instructors, schooling participants on poetry, non-fiction and screenwriting. The cost of the workshop is $25, unless you’re a Sinclair student, in which case it’s just $15. Anyone who’s ever seen me live knows I’ll have no problems talking for an hour and a half solid, but I do also plan on answering questions as well.

* Athena just wrote a four page, single-spaced ghost story. She is made of awesome.

Reader request Week 2007 #2: Coffee, or Lack Thereof

DeCadmus asks:

What’s with your irrational fear of coffee? Did you have an unfortunate encounter with a can of Folgers as a child?

Well, deCadmus, no. In fact, I deny I have an irrational fear of coffee at all; I almost never break out into cold sweats at the mere thought of the brew being dispensed, nor do I, like the protagonist of Mark Helprin’s Memoir From Antproof Case, launch into sudden, multi-page tirades about the evil of the dusky drink. If other people want to drink coffee, that’s fine with me. However, I don’t drink it myself, nor am I likely to take it up anytime soon, for a simple and clear reason:

Coffee tastes like ass.

No, not like real ass; it’s just an expression (although I suspect there has been coffee that literally does taste like ass, and I’m glad never to have sampled it). But, look, it tastes bad. Anyone who says, “well, that’s just because you haven’t had really good coffee” is merely saying “well, that’s because you’ve never tasted really good ass” as far as I am concerned. No matter how good ass tastes, it’s still ass. Coffee tastes so much like ass that Starbucks has managed to install itself on every street corner in America by dispensing variations of coffee whose main recommendations are that they taste less like ass than actual coffee. Mochas and lattes are to the modern era what a gravy was to the 1600s; a concerted effort to mask the rancid taste of what lies underneath. When you have to invent things not to taste a drink, the simple solution is not to drink the drink in the first place.

I’ll note that coffee’s not alone in this; there are lots of drinks that taste like ass, but which people drink anyway, usually to get to whatever drug is suspended in the liquid. Coffee tastes like ass, but people drink it for the caffeine. Beer tastes like ass but people drink it for the alcohol. All those energy drinks taste like ass coated in cough syrup, but people drink them for, what? Taurine? You people are all high.

And it’s not just drink, of course — people are willing to put up with a lot of things that taste like ass just to get at a drug. For God’s sake, cigarettes are just pouring smoke over your tongue. And as for pot — well, that stuff actually smells like vegan farts, doesn’t it? Seriously: Room of pot smokers, room of hacky-sackers a half hour after a cruelty-free Thanksgiving. They both smell the same. And you suck it into your mouth just for a little THC kick. It’s like I don’t know you people anymore.

Honestly, this should be how we combat addiction: not by pointing out all the horrible things addiction can do to you, but by simply telling teenagers that what they’re really doing by smoking, or drinking or toking up, is training themselves to enjoy things that taste like ass. This is something teenagers can understand. Trying to explain the downside of addiction to a teen is iffy; they’re headstrong punks who can’t conceptualize being a slave to craving because it’s not in their experience. But things tasting like ass? They know all about that, and the social shame that comes with being a wanton ass-taster. I’m telling you, we’d cut teenage addiction to nothing.

Now, you can argue that coffee doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with cigarettes or a nice, chunky blunt; fair enough. But there’s a reason that plain decaf coffee isn’t America’s favorite drink. It’s because all you get with that is the taste of ass. Everybody recognizes there’s no point in that. At that point you might as well just have a glass of hot water and call it a day.

So, yeah. It’s not a fear of coffee, just an internal notation that coffee = tastes like ass = not to be put in my mouth. If you want to put it in your mouth, that’s fine with me, you ass-taster, you. I hope you enjoy its full-bottomed flavor. I’ll stick with my Coke Zero. It tastes of many things, but not one of those things is ass.

(Want to participate in Reader Request Week? Add your own question here)