Daily Archives: June 16, 2007

The Single Worst Non-Photoshopped Picture I’ve Ever Taken

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No, it’s not the one up there. That one is a reference photo, one I took about 20 minutes ago, so you’ll know what I actually look like when I’m making no particular effort to look either good or bad. Got it? Okay, good. Now, what follows is a picture of me this morning, fiddling around with the Web cam on my laptop. Prepare yourself.

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How Much Got Raised

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As of 11:59 and 59 seconds (Pacific Time) last night, the “Drag Scalzi’s Ass to the Creation Museum” donation drive raised $5,118.36. That’s 256 times the admission price to Creation Museum, a multiple I find both amusing (from a dork point of view) and gratifying, since it means what tiny bit of income the creationists running the museum gain by having me pass through the door will be utterly swamped by the amount I’m going to send to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Would that it worked that way for every admission to that place.

For those of you who were wondering, some statistics: The first milestone for this fundraiser, the $250 to get me to go at all, got passed within the first hour of posting the challenge. The $1000 mark got passed about 12 hours later. The $5,000 marker got passed last night sometime between 6 and 11pm, while I was out on a date with my wife, celebrating our anniversary. I’m particularly pleased about hitting the $5k mark. The least amount donated was $1; the most was $300. More than one person donated more than $250, usually with the notation “Ha! Now you HAVE to go!” Multiples and variations of $6.66 were amusingly common, although the $5 suggested amount was the amount most received.

To be honest with you all, I had no idea how this thing would do, so I was intensely curious about it. To be clear, I didn’t really think there would be a problem hitting the $250 mark; there are about 25,000 daily visitors, and I figured at least 1% of you would be ready to spend a buck or two to torture me by sending me to that place. I also suspected that I’d get $1,000 over the course of a week, and probably more. My own estimate when I started was that it’d eventually clock in between $1,500 and $2,000, and if I got any more than that I would be thrilled. So, consider me doubly to triply thrilled.

As promised, everyone who has contributed will receive two special gifts: A short story and another creative thingie, to be delivered by e-mail. I’ll post notes here when I send them out, so those of you who contributed who don’t then receive the goodies may ping me, so I can get them to you. I’m all about customer service.

Also, of course, I will (sigh) soon be on my way to the Creation Museum, to view it in all its scientific silliness. Some folks have asked if I would share my intended arrival date and time, so we can congregate en mass and generally become a snarky clot of heathens. As fun as that might be, until they kicked us out, the fact of the matter is that if I’m going to do this, and I am, I want to be able to do it in reportorial mode, which means watching other people in their (heh) natural setting. Also, I don’t want them to see me coming. So, I’m going to make the trip alone, or possibly with my family. Perhaps at some other time we can do a heathen field trip, and see how long it takes us to get booted. But for now, well. You guys just shelled out five grand. I think I owe you an actual report.

Thank you again to everyone who donated, even though it means me dragging my ass down to that damn place. The amount we’ve raised for the separation of church and state is worth it. I’m glad you were motivated to shell out for the Constitution. And also, to torture me. Because, let’s face it. I know you’re looking forward to that.

Finally: Jude, you’ve won the betting pool for the final amount, with your guess of $5,002.25. E-mail me your address.

Me News 6/16/07

Quick Stuff:

* To everyone who’s sending me e-mail about Marc Andreessen’s list of the Top Ten Science Fiction Writers of the 00’s: Yes, I’ve seen it, and yes, it’s cool that the guy who invented the Web browser likes my stuff. And while one can argue whether the ten he lists are actually the ten best SF writers of the young century (so far, as Andreessen himself notes), it’s a damn fine list of writers. It’s clear generally speaking that Andreessen likes the harder SF stuff (it’s also clear this list is really about SF, not fantasy). And, even if as a matter of conflict of interest I leave myself out this particular statement, I think Andreessen’s correct that “this crew is arguably more insightful, more interesting, higher intensity, and bolder than many (but not all!) of their predecessors” — which is to say, some of the best writers in the history of science fiction are writing right now, and if you’re missing out, well, then, you’re missing out.

One thing I do notice, perhaps as an artifact of the particular flavor of SF that Andreessen seems to like, is that there are no women on that list is only one woman on the list (Update: my commenters tell me Chris Moriarty is a woman. Whoops). Marc, if you wander past this entry at any point, if you haven’t checked out Elizabeth Bear’s Jenny Series, or Karen Traviss’ Wess’Har Series, you should. Both of them qualify as new in the aughts, and these particular series should be right down your alley.

Also, fun bit of trivia: Technically speaking, Andreessen and I were once coworkers: I worked at AOL at the same time the company ate Netscape. However, I was in DC and he was in California; we’ve never met, either in the real world or online. This is why I say we were technically coworkers.

* My pal Jim Hall draws my attention to the fact that there’s a nice review of The Last Colony in the most recent Starlog magazine. It says, in part:

Scalzi has become one of those rare writers who can put together a series of novels with each title capable of standing on its own- and none more so than this one. Even better, The Last Colony delivers a good dollop of action wrapped up in a gradually growing political situation, with characters who continue to improve and evolve.

Excellent. And the reviewer (Michael Wolff) is correct that “stand-alone-ability” is a priority of mine. Every novel should be its own door into that universe. I don’t want to give people excuses to set the book back down in the store.

* Something I’ll note briefly for now, and will provide details for later, when I know more, because, seriously, at the moment I don’t know anything more than this: There’s going to be an audio book version of Old Man’s War.

Now, having said, “I don’t know anything more than this,” I know that people will still ask: “When will it be out?” “Who is reading it?” “How much will it cost?” And so on. My answer: I don’t know. Come now, people: If you think I knew anything else that I wouldn’t tell you? Have you learned nothing of my self-promoting ways after all this time? When I have more details, I’ll share them. Honest.