French Art, Bulgarian Sales

Not sure that I actually showed off the cover to the French-language version of Old Man’s War, so: Here it is. I don’t know if this is original art or art snitched from elsewhere; what’s going on in the artwork is close enough to an actual scene in the book that may be art done for the book. That would be lovely. Of course, if you recognize it from something else, let me know.

Also, some nice news: We’ve sold the rights to OMW and The Ghost Brigades in Bulgaria. Bulgaria! This pleases me immensely; I like the idea of the book hanging out in Sofia. I hear it’s a lovely city. That’s the eighth foreign language sale for OMW and the fifth for TGB. Nifty. Много благодаря, Bulgaria!

25 Comments on “French Art, Bulgarian Sales”

  1. And I suppose you expect us to believe it’s complete coincidence that you introduced us to the musings of Stan Goff mere hours before demonstrating, once again, your inroads into foreign cultures.

    Where are you keeping your USAID contract hidden?

    Hmmmmmm?

  2. I can neither confirm nor deny your outrageous accusation, Nathan.

    Also, when the CIA shows up to “talk” to you, tell Agent Percy I said hello, and that you should get the “lightly toasted” treatment. Trust me, you’ll thank me afterward.

  3. Of course, in the Gallic version of your book, they will again change their massive breakfasts. Bowls of coffee and fresh croissants for all!

    I also think they should be stomping snails instead of one inch tall humanoids when Jean finally cracks.

  4. The title seems to have lost some meaning, though (or my French translation skills are atrophying): “The old man and the war”?! Does the same company publish The Lorax as “The purple guy and some trees”?

  5. Considering that the Russian title is “Doomed to Victory,” I’m not entirely sure that “The Old Man and the War” is the most variant of possible titles.

  6. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, father of pangolins

    Congratulations, John! I think you need to take Krissy and Athena on a Gallic book tour. Then find a little chalet in the same town as Robert Crumb and hang out with the other ex-pats.

    I have to say, everybody is much funnier than I am today. I’m not sure what it is. Perhaps the view from my new home is so spectacular that it has made me boring. Perhaps I was never funny to begin with.

    BTW, I’m re-reading TGB just because my wife hasn’t picked it up yet. Can’t wait to see the translations of that title.

  7. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, father of pangolins

    In the French version, does the CDF plant trees on a nice Boulevard on Phoenix so the Consu can march in the shade?

  8. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, father of pangolins

    Oh, shoot sorry. We all know the CDF would just end up seeing the error of their ways and… oh I’m just back-pedaling here. I apologize to the people of France. Our good friends who helped us be free of the frigging British.

    (how’s things with your British publisher, John?)

  9. Yessssss!!

    One of my favorite books in my first language. Thank you Scalzi. Be prepared for OMW to hit Bulgaria’s bestseller list. Bulgaria, watch out.

  10. No offense intended, but just how many books does one have to sell to be #1 in Bulgaria?

    *Aside* I’ll be right back Mr. Percy.

    You’re friends are nice, Mr. Scalzi.

  11. He was an old man who fought alone on a planet and he had gone eighty-four days without killing a Consu. In the first forty days another soldier had been with him. But after forty days without a kill the soldier’s superiors had told him the old man was now definitely and finally salao, which is the worst form of unluck, and the soldier had gone at their orders in a skipship which had made three thousand good kills in the first week. It made the soldier sad to see the old man come in each day with his ammo block full and he went down every day to help him recalibrate his BrainPal or carry the extra war suit furled around his Empee. The war suit was patched with Willy Wheelie posters, and, furled, it looked like a flag advertising oil changes.

  12. Have you done a tally of language translations of your books? Will it be translated to Klingon too?

    I guess you still have about a hundred versions left to do.

  13. Sofia, lovely? Not the bits I saw on the way from the airport to the ski resort we were going to. Not that airports are ever in the prettiest areas of town.
    My memories of the quisine seem to consist of stuffed vine leaves and tough.
    The beer was fabulous and cheap though.
    This trip also ended in the worst return flight home. Fog had closed Sofia airport and the only other airport in Bulgaria. The travel company then bused us to GREECE to meet our plane as that’s where our plane diverted to. 8hrs non-stop on a freezing Bulgarian coach on terrible roads with no food or drink. The only consolation was that the Greeks wouldn’t let the Bulgarian coaches cross the border so we transfered to warm, comfortable, modern greek coaches for the last part to the airport. The looks on the faces of the new skiers as they had to transfer in the other direction still makes me laugh.

  14. Please let me know if your books are ever published in Arabic. The best way to learn or maintain a foreign language is find subjects that you enjoy reading about in English, but written in the foreign language. Alas, it’s hard to find modern English novels translated into Arabic, though Shakespeare, John Steinbeck, and Hemingway are fairly easy to find.

  15. Chang said…And now the discussion ends in slagging another country. groan…
    I don’t believe I slagged off Bulgaria.
    I related my experiences in Bulgaria, and my opinion of the parts of Sofia I saw (not lovely at all, but I caveated that), food I received (which was not to my taste) and the beer (which was).
    I made no reference to the rest of the country or to it’s people. The people, incidently, were very helpful, friendly and pleasant. (The english holiday reps less so!). Do I blame Bulgaria or the people for the fog or the terrible bus journey we had to endure – no.
    This all happened within a few years of the fall of the communist regime and the country had obviously suffered. It was a stark contrast to my comfy life in the UK.
    I would recommend Chang goes there himself so he can make his own mind up about the place (if he’s not already done so). The Bulgarians will be delighted to have him I’m sure.
    I could also regail you with poor return journeys from places all over Europe, Geneva being another particularly memorable one, but that wouldn’t be me slagging off Switzerland, it would be me telling a small anecdote from my life.
    I now leave much saddened.

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