Like Watching the Odometer Roll Over

As of 9pm tonight, there have been exactly 8,990,000 unique visits to this site this year, which was an awfully round number, so I took a screenshot. It also means that unless the site fails to garner an additional 10k unique visits between now and 11:59:59pm tomorrow (which it should; it’s averaging rather more than that per day), I’ll finish 2007 with just a hair more than 9 million visits to the site, up from 6.3 million visits in 2006. It’s nice the site’s audience continues to grow.

I mentioned to a friend of mine yesterday that the site was likely to crack 9 million unique visits this year; he said “and you don’t put up ads? You’re an idiot.” Yes, well. As I’ve noted before, I’m not allergic to the concept of ads, I’m not just interested in it. However, if at some point during my new I-have-no-regular-monthly-income life, which begins with the new year, it looks like I’m short of mortgage money, I may become more interested. I’m sure you understand. Hopefully it won’t come to that. I don’t expect it will.

That said, thank you all very kindly for coming ’round in 2007; I hope you’ll keep coming ’round in ’08.

Probably the Worst It’s Been

My office, 12/30/07:

This is, alas, an all-too-accurate metaphor for what my brain has been like for most of 2007.

Hopefully, 2008 will be a bit neater.

On the Slate, 2008

In order to facilitate you in your acquisition of ScalziProduct™, here’s a handy list of things I know are coming out from me, and being written by me, in 2008.

Stuff I Know is Coming Out in 2008

1. The Rough Guide to the Universe, Second Edition — This hits either in March or May. It’ll feature updated information, particularly on Mars, Saturn and Pluto, but also about the universe in general. Because although the universe hasn’t changed much since I wrote the first edition in 2003, what we know about it has, rather significantly.

2. Zoe’s Tale — This is solid for August in hardcover; I believe the actual release date is 8/17, but I’d have to check. I’m still writing this. I like what I’ve written so far quite a bit. I need to write faster.

3. The Last Colony — The mass market paperback edition of TLC is likely to be available near the release date of Zoe’s Tale.

4. Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded: A Decade of Whatever, 1998 – 2008 — Ten years of Whatevery, in convenient hard copy form. Don’t worry, it won’t be all of it, just the highlights. Like Coffee Shop, this is likely to be a limited edition release. The 10th anniversary of Whatever is September 13, so expect this one around that date.

5. Agent to the Stars — Tor’s trade paperback edition of this novel will be out in November. This new edition will feature some changes to the text (mostly to make all those Hollywood references more current) and will feature a new introduction to the book by me.

In addition to these books, I’m contributing to at least two Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader books in 2008: Their one on Michigan and their one on Pennsylvania. Per the usual Uncle John thing, my name will not be attached to my contribution, but I’ll get paid well, and I can live with that instead.

For those of you who like audio, an audio version of The Ghost Brigades is on the way sometime in 2008. You can assume that means that audio version of Old Man’s War has done nicely. Thank you. There may be other audio goodies in the course of the year, but TGB is the only thing with a signed contract at the moment.

Finally, I’ve written and sold one short story in the Old Man’s War universe; more details on when and where you can find that when I get more details myself.

Stuff I Know I’m Writing in 2008 (in no particular order of writing):

1. The High Castle — The sequel to The Android’s Dream got bumped for Zoe’s Tale, but I’m jumping into it when ZT is done, for an early 2009 release. People who came to see me on the book tour earlier in the year heard me read the first chapter; suffice to say that this series is evolving a tradition of insane first chapters.

2. Untitled 2008 John Scalzi Novel — Which will clearly not be called that. I’m not saying anything about this one other than that it’s a stand-alone and science fictional, although not set in either the Old Man’s War or Android’s Dream universes. Who knows when this will be out.

3. “That Fantasy Novella I Was Going to Write This Year But Didn’t” — Again, not the actual title. This got bumped into 2008 because of other projects that I had to undertake this year. However, I’ve definitely got it on the 2008 schedule, and once written, it’ll be available via limited edition hardcover from Subterranean Press. Again, I don’t want to say too much about it, except to say that I’ll be interested to see what you all think of it, because it really won’t be the usual sort of thing from me.

4. “A (Short) Novella for an Anthology” — If you’re sensing the theme of these things not having an actual title, you’d be right. This will be for Godlike Machines, an anthology that will be coming out from the Science Fiction Book Club; I think it was one of the last anthologies SFBC acquired before it canned the ancien regime. This was one of several anthologies I was invited to participate in over the last year, most of which I had turn down simply as a function of time. However, as a lark, I suggested I would do this one if I were allowed to follow a certain entirely ridiculous premise in my story; Jonathan Strahan, the editor of the anthology, outbluffed me and agreed to it. As they say: Bwa ha ha ha hah ha! No, I won’t tell you what the premise is. You’ll just have to wait.

So that’s what I know I have coming out, and to do, in 2008. Independent of all that I have other stuff I have sketched out, including a new humorous non-fiction book, some new fiction ideas of varying sizes and a couple of possible projects that don’t necessarily have to do with printed text, but all of that is preliminary at the moment, and anyway, before I can get to any of that, I need to finish some of what I’ve already got on the plate, starting with Zoe. All planning and no finishing is not a good way to do a writing career.

A Month of Writers, Day Twenty Four: Tim Pratt

Quite unintentionally, it turns out that I’m the guy who told Tim Pratt that he won a Hugo this year: After the list of Hugo Winners was posted, and Tim’s “Impossible Dreams” nabbed the short story award, I sent him a quick little congratulatory e-mail. His response a short time later was, essentially, “I did what now?” It’s not every day you get to break such news to someone. But to be fair, the awards were in Japan this year. They held them while he was asleep in California. Stupid round planet with its multiple time zones.

Tim closes out the Month of Writers by issuing a writing manifesto, as is popular these days in science fiction and fantasy. It may be worth noting that the date of the issuance of the following manifesto was the first day of the fourth month of the year. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still follow it. I did, and you can expect the fruits of such adherence in a an upcoming novel. No, seriously. Bwa ha ha ha hah ha!

Tim’s latest novel is Blood Engines, which has been called “brain-twisting, superb… new and different and not to be missed,” and has a main character named Marla Mason, which in one of those very weird coincidences was the name of one of my best friends from elementary school. Pretty sure Tim didn’t know that when he wrote that. But then, clearly, we have some sort of connection. So maybe he did.

TIM PRATT: New Literary Movement

I’ve been meaning to post about this for a while. I’m not really one for manifestos, but it’s become increasingly apparent to me that we need a new literary movement. I’ve been interested for a while in metafictional works of SF and fantasy that include the author as a character (like some of Jeffrey Ford’s stories, or Rudy Rucker’s transrealism). I experimented with the subject in a recent story I wrote, “Her Voice in a Bottle.” And while the results were satisfactory (me, and my voice, explicitly present in a fantasy story) they seem, ultimately, rather too limited.

It’s clear to me now that I need to appear as a major, preferably heroic, character in everyone’s stories. Tim Pratt, on the page, fighting air pirates, defusing space bombs, sexing up the sexy sex nymphs, and what have you. (When a female or neuter character is necessary, authors may wish to use my nom de plume “T.A. Pratt”) The name for this literary movement will, of course, be PrattPunk (except in the U.K., where a “prat” is an asshole or moron, where the movement will be known as TimPunk).

To ease your transition into this new compulsory movement, I’m releasing myself under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license, which allows you to use or modify the source material — me — for your own work, while giving the creator — me — due credit for the original material — me — and granting permission for others to modify your works (about me). I’ll also turn a blind eye toward any unauthorized fanfic if enterprising authors wish to transform any existing works of SF literature — Dune, say, or Harry Potter — into ideologically pure works of PrattPunk.

Happy writing, my Prattians!

(original entry, plus comments, is here)