Daily Archives: July 6, 2012

Oh, Hey, Look, I’m Profiled in the New York Times

This is the fourth and final announcement of the day.

Remember when I went to New York last week to be interviewed by the New York Times? Now that interview is up, and it covers a wide range of topics, including Redshirts, my personal history and even this very blog. Plus it features special guest appearances by Cory Doctorow, Wil Wheaton and Josh Marshall (the latter of whom I went to high school with). It’s a pretty good profile, I’d say. And of course I’m thrilled to be profiled in the paper of record. Enjoy!

And, yeah: busy day.

My ComicCon Schedule

My third announcement of the day.

As many of you already know, or might have guessed because of the previous announcement, I will be at ComicCon this year — indeed I am a special guest! Which is nice. Want to know what where I will be and with whom? Of course you do. This is my official schedule.

Friday, July 13, 2:30pm: SIGNING: Tor Booth #2707: I have a signing at 3pm, but these reason you want to be there at 2:30 — and the reason I will be there at 2:30, is because Paul & Storm will be on hand for a half hour of musical awesomeness before I start signing. It’s possible they may play this! And also this! And then I will sign books; I believe there will copies of Old Man’s War on hand, but yes, you can bring your other books too, although depending on line, I may not personalize everything. But! Signatures for all! Small American flags for others!

(Actually not small American flags, but we will have buttons and stuff for The Human Division. You know you want some of that action.)

Saturday, July 14, 5:30pm – 6:30pm: Spotlight with JOHN SCALZI: Panel Room 7AB:  The official program item reads thusly: “Comic-Con special guest JOHN SCALZI (Redshirts) talks about his latest work, his upcoming novel, video game, and film projects, takes questions and generally tries to amuse the hell out of you for an hour. With him as moderator/interviewer/conspirator: Wil Wheaton (Tabletop). It’ll be the most fun you can have while respirating.”

Sunday, July 15,  10:00-11:00: Stunted Fools, Scary-Ass Clowns, Enlightened Orangutans, and Other Devilish Charmers: Humor in Science Fiction and Fantasy: Room 25ABC: Once again from the official program: “‘The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.’ And these authors’ pens are…very sharp. But, as The Hitchhiker’s Guide so sagely advises, DON’T PANIC. Humor is everywhere you look in science fiction and fantasy. So wrap your towel around your head to ward off noxious fumes, and join in for an irreverent hour celebrating sly wit and unholy humor with some of the most devilish quipsters, wisecrackers, and satirists writing today. Warning: you will snicker. And you may just laugh out loud. John Scalzi (Redshirts) plays ringmaster to panelists Richard Kadrey (Devil Said Bang), Doyce Testerman (Hidden Things), Rob Reid (Year Zero), Ned Vizzini (The Other Normals), Gini Koch (Alien Diplomacy), Nathan Long (Jane Carver of Waar), and Nick Hurwitch (co-author of So You Created a Wormhole).”

The rest of the time I will be walking about and causing all manner of trouble. If you see me, come say hello.

I will add this note from ComicCon regarding seating:

“Seating in all event rooms at Comic-Con is on a first-come, first-served basis. Because of the sheer number of attendees, simply having a badge does not guarantee a seat in programs and events, nor an autograph from a specific celebrity. Please…absolutely no recording of the video footage or images presented by the studios on the screens.”

Which is to say: Come early! Come often!

See you in San Diego.

Hey! I’m Performing at w00tstock!

This is the second big announcement of the day. 

w00tstock, for those nerds among you what live under a rock, is the Internet equivalent of a night of vaudville, hosted by Wil Wheaton, Adam Savage and Paul & Storm. There is music, humor, skits, and all manner of wacky geek fun that will be fun and geeky. This will be w00tstock 4.0 and it will take place Thursday the 12th at the Balboa Theatre in San Diego — yes, right before ComicCon!

Here’s  the information. If you’re in San Diego and you’re not there, you will have much sadness. But hurry! The event is almost sold out!

What will I be doing? I shan’t tell you. But I will say that it involves this fellow.

Announcing The Human Division

We’ve been sitting on this one for a while now, but it’s time to announce it to the world: My next project from Tor is called The Human Division. It takes place in the “Old Man’s War” universe, after the events of The Last Colony and Zoe’s Tale. It is not, strictly speaking, a novel.

Here’s the official announcement at Tor.com. And now, my take:

What does “not strictly a novel” mean here? Well, The Human Division is probably best described as an “episodic narrative” — it’s a collection of individual episodes that each tell a complete story, arranged chronologically, so that if you read them all in sequence you get a larger narrative arc. The closest analogy would be a season of a television show, and indeed The Human Division is arranged into thirteen “episodes,” including a double-length “pilot episode,” entitled “The ‘B’ Team.”

How are we going to manage this? Basically we’ll be putting out each episode of The Human Division in eBook format, complete with its own artwork by the fantastic John Harris. The episodes will come out weekly, probably starting in December and running through February. We’ll also be collecting the entire run into a hardcover book, which will be available probably in May.

(To answer some immediate and obvious questions preliminarily and provisionally: Yes, as far as I know the episodes will be released DRM free; yes, they should be available in your favorite eBook store; and, as Tor has retained worldwide English distribution rights, yes, they should be available in English everywhere in the world at the same time. All other publishing-related questions you might have at the moment, my answer is “I don’t know.”)

So that’s what we’re doing. As for the why

As will surprise almost none of you, I get a lot of questions about when I would return to the “Old Man’s War” universe. My answer was always the same: I’d return to it when I had something new to say in it. I don’t see any point in going into the OMW universe just to grind out novel after novel; I like the universe too much to make it into a soulless ATM of a franchise. So I went away from it, wrote other things that I enjoyed and I think the rest of you had fun with, and let the repercussions of how I ended the OMW series of novels sink into my head and arrange themselves. And finally, after about four years (i.e., in 2011), I knew what I wanted to do next in the universe.

The only problem is, the story I wanted to tell wouldn’t exactly work in straight-ahead novel format. Or more accurately, it could work as a novel, but it would better as episodes. While I was thinking this, the folks at Tor happened also to be thinking of trying new ways to work with storytelling, to take better advantage of the potential of the electronic medium. So in one of those nice coincidences that’s really probably not a coincidence at all, I wanted to do something different at the same time Tor wanted to see if doing something different would work. It’s nice when that happens.

So what we have here is a bit of an experiment. It’s not a serialized novel, as each episode will stand on its own, story-wise. It’s not a typical short story collection, because each of the episodes features the same characters and builds an overall narrative arc. It’s not a “fix-up” novel, because each story is purpose-built for The Human Divison. It’s not the first time episodic story telling has been done online (see the estimable Shadow Unit for another example), but it may be the first time it’s being done by a major publishing house. Essentially, we get to see how this works, and whether it can work, on a large scale.

I’m excited because it means I get to tell a new story in the OMW universe, the way I think it should be told. I’m still writing it; I’m having a hell of a lot of fun writing it. I think you’re all going to have a hell of a lot of fun reading it.

Yes, yes, you say, but what is it about? Well, I’m not going to go into a whole lot of detail about that right now, because I want you folks to enjoy exploring the new adventures in the OMW universe without me spoiling too much for you. That said, I will be talking about it more elsewhere as we go along. I will say that this story might be useful as a backgrounder. I will also say that if you’re coming to ComicCon, you should stop by the Tor booth. You’ll find cool stuff there.

So now you know!

Update: The Mad Hatter has some info as well.

Update 2: For those of you who saw me on the tour, yes, the bit I read you came from “The ‘B’ Team.” You can tell your friends about it now.