You Go Read Now

My pal Mary Robinette Kowal has a nifty short story in the latest edition of Clarkesworld, which is available online. Why aren’t you reading it already?


Wil Wheaton: More Handsome Than Me

As you can see by this photo, taken by Galleycat’s Ron Hogan at BEA. If the two of us were, like, the Gen-X writer version of Wham!, I am so Andrew Ridgley.

The picture is illustrating a nice bit Ron did for Galleycat that covers some of my adventures at BEA, and also features some of the first third-party commenting on Zoe’s Tale, and also about Agent to the Stars:

They’re two very different projects—one’s a space opera, the other’s a Hollywood comedy with aliens—but reading them back to back on the redeye home from LA, I realized that one of the qualities I admire most about his fiction is his ability to ground serious moral and philosophical issues in the lives of interesting characters… Not to mention, these are the fourth and fifth novels in a row where he wrote scenes that almost made me cry, the big jerk.

This is true, incidentally. I can’t get through certain scenes in Zoe’s Tale without crying, and I’ve read them a hundred times each by now. Yes, yes. I’m a big fat cry-baby; even so. Prepare yourselves, is all I’m saying.

RIP, Bo Diddley

How cool was he? He had his own rhythm named after him. That’s pretty damn cool, my friends.

Technical Madness

So, I’m doing some fiddling with the site (aside from the background and banner image change), which is unrelated to Whatever, but which if I screw it up might possibly affect access in some nebulous way, maybe. If access seems a little bumpy today this may be why. Hopefully, however, you won’t even notice.

BEA in Brief

Book Expo America was something of a working vacation; I was there to promote Zoe’s Tale and Agent to the Stars, but since it was in LA, I also had a chance to see a bunch of friends, and BEA being where every book publisher in the US was trotting out their big titles for the year, it was pretty much book geek heaven. I fought mightily against snapping up every book I saw because I have enough books sent to me already, and I think Krissy might injure me if I came home with boxes and boxes more. But just being near all those books was sufficient for a contact high. And I did take home some books, so clearly my discipline needs disciplining.

I already mentioned the librarian’s dinner on Thursday and Friday’s panel with Cory Doctorow and Markos Moulitsas, but Sunday was also a working day for me; I had two podcasts talking about ZT (when I track them down I will link to them, no worries) and then I also had a signing, which was gratifyingly busy; there was a line of folks queued up before I got there, which made me feel pretty.

It also made for an amusing incident: Ken Hite, gaming legend and a friend of mine from the University of Chicago, was standing in line in order to say hi to me, so I stopped and chatted with him, joining my own signing line as I did so. As I was chatting with him, another guy came up and asked me “is this the line for the John Scalzi signing?” To which I replied “why yes, I think it is,” so he joined the line behind us. Later, after I left to go to my signing spot, Ken filled him in on who he’d asked the question to. A good laugh was had by all.

The irony: The guy who asked me is not unfamous himself, in Web cartooning circles (not to mention among librarians).

Aside from Ken, who I was delighted to see (interestingly, the last time I saw him was at another BEA, in Chicago, in 2003) I saw other authors/editors/bookfolk of my acquaintance including Doselle Young, Josh Conviser, Wil Wheaton, Brandon Sanderson (who unfortunately I didn’t spend enough time with), Kelly Link and Gavin Grant. I also finally met David Anthony Durham in the flesh after doing the “online pal” thing for a while, and was entirely unsurprised to find him an excellent fellow in real life. Really, it’s just an excuse to geek out with folks, and while I don’t really need an excuse to do that, it’s nice to have one.

I also did some actual business with folks, too — who knew you could do that at BEA? — with some new projects being discussed and so on and so forth. All of that is in a very rudimentary, proto stage, and there’s lots that will have to happen before they become actual projects, and then even more before I can actually tell you about them. But if they pan out, we will all be awash in coolosity. Which would not be a bad thing.

So there you have it: BEA. Good fun, good business, and I stood in my own signing line, which seems very meta. I could not ask for more.

Housekeepery, 6/2/08

A few notes:

* Whateveresque registration is open and will remain open until about 10pm tonight. Come join the fun! As always, here’s a primer on how to pick a Whateveresque name that doesn’t look like spam. And also, of course, feel free to introduce yourself once your registration’s approved, in the “All About You” section. The regulars love to say hello to the new folks.

* I’m slightly behind in mailing, both real world and electronic, so: If you were one of the three winners of the Zoe’s Tale contest, your prizes are going out in the mail in the next couple of days. If you sent me e-mail in the last week or so and I’ve not responded yet, I’ll be ploughing through it today. If you don’t have a response by this time tomorrow and you wanted one, go ahead and resend.

* Also as a head’s up, we’re going to be having another contest here very soon, one I think you’re going to have a whole lot of fun with. Details will be forthcoming. But for now: gird yourself.

* Also, clearly: Made it home alive and without any delays to speak of. I love it when that happens.