Free E-Book, Me Spouting Off
Posted on May 28, 2008 Posted by John Scalzi 16 Comments
Two quick bits:
* Australian science fiction writer Simon Hayes and Freemantle Publishing have posted the first of Hay’s satirical Hal Spacejock novels online for you to download and try. Simon sends me copies of the series from time to time (the last one he sent was an ARC wrapped in bacon — thankfully just printed, not the real thing) and they’re definitely fun, and (intentionally) humorous science fiction is hard enough to find as it is. Give it a look and if you like it, they’ll arrange to send you some actual books, at a discount of both the cover price and (should you not actually live in Australia, which I suspect is the case with most readers here) international postage.
* SF Signal asks various science fiction folk which is driving the genre bus, written or visual science fiction, and I provided a response, which was basically to say what makes anyone think they are on the same bus in the first place. Because I’m contrary. On the other hand I do use it as an excuse to blame Avril Lavigne on avante-garde musical artist Glenn Branca, because damn it, someone should be blamed. Why not him?
So…from reading your response are we to assume that you frequent the French Laundry? – this sci-fi gig must pay pretty good, Mr. Scalzi.
I think you’re reading the implication backwards, bensdad00.
Glenn Branca played with Lee Ranaldo pre-Sonic Youth and is therefore immune from Avril Lavigne related criticism. Also he played for the Queen of Denmark once and almost deafended her. Awesome.
“SF Signal asks various science fiction folk which is driving the genre bus, written or visual science fiction…”
Neither. Everyone knows the genre bus is being driven by Jethro the Bus Driver, who is really Han Solo (who really did shoot first.)
Avril Lavigne is Han Solo’s fault?
The bus would have to be HUGE. Gigantic. Of “sci-fi scale”
Glenn Branca to Avril Lavigne–go figure. BTW, Mr. Scalzi, what do you think of Branca? Didn’t know your tastes went thataway….
I like some of his work more than others. I’m inexplicably fond of the symphony which is just one long E chord.
Ha! The SF Signal’s link was blocked by my browser at work as “malicious material”. That must have been some kind of article. I guess I’ll have to wait until I get home to read it.
What struck me was that all of the comments came from folks who primarily wrote science fiction. Not a single comment came from someone primarily in the production of visual science fiction. While I did not disagree with any of the comments, it did lend a certain tone to the discussion that was not agreeable. Underlying many, if not all of the comments was the opinion that written science fiction was superior to visual science fiction, and chagrin that visual science fiction made more money.
Again I don’t necessary disagree with tone, I think some balance from some of the T.V. and movie guys would have been nice.
“Not a single comment came from someone primarily in the production of visual science fiction.”
Well, there’s Joe Mallozzi, who is the producer of Stargate: Atlantis. And Paul Cornell, who writes for Doctor Who. And Gary K. Wolf, whose book was the basis for a classic animated film. And of course I have been a working film critic/columnist on and off since 1991 and am the author of a book on science fiction film.
Poor Avril. It’s hard enough to be Canadian that I think we should cut her a little extra slack. (Canadian-born David Rakoff’s opening story in his Don’t Get Too Comfortable has a hilarious riff on what it’s like to live next to a cultural behemoth. So easy to lose one’s way.
Strange filtering games…
Apparently the filtering software at work (websense, I think) has the SF Signal site classified as a “malicious website”.
I have NO idea why.
Thanks for the link and the mention, John. When book 5 rolls around I’ll have to think of something else to wrap it in. (I remember you saying you’d never had a book from Antarctica … maybe I’ll include some of that famous yellow snow?)
Oops! I should check my facts more carefully before I opine. While I might be able to quibble about Gary Wolf and Paul Cornell (remeber I said “primarily” wrote, not exclusively wrote) even by my reckoning Joe Mallozzi is someone who “primarily” in the production of visual science fiction.
Not to restart a dead thread or anything but I find it odd that no one commented on the Spacejock mention but the author. I read the online book and quite liked it.
My review (below) is summarized with this:
Snarky robots, bumbling pilots, tonnes of silly humor and Deus ex Machina at every turn make Hal Spacejock a perfect summer beach book for those in need of a good chuckle. Australia’s Simon Haynes successfully lampoons the bedrock of science fiction themes and doesn’t take himself seriously… at all.
The rest of my thoughts on my site..