There Will Be Shenanigans

Hey, look: Tor sent me four more ARCs of Zoe’s Tale. So I think I’ll give one away to one of you Whatever readers. Not today, though. I have to think of a suitably amusing contest first. Probably Monday.

59 Comments on “There Will Be Shenanigans”

  1. Ian – Dallas, Texas – I'm a freelance writer and editor in Dallas, Texas. I focus my writing mainly on speculative fiction, but I edit just about anything. You can find my CV at http://www.visualcv.com/isbspup.
    Ian

    We’re not your special troupe of performing monkeys, you know!

    /third post=winner?

  2. Amusing is fun.

    However, purchasing the book also works and an added bonus is Zoe’s Tale is a book that most of the family will want to read so it’s actually quite cost effective if one wants to look at it that way.

    I never understand the tendency for some to begrudge writers their write to make a good living. It’s as though people feel that the author is sullying themselves by accepting money or actively promoting their books. I am as inherently selfish as the next gal and from my perspective a writer I admire who is able to make a living writing is a writer who will be writing me more books.

  3. Crap. I should have gotten my wife pregnant nine months ago so I could win again…

  4. w00t amusing ways to win.
    perhaps a photo contest funniest hat… or hairdo… funniest Cat pose.. lol oh wait i know, best humiliated begging.

  5. How come you can’t get them(Tor) to release electronic ARCs? I’d happily pay the price of a hardcover book for an electronic copy of one of your books that I can read on my phone or on my computer. Seriously, this is a major flaw!

  6. Barrett in Oregon:

    “How come you can’t get them(Tor) to release electronic ARCs?”

    By way of answer, let me rephrase that question for you:

    “How come you, only one of hundreds of authors under contract to a multinational corporation over whom you exercise no organizational control, can’t get said multinational corporation to embark on a new and (by it) untried business model, presumably by bypassing its several, intractable layers of legal and executive bureaucracy?”

  7. TOR gave away Old Man’s War as a PDF, HTML, and Mobi file a few months back. I am sure i have it around here somewhere or at least a link to if you want… however you have to ask John’s Permission first. I already own the book…. and all of his others ….

  8. Even if you could, I imagine an electronic ARC would only make sense if you had people wanting to review the book as electronic literature. Things like the cover and the design matter to a reviewer, and they want to give the reader of that review an idea of the physical book they will most likely be buying. Is there an E-Book Review Journal or something similar? All my cursory Googling found was people reviewing e-book readers.

  9. mithriltabby – United States – Reader. Gamer. Maine Coon Cat wrangler. Software engineer. Zen practitioner. he/him
    Max Kaehn

    Are we going to be competing for the funniest photograph of cured meats attached to a domestic animal?

  10. John Scalzi @#13: “only one of hundreds of authors under contract to a multinational corporation”

    But… but… You’re JOHN SCALZI!!! You have whole battalions of killer ninjas at your disposal, your dog fires laser beams… Even your cats have crowds of devoted followers waiting to sacrifice their lives for them!!!

    And now you pretend to be “just one of hundreds of authors”? Pfff…

    P.S. Not to mention your evil twin (and secret ruler of the world) John Scalvi…

  11. I was one of the first 83 emailers and PNH at Tor sent me an arc of Little Brother. It so totally rocks.

  12. This might seem a little sycophantic, but I just want to say that I am ridiculously happy about you doing YA. The YA section of the bookstore is a veritable goldmine of relatively inexpensive awesome, and now I have one more excellent reason to go hang out there.

    That said, I do have a question about the cover design (though I realize you had little if anything to do with it). It looks pretty awesome, but it’s not something I’d personally associate with YA right off the bat. Can you speak at all to the reasoning behind staying consistent with the OMW/GB/TLC designs when it’s going to be shelved in a different part of the bookstore? Art Department nerd that I am, I’d be interested in hearing what went into that decision.

  13. Justine’s correct. It’ll be in the SF/F section for hardcover, but it’s possible when the paperback comes out we’ll prepare a YA-badged version to go with the adult MMPB.

  14. I’ll post a picture of myself and my wife naked (holding a cat no less – SFW) in a feather boa, on Whateversque – if you give me an ARC.

  15. A photo-manipulation contest with that amusing picture of you that posted up recently? I could work with that.

  16. Free book, hmmmmm?
    I find your ideas interesting, and I’d like to subscribe to your newsletter!

    And I’d like to respond to amysue, #5. I also agree that it is important to support authors whose work you like and respect; unfortunately for some (like me) it is simply financially impossible to buy every single book you want to read–things like rent, and food, and wives’s new shoes get in the way. I really, really love reading, (and I quite enjoy Mr. Scalzi’s work) but frankly, I don’t have the resources to buy all the great books out there. Thus, when I hear the words *Free book* I get all tingly inside.

  17. The Executive Committee of The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club offers the following contest suggestion:

    Pick the best haiku extolling the Virtues and Wonders of the Beauteous Ghlaghghee.

    And by best we mean any haiku submitted by The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club. Nobody else need submit an entry as it would just clutter up the comment section of the blog post.

    The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club

  18. But he’s not John Scalvi, so no electronic ARCs. But if he was, he’d have one.

  19. Alright, can’t we just pitifully beg? I don’t understand why you gotta be all creative and shit. :)

  20. How about giving away two ARCs, one to the inventor of the must amusing contest, and one to the winner of that contest?

  21. what about a winner that can come and pick the book up. :D (at a close library or such not your home… that would be creepy.)

  22. How about a state that is, in fact, a commonwealth.

  23. …Where did I get the impression it was going to be YA? Huh. I think I have it associated with Little Brother in my mind for some reason.

    Ok. Well, if it’s not YA, the cover makes a lot of sense. Of course, that means I’ll have to walk all the way across the bookstore to procure a copy. But somehow–somehow–I think I’ll survive.

    And not that you asked for contest suggestions, but I think it should go to whoever can produce the coolest picture of one of your other books in the wild. :D.

  24. I’ve got it! Best Photoshop of the closing moments of the Smurfs v. Care Bears knife fight… I’ll get right on my entry. Lets see, Smurfette should still be alive, and the pretty boy one, too… And the Purple Bear must die.

  25. How about Whatever reader that is farthest away in terms of distance from where you live in Ohio.

  26. #41. Off topic somewhat, but do you know what the deal was with smurfette? Was she really the only female? Wasnt’ that a little rough for her?

  27. @37:How about the reader from an ME country he didn’t have a signing in yet?

    @44:he already has that down to an art, so I think any of our suggestions would be superfluous:)

  28. Baen has ARC’s available, for sale if I recall rightly. They also offer the first few chapters of upcoming books to wet your appetite for the book. A couple of his authors also offer all of their works on CD in lots of formats. Just a thought. Not that I expect that you would leave TOR for Baen. Though the OMW series would fit in with a lot of what they publish. Keep up the good work.
    On critter killing, one of our scotties actually caught a bird (he had help with a net fence). He ate the bird before I could get it from him.

  29. 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, imbued with specialness

    GAH!!! I’ll do whatever (Hee!) it takes!

    Ponies!

    Smurfs!

    Care Bears!

    Whatever!

  30. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be buying Zoe’s Tale when it comes out, so the contest to win it is not a big deal for me. Now if you could tell me how to win
    “Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader : Christmas Collection”
    we might be in business :)

  31. crotchetyoldfan – The Crotchety Old Fan is Steve Davidson, also know as Rimworlder on many SF forums. Steve maintains the Rim Worlds Concordance project which is devoted to the works of A. Bertram Chandler and his most enduring character - Commodore John Grimes of the Rim Worlds Naval Reserve. Grimes is science fiction’s original ‘Horatio Hornblower of Space’. More information about Chandler, Grimes and the Rim Worlds can be found at www.rimworlds.com. Steve also maintains a visual index of volume 1, number 1 pulp science fiction magazines on the same website and is a devoted collector of the same. ‘I’m an ‘old’ SF fan, which you can take whichever way you like, as I love the old masters (Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov, E.F. Russell, Piper, Cordwainer Smith) and I’m well beyond the age you’re not supposed to trust anymore’. This blog is devoted to an investigation of the growing divide between ‘old’ - or ‘classic’ science fiction and the moderan literary genre that is currently sold under the same name. Steve has also begun writing reviews for www.SFReader.com, expects to be doing the same for www.SFSignal.com, and is contributing various non-fiction pieces to various other websites, all of them concerned with science fiction of one stripe or another. Early in 2008 he became completely disappointed with the SciFi Channel and created The Classic Science Fiction Channel website that gathers links to public domain radio, television, film and literary properties. Steve had a successful non-fiction writing career - writing articles and books dealing primarily with the paintball industry (Four books and several hundred articles including editorializing, product reviews, sports reporting, educational and more) - which he has since given up in favor of blogging and fiction. (Leaving the paintball industry after 25 years.) One final book on this subjected is scheduled to be released in early 2009 (A Parent's Guide To Paintball). Current work on fiction includes several completed novellettes/novellas curently in submission hell and various chapters of three novels. Freely distributed current work - including several chapters of a science fiction/paintball novel and a pulp/comic book/fairy tale mashup can be found on his website.
    steve davidson

    1. “How come you, only one of hundreds of authors under contract to a multinational corporation over whom you exercise no organizational control, can’t get said multinational corporation to embark on a new and (by it) untried business model, presumably by bypassing its several, intractable layers of legal and executive bureaucracy?”

    Yeah. How come?

    2. I suggest a contest that consists of the most convincing/humorous argument as to why the recipient should NOT receive an ARC of Zoe’s Tale.

  32. Or you could give it to a Whatever reader who just graduated from college. Bonus points if it’s their first graduation ever because they dropped out of high school. That’s kind of like becoming a father, right?

    …Yeah, I got nothin’.

  33. “How come you can’t get them(Tor) to release electronic ARCs?”

    By way of answer, let me rephrase that question for you:

    “How come you, only one of hundreds of authors under contract to a multinational corporation over whom you exercise no organizational control, can’t get said multinational corporation to embark on a new and (by it) untried business model, presumably by bypassing its several, intractable layers of legal and executive bureaucracy?”

    Lol. Ok, I wasn’t really thinking about that part of it. Go work for Baen! :D

  34. Love your writing.

    How about the e-bay bid contest?

    You set a particular time on Monday (like 11:59 PM) and the last poster at or before it “times out” is the winner.

    You can even add all sorts of nasty codicils, like:

    All posts must be over 10 words; or
    All posts must be exactly 7 words; or
    All posts must be exactly 122 characters (incl. spaces); or
    All posts must include a post from a John Scalzi book ; )

    OR . . .

    All posts must be acrostics of
    “Z-O-E-S-S-T-O-R-Y”, and only one word per line is allowed.

    Or not …

    Have fun, and thanks for the fun you’re giving us!

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