Reviews and Interviews, 2/20/07

A small clutch of Scalzi-related scribblings coming at you:

* Rick Kleffel has nice things to say about “The Sagan Diary” over at The Agony Column, calling it “a must-have book for just about any serious reader of science fiction and certainly for any serious collector of science fiction.” He also heaps love on Bob Eggleton for the cover and inside art, which I think is entirely appropriate. The review is dated 2/21/07, so it actually comes to us from the future. And you know how exciting that is.

* Professor Bainbridge devours his advance reader’s copy of The Last Colony, and is happy with the meal, and also picks up on something I’m 100% in agreement with:

Despite its SF trappings, for example, TLC reminds me more of Allen Drury’s novels of political suspense, with a little Robert Ludlum-style wheels within wheels conspiracy theory story thrown in too, than it does most SF. Indeed, to continue the analogy to political thrillers, there’s even a subplot that’s a variant on the good old sleeping killer story. All of which means that, if Tor can manage the marketing trick, the OMW to TLC trilogy ought to reach readers who ordinarily would never be caught dead in the sci fi section of their bookstore.

It’s the New Comprehensible! In full effect! Seriously, however, I’m delighted Professor Bainbridge liked this series all the way through.

* And for those of you who don’t get enough of me here, Abebooks is running an interview with me, and for good measure they’re running a contest in which they’re giving away a signed, limited edition of “The Sagan Diary.” I don’t mind if you click through for the loot rather than my musings. But you have to enter by 9:59 on March 1. So get to it.

5 Comments on “Reviews and Interviews, 2/20/07”

  1. (banging sounds) Damn macro, not working yet.

    Hey, John, congrats on the good reviews. Personally I think “Gripping characters blow big shit up in space,” would be a great inside dust jacket quote, but hey, that’s what turns my dials to 11, YMMV. And I’m still giggling over the professors comment about Rand al’Thor. Having people lose productive time to read your book, mighty praise indeed.

  2. Awesome reviews! Can’t wait to get my books!

    HAHAHAHAH — Don’t kill me for taking a quote, but I figured it would entice more people to actually reading the rather articulate interview.

    Yes, eventually they would declare war on us and we’d be strapped into pods with tubes in our heads (that is, if we weren’t exterminated outright), but until then, robots would probably be a lot of fun.

    Follow the link above for more gems like that one. Great interview John! Although you didn’t say there would be a pop quiz on who might be your biggest stalker at the end. :P

    It’s one of those things where I sorta hope I win, but at what cost? At what cost!?

  3. Congratulations on the great reviews ! Just finished reading TSD last night and it is great ! I had listened to bits of the audio version but found that I could really appreciate it more when I actually read the text. In fact I was reading really slow to savour all the words and their meaning and nuance; it was like melting a nice dark chocolate bar in my mouth enjoying the taste and wishing it never ended.

  4. 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

    Great interview.

    Hey, what is a blog anyway? Can you give me a good example of one I could see?

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