Various Thingery, 6/23/08

Some stuff:

* Remember that you only have until Wednesday to participate in the Hate Mail contest, in which your delightful bits of vitriolic spite can get you a free copy of my upcoming book — and get your winning entry printed in said book itself. There’s some good ones so far, but hey: You’ve been saving up to unload on me with both barrels for years now. You may never get a better chance.

*Speaking of contests to win copies of books, Subterranean Press is sponsoring a contest to win an Advance Reader Copy of the UK edition of The Graveyard Book, the upcoming novel by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave McKean. All you have to do is come up with the epitaph for your own gravestone. In addition to possibly winning the UK ARC, the epitaphs the folks at Subterranean like best will be ensconced on their own headstones in a special page of SubPress’ Graveyard Book site. Nifty.

* One more SubPress goodie: Subterranean Magazine Online is featuring an audio version of the Cory Doctorow story “After the Siege,” which won a Locus award just this last weekend (congrats, Cory!). The story is read by Mary Robinette Kowal, who you may recall part of the audio of “The Sagan Diary,” and who is nominated for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer this year.

* To get back to me for a moment, the first professional review of Zoe’s Tale is out and about, from Publishers Weekly, and it’s a good one: I won’t quote the whole thing here, but I’ll note the review calls the book “touching” and says that “engaging character development and Scalzi’s sharp ear for dialogue will draw in new readers, particularly young adults.” Well, I like new readers. Clearing the PW bar in terms of reviews of the books always makes me happy, too.

Update: The full review is up here (scroll down a bit). There are also postive reviews of Tobias Buckell’s Sly Mongoose, Elizabeth Bear’s Hell and Earth and Benjamin Rosenbaum’s short story collection The Ant King and Other Stories.

6 Comments on “Various Thingery, 6/23/08”

  1. Nice tip to George Carlin in the masthead there, sir.

    “It could be meat. It could be cake. It could be MEAT CAKE!”


    RIP, George.

  2. Remember, Scalzi’s marketing team is still in the background, so you too can contribute some material to a book he will (I assume) profit from, while feeling a sense of accomplishment that someone else will be making money from your time.

    It is so Web 2.0, that I wonder where the circular linking arises – of course, the winner this time just happens to be a subterranean publisher of said book. Which, what a coincidence thingy, just happens to be mentioned and linked – repeatedly.

    Remember, your chance to help Scalzi monetize your content expires soon – unless, of course, it makes enough money to be worth going through a decade’s worth of archived data. Data doesn’t care about freedom – data likes being immortal, in contrast to information. The long tail rests on data, not freedom.

  3. not_scottbot:

    “so you too can contribute some material to a book he will (I assume) profit from, while feeling a sense of accomplishment that someone else will be making money from your time.”

    Eh. I have little contests like this all the time, and people enjoy them, or they wouldn’t participate. The winners are compensated for their work (in the form of a book, a $35 retail value), and neither I nor Subterranean are asking for ownership of the words, merely the right to license them a single time. We were pretty clear about this in the contest rules themselves.

    Moreover, my relationship to Subterranean and the fact I will occasionally market myself on my very own Web site are not exactly secrets to most people here, now, are they. People don’t want to participate are not required to.

    So, I’m not entirely sure why you’re bitching about this, not_scottbot, unless, of course, you’re trying for the Hate Mail contest yourself. In which case you’re in the wrong thread.

  4. not_scottbot, so, you’re saying the quality and wit of my hate mail is what’s really going to sell Scalzi’s book? And the dark humor of my epitaphs is what’s going to sell Neil Gaiman’s book? (You know, like if I win either).

    Um, yeah. That’s going to bring them in a boat load of money.

    You know, sometimes when I’m writing I get that rush of “I’m the bestest writer EVAR!” But even then, I wouldn’t have a thought like my contribution would be what sell’s either a Scalzi or Gaiman book. My guess is that Subterranean already has most of both print runs sold.

    So, that in exchange for a few moments of my time I can show both authors and Bill what hoopy froods I think they are, heck, I’m willing. I can buy many books these days, and my guilt stack is already taking up storage, so I can support my favorite authors like this? Heck, this is easy. The hardest part was editing the hate mail down and choosing which of the 16 ideas I was going to submit for the epitaph.

    I think my hate mail entry was 800 words, at pro SF rates that’s $40 (well, it would be flash, so actually around $25 flat rate). And I was being wordy. For a $35 book, that sounds about right with shipping added in. For the epitaphs, I consider that poetry; rate for SF poetry would be $5-15. Not a bad deal for the ARC. So consider it the same as an open anthology submission that would have limited secondary market appeal. As an extra bonus, if I win, I get my name in either book. you may not have noticed this but people pay real money at charity auctions for such an opportunity.

    Tp reiterate, these contests are full of win in my book. Plus I get to find several ways to say John writes monkey poo. That’s gravy.

  5. If PW reviews are making you happy, it’s probably because you’re writing good books. They don’t give good reviews just because it’s a book. Sometimes, they pan things.

    Check the review of Lonley Werewolf Girl

    Overly reliant on luck and coincidence and populated by unsympathetic characters with unconvincing motives, Millar’s urban fantasy epic swiftly dissolves into a tragedy of contrived errors


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