Things I Want to Pimp Today: A List (Plus an Open Pimp Thread)

Here are the things I want to get pimplicious about at the moment:

1. Schuyler’s Monster, by Robert Rummel-Hudson: Rob and I go waaaaaay back; he and I are part of a small group of people who have been keeping blogs since the Cretaceous Period of the internet (when blogs were known as “online diaries” because the word “blog” hadn’t been invented yet). Right around the time Athena was born, Rob and his wife Julie had their own daughter, Schuyler, and for me it was fun to watch and read how another new dad was dealing with it all. But then our daughter stories diverged, because Schuyler was diagnosed with polymicrogyria, a brain deformation that, among other things, left Schuyler with the inability to talk.

This could have been (and in many ways was) a crushing blow to Rob and to his wife, but the two of them rolled with it, and Rob, who had dealt with so many events in his life by writing about them online, also began writing about his daughter’s “monster,” honestly, emotionally and occasionally painfully and angrily, and with more than a little humor, bleak though it was sometimes. Those of us who had been reading Rob for a while also noticed something else; Rob, who had been something of a typical Gen-X man-child sort of guy, was growing up and becoming the adult and the father he had to be to be a teacher, protector and friend to his unusual child. Wasn’t easy, but it was getting done.

All of this has now been put into a really extraordinary book, Schuyler’s Monster: A Father’s Journey With His Wordless Daughter, which I am immensely proud to recommend to you today. You’ll meet Rob and Julie and Schuyler and go through everything they go through as family, all from Rob’s point of view. Rob doesn’t take the opportunity to clean himself up here — you’ll see his development into a grown-up, and trust me, it’s a bumpy road — and that’s all to the good, because without it the book fails. And most of all you’ll see Schuyler as Rob sees her. At one point in the book, Rob mentions of Schuyler that there’s never been a person he’s feared for more, or has been prouder of. If you’re a parent you get that, and you also get how Rob might mean it even more than you do.

Since I know the people in the book, I can’t say that I’m at all objective about it, but folks, this is a good book. Rob writes well, with humor and anger and there’s enough shaggy charm to it that from time to time you’ll forget this stuff really happened to someone, at which point it will rise up, smack you in the face, and remind you. There were more than a couple of places I teared up. I think being a parent was part of that, and knowing the people was part of it, too. But the rest of it was because of Rob, and what and how he wrote. It’s not perfect, but it’s not about perfect people, so that’s fine. I think it’s exactly right for the tale it’s telling, however, and I think you should check it out.

2. Shadow Unit, by Elizabeth Bear, Emma Bull, Sarah Monette and Will Shetterly (Amanda Downum, art director): I’ve known about this for a while, but the “first episode” just went live, so now’s a good time for pimpery. What is it? Well, Emma Bull (who I am assured is the “evil mastermind” behind it) describes it as fan fiction for a TV show that never existed, which is a concept just weird enough to work (it helps that the people writing the fanfic here are Bear, Bull, Monette and Shetterly, who between them have enough writing award nominations and wins to choke a moose). And what kind of not-show are they writing their fan fiction about?

The F.B.I.’s Behavioral Analysis Unit hunts humanity’s nightmares. But there are nightmares humanity doesn’t dream are real.

The Behavioral Analysis Unit sends those cases down the hall. Welcome to Shadow Unit.

This begs the question of why this wasn’t ever a real TV show, because it seems like a good idea (don’t talk to me about X-Files. I have some issues there). But hey, at least we have the “fan site” and fan fiction.

Incidentally, this whole shebang is done as a labor of love by the writers and others involved. They put out a tin cup in the form of PayPal and Amazon donation buttons. If you check it out and like it/love it/have it inhabit your life with unholy passion, consider sending some cash their way. Mind-bending faux-fan-fic should be rewarded.

3. The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor and Privacy on the Internet, by Daniel J. Solove: As you know (Bob), we live in a world in which anyone can Google up your name and find everything about you, including all manner of rumor, gossip and plain ol’ idiotic junk you put out on the Web when you were a sophomore in college, stoned to the gills and had no clue a future employer would scan Teh Tubes looking to see if you could be trusted to handle small sums of money. But what does it mean? George Washington University law professor (and law blogger) Daniel Solove is on the case for you.

This book was sent to me pre-pub and I’ve only had time to skim (rumor is, I had a book to write) it, which is unfortunate because what I have read is pretty damn interesting; it’s the sort of book I could use to springboard a whole bunch of posts here off of, which makes it already one of my favorite books (because I’m lazy, you see). But the good news here is that now you can check out the book for yourself, free, because Solove has just put it out in a freely downloadable eBook format. So you don’t need me to tell you if it’s good or not. You can read it for yourself and make your own decisions. Yes, I’m now officially useless. No, I’m fine. Just leave me alone, here in the dark.

If you do find it interesting/useful/life-changing, do please consider buying the book version as well, since I’m sure it will help Solove’s tenure chances if he has a bestseller, which is then made into a movie or TV series, which then will have fanfic written about it by Emma Bull. See, I bring these things around, I do.

4. Matter, by Iain M. Banks: Mmmm… exploding brains. I really dig Bank’s “Culture” books, of which this is the new one, because his universe is so complex and overloaded that I feel smarter just reading his descriptions of the place. There is the minor problem that I think the stories in his novels don’t necessarily resolve perfectly — lots of set-up and then you’re kind of hustled through the ending on a bit of a rail, as happens here and happened in The Algebraist — but by that point I’ve gotten enough of a show, with the pretty lights and big ideas and four-dimensional shell worlds and what have you that it seems almost churlish to note. And I certainly don’t feel cheated. I mean, hey, it’s a big friggin’ universe Banks has got there; who am I to expect everything to end up with a bow? It doesn’t even happen in this universe. Anyway, an excellent ride. Now, for some reason I was under the impression the book had already come out, but Amazon tells me it’s not coming out until next week. Could be it was already released in the UK. No matter (heh); here’s a pimp anyway.

Having now pimped four things, I hereby declare this an open pimp thread, in which you may pimp your own books/writings/blogs/projects/etc, or new and interesting books/writings/blogs/projects/etc that others are doing, that you feel need love and attention. Pimp away!

(Note: remember that three or more links in a single comment will get you sent to the moderation queue. If you get sent there, don’t panic — I’ll let your comment out at some point.)

99 Comments on “Things I Want to Pimp Today: A List (Plus an Open Pimp Thread)”

  1. Let’s self-pimp, then, since it looks like there’s quite a lot of other Heinlein fans whatevering around… Maybe a couple of them might also read French ! (and thank you John for the opportunity !).

    I’ve just published, with another French SF writer, Ugo Bellagamba,
    Solutions non satisfaisantes, une anatomie de Robert A. Heinlein
    (and if the title sounds like a French variation upon RAH’s “Solution Unsatisfactory”, that’s because it is !)

    More details about the content (in English) on Anouk’s French forum about Heinlein

    and on the editor’s site : Les moutons électriques (Lyon, France, Feb. 2008, ISBN 978-2-915793-37-6).

  2. I’ve been reading Rob for quite a while too, and my Amazon copy is on the way. Y’all, I’d have to loudly second our lovely host’s pimpage for this.

  3. Coincidentally I finished reading Matter not 10 minutes ago. I agree on the pacing/reveal, rather than building to a climax it seemed to try and crush the plot into the end. I preferred the steadier progression of Look to Windward, the last Culture novel. That said even a ‘bad’ Culture novel (which this isn’t) is better than a good novel from many people.

    I re-read all the earlier ones recently and was still very impressed, though I seem to like Use of Weapons least despite it being the fave of many.

  4. Self-pimpage it is then!

    I’ve posted a novel online at . I sent it to literary agents in the UK early last year and, although I didn’t get an agent, enough of them said they liked it that I thought it was worth putting out there.

    I’ve also post doodles and photoshopped stuff on my blog at . Which reminds me – once I get home from work I’ll have to post my ‘Whatever blog as N64 game box’ and ‘Making Light blog as comic book cover’ images.

    And seeing as self-pimping has made feel a little dirty, anybody who doesn’t have this online comic bookmarked should do so now.

  5. Neil:

    I read your html fiction, nice idea! As you say its a bit of a fragment but i’d love to see a fuller version, not come across that form before. By the way, you ever tried a 250 word story. I read some by David Brin years back and had a go once, they were a lot of fun of very tough to get right.

    Welcome to my rss subs by the way!

  6. Almost exactly a year ago now, I decided to start on a little project: I’m taking photographs to document every species of insect, spider, centipede, or similar small crawly thing that I can find on our property (about 9 acres in the upper peninsula of Michigan), and then writing about what I find out about each species. My daughter (who is a bit over two) is helping by bringing me the things she finds crawling around the house (being close to the floor, she spots them quicker than me). Some of the things we find are a bit surprising. I’ve been posting one species a week in my blog, at

  7. The trade paperback of Matter is already out in Australia. We hardly ever get overseas hardbacks now, except on special order or for those half-size gift volumes.

  8. If self-pimping is to be the order of the day, I’d like to talk about Gadarene, the novel I co-wrote with Tina Anderson. Here’s the blurb:

    In the notorious Five Points slum of 1870’s Manhattan, Galen ‘the Mongoose’ Driscol steps out of jail and back into the arms of his transgendered lover, Wira Boruta. When Galen tells Wira that he’s tracked down the man who tried to kill them as children, Wira is unwilling to listen, and pleads with Galen to forget the past, and live only for the future…their future.

    Only Galen doesn’t forget, nor does he forgive. He doesn’t give a second thought about exacting justice, but justice has a price, and it’s come to collect from the one person Galen loves most…

    But the real reason you should check it out is this is the only book I’ve ever written where I managed to completely freak myself out during the writing phase (of course, the lion’s share of my work is ghost written business books, so this might be a good sign!)

    You can find it on Amazon here

    Thank you for giving us this space today!

  9. Already got my copy of Schuyler’s Monster in the mail from amazon. Started reading Rob’s site after you linked it on here and have loved his style. Cannot wait to read this book

  10. Ooh, my first pimp thread!

    Fortuitous timing, because I just took over the reigns as main mod at Our Eloquence, a newish writing community on Livejournal with the goal of providing the same kind of support and encouragement year round that you find on the NanoWriMo forums in November. You don’t have to be a Livejournal member to participate–you can sign in with Open ID, or just go anonymous. All writers welcome, no matter what your genre or form.

  11. We’ve recently been putting more effort into In Absinthia a blog dedicated to all things absinthe. Now that it is more widely available here in the States, there’ s plenty of news to report, brands to try and misconceptions to squash. We have some big plans for the future, so if you’re interested in this remarkable beverage, its colorful (even lurid) past and its bright future, check us out.

    BTW, *love* the backyard arthropod project!

  12. My lovely and talented wife has been posting some amazing short fiction, all inspired by reader prompts. She calls the project Wind Tunnel Dreams, and has made a decent amount of tip-jar money from the project, as well as one pro sale (so far). The stories cover lots of fantasy, sf, and horror subgenres, and (in my admittedly-biased opinion, as well as the less-biased opinions of other folks) kick ass.

  13. I shall self-pimp, since that’s what all the Kewl Kidz are doing these days.

    My (rather paltry) blog, Notes from Limboland, would appreciate a few more readers. (read: readers other than myself) There’s no theme, though originally I started it to post my progress during my last NaNoWriMo attempt (2005, I think). I’ll tend to geek out, since that’s what I do best.

    Anyway, you should read it, or not. As the tagline reads: “Because it’s all just a giant state of limbo. And, uh, land.”

  14. Thanks John! You’re the best! The e-zine of the Space Western sub-genre just published an interview with writer C.J. Henderson, a review of Finding Serenity by Jane Espenson, and two short stories: “Captain Ayers and the Waconda “War”” by Robert Collins, and “A Llama’s Tale” by Shauna Roberts. Also find short stories, reviews, and even a few music downloads.

    We’re also currently looking for Space Westerns written by women, to publish in March to celebrate Women’s History Month. Reprints are welcome. Visit the Submission Guidelines for more info.

  15. Boskone was this past weekend, and though our host was not there lots of other interesting people were. I’m collecting links to Boskone reports over at delicious, or those of you on LiveJournal can watch the boskone community.

    Also, just because I was pimping this at Boskone: Shaun Tan’s The Arrival is an absolutely gorgeous, heartwarming, surreal wordless graphic novel about immigration, and possibly my favorite book of 2007. Here’s my review, which has links to the art–definitely check out the art.

  16. Well, lessee. Over at the old review site (click on my name) I’ve just read me some Kay Kenyon, and think she’s one of the more interesting SF authors few people seem to be reading right now. And I’ll be a program participant at ConDFW in Dallas this weekend, which means I’m now at work reviewing five novels by its GoH, Peter S. Beagle, which I intend to post Friday morning before leaving town. Then in March, since my readers have been bugging the hell out of me to get on with it, I’ll be reviewing all of Iain M. Banks’ Culture series in one go, which makes sense to do now since I got Matter in the mail last week.

    Lots of good reading coming up.

  17. I’m going to pimp my business, Clover Computing. The website is currently a little lame, but what the heck – it’s a google link, and I can definitely use one of those.

    Thanks John. You’re a mensch.


  18. My second novel UNQUIET DREAMS (Ace) has just been published. It’s an urban fantasy mystery novel set in Boston. You can check it out on my website (with an excerpt for both it and the first novel in the series). There’s a good review in the Feb issue of Locus if you’d like to check it out (p.25).

    If you like urban fantasy, I mod (with others) a group on Livejournal called Fangs, Fur & Fey. It’s a group of published authors talking about urban fantasy, writing and the publishing world. You don’t have to have an LJ to post comments.

  19. Ooh, that’s great! Thanks a lot for the pimping space, John! :-)

    So, let me hereby pimp my first novel, to those here who can read French: Shalinka, t.1: L’Héritier du tigre, a fantasy/adventure story for young adults.
    Or at least, that’s what my editor says! It’s really the dark and deranged creation of my imagination, of course… ;-)

    Then, there’s my publisher, with one of the weirdest names ever, Le Navire en Pleine Ville (there’s a great story behind that).

    I also write sci-fi and fantasy short stories, some of which you can download for free on Feedbooks. It’s under CC, in PDF, epub et Mobi format. So, e-book readers, enjoy!

  20. Nothing to pimp, but wanted to chime in on the Iain Banks comments.

    You perfectly described my feelings about some of his books. He paints wonderful pictures of alien civilisations and fills them with characters that you care about – and then the story just ends! I don’t recall it being an issue with The Algebraist, but I’ve certainly felt it more than once in his previous works.

    That said, he’s still one of my must-buy authors – so I’m looking forward to the paperback release of this one. No sense in rushing out for the hardback when you see the current size of my ‘to be read’ pile!

  21. In 2007 I had not one, but two non-winning Finalists in the Writers of the Future contest. One of them, “A Man in the Moon”, has been selected to be the sole published Finalist in the next WOTF anthology put out in Summer 2008. That will make my second sale at pro rates. As sort of a result of all that I have a new website:

    which I am developing content for — including some stories.

    Dr. Phil

  22. Nothing to self-pimp. George Smoot’s book “Wrinkles in Time” is probably old news but it was new to me and I loved it. If you have an interest in cosmology this book covers the history and some of the current findings very well.

  23. First of all, you can check out There’s No Crying in the War Room, a novel I’ve been writing and posting. Its almost half done and I’ve been religiously posting new chapters since starting in December. Its a political farce, not SF, so don’t expect any ‘splodiness.

    Also, you can check out Polybloggimous, a blog…on which I blog. Its mostly inanities with periodic forays into my world behind the scenes in the film biz.

  24. I’m looking forward to reading Solove’s book – though I have to wonder why they split it up. Odd choice. Like they wanted to make it free, just not easy. If you want to go the free route, go all in – not half way.

    I do have a book review web site, but I only review books I read, as I read them – so it’s not exactly frantic with activity. Mostly tech books, but some fiction also:

  25. All right, I’m known to be shameless. My second Henghis Hapthorn novel, The Spiral Labyrinth, made the Locus recommended reading list (so did the first one, Majestrum).

    The first chapters are on my web site.

  26. I’ve been writing science fiction for quite some time because I love the genre and feel like I can contribute to it. However at parties and conventions and even just hanging out with friends the stories I told were of my own experiences. I’ve had an interesting life – as a military brat living around the world while at the same time being the oldest child in a strict Mormon household – as an enlisted man happily carousing until being unexpected thrust into combat – as an ex-pat in Korea – as an engineer working in factories across the United States —

    A couple of years ago I started using my blog to tell these stories – to more success and readership than any my fiction ever attracted.

    So I’m pimping my blog where you’ll find tales like the one I wrote yesterday, Montana Jones Drives His Car Into the Harbor. You’ll also find out what life’s like for an unhappy Mormon boy who watched his father’s Johnny Cash record collection disappear one album at a time.

  27. My first published short story, “Reading, Writing, Plagues”, appears in the DAW anthology “Misspelled”. It will be in stores on April 1st and can be had for money.

    Also launching/dropping that same week is my second kid so April is going to be particularly busy for me.

  28. As usual, Kate Baker is doing awesome work on podcasts hosted over on my site – She’s been playing in my sandbox, writing the high-impact back story of one of the characters in a recently completed novel of mine.

    I’ve also started a program of author interviews. Lee Stephen, writer of Dawn of Destiny, is the currently featured interviewee. Stop by and see his responses to the inane questions asked by yours truly.

  29. John: This is an entry for my blog,, but in case you don’t want to click through, I’m copying the entry here. Because I feel strongly about this.

    You might delete it since technically, it’s not on the subject of your blog entry. Except that it is. I welcome a discussion about it, either on my blog or yours.

    My blog entry: Can we have some respect?

    I don’t even want you to think this is a minor pet peeve. To me, this kind of thing is so obvious, I sit in shock that otherwise intelligent people do it.

    When did the word “pimp” become respectable?

    There are few lifeforms on the planet lower than pimps. These people – usually men, but not always – use brutality and fear and pain and humiliation to force another person into sexual slavery. They force a woman or girl to give herself to men – god dammit, think about those words:

    to give herself to men

    something that should be so private, so respected, so very much hers to give upon her own choice.

    Yet they force her to do it, using any method that works – drugs, hunger, fear, pain – and then they take the money she has earned and buy themselves cars, jewelry, power… leaving her to constant humiliation and pain and poverty.

    But we have begun to throw this word around as a marketing tool, for Christ’s sake. This gives the word, and by extension, the profession (if it can be called that) a numbness, a wall between what it actually is, and our perception of it.

    We really shouldn’t do that. As writers, we know that words are powerful things. As writers especially, but also as women, or as men who respect and love women, we need to give that word a wide berth. We need to keep it clear and cold, right where it belongs: a word to be feared, to be shunned, to be disgusted by. A word that represents, boldy and defiantly, the worst monstrosity that humans are capable of.

    There are lots of things to be angry about, in our day. Many are far more important than this. But this one is simple: just don’t use the word to sell something or advertise something. When you hear someone using it, call them on it. Encourage them to find another way to sell their product.

    I’ll start:

    John Scalzi: your blog entry was about lovely and special books. Every one of them deserve better than to be “pimped.” Give us something else. Please.

  30. I already linked to it in Whateverettes, actually.

    That said, I don’t have a problem using the word in this context. I suspect most people are aware of the colloquial use of the word, and neither directly equate it with sexual exploitation, nor endorse sexual exploitation in any way.

    I don’t want this particular thread to focus on word usage, so if you want to comment on that topic, follow the link Marlene had posted and comment on her site. This particular thread should be used for promotion of others and/or comments about the works in the primary article.

  31. I have nothing to pimp but work right now. If you have any need for construction project management tools, come find us:

    (‘though I’m working on a vacation tour, I can’t pimp it til May)

  32. My new SF novel Marseguro as released by DAW on February 5, and in celebration, I’m giving away one signed copy a week for the month of February.

    Yes, I’ve already given away two, but there are still two to go, so if you’re interested, just send me an email at edward(at) with “Marseguro” in the subject line.

    You can read more about the book (and two sample chapters) at

  33. Yay Dr. Phil!! I’ll be sure to buy a copy.

    My Jeopardy! appearance is supposed to air on April 28th, 2008. I can’t tell you how I did. I will say that I sing along with Weird Al songs as I drive down the road.

  34. I’ve got one things I want to pimp today.

    I’m writing a D20 campaign setting. It’s currently in alpha and looking for some feedback as I work on it. It’s set up in blog form at wordress right now, but I plan to consolidate it into a .pdf and release it as a donate-to-me-if-you-like-it ebook.

    Once I’ve had time to go through the legal stuff it will be D20 released, with my copyrighted info released under a CC license to allow anyone to do (almost) anything with it.

    It’s based on real geography, but other than that it is very, very fantastical. Not an alternate history unless history and physics diverged sometime near the Cretaceous Period. More like an alternate world with nearly identical geography, and a history all it’s own.

    As I said, it’s in it’s very rough first iteration, and is just being worked on, but if anyone is interested in giving what I’ve got a read and some feedback, I’d appreciate it.

    You can find it at

    Also, if anyone wants to help spread my meme, they can take a look at lolkids at my blog. Direct post address is

  35. I’m going to be pushy and pimp a couple blogs that I’ve started up within the last year:

    Digital Bits Skeptic is about “skepticism and critical thinking in a world of new age, religion and credulous pop culture”. It’s a collection of skeptical articles about pseudoscience, science, New Age, religion, and similar issues. It’s similar in ways to the longer essays you might find on James Randi’s website, or, only DB Skeptic has a big difference: We will pay you money for your articles. Current offer is at $20.

    The Digital Bits Science Lab is a collection of Science Experiments with an emphasis on younger children. The site was built on behalf of my currently three-year-old daughter. I want her to be exposed to science and scientific concepts, but had a hard time finding experiments much younger than grade-school level. So I started creating my own. While some of the science labs are indeed aimed at more advanced kids, the majority are targeted toward the younger ones. tceisele (#10 above) also periodically contributes to this site. I love bragging that the articles are co-written by a PhD!

  36. Self pimpery? I’ll do it until I need glasses.

    ComicMix has been going gangbusters of late, with all sorts of news you’d expect from a site with that name– comics, sf, etc. But we’ve also been doing a bunch of free new comics, including the return of Mike Grell’s Jon Sable Freelance, which I’ve been coloring.

    There’s something for everybody there.

  37. I would like to pimp my brand spankin new blog Just started it a half hour ago…kind of boring, need some comments to get it going ;)

  38. I’m chairing the upcoming North American Discworld Convention happening over Labor Day Weekend in 2009 in Tempe, Arizona at the Tempe Mission Palms (where we held World Fantasy in 2004 and The Nebulas in 2006). Terry Pratchett is our Guest of Honor. We’re also having Diane Duane, Peter Morwood, and Esther Friesner as guests and are working on adding more. I’m looking for authors who are Pratchett fans that would be interested in taking part or possibly contributing to a project we are working on. Details are at

  39. I’m going out this afternoon and getting Schuyler’s Monster, and I’ll be at the signing this Friday evening. I’ve been reading Rob since the last century, too, and I know the book will be a wonder.

    As for self-pimping, my novella Sabre Dance is:

    1) Available as half of Double Dog #4, teamed with Laura J. Underwood’s The Lunari Mask at

    2) Eligible for the Best Novella category in this year’s Hugo race.

    There! Now I feel all pimpalicious!

  40. I’d like to pimp – Tales of Mu. It’s a web-based continuing serial, though I must add a warning, it is primarly concerned with personal relationships in a fantasy setting (a university for magic users and magical creatures) and continues both sexual situations and emotional ones that may disturb.

    It is particularly interesting to see someone working in this fashion though, content aside, and writing new chapters constantly. She depends on donations to keep her going, and in that way I imagine her to be somewhat like a street performer – producing her art unsolicitated, in the hopes that enough people will be impressed that she can live another day to try again.

    Also my blog, which should be linked to the name, though I havn’t updated since Nov, I will be getting back to it with a reason for my absend ‘Real Soon Now’ ™

  41. I am just finishing up Matter (50 pages left) and have loved it so far, and am hoping that there is a payoff. I do agree that the ending of The Algebraist was a bit unsatisfying.

    Banks is one of my favorite writers, but I have had problems with the endings of a few of his books, e.g., when I first read Excession the ending pissed me off to no end, with the Excession being nothing but a BDO McGuffin, but upon rereading it, I found the book a bit more satisfying.

  42. I have some stories posted I’d certainly like people to check out. And of course there’s my blog for anybody curious.

    And because I was raised with some manners (believe it or not), thanks to the proprietor for the pimpization.

  43. Cover on Schuyler’s Monster is remarkably similar to Zoe’s Tale. Same photographer/jacket designer?

  44. Josh:

    No. Also, bear in mind the cover to the “Zoe’s Tale” I am auctioning is not the real cover that will be on the final book — it’s just something I slapped together.

  45. Thanks, again, John. since I sent you a copy of Colin P. Davies’ short story collection “Tall Tales on the Iron Horse”, I’m hoping you’ll have a chance to read it. Colin is a good guy, and as a “publisher” I have lotsa work cut for me.

    I see that if you go to right now, it takes you to the Bewildering Stories website, and that IS bewilderinging. Ah well. At least you can click on the BwP link there.

    “Tall Tales” is theoretically available from our website, and certainly available from Amazon. Y’know, some times I hate computers.


  46. Man, all these posts on my blog and only 1 comment from someone other than me………

    Blogging Rocks!!!!!!

    Seriously, someone responded to something I wrote, that’s awesome.

    Thanks Rigel Kent!

  47. Shadow Unit reminds me of a movie named Spaceship Zero, which was a nonexistent movie adaptation of a nonexistent German SF series of the same title, which spawned both a soundtrack and RPG by the rock band Darkest of the Hillside Thickets.

  48. Hi!

    Self pimping: The Art issue of Shimmer is coming out this week. The cover is by John Picacio. The Art issue is a special issue where the art came first, and we selected some of our favorite authors from previous Shimmer issues to write a story around the art. Details on ordering at

    Also, The Clockwork Jungle Book, a special themed issue of Shimmer guest edited by George Mann of Solaris books, is still open for submissions. We are looking for Steampunk Animal Fables. Deadline is February 29, 2008.

  49. I took a few chapters off my web site while they were rewritten and I have yet to add them back. So the only thing I have to pimp is my LiveJournal, which vacillates between politics, music, frozen Minnesota, and of course, the pain and joy of living with a feisty woman and FIVE Maine Coon Cats – one of which is lobbying like a K Street veteran for a can of Trader Joe’s tongal.

  50. Well, I just got done with Old Man’s War. That was one damn good book. Funny thing is, my mom got it for me like 3 years ago for Christmas and its been sitting on the shelf ever since last night (no offense John). Then for some reason I picked it up, tried reading bits and pieces through Extreme Home Makeover, and then finally gave it my full attention. Went to bed @ 3:30am. Read some snaekily at work, and then finished up once I got home tonight.

    And, since this is a pimping thread, I thought I would pimp my website…This is entirely appropriate, since I am an advertising copywriter like John Perry and wrote all the copy on the site… (an organic pet company focusing on cats).

    Now, I am going to try and figure out how to get some organic catnip into the hands of John because, well, we need more material for the ihazcheesburger shots on the landing page and fighting over organic catnip will certainly help with disembowelment.

    If anyone else would like some free catnip, just use my contact page and mention me pimping on this site.

    Now, even though I’m tired, on to Ghost Brigades :)

  51. Pimping?

    There’s Mythusmage Opines, which is … mine. I opine about whatever I feel like opining about, however I feel like opining about it.

    Pharyngula is where you can watch PZ Myers stomp on creationists, disemvowel trolls, and expound on matters evolutionary and genetic.

    Baen’s Bar is where you go to discuss Baen Publishing authors, catch up on what they’re doing, and learn just how gosh darn big Eric Flint’s Grantville shared universe has gotten. (Which goes a long way towards explaining why SM Stirling is fighting so hard to keep his Emberverse from going the same route. :) )

    Last, but certainly far from least, is my quest for contributions towards a new iMac. What I’ve got right now is adequate, but soon enough there will be problems. Already The Beast cannot upgrade to Tiger 10.4.11, and software requiring Leopard 10.5 is out on the market. Will I be able to use MarsEdit 3 when it comes out? So yes, I am pimping for donations. Either that, or a few books from my Amazon wish list.

    BTW, is it me, or does John Scalzi have a talent for forming a writer’s community?

  52. John:

    Well, I think I’d like to pimp “White Night by Jim Butcher, since I just got done reading it and if I didn’t like the man’s writing so much, I’d hate his literary guts from sheer jealousy. On second thought, I’m just going to go ahead and pimp the entire “Dresden Files” series.

    I also pimped your “Unasked-For Advice To New Writers About Money” on my own blog. Too true to miss.

  53. Amongst all this literary boosterism, can I promote the plight of one medium-sized civic library up here in Canada?

    The Greater Victoria Public LIbrary locked out it’s workers on the 17th; the proximate cause was certain strike actions the union had undertaken, the ultimate cause is more than a decade’s worth of ignored promises.

    A City Without A Library Is Still In The Dark Ages – and Victoria was willfully plunged back into the Dark Ages by it’s own Library Board on the 17th.

    I read this thread, from Scalzi’s initial post all the way down, all these deservedly-promoted books, thinking repeatedly “Oh, I’ve got to put that on hold at the library…” and kept stubbing my brain against the fact that we temporarily have no library…


    Do you want to read more about Dr Andrew Berk’s never ending and futile battle against the armies of pirates and zombies on the internet? Do you crave to know more about the Speculative Fantabulation Workers’ Guild and how they are in a constant struggle with the Secret Masters of the Blogosphere?

    Mind control chips, intellectual encryption, Blog Zombies – all these and more exist in a parallel universe, only half a micron away.

    To see what is happening across the dimensional void, you need to consult THE BOGUS ORACLE!

  55. The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor and Privacy on the Internet, by Daniel J. Solove

    Thank you for this recommendation. Since I’ll be teaching privacy law tomorrow (and just finished discussing libel), this will be of great value to my students (‘cuz Amazon will deliver it Friday, so I’ll be able to read it and use it for next week).

  56. I’m the registration manager for PyCon, a programming-language conference that’s being held in Chicago next month. This year’s conference looks like it’s going to be great: several One Laptop Per Child sessions, and lots of web development material.

  57. Hi!

    I’ve been reading for a while now. I know it’s a bit late to be posting this, but at least some people will see it…

    I’m longtime SF fan, as are a few of my friends. We’re starting a blog that will hopefully get people interested in meeting us and having us at Worldcon and other conventions. We’re college students, so we’re lacking money—and most cons aren’t very good at giving student prices… yet.

    Anyway, please check out the blog! We’re just getting off the ground.


  58. My son knew he needed to stop smoking. He’d just seen his father die at 38 from lung cancer. That was the spark that made him realize that smoking could literally kill him. Unfortunately, every time he tried to stop, he would yield to temptation within a few days. I looked at using a nicotine patch and nicotine gum, but didn’t want him to use either. For me, it seemed silly to take the same substance that causes the addiction – nicotine.
    I searched for a natural and safe method to quit smoking:
    How it works?

  59. Well, I think there are at least two movies deserving this title. These are Terminator 4 and Transformers 2. What do you think?

    P.S. To moderators: sorry for possible writing to a wrong category but I didn’t find any other category for general chat.

  60. My personal thoughts on Windows 8 are quite negative and I am not a fan of the direction Microsoft is taking. The Release Preview feels as if Microsoft has ignored most of the negative feedback and keeps pushing for their vision. The improved desktop elements such as explorer & task manager are a great improvement however for a home or work desktop, the metro start-screen IMO is not suitable. My reason for this is the lack of customizatiion it has. Users such as me have become fmailiar with the start menu and have watched it evolve for years. Tablets should use metro, desktops should use the typical start menu.