Publishers Weekly on The Android’s Dream

The first review of The Android’s Dream comes from industry bible Publishers Weekly, and it’s good. They call it a “swashbuckling satire of interstellar diplomacy” and say “With plenty of alien gore to satisfy fans of military SF and inventive jabs at pretend patriotism and self-serving civil service, Scalzi delivers an effervescent but intelligent romp.”

Mmmm… I romp. Effervescently! I mean, I always knew that, but it’s good to see that others recognize it too. People often say as I walk by, “there goes one effervescent romper.” It’s what I always dreamed of being, as a little boy. But then, what little boy doesn’t?

Remember that if you’re in the mood for a bit of effervescent romping yourself, that I’m giving away a copy of The Android’s Dream this weekend. It’s not too late to make your claim on it.

Deliver Me From Temptation, Temptation Being Amazon

Dear Authors,

It has come to my attention that Amazon, the leading online bookseller, is now allowing comments on individual product reviews, including reviews of books (and therefore, your books). This means that now, finally, you can correct the views of all those poor unfortunates who gave your book less than the four or five stars it so richly deserved, and explain to them, in your enormously engaging way, why they were so very wrong about your book and should forever regret not understanding it sufficiently well to bask in its wisdom, and to give it more than three stars.

When the urge to correct an Amazon reviewer takes hold, and you find yourself reaching for the keyboard, here are some simple steps I suggest you do next:

1. Step away from the keyboard; go to the basement.

2. Turn on the bandsaw you have down there.

3. Run your hands through the bandsaw, at the wrists.

4. Turn off the bandsaw with your teeth. Safety first!

There! Thanks to the loss of your hands, you are no longer able to type your reply, and with the salutatory effect of massive blood loss, you are likely no longer in a frame of mind to respond anyway. Which is good, because not only are your readers entitled to their own wrong opinions, they’re also entitled to share them with others without the author turning up like a neurotic harpy to make a snarky retort.

“But wait!” I hear you say. “What if I sign on to Amazon and post my retorts under an entirely different name? Then I have the satisfaction of responding, but no one will know it’s me!” Yes, well. The term for using a fake name to respond to comments is “using a sock puppet,” and if you’re going to engage in sockpuppetry, this is how you should go about it:

1. Put a sock over each hand. You may decorate the socks to taste. You’ve made sock puppets!

2. Dip each sock, hands still inside, into the largest vat of honey you can find.

3. Feed sock-wrapped hands to the brown bear you have procured for just such an eventuality.

Once again, after the bear has finished its delicious little snacky-snack, you’ll most likely neither have the means nor the desire to respond to those mean and nasty Amazon reviews. And what a relief that will be! Now you can turn to more important things, like plotting your next work, training your voice-operated word processor, and developing a Zen-like detatchment regarding reviews, particularly the ones on Amazon. You’ll feel better. And they’re doing amazing things with prosthetics these days.

Just thought I’d share,

Your friend,


Linky McLinkerson

Want some links to pursue? Sure you do. Here are some links I thought would be interesting/people have recently begged me to pimp/I’ve been paid big money for:

* The megafabulous Justine Larbalestier — who finished the third book in her series just before I finished mine — has an interesting interview with author John Greene on the subject of lying. Apparently Mr. Greene and Ms. Larbalestier both are in the practice of telling untruths. Shocked, shocked I am! Here’s a telling quote from Mr. Greene:

I’ve always felt that lying can be perfectly noble: Say, for instance, that Sarah (my wife) got into a duel, and her opponent cut off her nose (as happened to the astronomer Tycho Brahe). Okay, so if a half-conscious and noseless Sarah said to me, “Am I losing a lot of blood?” And I would say, “No,” because I’d want her to stay calm and wait for help to arrive. That’s an ethical lie, I think.

I wonder what people said to Tycho Brahe. He walked around with a brass nose. “No, Tycho, you can hardly tell you have a metal honker.” Poor Tycho. He smelled terrible.

* This is cool: Debut author Joe Schrieber’s book Chasing the Dead comes out next week and got a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly (“You’re not going anywhere until you devour every one of its tension-filled pages” — nice!), but Schrieber isn’t happy just to give you a book — he’s also created an affiliated blog, also known as Chasing the Dead.

What’s cool about the blog is that it’s an entirely separate but related story, told in blog form, featuring a school teacher researching some terrible events in several New England towns, who gradually discovers (of course) that some weird and terrible things are going on. I’ve skimmed through the blog and it’s totally get-you-sucked-in-able, and that’s a good thing. Here’s the first entry — work your way forward from there. This is a very neat idea and I’ll be reading to see how it pans out.

* My friend Doselle Young suggests that I pimp Seriocity, which is the blog of television writer Kay Reindl, and you know what? He’s right, because in addition to being funny as hell in person (Kay and I totally bonded over Canadian hard rock bands of the 80s at Worldcon — Hey! Kay! Triumph 4evah!!), she’s got a really interesting blog full of wit and interestingbles. Doselle in particular wants to point out this entry on music and telvision and life and stuff. And he’s right again! It’s a great entry. Doselle, how does it feel to be right all the time?

* Jason Sizemore, the editor of sf magazine Apex Digest, has run into a bit of a financial scrape and is looking for new subscribers. Here’s the whole story; check it out and see if it convinces you to drop a Jackson for a year’s subscription. This is a paying story market, so SF writers, the story market you save may be your own.

* Apparently I’m not the only science fiction writer trying to make people jump around like monkeys in the hopes of snagging a book. David Louis Edelman is giving away five copies of his faboo debut Infoquake, just because he’s that way. I’d accuse him of stealing my idea, but he actually posted his contest before I did. So, um. Yeah. Anyway, it’s a fine, fine book, so why not try to get it for free?

* Look! A scholarly examination of Bacon Cat. Terrifying, it is.

Those are my links for you today. And now, I declare the comment thread to be a link-pimp: If there’s something you want folks to read or see out there on the crazy tubes, go ahead and drop a URL or link into a comment. Please do tell us what the link is first; blind links aren’t cool. Also, if you put more than one link in a post, it’ll likely be held for moderation. Don’t worry, I’ll be springing those comments on a regular basis.

Yes, you may pimp your own links, but, you know. Try to share the love, too.