Zoe’s Tale, 96,528 words, completed 1:38 am, February 3, 2008.

Thank you and good night.

87 Comments on “Done”

  1. It is:


    And interestingly, the last chapter really is chapter 25. Although its contents are not the same as previously described. It has been extensively edited, shall we say.

  2. Congrats John….now….

    When is the publishing date?????? Soon I hope….I need it for my collection…..

    Will you be signing any copies and if so how do we get a signed one?????

    Any IDEAS???

    The Rabbit wants to know….(at least its NOT BACON)

  3. It’s like the ending of the F Word-Zoe’s Tale with leeks. Done.

  4. Well done, John. I don’t know why you traded discipline and hard work for photo-shoppery to get this one done (this new professionalism thing is less entertaining), but it seems to have worked.


  5. Congratulations, John! And yes… do please please please make a backup! Or eight.

    Have a good rest.

  6. Congratulations. Now that you have the contract/PNH monkeys off your back, I hope you can relax. For a bit.

  7. Ben Parzybok – Portland, OR – My name is Ben Parzybok. I'm a novelist and programmer. A few of my projects: Levin of Earth - my own website, which has a biography-revealing game built into it. Universal Deck - - a tool to create a 'personal universal deck', a writing exercise / divination tool created by the poet Michael McClure. PitchPost - - 'location-based conversations' - imagine geocaching but with discussion boards. CueDeck - - an opinionated flashcard tool. - - deep breath reminders (for desktop web browsers). My novels Couch and Sherwood Nation
    Ben Parzybok

    Wow, that’s some impressive progress.
    > 6500 words in the last 36 hours!
    At that rate you could have your next book drafted by February 26th (23 days from now).
    If collapse doesn’t set in first, of course.

    At any rate, congrats. I’m excited to read it.

  8. Lookit all the sick people checking up on John in the wee hours of the night. You are all sick! (myself included of course)

    Heh. writes book. Doesn’t get published for 7 months. That hurts.. I would want to keep changing things.. But of course you cannot.

    Oh and I volunteer to read it for continuity errors :) Just send it over.

  9. Very happy to hear this. Grab the family and head south for some sun, or something.

    For those of us who enjoy hearing you talk about the writing process almost as much as we like reading your books, how heavy to you expect the editing process to be based on your prior novels?

    Is it just minor suggestions to fix a clunky line or simple grammar mistakes your own bleary eyes missed even after who knows how many revisions of the same paragraph?

    Or do they ask you to move around chapters, cut down or beef up whole subplots, or eliminate supporting characters, and other types of major surgery?

  10. Congrats! Now you can return to your regularly scheduled blather, just in time for Super Tuesday! :)

    August 19? Excellent. That’s the same day (according to Amazon) that Tobias Buckell’s next book, Sly Mongoose, comes out. By pre-ordering together, I’ll get the free shipping deal.

  11. Congrats John. I am looking forward to reading it but I’ll probably have to wait for it to come out in paperback though because Heather won’t let me touch her signed hard copy, I’ll get it dirty. Go get some rest now you deserve it.

  12. Is is it 100% complete or do you go back through it now and double check everything to see if the novel still needs any changes? Sorry I don’t know how the entire professional level process works but definitely congratulations! Regarding “The High Castle,” how is that coming? Do you now take a little hiatus to regain you thoughts before jumping right back into novel writing or do you keep on typing to make sure the thoughts keep flowing at a particular level? Sorry for all the questions, I am just excited for you and already looking forward to all of your upcoming works. Congrats again!

  13. It’s the entrance to the barbeque party that is clearly going on! And turning nasty…

    Maybe they are celebrating that their book is finished. Hooray!

  14. Wow, 7K words in a day? It wasn’t the “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” from The Shining, was it?

    Again, wow. And congrats.

    Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building. You rock.

  15. So, it’s nap time now, John?

    Congratulations. Hopefully the folks at Tor won’t be too disappointed that they don’t get to point their cocked and loaded guns at you.

  16. Conrats!

    And look, more small winged spaceships!

  17. *thunderous applause* John, you rock.

    > What I’m mostly feeling at the moment is fatigue.

    Eh? You composed and set down the most crucial 6.5k words in an eleven-hour burst ¹ – akin to sprinting the last two miles of a marathon – and put a bow on it with a full day to spare. Of course you’re mostly feeling fatigue!

    > But yes. Very very very very happy to be done.

    We’re happy for you as well: your head is safe from the garbage disposal.

    Sleep in late tomorrow. Relax, re-acquaint yourself with the features of your family and pets, put your feet up, have some bacon. You’ve earned it.

    ¹ Elapsed time < zero days +11h23m, based on timestamp.

  18. Congrats. . .
    What impresses me is the fact you got a cover before the MS was done. That’s a neat trick.

    Impressive output too. (Though one hopes you didn’t resort to raiding nature periodicals for ferret references :)

  19. Neil – Neil lives in London splitting his time between a keyboard in Soho (which sounds far more interesting than it is) and a keyboard in Abbey Wood. Neil is Welsh, this means he's around a foot shorter than everyone else, gets far to excited when they beat England at Rugby and thinks football is for people who lack moral fibre. Neil is wondering why he's talking about himself in the third person.

    Nice one, any amusing end of project rituals?

  20. Well Done!
    Now, how far behind are you on your next deadline?

    Not to stir up an angry rant.

    Oh, and if you need an off-site copy ‘just in case’ wing one over to me.
    I promise not to read it. (innocent grin)

  21. Wonderful! But I have a minor question.

    That last word, “One.” Is it perchance preceded by “Five, Four, Three, Two”?

  22. looking forward to adding it to the S section of the library. (Very few esses precede Scalzi alphabetically.

    Now that you are recovering (I hope you did whatever your version of the happy dance) may I ask if you are planning on attending Boskone?

  23. Steve Davidson:

    No Boskone this year, I’m afraid. I have a backlog of stuff to clear out of the schedule this February.

  24. Must have been the pressure to be complete so that you can watch the Super Bowl….commercials.

    Congrats, John. Looking forward to the read, and to having renewed Scalzi-ettes here on Whatever.

  25. Greg van Eekhout – Greg van Eekhout is the author of <a href="">Norse Code</a>, a novel about Norse gods and Valkyries and the end of the world starting in Los Angeles. He lives in San Diego.
    Greg van Eekhout

    What a feelin’! I bet it feels like you can dance right through your life, at least for a day.

  26. Congratulations, John! My wife and I are both looking forward to reading this one and adding it to our shelf of Scalzi hardbacks.

  27. Mazel tov!
    Sorry you won’t be at Boskone, but I like to see a writer keep his nose to the grindstone. Good luck with the backlog.

  28. Congratulations! It’ll be nice to a) see more of you around here once you’ve slept and said hi to the family and such, and b) read the book once it hits the stores!

  29. You write books? Just kidding. Congratulations. I went to buy one of your books, but wasn’t sure which one I should choose because I tend to let the cover sway me (which sometimes, kick-ass covers don’t lead to kick-ass stories).

    I asked for a recommend once on this board, but not one person recommended one of your books. So, Mr. Scalzi, if you could get me to read only one of your books, which would you tell me is your best? (Zoe’s Tale doesn’t count as it isn’t published yet.) Thank you

  30. Congratulations!

    This would be annoying clapping and the “This is your victory song” song, but I don’t think it would translate well in print and I’m way, waaay to lazy to youtube it.

    I hope you’re enjoying your grand state of finished-itude.

  31. So, now that you’re done go try out this recipe, that I read about yesterday in my local newspaper, for me.

    You take some raw bacon, coat it in brown sugar & fry.
    Let me know how it tastes.
    Can candied bacon be anything but yum!

  32. shaunduke – Shaun Duke is a podcaster, a reviewer, a blogger, and a writer. He is a host on the Hugo-nominated Skiffy and Fanty Show, a blogger at The World in the Satin Bag, a freelance editor at The Duke of Editing, and a co-owner of Young Writers Online. He also co-hosts Totally Pretentious, a movie discussion podcast, with David Annandale. Outside of fandom activities, he is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Florida, where he studies science fiction, postcolonialism, and Caribbean literature.

    Congrats! Looking forward to reading it. I really like the cover too, by the way. Whoever designs the covers for your books is really tickling my artistic side. I love them. That’s what initially made me pick up Old Man’s War. That semi-watercolor feel. Just looks cool.

  33. Go and buy Old Man’s War, Dana (@63), and do it now. If the stores are closed when you read this, break in to activate the alarm system, wait for someone to show up and then force them at gun-point to sell you the book (we wouldn’t want John Scalzi to not get paid, now would we?). That way you’ll also have something to read in jail when they arrest you for breaking into a bookstore.

    Or, if you’re the more patient type of person, do the traditional thing and buy the book when the store opens.

    Just buy it, okay?

  34. 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 in boots


    You’re an inspiration to those of us cranking away on works of our own. At some point today I shall buckle down to it and rid my work of a few thousand words.

  35. BTW Mr. Scalzi,

    Did you know that ATTS has apparently become quite the collectors item? Amazon has 7 of them ranging in price from $98.00 to $995.00.

    I believe I’ll hold onto mine as a retirement nest-egg. Thanks for the financial security. :-)

  36. Congratulations! Can’t wait to read it.

    Unless it’s a spoiler, does Jared Dirac get a mention in this one? I really liked the character and was a little disappointed when he didn’t even get a passing reference in The Last Colony.

  37. Nathan:

    I expect that will go down once the trade paperback is out in November.

    Aaron Haynes:

    I’d have to check, but I don’t think so, or if he does it’s passing indeed. There’s no real reason to put him in there, plotwise.

  38. And the villagers rejoice. Huzzah, the Scalzi pulled it off again! Hurrah!

    So now you get to go back to the day job and Patrick can stop making frowny faces in your direction. You know, until the next book is due.

  39. Dana @ 63: I would recommend reading the Android’s Dream. It’s amusing, action-packed, and has some clever twists.

    Scalzi, you can leave my payment for the shilling at the ‘regular place.’

  40. Congratulations, John! Celebrate with Bacon. Take pictures.

  41. John,

    First: Congratulations!

    Second: I’ll back it up for you. Nothing like having a distributed backup. I’ll even store it in my head for you if you’d like. I’m kinda like Johnny Mnemonic that way… But of course not the Keanu kind.

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