Gaze Upon its Gazeuponableness!

Look what just arrived in the mail:

Yes, it’s one of five printed and bound copies of the completed manuscript of Zoe’s Tale that exist in all the world. One copy is mine, one goes to my wife, and two are gifts. As for the fifth copy… well, some of you will recall that I auctioned off a bound manuscript copy of The Last Colony in late ’06 to benefit the John M. Ford Book Endowment for the Minneapolis Public Library. That auction did pretty well, and as it happens I have a couple other charities in mind that I think could use some cash. So the fifth copy of ZT here is very likely to be auctioned. And soon.

But not yet. Details, as they say, are forthcoming. Patience.

42 Comments on “Gaze Upon its Gazeuponableness!”

  1. Tully:

    I’ve already narrowed it down to two choices and I’ll make my selection from between them. Thanks, though.

  2. I think once the fiction makes up more than half your income, it’s okay to put your name above the title on your own Lulu pubs.

    Nice job, though.

    (Also: they have tie-dye on Roanoke? Far out!)

  3. Will Entrekin:

    I used Lulu.

    Matthew Combs:

    It is indeed. And I will! Say hi to Shelley for me.

    Jeff Hentosz:

    Yeah, but then it would be garish.

  4. John, very nice touch having the Russian editions of your books in the picture as well. I had to bring back old memories of high school Russian to read your name. “John” really doesn’t translate well.

    Very amazing picture for the cover. I really like it.

  5. Thanks, although, I like the Tor one a lot, myself. This cover, I would expect, wouldn’t sell anywhere near the number of the Tor one.

  6. Oh, but this looks like a real literature cover, not some garish pulpy science fiction cover, which means you’d get all those fancy real literature aficionados reading it…

  7. I just finished “The Last Colony” last night so I’m really anxious for Zoe’s Tale so hurry!

    Also how is the name Zoe pronounced? And how can I type an e with two dots over it?

    Oh, and I found a couple teeny tiny mistakes in “The Last Colony” so does anyone care and if so who should I tell.

  8. Tripp:

    E-mail me with the errors and I’ll forward them. If it’s about how many days in the Roanoke year, we know about that one already.

  9. John:

    OK. It is not the year thing. I know I am pedantic. Years of proof-reading computer manuals will do that to a person.

    I am not criticizing.

    I’ve pronounced the character’s name as “Zoey” rhyming with Bowey. Is that correct?

  10. What’s Athena think of it?

    If she’s anything like my kid, I suspect she’ll need a copy for show & tell. Just saying.

    Hope the auction sells big time.

  11. 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

    Very cool! Can’t wait for the contest or the pimp thread or he videogame!

  12. Nice cover, John, and entirely fitting! And here you were giving me the “I resemble that remark!” reaction to this line…

    …that there’s something more than a little Mary Sue-ish about his depiction of the John/Jane/Zoe nuclear family.

    …from my Last Colony review.

    Jeez, it ain’t like I was saying it was a bad thing.

  13. Fantastic photo. Personally, I’d much rather have that cover than the Tor one; spaceship sci-fi art just does nothing for me. I expect you’re right about what that would do to the sales, though.

  14. Robin, did you know that the Cyrillic alphabet was brought to Earth by a race of space-faring 5-armed bonobos? It’s true. I swear. (Don’t ask where the 5th arm is located. You don’t want to know.)

    ps. Happy Valentine’s Day, you wonderful, gorgeous woman.
    (Robin is my girlfriend. Her face will turn bright red, if and when she reads this (if it doesn’t get mod-killed (yes, I’m a programmer, I love parenthesis)))

  15. 1. I’m not bright red Grant (#27) Happy Valentine’s to you too.

    2. I never knew where Cyrillic came from but considering how weird it is to write, I’m sure that could be plausible. I like writing it with my two arms. . . 3 more might make me a bit uneven.

    3. Personally the photo appeals to me more as a cover than the Tor cover shown in an earlier post (Or did I imagine that?)

  16. Hooray! I too am awaiting the street date for this one. I plowed through Ghost Brigades and The Last Colony over the course of… I think 4 days. I’m slowly working through The Sagan Diaries because of the writing style is a bit harder for me to work with. I read Old Man’s War back in July while I was camping so I need my fix!

  17. I think it is wonderful that you are going to auction one of the books of Zoe’s Tale. Please let us know when that event will happen. I have no doubts that the charities you have selected are worthy.

    I have to agree with Tripp that some of the proof reading of previous books is not 100%. I noticed some typos in “The Android’s Dream” , but since I have been labelled as a pedantic asshole, I was reticent to call them out. Does it really matter? I mean, we have allowed most of the Journalists and Bush to refer to the regime as “Terror” not “Terrorists”. But since you are delving into the world of Young Adult readership, should the standards be different?

  18. Laura – With five kids, three perfect grandchildren (seriously, aren't ALL grandchildren perfect??), a darling husband, my career as a NICU RN....what else would I be doing but juggling?
    laura

    personally i am thrilled you spelled zoë using the umlats. so will my own zoë. it’s too bad it is not available just yet because she is a fan and her 16th birthday is next tuesday.
    great picture of athena!

  19. #35, you triggered one of my pet pedanticisms, which is that the dots over the ‘e’ in Zoë aren’t an umlaut, they’re a dieresis (or trema). It’s written the same as an umlaut, but it has a different meaning.

    Dieresis: naïve, Chloë, zoölogy, Citroën. Umlaut: Möbius, Müller. Hungarian double-acute: Erd?s.

  20. Laura – With five kids, three perfect grandchildren (seriously, aren't ALL grandchildren perfect??), a darling husband, my career as a NICU RN....what else would I be doing but juggling?
    laura

    Wim L:
    my bad!
    i’ll make a note of it. to be honest, here under the Big Top we just call them dots. when Zoë was three years old she would instruct people to spell her name Z-O-E-dot-dot.

  21. Naturalist 30, paragraph 2, sentences 1-2:

    I have to agree with Tripp that some of the proof reading of previous books is not 100%. I noticed some typos in “The Android’s Dream” , but since I have been labelled as a pedantic asshole, I was reticent to call them out.

    I have found that sufficient groveling will remove the latter part of the label. Intentional mispellings (such as “labelled”) help also.

    Out of fairness I have found a couple minor boo-boos in another SF book I am reading while awaiting more Scalzi. I chalk it up to budget cuts and an over-reliance on spell checkers but what do I know?

  22. AngeluS – Robert Benchley: "Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment."
    Kevin

    Hi, What is the (double) book on the left?! It looks very familiar but I can’t place it.

  23. Intentional mispellings (such as “labelled”) help also.

    Labelled is a perfectly valid spelling. Except, perhaps, if you aren’t from Canada, UK, Australia, or one of the other many countries that spells it that way.

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