Catch the Live Show

As it has been noted elsewhere, I’ll go ahead and note it here, too:

I have been invited to become an instructor for next year’s Viable Paradise writing workshop, and have accepted the invitation. For those of you who don’t know about VP, it’s a weeklong workshop specializing in science fiction and fantasy, which is shorter than the six weeks you need for Clarion but longer than a weekend workshop — as it says on the Web site, “It’s a commitment, but not one so large it’s overwhelming, nor so small it leaves you feeling dissatisfied.” Last year’s instructors were Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden, James D. MacDonald and Debra Doyle, Stephen Gould and Laura J. Mixon, and Elizabeth Bear and Cory Doctorow; my understanding is that I’ll be replacing Cory (who will be newly enbabied and short on time), thus maintaining the critical Campbell winner balance with eBear.

You ask: “Who are you and what have you done to the famously workshop-adverse John Scalzi?” I respond: It’s still me. However, my workshop aversion is a personal one, i.e., I probably wouldn’t have been a good workshop student (because I am an ego-filled twit, you see). Other folks would find the workshop setting more congenial to their process. Likewise, while I don’t suspect I’d personally make a good workshop student, I think I could be a good instructor. And I guess now we’ll find out. Fortunately, even if I turn out to be absolutely bollocks at it, the other instructors — with their chock-a-block awards and sales for editing and writing — will minimize the damage of my flailings. So that’s good, too. In any event I’m very much looking forward to it.

If you want to get in on this action, hold your horses: It’s too early to apply, and the application window is still a few months off. Don’t worry, I’ll let you know when it’s active. But inasmuch as you’ll need to submit a story with your application (per the application requirements, which you should read if you are interested), now’s a good time to get started on that.

The Big Idea: Jeff Carlson

Over at Ficlets we’ve got a new installment of The Big Idea, featuring author Jeff Carlson discussing his book Plague Year, in which, if you talk a stroll below the 10,000 foot line anywhere on the planet, you, like, die. In a really horrible way. Which, you know, sort of limits your real estate options here on planet Earth. On the other hand, those of you with property in Leadville, Colorado (elevation: 10,430 feet) are going to totally clean up. Buy now!

New Look to Universe

Hey, look, I’ve found the artwork for the upcoming revise of my astronomy book, The Rough Guide to the Universe:

Nifty. Also I’ve discovered the intended release date: March, 2008. So, uh, I guess I better finish updating it.

From the “What the Hell?” File

Did you know that Barbara Streisand does a version of David Bowie’s “Life on Mars?” From 1974?

Why does this hurt my frontal lobes so very much?

You know who would do an awesome version of that song? Kate Bush. Someone should make that happen. And then I can use it to rinse out my brain.