Daily Archives: November 2, 2009

Booklist Review of The God Engines

It’s out, and while it like the Publishers Weekly review is a bit spoilerish of a plot point I want you to be surprised by and so I won’t quote it at length (I have accepted that most reviews will reveal this plot point, as it comes early in the novella), nevertheless here’s a nice bit from it:

[Scalzi's] writing has never been crisper, and his ideas carry a freshness and energy most other fantasy authors will envy.

Neat. I’m very happy with the reviews so far, especially as this is my first attempt at fantasy. That said, I’m not expecting a clean run of positive reviews, because TGE is so different in tone and content from my science fiction work that I do expect a fair amount of “WTF?” out of it. Which is fine; “The Sagan Diary” was also different, and got lots of polarized opinions. I’m very proud of it, as I am of TGE. I am looking forward to people reading this novella and finding out what they think.

Finally, as a bit of a treat, if you go to the Subterranean Press order page for TGE, you can see two previews of the fabulous black and white interior art by Vincent Chong. It’s well worth the click.

One Of Those Questions I Wish SF Geeks Would Simply Get Over

It’s the one where SF geeks wring their hands over mainstream acceptance of their favorite genre. Please, please, please: Stop.

Points:

1. When the goddamned President of the United States makes Vulcan salutes and is photographed quite unselfconsciously whipping a lightsaber about on the White House lawn, you have won.

2. The POTUS being a geek aside, a genre that features hit television shows, movies with $150 million budgets and half a billion dollar worldwide grosses, endless videogame iterations and even — yes — bestselling books has mainstream acceptance, for Christ’s sake, and saying otherwise makes one look stupid. When science fiction types mew and barf about “mainstream acceptance,” they’re not usually not mewling and barfing about acceptance from the actual mainstream, but from other literature geeks, whom they feel have excluded them from their sekkrit lit geek clubs. These two things are not the same.

3. And as for these other lit geeks, come, now: We give a shit? Really? Because speaking as an actual science fiction writer, I don’t.  Honestly, like I care that some other type of nerd doesn’t feel what I or others in my genre write is geeky enough in their preferred direction to count. When their general or specific disapprobation has a material effect on my ability to write or read as I please, you all let me know. Short of this: So what.

Every time I see the question of “mainstream acceptance” pop up, it reminds me that SF geeks, despite the many manifest signs and indications that we are living in a world they have spawned from their mighty intellectual loins, are yet still emotionally trapped in the high school cafeteria and the social dynamics thereof. SF geeks, I say to unto you: What’s the point of remaking the world in your image if you’ve not the wit to enjoy it? You’ve taken over huge tracts of the cultural map, and you get your underwear bunched up over the lit geeks? That’s a little OCD, don’t you think?

Please, red-shift yourself just a single step on the neurosis spectrum, learn not to care, and remember this phrase when someone declares your favorite reading/viewing/game-playing material not quite respectable enough: Oh, well. Nothing will annoy them more than the knowledge you can’t be bothered to worry about what they think.

And the next time the question of science fiction and “mainstream acceptance” comes up, remember this answer: Who gives a shit? Because, really. Who does. Like what you like, already.

Sickness Update, 11/2/09

How close we got to going to the wedding yesterday: here you see the clothes we were going to wear, all laid out. But then it became apparent that traveling anywhere was not going to be so great for us, nor possibly for the folks around us when we got to the wedding. It was more than mildly depressing.

The good news is that both of us are feeling a bit better, which leads us to suspect that it was not flu but possibly something we ate being slightly botulicious and knocking us on our ass for the day. Then again, Athena had been under the weather a couple of days ago, so it still might have been something infectious, perhaps with just a touch of food poisoning to tip us over the edge. In any event, neither Krissy nor I am at 100%. But at least we’re not at the “stand up and feel the need to sit down again” stage anymore. Lots and lots and lots of sleep yesterday helped, too.

For a really excellent picture of the wedding we missed, well: Look here. It was gorgeous, the bride was gorgeous, and the groom wasn’t bad looking either. Very sad not to have been there. But again, I don’t think the wedding party would have appreciated a possible gift of infectious disease, especially as bride and groom were on their way off to a honeymoon. We will see them elsewhere and share our happiness (and not our viruses) with them then. I assume our gift will still make it, however; Amazon will see to that.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who wished us to feel better. We’re getting there.

 

Just to Mix Things Up Around Here

Here’s a sunrise picture, taken roughly ten minutes ago.

Thus concludes my annual “hey I’m actually awake for a sunrise for once, why not take a picture of it” picture. Thank you for your patience and participation.