The Winner of the “Come Up With a Contest to Give Away a Copy of ‘Coffee Shop'” Contest!

The winner is Jacob, who came up with this idea:

It’s 2009, write a review of Scalzi’s new novel (bonus for including a throwaway line incorporating the world of tomorrow)

Excellent. However, I’m going to amend it in two ways:

1. The phrase “the world of tomorrow” will be optional;

2. Everyone should write a scathing review. Because those are more fun to read, anyway.

No, don’t start writing those reviews yet. I’ll post the official contest thread next Monday. Until then, start planning what horrible, horrible things you are going to write.

This should be fun.

Jacob, drop me an e-mail with your address so I can send your book to you.

24 Comments on “The Winner of the “Come Up With a Contest to Give Away a Copy of ‘Coffee Shop'” Contest!”

  1. 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

    I am positively giddy and light-headed with the prospects of this…

  2. The Scathing World of Tomorrow… I like it.

    (Off to look up synonyms for Teh Suck in Roget’s Thesaurus)

  3. Wow, I *have* my own copy of “Coffee Shop”, and I still want to light this candle about eight different ways.

  4. Ooooh! Another opportunity to not win a Scalzi contest.

    In preparation, I shall spend the weekend listening to Jethro Tull’s “Scathing Away”.

  5. I just hope nobody’s feelings get hurt. Because in the world of tomorrow, racial, religious, and anti-alien-hive-mind epithets are thrown about with aplomb.

  6. Scathing (no stars)

    Having boiling water poured over me so I could write a scathing review really, really hurt. And then, while I was at the hospital, someone explained to me that it was supposed to be a “scathing review of a John Scalzi book, and that I wasn’t supposed to review “scathing” at all. Plus, they also told me that I was supposed to write it in 2009. So now I feel really stupid.

    But, just so my effort wasn’t a total waste: scathing really hurts. I know I already said that, but it bears repeating. Also, it’s more expensive than it seems when you factor in the lengthy inpatient stay, the costs of painkillers, the price of the skin grafts, and the follow-up visits. If you’re not insured, you definitely should not try this. Also, the scarring tends to be permanent, which may be something that leads to awkward questions at work once the bandages start coming off. While it’s certainly a more memorable experience than most movies, much of the remembrance comes from being unable to fully bend your arms and legs or swivel your head. Also, if you’re thinking of trying this at home, please close both your eyes and keep your mouth shut. (The only good part of my hospital experience should have been the box of chocolate a friend sent, except I have no longer have taste buds.)

    All in all, I have to give this experience no stars out of five. I hope you found this review helpful.

  7. “Wow, I *have* my own copy of “Coffee Shop”, and I still want to light this candle about eight different ways.”

    Me too! I might just write one and put a caveat on the post that says “if I win, the runner up gets the book.”

  8. Don’t want to be too much of a nitpick, Different Eric (especially considering the ordeal you went through), but if you used boiling water, wouldn’t it then be Scalding you just reviewed?

  9. Different Eric, I have to concur with Brian, here. For best results, a scathing should be done with fire, as opposed to a scalding, which is done with very hot water. I don’t want to say your scalding was without benefit — I’m sure you learned something — but it’s not on point.

  10. Just how profanity-laden are we allowed to get? Or will it be proven once again that profanity is the crutch of an inarticulate motherfucker…

  11. Hmmm. John, do we actually have to go so far as to read the book? Or can we follow the more traditional method of simply reading the back cover and then writing whatever we think would bring more traffic to our blog/magazine/newspaper/podcast?

  12. Evan Goer:

    Inasmuch as you’ll be “reviewing” a book that doesn’t exist, I say you can do it however you like.


    Swear as much as you’d fuckin’ like. But it’ll take a really choice string of profanity to impress me.

  13. Oh jeez, I completely missed the ‘2009’ part.

    Hmmm, already with the sloppy and selective reading. I think I’ve got a lock on this one. :)

  14. The dictionary says a scathing is a harm caused by high temperatures, especially by fire, although I think you might be scathed other ways as well. Somewhat oddly, the word seems to be used as metaphor more than literally, anyway: lots of scathing criticism, but most people in fires simply get burned.

    You’re right that “scalding” is a better word choice, but to be honest my biggest regrets about the earlier post (aside from hospital bills) are:

    1) Not closing a quotation after the word “book” in the first paragraph, and;

    2) Only realizing this morning that I missed a perfect opportunity to make a groan-inducing Ellison reference when talking about my scalded taste buds.

  15. Well, I’m going to hold off reading the book or any reviews or synopses of it until I’ve written a review of just how bad it is. You don’t want to get too close to something that you’re going to write a scathing review of, and avoiding the subject entirely before writing is a good method to accomplish that.

  16. Richard:

    Again, the review in question will be for a book which does not exist, not any books I’ve actually written. I’ll make sure to make this perfectly clear in the contest itself.

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