75 thoughts on “And Now, An Excerpt From My Current Work in Progress, Which Will Change Your Life Forever

  1. does this mean i have to be afraid of what’s in my fountain soda now, besides all those nasty, yummy chemicals?

  2. Thanks for the Blastr link, John. I already knew about Fuzzy Nation, but I wasn’t aware that Vortex, the third in Robert Charles Wilson’s Spin cycle, will be coming out in July. Pre-ordered. :-)

  3. The Blastr list covers up through July. Lots more to come … and I know of one that I am very much looking forward to, but then I have a vested interest in it, heheheheheh.

  4. And only too late Jimmy noticed the frontal ‘N’ had been added with a crayon. There was a scream, a splash, and then silence.

    “Remember”, the fish-king croaked, “there are no nice sharks! None! Not ever!”

  5. Ice Shark: “The drink that makes a pan-galactic gargle blaster seem like a virgin mojito”

  6. My psychic powers tell me that it’s a SF adventure set on Europa, where they fail to bring a big enough fishing pole and the expedition is slowly winnowed down by the natives, leaving only the attractive female protagonist alive to escape with deep insights into the true nature of the universe.

  7. “Super Frineds for $400, Alex”

    “It was Wonder Twin power that finally got the twins kicked out of the Justice League gym.”

    “What the hell is an ice shark?”

    “Correct, but please try to control your language.”

    “Sorry. Super Friends for $500.”

  8. An ice shark is a shark? or rather a chunk of ice that, under certain conditions, might end killing you and all your sidekicks just in time to let the really really bad guy strap his mass destruction weapon and flee?
    It’s kind of hard to ponder….

  9. At long last a sequel to 1984’s The Ice Pirates. If Robert Urich had only lived to see this day.

  10. Oh, ICE shark. I thought you said “nice shark”, and I was going to tell you where I got it. But that’s very different!

  11. I’ve got it! you are writing this year’s Dr Who Christmas special…well we had a fog-shark Christmas 2010.

  12. An Ice Shark is one who lends out ice cubes. Since the cubes are usually melting a little at a time, you’ll never be able to pay the vig. You’ll be into him forever and you’ll get your legs broke!

    Stay away from Ice Sharks!

  13. An ice shark is simply an ice cube shaped as a shark. Sorry to disappoint you.

    They look really nice in drinks, though – if you can make them right.

  14. Greg,

    While i appreciate the effort in your original re-interpretations of my fairly benign statements, I think your creative talents might be better spent on the “What the hell is an ice shark?” thread.

    John,

    I think I may change my gravatar to one of a snowflake with a mallet hanging over it.

    Regards,

    ZBBM

  15. Ice Shark; (n) A ship designed to cut and remove, and hold sea ice.

    I am picturing a whole ice age world for this ship now. How sad that it won’t be that. Oh well.

  16. I don’t know from ice sharks, but Peter F. Hamilton had his alien elves the Silfen hunting ice whales in Pandora’s Star.

  17. Seven simple words transformed me forever.

    Months I carried on, full of anguish and hopelessness. The turning planet seemed bereft of any colour; I languished on a bed of grey no matter where I travelled. Desperately I clung to any words I could find, but they failed to bring me from the precipice of the black vortex. There seemed no end to the torment, until I chanced upon these words one afternoon:

    “What the hell is an ice shark?“

    Upon reading the words, I was lifted. I felt a blossoming of hope, an illumination, a multiplicity of worlds heretofore unknown, and shed the misanthropic cape I had swaddled myself in lo these many days. I met all strangers with the same spellbinding words and they too felt the infusion of joy.

    Is that what you meant to have happen, John? Or perhaps with less hyperbole. At least, maybe a little less Strindbergian.

  18. An Ice Shark is an expensive Edox watch.

    (Warning: Avoid their website. They might design great watches, but whoever designs their website has succumbed to Flash Fever.)

  19. @ cturkel, #11

    We’re gonna need a bigger boat.

    No: we’re going to need a bigger sled.
    Or maybe a bigger snow machine.

    Of course, you can never go wrong with a bigger dirigible (the R101 and the Hindenburg excepted)

  20. Our scene opens…interior shot of an igloo. A woman wearing traditional Inuit garb is reading a magazine.

    Doorbell sound efect: (ding dong)

    Inuit Lady: Who is it?

    Voice: Ice Shark

    Inuit Lady: I’m not comming out for you, you’ll eat me.

    –after a slight pause

    Doorbell sound efect: (ding dong)

    Inuit Lady: Who is it?

    Voice: air conditioner repair…

    Inuit Lady: Look, I know it’s still you, go away.

    Voice: ice delivery

    Inuit Lady: sits back down muttering to herself “Damn Ice Sharks”

    Doorbell sound efect: (ding dong)

    Inuit Lady: Who is it?

    Voice: John Scalzi

    Inuit Lady: Oh, why didn’t you say so before….

    as she crawls through the igloo exit we see a foam shark head miming eating the lady’s head. we hear screams and the fake eating sounds

  21. Will the trailer for Ice Shark vs. Snow Octopus become an Interwebs sensation when it’s posted on YouTube?

  22. Thanks, thanks, John, I’m sssooo excited about the project now. I’m going to spend the afternoon googling ice and sharks, then trying, with my feeble imagination, to come up with some Scalzi-esque storylines where ice sharks would play a pivoted role in the plot development. Er, I hope you don’t jump the ice shark, again. I’d like to see another good 100K novel out of you soon. Ooh, thanks, John.

  23. I still remember how the guy looked when he walked up to the walked up to the edge of the curling lane and asked, “Gosh, how do you play this game?” That should have been a red flag right there. The open, vacant expression, hands in the pockets, a slight stumble when he came out on the ice. It all seemed so perfect. I didn’t see it. Mac didn’t see it. None of us did.

    “So, you just slide this big rock down the lane?” I don’t even know what he was doing there. He had on the kind of nice clothes that rich people buy to try and look casual, and when he shook my hand I caught a glimpse of gold under the cuff of his tailored blazer. He looked at me and Mac with almost childlike enthusiasm.

    “It’s a stone,” Mac said, “and we call it the curling sheet, but yeah. It’s that simple. Wanna try?”

    The next red flag was right there in front of me. Someone who had never played would be bad, yes. But it takes a very special kind of skill to be as bad as he was. He threw the stone like he was bowling, and if flew through the house without even thinking of stopping. It bounced back, smacked off two other stones and landed smack on the button. A bulls-eye, and I didn’t even have a chance to start sweeping for him.

    The guy laughed some kind of off-the-shelf tourist laugh. “Wow! Guess I don’t know my own strength!”

    “Well, it’s not really about strength,” Mac said, winking at me. “It’s about skill.”

    “I can see that,” the guy said. Then this look came on his face, a look that was supposed to be sly but just looked stupid. “You guys… you know, ever bet on this game? Seems like a great betting game.”

    “No,” I said. “People don’t usually bet on curling.”

    “But there’s a first time for everything,” Mac said.

    “Okay,” the guy said, rubbing his hands together. “Let’s make it interesting!”

    That’s how I managed to lose two weeks of my paycheck and finally found out what an ice shark was.

  24. Ice shark – sounds like a close relative of the sky shark in the recent Dr Who Christmas Special…

  25. “I said “Did you see her eyes spark?”. Only I didn’t have my teeth in, and you were only listening with half an ear.”
    John Scalzi – Misunderstandings through missing body parts (2011).

    BTW – I saw Fred Pohl on the blastr list. Wow, that guy is still going strong!

  26. Well, once the WIP goes superballistic and is translated into all known languages of the universe, 80 million Germans will go:

    “A Greenland shark of course. Duh!”

    Just saying :-)

  27. I did two things on my seventy-fifth birthday. I visited my wife’s grave. Then I went to the new Red Lobster at the terminal of Phoenix Station. The rotational axis and was surrounded by a single shaped, transparent crystal aquarium that comprised its walls and ceiling. I’d been avoiding the place for the better part of a month, and would have avoided going altogether if it weren’t for the Consu on my tail.
    “You can’t charge meals on your BrainPal, Scalzi.”
    I opened my hearing to include alien telepathic chatter. The Consu were questioning a lookalike by the name of Stross.
    “But I need to get inside,” I said desperately. “I’m . . . starving.”
    The squid smirked. “Well the only way you’re getting inside without federation food stamps is if you’re with the CHUM crew.
    “Huh? Who the hell are they?”
    The squid said, “Trainers from Ohio.”
    “Trainers?”
    “For the ice shark, duh!?”
    “What the hell is an ice shark?”
    “You want in or not?”
    “Hey, Asshole,” I said. “Say hello to my little friend, MP-35 ASD-324-DDD-4E33C1!”
    I raise the rifle to the squid’s head and smirked.
    The squid swished around in its mobile tank. “Did you just call me Asshole? Chum!”
    Dammit! “No, of course not. That would be rude. Asshole is the name of my MP-35 ASD-324-DDD-4E33C1.”
    The squid hollered into its underwater PDA. “We got a live one here, Bender! Volunteer CHUM with an MP-35 . . .”
    Moments later, the squid turned a greenish shade of gray.
    “Scalzi,” said the squid, deactivating the PDA with air bubbles. “Looks like the ice shark is going to tear you a new Asshole!”
    The doors to the new Red Lobster open . . .

  28. Yes, my life is changed forever. The song ‘Fish Heads,’ which I first heard on Dr. Demento some 30 years ago has been earworming me since I first read this post. I see no reason why I should suffer alone.

  29. You Know, I have here in my hands a dogeared, worn out copy of “Icerigger” by Alan Dean Foster. Other than ‘Dune,” it’s one of the few Sci-Fi books I have to re-read every few years.

    After “Fuzzy Nation,” you wouldn’t be getting into the remake business, would you?

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