And What Came in the Mail Today, Scalzi?

I’m glad you asked!

1. The SWFA Election Ballot — The whole mailing package included the ballot, an envelope for the ballot (which we are not supposed to seal), a cover letter which has to be returned with the ballot, an envelope for ballot, ballot envelope and cover letter, and a six page mailing with the candidate platforms. The candidate platforms are arranged in alphabetical order, which means I had to endure the quickest of glances at Andrew Burt’s insipid “Greetings, Gentlebeings!” salutation one more time.

For SFWA president I voted for Russell Davis, of course, and I hope every other SFWA member will also do so, up to and including Andrew Burt, because it would be nice to see him do something positive for the organization. The ballot will be back out in the mail tomorrow; I like voting early.

2. The Amazing Spider-Girl comic book –This is for Athena. She saw a copy somewhere and wanted more, and we thought, eh, why not. I personally was unaware that there was a Spider-Girl; this Wikipedia article tells me that she’s the daughter of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Parker, presumably at some unspecified point in the future, or maybe in an alternate universe, or some such. Now if I remember correctly, there’s some fracas going on in the Marvel universe in which Peter and Mary Jane apparently never marry or fall in love or some such thing, but then again, given that everybody in comic book universes dies and come backs and future spawn off at all various points and things happen and are then taken back or whatever, I don’t think it really matters. Honestly, I don’t even know why people attempt to pretend comic books have anything approaching continuity anymore.

3. A letter of support for SFWA presidential candidate Russell Davis, signed by six former SFWA presidents and 30 other SFWAns, including myself — Because not every SFWA member reads stuff online, you know. Lucky bastards.

4. Bills — You don’t want to know about these. I don’t either, but I don’t have a choice.

5. Nine books sent to me — Mostly advance reader copies, and not all science fiction/fantasy. They are The Martian General’s Daughter, by Theodore Judson; Mr. Fooster Traveling on a Whim, by Tom Corwin; A Church of Her Own, by Sarah Sentilles; Dark Summit, by Nick Heil, Blood Matters, by Masha Gessen; 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense, by Michael Brooks; Moby Dick: A Screenplay, by Ray Bradbury; and UBIK: The Screenplay, by Philip K. Dick.

Nine books is bit more than I usually receive in one day (I usually get between one and four), but it’s not a record, either. Some of these are for consideration for a “Big Idea” slot, a couple are for an article I’m thinking about, and the rest are sent in the hope I’ll make mention of them or write them up. Well, um, yeah. That said, they all do look interesting, as do most of the books I get — I wish I had time to read them all. I’ll at least glance through them all.

6. A check — completion payment for Zoe’s Tale. We eat once more!

That’s my mail for today.

22 Comments on “And What Came in the Mail Today, Scalzi?”

  1. My inquiry to rejoin SFWA to vote in the election has either a) been ignored, b) gone unreceived, or c) been caught in backlog.

    Alternately, my spam filters killed any response, but that’s unlikely.

    I suspect it’s too late now anyway. Ah well.

  2. You get one to four books a day?!?!? What the hell do you do with them all? I’ve reviewed books before, and I work at a newspaper, so I’ve gotten a few unsolicited books in my time. Generally, I abandon the unwanteds surreptitiously around my office. But 1 to 4 a day, at your HOUSE? Are you building an addition with them, overwhelming your local thrift store, or do you just have a wood chipper going all the time behind your house?

  3. SFWA would be better if it were more like the Girl Scouts. They have cookies.

    It would help the SF community if SFWA sold cookies. Think how book sales would go up after a couple of thin mints…

  4. I get about 20-25 books a month, on average. They tend to come in clumps, though, not one each day. It might be nicer if they were spread out, but you’re really at the mercy of publicists where that’s concerned. Peak times tend to be at the beginning and middle of the month. I literally have a whole room I cannot walk through.

    I didn’t know PKD’s Ubik screenplay had been reissued. I still have a nice hardcover small press edition that came out in the mid 80’s.

  5. I used to have comics all over my office when I was counseling. I’m about 4 years removed, but i believe that it was DC Comics (Batman, Soops, and all) where all that die/come back/never existed stuff happens.

  6. I’m not sure what amazes me more:

    -that you can get away with blogging about a rather normal day’s mail

    -that it will no-doubt be quite popular

    -or that it actually inspired me to make a comment

    Tomorrow will you be blogging about what’s in your pockets (lint and all) ;)

  7. Amazing Spider-Girl is a continuation of Spider-Girl and is the best darn comic out there.

    This is more or less how the comics universe should age rather than perpetual colleges students and lack of commitment. Just ignore what Joe Straczynski was forced to do on the regular title and stick with this one.

    There are 9 digest sized trades of the original book and more should be forthcoming.

    There are also loose tie-ins featuring other heroes in the future including a more heroic sacrifice by Captain America.

  8. Got-damn. I need to figure out a way to make my name one people want dustjacket quotes from. That publicity copies in the mail thing sounds like an awesome racket. ;)

  9. Why pray tell does the ballot need its own unsealed envelope inside the larger envelope? Or is this one of those pointless rules for rules sake that certain organizations seem to revel in?

  10. This is one of those times when you really don’t feeling doing the work, but you really don’t have anything to blog about. “Hey I just checked the mail. Let’s tell everyone” Still it was entertaining.

    Mine would read: Received letter from Gov’t explaining economic stimulus package. Still confused.

  11. Jesse:

    I have other things to blog about, but this was what I felt like blogging about at the moment. Because, you know. Mail!

    I’m not eligible for the stimulus rebate, sad to say.

  12. You don’t want that A Church of Her Own book, do you? It seems outside your usual realm. In fact, why do you think it was sent to you?

    That being said, I think it would make an excellent choice for my Theology Reading Group. So you may send it to me and I will happily accept it and get the rest of the group to buy copies when it comes out.


    Love and kisses!

  13. There is never nothing to blog about if you get high enough.

    (Note: I don’t get high. Although some herbal teas, taken in high enough doses, can do that. Which I’m not doing again.

    Hmmm. Actually, people tell me I can get high just by sitting very still in a closed, empty room.)

  14. Well if you are not eligible for the rebate then you can afford a tank of gas according to their slide graph rule. I’m not sure I want the rebate considering it’s just coming out of next years return.

    I hope you didn’t take offense. A good writer can make anything entertaining and your blog certainly is.

  15. No offense taken, of course. I can definitely afford a tank of gas; I still wish I didn’t have to pay so much for it, not in the least because I have to drive 200 miles tomorrow.

  16. ICBW and I haven’t read it for a few years, but UK comic 2000AD used to be pretty hot on continuity. Even to the point of having its headline character Judge Dredd age in real time. Of course, this is probably not a good comic to give to a nine year old. ICBW on that too though, I think I was about that age when I first read it.

  17. Honestly, I don’t even know why people attempt to pretend comic books have anything approaching continuity anymore.

    *Burns Scalzi in effigy* But John, the effigy burnings are the best part! But yeah, the constant reboots do tend to make a hash of the DC and Marvel universes.

    Anyhoo, did SpiderGirl ever quit using second-person narration? I have the first volume on my shelf, but I’ve been afraid to pick up any more just in case the book gets confused about what I’m doing in the story. And this from a guy with four volumes of Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane on his shelf.

  18. Amazing Spider-Girl is a pure delight, written with flair and fun and drawn delightfully. The conceit is that, yes, it’s an alternate universe from the regular Marvel books, without much worry about the details. Its background is kinda vaguely real-timish, so Peter married Mary Jane long enough ago that it’s sensible for them to have a teenage daughter, and there are other legacy heroes (and some villains) around. There were a couple crossover stories done as part of the relaunch a few years ago – look for Last Hero Standing and Last Planet Standing, the latter including Galactus trying to eat Asgard, and how can you go wrong with that? The series is warm and thoroughly humane in a way that reminds me of good stuff from the ’70s by people like Doug Moench, Steve Engelhart, and Steve Gerber. Highly recommended to anyone who likes superheroes but doesn’t find current standards so much to their taste.

  19. I’d love to know what you think of the Martian General’s Daughter. I loved Judson’s last book, Fitzpatrick’s War, and have been waiting for something new from him. Could you please let us know about it if you get a chance?

  20. Scalzi, are you trying to kill some of us? I read the following…

    “For SFWA president I voted for Russell Davis, of course, and I hope every other SFWA member will also do so, up to and including Andrew Burt, because it would be nice to see him do something positive for the organization. ”

    And I can’t determine if that’s the funniest peice of smack-talk I’ve seen this week, or a blatant attempt at killing some of your readers. Where was the *Snark-Warning*? I had a mouthful of water when I read that – and I’m sitting in front of a computer. Nasal electrocution is NOT the way I want to check out of this life. Blogs are like beaches – they need the occassional “Beware of Snark” sign. Dorsal fin optional.

    P.S. as for your impending road trip – don’t think of it as driving 200 miles, think of it as driving 35$ (or more).

  21. Thirding the sentiment: Amazing Spider-Girl is one of the best out there at the moment.

    As said, the conceit is that it’s an alternate universe. In the original continuity, Peter Parker and Mary-Jane did have a daughter, but she was stillborn and the Status Quo was resumed. In the Spider-Girl continuity, the baby survived and was eventually reunited with her parents. Some fifteen years or so later, the story starts.

    Patrick Rennie: The original Spider-Girl run went to 100 issues and used the second-person narration. The current run, following on immediately afterwards, doesn’t use it.