Just a bunch of little things going on:
* I got my author’s copy of the Science Fiction Book Club version of Old Man’s War this afternoon, and I found the differences interesting. The cover is glossy where the Tor version is not; the book itself is black where the Tor version is blue; the texture of the paper is noticeably different. The words, of course, are the same. Which to my mind is the important thing, and why I would make a piss-poor book collector; I couldn’t possibly care less whether I have a first edition of something so long as all the words are there. Having said that, I am looking forward to the special editions of Agent to the Stars, but those really are going to be rare editions.
In any event, should you ever see me at an event and want me to sign your book, don’t worry if it’s a club edition and not a bookstore edition. I’ll happily sign either.
* Had a nice chat with the Tor folks today, in which I was told that the size of the second printing is getting bumped up. Go, OMW! We also chatted about the paperback and about The Ghost Brigades, and we all agreed that what The Ghost Brigades really needs is some Ewoks. No, no, not really. I’m just seeing if you’re paying attention. Really, no Ewoks — indeed, nothing Ewok-like. Unless, of course, I put them in just to have them brutally slaughtered and dressed out like rabbits to be stewed.
* Recently someone asked me in e-mail whether, given the success of OMW, I was tempted to lord it over all who opposed me over the years (the actual wording of the e-mail was different, but that was the basic sentiment). The answer is: Not really. First, let’s note that success here means a good-sized handful of positive reviews and also a fair amount of publicity in the blogosphere (the latter as influential as the former — if not more so — in moving copies of the book), resulting in the sale of (to date) a few thousand copies of the book. This is all excellent news, of course: I’m gratified that reviews have been good, chuffed (to use an Aussie term) that the bloggers have had my back for this book, and very pleased that the hardback seems to be selling above expectation. So yes, I’m feeling OMW is successful.
However, I am not feeling that it is so successful that I can be a vengeance-taking dickhead and not experience a massive karmic whiplash. Maybe if I had gotten a million-dollar advance, sold a few hundred thousand copies of my book, gotten a big fat movie deal and had Katie Couric lobbing me softball questions on the Today Show, I could move from happily pleased to raging asshole without consequences. But I didn’t, I haven’t, I haven’t and I don’t, so I can’t, because then there would be. Perspective is an important thing.
Second: Even if I wanted to wreak vengeance upon my enemies, who would they be? I regret to say that I haven’t really made any enemies of consequence, and certainly not any in the writing arena. When I was in college, I took a creative writing class and the professor said in the first class that he wouldn’t read any science fiction, so it might be fun to send him a book, considering no one else in that class (to my knowledge) has published so much as a joke in Reader’s Digest. But I doubt if he remembers me, or would actually care, and that would take a lot of the fun out of it.
Outside of that professor, I can’t really say anyone else rises to the level of a nemesis, either. There are people I know who dislike me and/or dislike my writing, to be sure, but none of them are of any real consequence in my personal life or my career, so I can’t actually rouse myself to care what they think. And notwithstanding the occasional and generally pointless piss-fight I’ll get into here on the site (which are usually ultimately of very little consequence in the real world), I don’t think I go out of my way to make enemies, particularly of other writers; to do so would be to violate Rule #8 here. It takes a lot of effort to make enemies, basically, and I don’t really have time for that.
So, no: No being a jerk for me — or at the very least, no being a jerk because of Old Man’s War. I guess that leaves me plenty of opportunities to be a jerk for other reasons, although I hope I’ll avoid those for the most part as well.