Scalzi and Heinlein: Together at Last

Earlier in the year I was asked to write the introduction for Project Moonbase and Others, a book of scripts that Robert Heinlein wrote for a 1950s television series based on his stories (a series which, alas, never made it out of pilot). I readily agreed, both because I am a huge Heinlein fan and also because it meant that I was going to have a chance to read some Heinlein work almost nobody else had to that point, which really is like getting a shiny new toy on Christmas. Needless to say, I found the scripts fascinating — but for reasons which were a bit different than what I expected.

Over at Subterranean Online my introduction to the book is up for your perusal, which explains what I found so interesting about the scripts — and there’s a sneak peak at the text of the book itself: the script adaptation of “Delilah and the Space Rigger,” one of the several scripts in the book. This is your chance to look at some of the first “new” Heinlein in decades (and, uh, me talking about it). Don’t miss it.

(P.S.: That awesome cover? Bob Eggleton.)

Little Brother Downloads

Cory Doctorow has a tradition of releasing a Creative Commons-licensed free electronic version of his books when they come out in the stores. For Little Brother, Cory was a little behind the actual book release — he had the temerity to be offline, having a life with his family, of all things! — but now he’s all caught up and has out up a Little Brother area on his personal site, complete with free CC downloads as well as other ginchy things. Check it out.

Also: if you check it out and you like it (as I expect you will, it’s excellent), go to your local bookstore (or favorite online retailer) and buy it, either to have a physical copy for yourself, or as a gift for a teen you’re hoping to either start or to further encourage on the road to geek rebellion. As you know, around here we’re big fans of rewarding authors one likes with income, so they can maybe write more books later. It’s a virtuous cycle, it is.

If You Are Questing to Become King or Queen of the Geeks

Hachette Book Group USA (HBG), seeks to fill the position of Editor for its science fiction and fantasy imprint, Orbit.

Hey! It comes with dental! Because even the king or queen of geeks needs top-notch dental hygiene. Perhaps more than most.

I’d apply myself, but I don’t think Hachette wants me running their science fiction line out of Bradford, Ohio.

Rough Guide to the Universe 2nd Edition is Out!

I’m absolutely delighted to say that today is the day that my astronomy book, The Rough Guide to the Universe, comes out in a second, updated edition. In it you’ll find the latest on Pluto, Saturn, Mars and other astronomical entities about whom we’ve learned more since the first edition of the book hit stores in 2003.

For those of you who didn’t know I actually wrote anything but fiction, this book is an introduction to the universe and everything in it, for the sort of person who has just gotten themselves a telescope and is now wondering what the heck to do with it. The book tells you, explaining everything you can see in the heavens, and then helping you find those objects way up there. It covers every planet in the solar system (including the dwarf ones, and including our own) plus stars, constellations, nebulae, clusters, galaxies and the ever-proverbial more, and provides detailed star charts to fill you in on what’s where in the night sky.

I was immensely proud of this book when it first came out five years ago — I am a huge believer in the idea that science is accessible to just about anyone who wants to find out about it, and it was a life goal of mine to write an astronomy book. This was exactly the sort of book I wanted to be able to write on the subject: accessible but not simplistic, informative but not bone-dry. The fact it’s been successful enough to warrant a second edition is just about the best thing ever, in my opinion. I hope in 2013 you’ll see the third edition, too. I’ll be happy to update it as long as they let me.

If you’ve wanted to learn more about astronomy, or know someone who wants to learn more, I hope you’ll check out the book. Remember, you want the 2nd edition, with Saturn on the cover (the previous version had Jupiter; it’s now out of date). And if you do get it, I hope you enjoy it. It’s an amazing universe we live in. I’m really happy to be able to tell you about it.