Daily Archives: June 1, 2010

Why, Yes, I DO Look Insufferably Smug Here, Don’t I

Me and the fabulous Felicia Day having our picture taken at Geek Prom. She looks lovely, of course. I look like a prom dance chaperone. We were joking about how I needed to go around and tell people they needed “eight fingers of sunlight” between them and their partner. I did not. Well, maybe once. But they asked me to.

As amusing as this picture is, it has nothing on this photo of Wil and Felicia. Wil looks delightfully trapped. And he was! We made him dance.

It’s a reminder that I do have a fun life, from time to time. It’s nice to be reminded of that when I’m neck-deep in deadlines. Which is happening all too soon, I’m afraid.

I’ll also just add that in all seriousness, it was a genuine delight to meet Felicia, who is smart and funny and a great dancer, and just altogether nice to be around. If you’re not watching The Guild, which Felicia created, writes and stars in, you’re just plain silly.

About That Miranda Supreme Court Ruling

I’m confused about it, basically.

The ruling says that suspects must announce that they choose to remain silent in order to halt an interrogation. Which on one hand is irony of a particularly rich and creamy sort, but on the other hand does make some amount of practical sense. In the case that precipitated the ruling, the suspect said he understood his rights and claimed to remain silent while the cops interrogated him, but in fact several times answered or responded to questions posed to him by cops. Why did the cops keep interrogating him after he kept silent? Because that’s their gig — to get people to talk. Which the guy did; he had the right to remain silent, but didn’t, after he said he understood his rights.

The crux of the issue seems to be that the police dropped him into an interrogation room after the fellow had decided to remain silent, but since he did not communicate that intent to the cops, they went ahead with the interrogation anyway. I’m sure their line of reasoning is that they did not explicitly know he chose not to speak to them, just that he was being standard-issue uncommunicative and they were trying to pry out information.

Thus, again, the irony of having to say to the cops you choose not to speak to the cops in order not to have to speak to the cops. Intellectually I’m not a fan of this ruling — the rights a suspect has should be inherent without needing to be invoked (and that includes the right to representation, which as I understand must currently be invoked as well) — but as a practical matter, how do the police know you don’t intend to speak to them at all if you don’t tell them?

As I said: Confusing.

I don’t know that in the long run this is any big break for police, since I do foresee lawsuits in which the defendant accuses the police of not fully informing him/her on how to appropriately invoke his/her right to silence, and a 5-4 ruling, as in this case, suggests a future, ever-so-slightly less conservative Supreme Court might lean more toward the way of the suspect’s rights and require the police to inform the suspect he/she has to say “I don’t want to talk to you,” in order to avoid interrogation. In the meantime, personally speaking, I’m going to memorize the following sentence, should I ever get arrested for anything: “I want my lawyer, and I invoke my right to remain silent.” Spoken in that order, since it’s the most logical way to do it.

I’d be delighted to hear from people who know more about this than I do. This is my layman’s take, based on what I’ve read in the news. I may have squidged some pertinent details thereby.

Quick Note to Authors/Editors/Publicists Wanting a Big Idea Slot

Really, please do read the Big Idea submission requirements before asking to participate. I have that system for a reason, i.e., because it helps me schedule and helps me schedule books near their release date, and it helps me make sure people who are intrigued by a book can find it. I’m having a rash of authors/editors/publicists asking to participate who have apparently not read the submission requirements and it’s making me sad to have to turn them all down. But turning them down I am. Because, once again, I have submission requirements for a reason. Won’t you please read the submission requirements? I would love it if you did.

If you did read the submission requirements and thought that even if your book was outside their scope I might still be willing to slot in your book, the answer is: Yeah, no. Because I have submission requirements for a reason, you see. This is a recurring theme.

The Head of John Scalzi Demands Blood

While I was at Phoenix Comicon, at my signing table I occasionally sat next to Sam Sykes, author of the fantasy novel Tome of the Undergates, which will have its US debut this summer from Pyr Books. As so often happens, our back and forth quickly became a testosterone filled battle of one-up-manship, because that’s how we roll. I thought I had gotten the upper hand on Sam when I wiped my Cool Ranch Dorito-encrusted fingers on his shirt, just to establish my dominance, but then when I left to do a panel and came back, he had reversed my name card and done this to it:

And to pull in for a little detail:

(shakes fist) You win this round, Sam Sykes! But I will be waiting. Oh, yes.

What did I do with the defaced name card? Why, I used it, of course. Because my head, it does demand blood. Just so you know.

Revealing the Unicorn Pegasus Kitten + Sunday/Monday Recap

For those of you who were not fortunate enough to have been at Phoenix Comicon this last weekend, here’s the part of the Super Happy Fun Time With John and Wil in which we unveil the Unicorn Pegasus Kitten painting. The whole bit will take about 20 minutes of your time.

First, a segment in which Wil and I give context for the UPK by recounting the creation and delivery of The Velvet Wesley:

And now, the segment in which we reveal the work and discuss a little about the contest and who is participating.

Fun stuff, and thanks to “locobravo” for filming it and posting it on YouTube.

As for my Sunday, well, you were just looking at the most awesome part of it, but the rest of it was pretty good as well. Both of my two other panels that day went off without a hitch, and of course Super Happy Fun Time With John and Wil was, in fact, super, happy and fun. Once everything was done, I went and — yes — had dinner with friends, and then hung about in the bar with some of the staff and remaining guests in a very informal dead dog party.

Then came my Monday, which involved my flight from Phoenix to Dallas being canceled and thus me being rerouted into O’Hare and its inevitable Vortex of Memorial Day Suck, meaning a) my initial flight was delayed b) my connecting flight was canceled and c) if I hadn’t have rented a car to drive to Ohio, I would be getting home right about now, presuming, of course, that I wasn’t additionally delayed in some fashion, which I’m sure I would be. Of course, this is why I specified to the folks at the convention that I wanted to do everything possible to avoid O’Hare, and why I was booked to Dallas in the first place. But, silly me, I forgot you cannot escape your travel karma. I really must have sucked in a past life.

But my travel woes are neither here nor there as regards the Phoenix Comicon, which was frankly an awesome time and a great place to be a guest. The staff and attendees made me feel tremendously welcome, and I both got to spend time with old friends and the opportunity to make some new ones as well. So, really, a blast. It’s a con I’d love to come to again.

And now, because in some ways it should be completely inevitable that it had to happen, here’s me and Wil performing “Don’t Stop Believin'” on Rock Band. Oh, yes. You are not prepared.