Daily Archives: February 21, 2008

Before Even More People Send it to Me

Yes, I’ve seen Translation from Aburt-speak to English of selected portions of his SFWA presidential platform, over at sillybean. It’s very amusing, and also, very much like the Andrew Burt campaign posters, an indication of how electing Burt will not do wonders for SFWA’s relations with the public, or its potential future membership. And here we pause for a sigh and a sad headshake.

Update, 12:08, 2/22/08 – This is pretty damn funny, too. Any day is a good day to do a Thurber homage. Especially one with me in it.

Novella Drawing for the Dewey Donation System

Question from the gallery:

Your Zoe’s Tale auction moved out of my price range early. Could you do another auction? And let me win?

Heh. Well, no. For two reasons: One, I have no control over how the auctions go. People bid what they bid. Two, I think the reasons the auctions work is because I don’t do them all the time. They’re for special occasions, and I think one a year or so does just fine. So, no more auctions for a while.

But I’m aware that there seems to be a bunch of folks who are bummed they didn’t get a decent shot at Zoe’s Tale. And at the same time, my pal Pamela Ribon has launched her annual charity drive for libraries, called the Dewey Donation System. I was just gonna plug the DDS, because call me crazy, but I think donating books to libraries is a fine idea, but now I have an idea I think is even better.

But first, a preface: I am currently writing a short science fiction novella (about 17,000 – 20,000 words) which is going into an anthology called Godlike Machines, which will be published by the Science Fiction Book Club at some point later this year. I’m not going to give you the details of the story, because it really is best as a surprise, but I will say that when the anthology editor Jonathan Strahan approached me to contribute, I said “I will only if you let me do this,” and then I pitched him an absolutely insane story idea that no one in his right mind would buy. And of course he said yes, just to mess with my head. Bwa ha ha ha ha hah ha! So, trust me, it’ll be a good read.

Got it? Okay, here’s what I’m gonna do. When I’m done writing this story, I will head over to Lulu and put into bound form two copies of this novella, and then sign them. And then I’m going to give them away to two people who have:

a) donated to the Dewey Donation System this year, and

b) come back to this entry’s comment thread to tell me what they’ve donated and to which of the two children’s libraries that DDS is supporting this year (the ones at The Rockhouse Foundation and The Children’s Institute).

Everyone who donates something through, oh, let’s say, March 21, 2008, and then comes here to brag about it will be eligible for the drawing, which I will have by the end of March.

These bound copies of the novella will be two-of-a-kind (well, three-of-a-kind, since I’ll probably make a copy for myself too) and no more will be made, and of course, it’ll be the only way to read the novella prior to its publication. So, again: collector’s items.

But wait! There’s more! Both of the winners of the drawing will also get final published copies of Godlike Machines from me, which I will sign and send along once it comes out (I have a SFBC membership, you see. I can buy two copies). So you’ll get the pre-pub, copyeditor-nightmare edition, and the actual edition, too — which will come with other nifty novella-length stories from other nifty authors.

But wait! There’s still more! Dewey Donation System is doing its own set of giveaways as well, so by donating, you’ll be eligible for those, too. Honestly, there’s just so much win going on.

So, to recap:

1. You go donate a book (or other needed stuff) to needy children through the Dewey Donation System.

2. When you’re done, you come back to this comment thread and let people know how awesome you are for donating to needy kids, and detail your purchase. Everyone applauds.

3. You’re entered in a drawing to win a special pre-pub bound edition of my upcoming novella and a copy of the finish anthology, Godlike Machines.

4. You win (maybe), and are the envy of every person you ever meet from now until the very end of time.

It’s just that easy. And unlike the auction, you don’t have to spend a lot to play; you can donate a book for as little as $7 (although you can spend more if you want). And the donation still goes to an excellent cause.

I’ll bring this up again when the novella is completed and printed, and then when we get closer to the end of eligibility period, so don’t worry, you’ll have reminders. But there’s no reason not to get an early start. Happy donating!

Your Last Minute Hugo Nominations

The window for voting for Hugo nominations is closing at the end of the month, and there are several thousand eligible nominators (basically, anyone who was at last year’s Worldcon in Japan or who has registered for this year’s, in Denver) — and yet there are relatively few people who nominate. I think this is a bit of a shame, but I think it may be because the SF/F field is now pretty large, and you have to be on top of things to know what’s good.

To help, I throw open the question to you, gentle Whatever readers: What works/people would you nominate for a Hugo this year? For those of you who need it, here’s a list of the current categories. I’m particularly interested in your nominations for the fiction categories (Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story), but any category you want to suggest a work/person in is good. Also, while it’s not a Hugo, you may feel free also to suggest who you might nominate for the Campbell Award, which is an award I’m sort of partial to myself.

Caveats:

1. For the purposes of this exercise, suggest people and works other than me and mine. Yes, I have eligible works this year. But I doubt anyone who reads here is surprised by that. Let’s look at what else is out there (also, well, I’m looking for suggestions myself. I still have a slot or two open in most categories).

2. If you’re eligible for a category, nominate other people/works. Come on, dude. Share the love.

3. No more than five suggestions per category. Yes! You must choose!

4. To be eligible, works have to have been published (or the people active) during 2007. Don’t suggest stuff people can’t actually nominate.

Got it? Excellent.

So, what would your Hugo nominations be? Drop ‘em in the comment thread, please.

(P.S: If you’ve already written up your Hugo picks/suggestions elsewhere, feel free to link to them in the comments.)

(P.P.S.: If you are eligible to nominate for Hugos, do so! Here’s the online nomination form. Want to nominate vote on the Hugo ballot? There’s still time to get a Worldcon membership for this year. Even if you don’t plan to attend, a supporting membership allows you to nominate for and vote on the Hugos. Oh, come on, you were just going to spend that $50 on gum, anyway. (Update: I flubbed — too late to buy a membership to nominate. But you can still buy a membership to¬† vote on the final ballot))

Now! Spill!

Adding to the Auction Pot

The auction of the Zoe’s Tale pre-publication edition to benefit the Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust has been pretty quiet for the last couple of days, so I thought I would kick in a little something to give it a boost, to wit: A copy of the now very rare Subterranean Press hardcover edition of Agent to the Stars. Only 1,500 of these were made (plus a couple extra for my personal stash), and they’re going for ridiculous amounts on the resale market.

Right now the bidding is at $2,025.01. Get the bid up to at least $2,500, and whoever wins the Zoe’s Tale is also going to find Agent smiling up at them from the box, signed and (if wished) personalized. It’s a steal, I tell you! A steal! There are only a couple days left to bid, so get on it if you want there. And of course feel free to let the collectors/Scalzi fans/people with waaay too much money of your acquaintance know about it.

Once again, here’s the original post announcing the auction, and here’s the auction page itself. Happy bidding!

Various and Sundry 2/21/08

Some stuff:

* For those of you interested in the future of SFWA, current presidential candidate Russell Davis has popped into the comment thread of the “Gut Check for SFWA” entry and is ready to answer questions you might have about his candidacy and SFWA. Indeed he’s already answered at least one. So feel free to ask. Do me a favor and keep the questions on topic and substantive; don’t ask him if he wears boxers or briefs or anything silly like that. Naturally, I invite Andrew Burt, the other candidate, to answer questions in the thread as well, although I’ll quite understand if he doesn’t.

* For you science fiction geeks — not like there would be any of those, here – who also love the law, Concurring Opinions law blog is running an audio interview with Battlestar Galactica’s Ron Moore and David Eick about the role of law in that television series. Part I-B, on torture and morality, is especially interesting.

* Speaking of torture and morality: Five Myths About Torture and Truth. You know, personally, I’ve gotten to the point that when someone suggests to me that no, really, torture does work, I lump them into the same category as Creationists, i.e., people with a certain-shaped hole in their otherwise functioning cognitive processes. With creationists, it’s the shape of a Bible; for the pro-torture types, it’s the shape of a waterboard. This is a telling quote from the article:

“The larger problem here, I think,” one active CIA officer observed in 2005, “is that this kind of stuff just makes people feel better, even if it doesn’t work.”

Well, it doesn’t make the guy being tortured feel better. But that’s the point. And pretty much the only point. Also, look: If you do actually make an argument that “Well, torture worked for the Gestapo,” as apparently people are doing, aside from the truth of the statement (it didn’t apparently), your own morality has just gone into the same place as my youngest cat’s testicles.

* I’m feeling a little bit sorry for Hillary Clinton recently, because her campaign is caught up in an event it truly can’t control: the messianic fervor surrounding Obama. Clinton’s been trying to go negative on the guy, and it’s not working, because people literally just do not want to hear about it. At this particular moment in time Clinton could unearth a video of Barack Obama eating live kittens while wearing nothing but an oiled thong at an S&M party hosted by Larry Craig, and she couldn’t do anything with it because if she did people would wonder why she was being so mean to Obama, and her polling would suffer.

Now, I don’t regret the negative campaigning being ineffective; I’m happy it’s not. This is just one of those thing where you feel a bit of empathy for someone who sees a goal slipping away due to factors that really have nothing much to do with them.

* Also: Remember to sign up to get the eBook of Old Man’s War — it goes out probably in a day or so.

Off to send Athena to school. Yes! She actually has school today! Amazing!