Seattle Surprises

I had promised folk in Seattle that since they had to pay money to attend my tour event, that I would bring them something special. I brought them two things (that’s value!). Here’s the first:

That’s musician Molly Lewis, on hand to do an acoustic ukulele version of “Fuzzy Man,” and who did an excellent job of it, especially considering the timeframe in which she had to learn the thing. Paul and Storm should be proud.

The second surprise:

Yes, that’s right, we brought an actual fuzzy to the event! Here it is, along with handler Mary Robinette Kowal, talking to the crowd about life, the universe and everything. Like it would. And you might also notice the absolutely adorable fuzzy plush toy it is carrying, a gift from a very nice young woman in the audience who did not know when she gave it to me earlier in the evening that it would soon be hugged and loved by a fuzzy. See, I told you the evening would bring surprises.

(For those who want a more serious answer to the above picture, I commissioned Mary, who is an experienced puppeteer, to make me a fuzzy. She did a simply fantastic job and I recommend her for all your puppetry needs.)

I need to take a moment to publicly thank both Molly and Mary for being part of the event and I really regret not being able to take them on the whole tour. They made a really good event into one of the best I ever had. And so did the crowd. Thank you, guys. I love me some Seattle.

(Photos by Jeff Slostad, who has pictures of the event up on Flickr.)

41 thoughts on “Seattle Surprises

  1. The puppet routine was awesome. I don’t know if you two practiced that or if you’re just that awesome off the cuff… does. not. matter. AWESOME. \m/ (And hats off to Mary who, after working the autograph line with the Fuzzy, apparently doubled back to Portland straight after the show… I’ve made that slog far too many times….)

  2. The little box by the Diet Coke – does that say “Bacon Pop”? As in bacon flavored popcorn?

    If you try that, let us know how it turns out please. I like popcorn (alot) and bacon (alot), but I am not typically prone to combining foods.

  3. Excellent! When I’m independently wealthy I will follow all of my favorite authors on tour. Even the ones whose stories I have not read. Go you! Oh, and when is the Fuzzy action figure/doll/puppet coming out?

  4. Mary was in Utah with us the weekend prior to this event, and the Papa Fuzzy puppet was under construction during that time. She brought Papa Fuzzy with her, and we were all amazed (and sworn to silence) as it came together.

    My youngest son, age 8, had a positively priceless reaction to Mary’s performance with Papa, which I suppose I shall have to share with Scalzi tonight over dinner.

    See you tonight, John!

  5. Had a great time. Wish I could have stayed and gotten an autograph, but the clock on the baby sitter was ticking. The funniest moment was the story about aging and sleep. My wife, who was stitting next to me, almost fell out of her chair because she had gotten the BEST Mother’s Day present EVER this year: an extra hour of sleep!

  6. The fact that the Internet lets us see phrases like “I recommend her for all your puppetry needs” is one of the few reasons we should keep it around.

  7. Yes, the rest of the world can be completely jealous of us. Mr. Scalzi totally delivered an evening of awesome.

    Many thanks to John, Molly, Mary, and the UW Bookstore for hosting (well worth the price of the ticket and$10 for parking).

  8. Wonderful to see you, Mr. Scalzi, as well as Ms. Kowal and Ms. Lewis. The puppet was great (as was the fangirl who donated the fuzzy doll). Thanks for coming. Hope you get a chance to see some more of the city before you head off to my home town.

  9. A fabulous evening! I’ve never been to an author reading before (sorry about the dog barking, ya’ll; we obviously didn’t train for loud mirth), and JS was just as wonderful as I had hoped. And the fuzzy puppet and ukelele performance were worth the price of admission just by their own selves.

    I was especially impressed by the thoughtful questions from the audience; yay, smart and courteous Seattle peeps!

  10. Those were wonderful surprises John and it was a great evening. Glad you came to our town and the Shatneresque reading from Shadow Dragons was hilarious. As was the other thing.

    Mathew – Someone brought John a liter of Coke Zero and those Bacon Pops… then a young woman with the perfect shirt for a Scalzi event (it had the words “Fuzzy Man is the name of my next Jonathan Coulton Cover Band”) gave him the small Fuzzy.

    Mary was kind enough to entertain the VERY long signing line with the Fuzzy – he really was quite remarkable. Fuzzies like being scratched behind the ears, btw.

  11. That is just too cool. I, Too, am extremely jealous. John, this is definitely off-topic, but I have to tell you how I first came to buy Old Man’s War. I was at conDFW in Dallas, TX in, I think it was 09. I had gone the entire event without buying a book, which is punishable by expulsion from the nerd guild. Or being taken out into the courtyard for a ritualistic beating. I was standing at a stall when Jim Butcher, the guest of honor @ the convention and author of Dresden files, popped up next to me and asked what I was looking at. I was a little flabbergasted, as he was the reason I went to that particular convention to begin with. I told him that I was looking for a bookan and what did he suggest. He snatched up Old Man’s War like he snatched the pebble from the master’s hand. He handed me the book and said “this guy’s good, dammit. Too good”. Jim likes your work. I couldn’t refuse to buy this book. I’m hooked now, I hope you’re happy.

  12. Thanks for coming to visit us, and for bringing Molly and Mary along, John. It really was a great time!
    You really know how to treat a paying audience, though I’m still disappointed about the lack of interpretive dance.

    I got a cell phone video of Molly performing “Fuzzy Man.” I’ll share it on YouTube, but I hope someone else got a better video, because the quality of mine isn’t terrific.

    I was the one who asked the question about agents. I’m glad to hear your experience with agents since writing Agent to the Stars has lived up to how you wrote about it before being published.

  13. Thanks to John for a wonderful evening of laughter. And thanks to the aspiring author next to me who told me all about his novel and current writing. Good luck, you!

  14. A few thoughts on the delightful evening.

    As we all waited for John to arrive, I noted it was sort of like a blind date: “I hope he likes me, Do I act all cool or all hip and smart or let my giddy excitement show?” — I note the folks around me went hip and smart, I went cool and simply read my book. I cant remember much of what I read though. Giddy excitement would have been better all the way around.

    It was my first author’s reading and my first time on UDub campus. I dont know who he was, but that Giant you brought along as security seems adorable. All the stories were great and your chat with the Papa Fuzzy was a scream. I was faced with the quandry “What does an ebook reader have an author sign? and I opted to just gaze on you from afar. No doubt my coolness won you over.

    Although I am “Sworn to Secrecy” TM, I do very much look forward to the new book and I think you should keep the original name. While ‘Gone With the Wind’ seems to give away the plot, I really think it’s just different enough from the original to stand on it’s own.

    My final comment is regarding my beloved community of nerds and geeks. I cant say it any more plainly: Men of a certain age should bathe regularly and use deoderant.
    I cant go to anymore wootstocks or JoCo events anymore because of the nerdy body odor in the audience but it never occured to me it would show up at a Scalzi reading too. Can’t some of you older men chat these guys up and get them to do something about group hygiene?

  15. “I recommend her for all your puppetry needs.”

    –>This is the sort of sentence that keeps me coming back to read The Whatever.

  16. My second time at an appearance by John and I thought this one was great fun. The stereotype of authors as bookish, introverted dweebs with leather patches on their tweed jackets doesn’t hold in the genre area. John is so expressive and so enjoys the interaction that the charisma just puddles on the floor (or was that the Fuzzy?) John Ringo was the same way. Perhaps it comes with the name “John”? An interesting cross section of humanity in the audience as well. You have a broad appeal, John (and take that any way you want).

  17. Can’t some of you older men chat these guys up and get them to do something about group hygiene?

    Yeah…right. Dream on. But I understand, really I do, it’s a universal problem.

    Now that we’re starting to have summer-like weather around here (Atlanta), men of all ages and backgrounds seem to feel that drenching themselves in the scent (read stench) of the day is a substitute for soap and HOT water.

    Um…no, it’s not. Yuck.

  18. Not to slight Ms. Kowal and her extraordinary Fuzzy puppetry, but YOU GOT MOLLY LEWIS TO SING AT YOUR EVENT? OMGWTFBBQ!! I treasure her even more highly than JoCo or Paul & Storm. Wowzers!

  19. Ms Kowal is the GoH at BayCon in Santa Clara at the end of the month — will she be bringing the fuzzy?

  20. kittee @ 14
    I was sitting right in front of you and I didn’t mind the barking at all. In fact when he stretched out and hooked my leg with a paw, I knew I had made a new chum. Can never have enough doggie type friends. Really enjoyed chatting with you and the other folks in that section.
    What a fabulous night! Special guests and surprises, secrets to keep, and Guilder to frame for it. (Sorry couldn’t resist.) 8^D
    Mary, thanks again for bringing and signing the bookplates for those of us that just missed getting one of your books. It will be installed in the book by this weekend.

    John, it totally rocked and you don’t really need the book to remember that you’re loved, but I think it was a fantastic idea to make us all feel even more tied into the event. Well done sir.
    And thanks to all that made this happen, Duane I’m looking at you, and all the folks that helped out with the line and etiquette issues. Great job by all.
    Jeff S.

  21. that Giant you brought along as security seems adorable.
    That’s Duane, the sci-fi person at the U Bookstore. He is awesome, and can instantly pinpoint the location of pretty much every book they sell, including the new releases shelved in odd locations.
    John, thanks for a riotously entertaining evening. Come back soon.

    Torrey, who is in fact a scientist but only sometimes warns people to back off, man.

  22. I’ve uploaded my video of Molly’s performance, as well. Being taken with a crappy little no-name pocket video camera, the video’s pretty sad, but the audio is actually decent.

  23. Man, if only I wasn’t on the other side of the continent. Molly is awesome. Scalzi, you’re pretty okay.

  24. Thank you–for the reading, for dreaming up such charming surprises, and for putting up with my slightly-too-pushy fangirly conversation.

    I am, for the record, the one who made the plush toy. It’s a bit embarrassing to have my amateurish attempt next to Mary’s wizardry, but I’m gratified that my silly gift was not only liked, but useful to your show. (Thanks as well to everyone who has said nice things about my little toy. It gives me the warm…uh, fuzzies. Pun not intended.)

    Before last night I knew that I should be a fan of Mary, but had never gotten around to looking her up. Now I am properly awestruck, so I’m very glad you commissioned her for this event. It was a great evening, and I do hope you come back someday so we can do it all again.

  25. Thanks for an inspiring evening. The good news is: I now have a waiting list for Fuzzy Nation at my junior high library. The bad news is you have a new generation of fans coming up,so you can never stop writing. You have to do the postmortem thing. The terrible news is I will have to buy my own copy as I can’t get my hands on a library book.

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