Writing Blah Blah Blah, 2/3/06


Above: An impressionistic representation of the next 18 months (or so) of my life — all the contracts I’ve signed for the three-book deal I have with Tor, the topmost contract there being for The Last Colony, the third book in the OMW series. If you’re wondering why there are so many contracts, it’s because each book has five copies of the contract I need to sign. After they are countersigned, one copy goes to me, one copy goes to my agent, one copy goes to my editor, one copy goes to legal, and one copy is shredded to make a paper-mache voodoo doll likeness of me, into which my publisher will stab steely knives should I wander too far from a deadline. Strangely enough, those are the contracts you always get paper cuts on. Coincidence? Doubtful.

While I’m navel-gazing here, some general notes about Old Man’s War and The Ghost Brigades:

* First, some good news about Old Man’s War (at least, good for me): I’ve been told they’re going back for a second printing of the trade paperback. The first printing of the trade paperback was about three times the first printing of the hardcover, so to burn through enough of them in a month to necessitiate firing up the presses for a second go-round is pretty happy-making. If you bought a trade paperback version of OMW, let me just say: You rock. You also rock if you bought it in hardcover of course. Oh, hell, you all rock. I’m just full of rock love today.

* Second, some news for those of you attending Boskone. As you may know, Boskone happens on the weekend before the release The Ghost Brigades, but because it’s damn fine convention of damn fine people, and because the NESFAns have been so kind to OMW, we’re making an effort to get a good-sized shipment of Ghost Brigades copies into the dealers’ room. I want to stop short of making an iron-clad promise they’ll be there — it’s a quantum physics universe and anything can happen — but right now it looks good. So, if you’re going to Boskone and you’ve been wanting to snag Ghost, cruise through the dealer’s room. And remember I’m happy to sign books.

* Third, The Ghost Brigades is going to be featured on and in the Barnes & Noble Explorations site and newsletter next month (and this month, it’s got a nice review of Tobias Buckell’s Crystal Rain — go Toby!). I’ll certainly remind y’all when it goes live there, but in the meantime, let me share a bit of the upcoming Ghost Brigades review by Paul Goat Allen, which I’ve been given permission to excerpt:

“Scalzi has been compared to science fiction legend Robert A. Heinlein for good reason: his smooth blend of hard science fiction, military sci-fi and space opera is addictively readable and his breakneck pacing and surprisingly deep character development makes his novels practically impossible to put down. Old Man’s War, The Ghost Brigades and subsequent installments in this loosely-knit saga could very well be the early 21st century’s answer to Asimov’s Foundation series – it’s that good.”

Yeah, it’s hard to complain about a review like that. So I won’t. Good of me, I know. Of course, now I have to make sure The Lost Colony doesn’t manifestly suck. Fortunately, I was planning on trying for that anyway (no doubt to the relief of my editors).

And now you’re caught up with me.


Music Pimpery

It was recently suggested that I should get back to recommending indie music, and while the comment was made sarcastically (harumph! harumph!), it’s not a terribly bad idea, and as it happens I have two prime bits of indie music right here at my fingertips.

First, my pal and editor Joe Rybicki, aka the unstoppable musical combo Johnny High Ground, has decided to make his catalogue of music available for free download while he toils away on a future CD. So if you go here, you can listen to the music as streams or download them so you can take them with you wherever you go. I’ve linked to Joe and his dulcet musical stylings before, but you know what? Here I am doing it again. Those of you who have a burr up your ass about Dubya will enjoy his protest tune “Trigger-Happy Texan,” while I think everyone can appreciate the elegy and eulogy of “Doing Fine,” which Joe wrote about his late father. And I’ve been a long-time fan of the song “Bad Girl.” It’s all good, yo.

Sorry, I won’t use “yo” again.

Also, while I was in NYC last week I loitered in the Tor offices and managed to scam the CD Some Other Place from the band Whisperado, which, as it happens, features my editor and pal Patrick Nielsen Hayden on guitar (clearly, there’s something about my editors being musical going on here). Whisperado plays roots-rock tunage which you may sample with the songs “Black and Blue” and “Never Been to Nashville“; if you like it, you can kick out $8 for the CD here.

It occurs to me that I’m now officially an editor too, and I also play music (of a sort). Clearly, we must all combine our powers into a righetous editing supergroup! It’d be just like Blind Faith! Hmmm, okay, maybe not.

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