Daily Archives: January 28, 2011

Hey, I’m Touring Germany in October

Dear Germany:

I love you guys. You are my bestselling market outside of the United States and you’ve given me awards — but even before then I’ve always had an interest in you. Did you know I took seven years of German in high school and college? It’s true, I did. Yes I was terrible at it, and even now I speak German roughly as well as I juggle flaming chainsaws, which is to say not at all. But that’s my fault, not yours.

Heck, I even once applied to spend a year as an exchange student in Germany, and made it to the final round, only to be knocked out of contention because I was one-tenth of a grade point under the person who got the last slot. And, really, Germany, what has that person ever done for you? Nothing. Seriously, I think they got lost in the Schwarzwald while they were there and were consumed by bears. I’m pretty sure that’s what happened. I think I read about it one time. The point is, they never appreciated you like I appreciated you. And they certainly didn’t write you novels, like I did. Full of love. And also spaceships and lasers.

So, yes: Forces have conspired to keep us apart. But no longer. For this October, Germany, I am coming to you. Yes! The United States State Department and Heyne (my German publisher) are teaming up to bring me across the oceans and many time zones and several languages to bring me to you in a multi-city tour. So far, here are the cities in which I am confirmed:

Frankfurt
Saarbr├╝cken
Stuttgart
T├╝bingen
Freiburg
Munich

And possibly one more city to come. More details, including dates and places, are coming in the future.

Those of you looking at these cities and thinking to yourself “Frankfurt? In October? Will he be at the Book Fair?” The answer is: Yes! I will be there, and other places as well. And from there I’ll be off through your fair land, riding trains and giving readings. It’s all very well timed, since Der Wilde Planet, the German version of Fuzzy Nation, will be released there in September.

So prepare yourself, Germany! For I am coming. And, oh, the fun we shall have.

See you soon,

John Scalzi

Professing My Ignorance About Egypt

To the person who demanded “write something about Egypt!” — uh, okay: I have nothing useful to say about the situation in Egypt whatsoever. I suspect I am more aware of the recent history of Egypt than most Americans, but this means I am just aware enough to know that any attempt at substantive opining about the situation will expose me as crushingly ignorant, albeit slightly less so than the average person here in the US. Me admitting this now just eliminates the middleman.

I do have a reflexive inclination toward the protesters, because among other factors it’s difficult to root against people standing up to an authoritarian government, and I worry that the Army and police there are going to just say “screw it” and open up on them. I’m also glad I’m not the president today, because there’s a dude hoisted on the petard of realpolitiks today, isn’t there. This isn’t specifically about Obama, incidentally; it McCain were president today, he’d be hoisted on that same petard.

But beyond that what I’m mostly doing is watching and seeing what happens, because among other things, this is further evidence that the vast majority of things that happen in the world are not about me, and me trying to find a way to shoehorn myself into the narrative one way or another is a little silly. The best thing I can do in a situation like this is to read up on it now and get more context and understanding, so the next time I want to or am asked to comment on it, I have something slightly less ignorant to say.