Addressing Several Needs at Once: An Open Pimp Thread

First, in recognition of that portion of the Whatever audience who will go through smack-like withdrawals because it will be at least ten days before any new pictures of the cat, here’s Ghlaghghee. Try to ration yourselves when you enjoy this photo.

Second, being that today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day (Yaaaaaar!), this is a lovely time for me to bring to your attention Jane Yolen’s Sea Queens: Women Pirates Around the World, which Jane was kind enough to send along to me, and which tells the story of thirteen women across time who hoisted the Jolly Roger (metaphorically speaking, not all pirates used it, you know). It’s written to be accessible for kids, which is great, because I gave to Athena, who promptly devoured it and I suspect may be planning a career of piracy for herself now. The Dread Pirate Athena! Look out, people. But I’ll note that I’ve given it a thorough reading myself, because, dude. Women pirates are cool. Anyway, buy — don’t pillage, buy — this book for the pirates in training you know.

Third, because I’ll be out and about today in planes, trains and taxis, and I want you all to find some way to amuse yourselves, I hereby declare this an open pimp thread. Promote your latest books and projects! Promote the latest books and projects of other people! Promote me! Well, no, don’t worry about that one. But basically share with the class all the things you think are cool right now, from you or from others.

Strong caveat! As I am traveling today, I will not be able to readily go through the moderation queue and free messages that get stuck there. So I would suggest to you that you put no more than one link per message today. The more links you put in, the more likely you’ll get stuck in the moderation queue. I’m just saying. Feel free to post more than one message if you have multiple things you wish to promote.

Have at it — I’ll catch you all a bit later.

93 Comments on “Addressing Several Needs at Once: An Open Pimp Thread”

  1. My new SF book Starstrikers, comes out later this month on Amazon. If you like space opera and military SF, and I’ll wager some of you do, you should give it a read. In the mean time, come on by the official web site and check out all that we have for readers, including loads of pictures, stories set in the same universe and a sneak peek at the next novel set in the Galaxy Collision Series – Tyrmia. I’m posting the first draft on a weekly basis, as its written.

    Also, if you live in Moscow, Idaho, come on out to Book People book store to meet Mary Ellen Martin and myself as we sign copies and read from our latest published short stories in the Barren Worlds anthology from Eric Reynolds and Hadley Rille Books.

    Thanks John!

  2. The third book in my Jane Madison series – MAGIC AND THE MODERN GIRL – comes out on October 1. Jane is a librarian who finds out that she’s a witch. The books are written for adults, they’re fun, and they’re frothy (perfect for avoiding deep thought about our current economic debacle!). You can read more about them, including sample chapters, at my website (click on my name, above.)

  3. You can download the latest (2007) Pirate Issue for free from Shimmer, a quarterly spec fic magazine. It’s today only, in honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day. It’s the only fiction magazine I have an actual paid subscription to right now. Beth Wodzinski is the editor in chief and Mary Robinette Kowal does the design work.

    I’d also like to pimp my own ‘zine, Flash Fiction Online. It specializes in stories from 500-1000 words, pays pro rates, has a column by Bruce Holland Rogers on writing the short-short form, and is approaching its first year of consistent publishing — about 40 stories. It’s not a sci fi zine, but it has some sci fi in the mix, written by people like Bruce McAllister, Jim Van Pelt, and Carl Frederick.

  4. StorYBook is free (as in beer and speech) software designed to help authors plan and keep track of their work.

    I’m not in any way associated with this project, but I think it is kind of cool and thought this might be a place where there are a number of people interested in what it can do.

    It is available for Windows and Linux – the mac version is waiting for Apple to catch up with Java

  5. Lets go old school and pimp the classic Travis McGee novels by John D McDonald. Boats! Beer! Broads!

    More recently try the Lost Fleet series by Jack Campbell – thinky milscifi fun.

  6. Ok, it’s not a story or literary in any sense, but the project I’ve been working on to keep myself busy as an overseas military spouse is: Foodry.

    It’s yet another review website, but it was fun to put together.

  7. I was actually waiting for one of these. I never have much of a reason to pimp anything, but I do now.

    My artist friend Dawn Chandler has broadened her presence on the web to include a blog as well as her regular site.

    If you’re looking for the “art of the land and spirit of a woman of northern new mexico” her place is a great one to start you off.

    Thanks and enjoy!

  8. O Great Scalzi, what an excellent picture of Her Most Glorious Shimmering Radiant Beauty.

    We note that once again you have placed an irrelevant prop in the frame (to Her left) which serves no purpose except to place Her a bit off-center. We suggest you correct this tendency of yours.

    On the other hand, we do appreciate the opportunity to see a different aspect of Magnificent She than we normally do.

    The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club

    PS – In the absence of slothful Scalzi, it is clear that the Executive Committee must take control of this so-called open pimp thread. To this end, nobody need post anything except appropriately deferential and laudatory comments pertaining to the Beauteous Ghlaghghee. Really, nobody cares about anything else you have to say. Really.

  9. I blog over at a pop culture blog, – if we’re famous for anything, it’s that every year we provide the best live-blogging of the Scripp’s National Spelling Bee and, every year (for reasons which I have never quite understood), Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rimes is a guest blogger.

    Also, we have a near-absolute no politics rule over there, so if you want some non-political brain candy, come around.

  10. Not pimping, just seconding the recommendation of Sea Queens. I’m reading it aloud to my Offspring, who are loving it, that they arrrrre.

  11. I second #9. Go Travis McGee!

    Also, I might as well flog my blog about writing, trying to get published, life in Japan and whatever comes to mind. Come have a looksee (click on my name).

    Also, let me pimp spacejock software, especially yWriter and Sonar. It’s great software for writers, and it’s freer than any beer I’ve ever had!

  12. Nothing of my own to pimp, so I’ll put in a good word for two books from Subterranean Press that might be of particular interest to the Scalzi-reading public:

    Previously unpublished Robert Heinlein:
    Project Moonbase and Others

    Caitlin R. Kiernan Science Fiction short story collection:
    A is for Alien

    No affiliation with SubPress, just a happy customer….

  13. To help support (or build interest in, or just because my publicist said it’s a good idea, and it’s something I really enjoy anyway) my forthcoming first book, The Presidential Book of Lists (Random House/Villard, 21 October), I’ve separated out my blogging habits and started a new, all presidents/presidency/politics blog at

    I’m also setting up signings (the publicist said she does tv/radio/magazine stuff, signings are up to me), and toward that goal, I’ll be in southwest Ohio in early December (Kit has already got me scheduled at Books and Company on 9 December).

    It’s Presidents! It’s lists! It’s trivia! It’s fun! Not only do you need a copy yourself, but you want to tell all your friends who are also into that “weird political stuff”.


  14. I started a book-review blog, and was really hoping to have a few more weeks to fill it out before John did a pimp post. – even though there are only 3 now… I’ll try and get monster dogs and lucifer’s hammer up today.

  15. I’d like to share this flickr set with y’all: Octopus origami.
    No relation to the guy who did it, it just happens to be the coolest thing ever!

    Also, if you click my name you’ll find my blog. Only it’s written in this weird little european language known as Swedish.

  16. My wife whipped J.Lo’s ass at the Malibu Triathlon last week by 23 minutes. I think that’s pretty cool.

    My celebrity nemesis, Jon Cryer, defeated me by 14 minutes, though, in my defense, I suck.

  17. I’m new to the notion of self-pimping. Generally, it makes me uncomfortable, but there’s a first time for everything. Here goes:

    This month, I’ve begun the weekly serialization of a free CC-licensed “audiobook drama”, Hoad’s Grim, which is a hybrid of the old horror radio dramas, audio books, and other elements that I find it hard to quantify. It’s the first production and a bit experimental in its approaches. It incorporates the work of voice actors playing the parts (myself included), sound FX artists, and musicians, many of whom released work via CC licenses (such as NIN) or granted permission to incorporate their work (incidentally, such as John Scalzi). I could use some additional listeners to help tighten the upward curve, on the technical level and otherwise, with their feedback, which could help to shape future productions.

    The site is here..

    Much thanks.

  18. A couple things to pimp. Coming in November one of my stories, “The Cowbird’s Nest” will be appearing in “Deadlines: An Anthology of Horror and Dark Fiction” You can buy it at

    Also, “Tales of the Talisman” is running my story “A Night at the Dutchman” in their December 2008 issue.

    Arrr! (in the parlance of ye olde buccaneers).

  19. My friend Mark Van Name is hard at work on his new novel, Overthrowing Heaven – the third in his Jon & Lobo series. His first novel, One Jump Ahead, won the Compton Crook award for best sci-fi debut; I think the sequel, Slanted Jack, is even better.

    You can find him online at – his blog is good for restaurant reviews and a daily dose of randomness. :)

    If you like John Ringo, David Weber, and/or Dave Drake, then he’s probably right in your sweet spot – check him out!

  20. I like to take this pimp-arena to thank my neighbors who have helped me and let me help them during Hurricane Ike….sharing gasoline, water, and, most importantly, beer+coffee+information has made this all bearable. I’d thank them by name, but they are all named Bob (well, Bob, Bobby and Robert). Still no power, but we are making it.

    Also, I’ll be at a book signing at Trinity University in San Antonio October 11 at 11am with my good friend and former teacher Robert Flynn. Come say hi if you are around.

  21. I’d like to pimp “The Man from the Diogenes Club” since it has such a lovely sense of humor. Cross the X-Files with Austin Powers, and you’ve got the general idea. (Plus, someone gets murdered with a Hugo. How can you resist?)

    Diogenes Club on Amazon.

  22. Could we also pimp The Secret Files of the Diogenes Club? Kim Newman rocks in very obscure reference sorta way.

  23. Weird Tales magazine recently hosted a spiffy flash fiction contest. The challenge: write a piece of fewer than 500 words based on a SPAM email.

    Well, gosh. I have a host of collected SPAM to choose from — some of them artful in their painful obfuscation and stilted Engrish — so choosing was half the battle. You’ll find my [losing] entry on the other side of this link.

    Note: I’ll be taking my site offline for a site-wide remodeling effort in about four hours’ time… so read fast. ;) (Given the story is 480 words total, this shouldn’t be a problem.)

  24. First of all, make sure you check out Terry Pratchett’s new novel, Nation. Its a very good novel and I think it might be on some awards lists next year. It is not a Discworld novel, so you don’t have to worry about what’s happened before, its all in the book! Its out in the UK already and comes out in the US at the end of the month. Terry is doing well with his treatments for early onset Alzheimer’s and has been doing signings in the UK to promte the book and also took part in the UK Discworld convention in August, hanging out with the fans ’til the wee hours in the bar.

    I’d also like to pimp a couple of conventions I’m involved with: I’m chairing the first North American Discworld Convention, which will be Sept 4-7, 2009 in Tempe, Arizona. We’ll have Terry Pratchett, Diane Duane, Esther Friesner, Peter Morwood and others as guests.

    Also next year in Tempe, is FiestaCon, the 62nd Westercon, over July 4th weekend. We’ve got a lot of good guests lined up (Todd Lockwood, Alan Dean Foster, Stanley Schmidt, Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden) and we’ve just gotten set up to host the 2009 1632 Minicon with Eric Flint and fans of his 1632 series.

  25. In the market for a new car, have a question about a car, or just like talking and answering questions about cars?

    Check out We launched this week and we’re a new car shopping site that makes it easier for people to find a new car. We’ve got some cool features that let people learn from the research and decisions of previous shoppers, car owners, friends and family which makes the process of shopping for a car so much easier and more reassuring.

    Check it out!

  26. Hatter Bones, an anthology edited by Paul Jessup ( and to be published by ENE Publishing ( ), contains my poignant zombie apocalypse tale, “April amid the Zombie Hordes.”

    My New Weird story “The Nest Building Habits of Children Inclined to Ornithomancy and Other Such Auguries” goes live soon at Fantasy Magazine ( ).

    Then there’s “Virtual Jisei,” a poem running in next month’s Kaleidotrope.

    And let’s not forget the experimental goodness of Behind the Wainscot #15 ( ), guest edited by Jonathan Wood. Look for my offing “Aucun Imbecile Je” in the TOC.

    Guess that’s enough linkage to keep this comment in moderation for a bit.

    But that’s my pimpage, and I’m stickin’ to it!

  27. I have little to pimp, except for my blog, Spontaneous Derivation, which these days reviews science fiction/fantasy, adores the Kindle, and has free (legal) eBook downloads for a somewhat limited audience (fan of Wodehouse? Or Shadow Unit? Or a couple other SF/F authors with creative commons licenses that allow derivative work? come on down!).

  28. Harper collins has a new project, Authonomy, where new and aspiring authors can post their work in progress and beat the slush pile.

    Also, I have a book for sale! Just click my name for details!

  29. Hey! Open Pimpery!

    If anyone lives or is visiting or thinking about living or visiting Alaska, and you’re in the Anchorage area between 1 October and 31 October, there’s an art show I and two other folks are having at Sidestreet Espresso (just ’round the corner from the Imaginarium, located somewhere in downtown Anchorage, which I don’t know all that well yet).

    The topic is the Archosauria; a group of animals which includes dinosaurs, birds, crocodilians, pterosaurs and many weird creatures, some of which are pretty extinct.

    It’s probably also a great place to get tea! I bought juice there once.


    I have a new book to pimp. VEILED TRUTH, the third book in my Valorian Chronicles series comes out in October from Silhouette Nocturne.

    From Romance Reader at Heart…

    “Lyra Magice is a witch with a long history with her CSI-like Otherworld Crime Unit team in Necropolis. She’s been with them six years and her grandmother’s spirit has been right along with her, whispering advice. But this time, she doesn’t like the advice her grandmother is offering. She wants Lyra to trust Theron LeNoir, a dhampir (half-vampire/half witch) who owns a book of black magic that Lyra is sure holds the key to solving a series of murders that is coming disturbingly closer to her life.

    Another highly enjoyable urban fantasy romance from Vivi Anna! This series is consistently fun and fabulous—in a dark, crime-solving kind of way, of course.” – TOP PICK

    You can check out an interactive excerpt here…

  31. A PhD economist/rancher, a Princeton-eduated attorney, a NYT best-selling author … all among the folks writing for the Bark Obama! blog.

    An un-dog of a blog by some smart dog-loving bloggers. Check it out. Now through Nov. 4.

  32. Oh, yes, and I have not one but THREE new books to pimp this month:

    “The Ultimate Dog-Lover”
    “The Ultimate Cat-Lover”
    “The Ultimate Horse-Lover”

    First two are in stores now, and the third is on the presses heading for a Nov. 1 release. Co-authored with my writing partner, “Good Morning America” veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker. (We also write a syndicated pet-care feature for Universal Press.)

    Information here.

  33. I’m working publicity for my local SF con, so I figure this is a good opportunity to publicize it.

    Capclave, the SF/F convention run by the Washington (DC) Science Fiction Association will be held October 17-19 and the Rockville Hilton and Executive Meeting Center in Rockville, MD. The hotel is right next to the Twinbrook stop on the metro red line.

    This year’s author GOH is James Morrow, author of books such as Only Begotten Daughter, Towing Jehovah, and The Last Witchfinder. Our critic GOH is former Washington Post critic Michael Dirda.

    This year we will have dedicated space for filking Friday and Saturday night.

    We will also be offering a writer’s workshop run by Allan Wold, a reviewer’s workshop run by Peter Heck, a contracts workshop run by Jane Jewell, and a podcasting workshop run by Tee Morris.

    Full memberships run $60. for more information go to

  34. “Women pirates are cool.”

    Open yer ears, me hearties – Scalzi declared it, so it must be true. And speaking o’ them fine pirates o’ the feminine gender, me novel, Mad Kestrel, is available fer yer perusal in bookstores right now. Give it a try! Pirates always need somethin’ to read on those long voyages… *grin*

  35. The Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony is almost here! Tickets are still available for those who will be in the Boston area on Thursday, October 2nd, and it’s webcast live for those who aren’t.

    I proofed the IgBill (the ceremony program) at the printer’s earlier this week after finishing up its design over the weekend. Now I’m working on learning the software well enough to help run the slide show during the ceremony. Big fun, and a great way to attend my first Ig Nobel prize ceremony ever.

    Laurie Mann pointed out the curiosity that I did the layout for both the Hugo ceremony program and the Igs this year. That doesn’t suck. It’s right up there with having once been paid to write in the voice of the Pillsbury Doughboy and having the results seen by a couple hundred thousand foodservice operators nationwide.

    Have a great time in New York, John.

    Improbably yours,

  36. John, thanks for the venue!

    Crank up the volume, choose the “watch in high quality” option, and expand to full screen view.

    Last June, I conceived the idea of a fun viral video showing off our wacky company promoting science and we brainstormed this piece of lunacy, acquired a RED camera, shot it this June, and made a mini-movie.

    You don’t have to be a scientist to enjoy this, but it helps to be a geek. :>)

    Aaaargh, matey!


  37. I’ll pimp the story project I’ve been doing for the past couple of months: The Two Minutes Project is a collection of 100-word-exactly stories and 1-minute-roughly songs, updated daily. (The songs, done by a friend of mine, are currently on hiatus, but should resume soon.)

    I’d love for any feedback anybody can give me.

  38. If there’s any fans of tensegrity model building out there, I’ve just made my first 3 T-prism, utilizing turnbuckles. I’ve discovered I really like turnbuckles. Seriously, somebody should write a book on the things.

    Here’s my link.

  39. I have nothing to pimp, alas… However I have no intention of letting that stand in my way! Let the pimpage roll!!!! Aaaaaaaaaaaaargh!!!!!!

  40. The play I just finished–my first commission–is kept secret until my producer is ready to announce it.

    The novel I’m writing–StrangeOffice–I’m not finished with the first draft (170 pages in, 100 to go.)


    You’re welcome to check out my blog,, but it rarely ever gets updated.

    Back to work…

  41. Everyone go read the work of Cheeseburger Brown. He writes about Robots and Canada and was briefly internet famous for his blogging as a certain famous villian in The Darth Side.

    If you like the stuff enough to buy his novel “Simon of Space”, don’t do it through Amazon, as last I heard, the publisher still hasn’t bothered to pay him. Buy the Lulu edition. (Or just read it for free on the site.)

  42. Weighing in from the far side of the world — my first novel Thornspell was published by Knopf on September 9 and should be available now in all good bookstores near you! It is tagged as middle grade/YA but as my friend & fellow (crime/thriller) writer Grant says: “it’s a cracker little yarn and a great read for all ages …[assuming you like Fantasy – rider mine]… perfect crossover fiction.” About? See my website and also for a great summary. There’s been a few nice reviews already but I know how important it is to get the word “out there” and so am grateful for John’s opportunity to “pimp” (thank you, John!) And check out the Eos blogspot for “More about Helen Lowe” (that’s me!), which is really more about Thornspell and forthcoming series The Wall of Night.

  43. I’ve been asked to teach an upper level creative writing class at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA on how to write science fiction. It’ll be offered this spring semester.

    Now I’m curious to find out how many other colleges offer a a course like this.

  44. there’s this independent game made by an Irish fella called Sam (not me) – I play it, its pretty good…

    so if you ever played Car wars, or like Mad max…

    then go play Darkwind

    its full of crunchy goodness…

  45. Thanks John, for allowing me to pimp my own SF novel – Project U.L.F.

    Project U.L.F. has received favorable reviews from places such as SFSignal, Galactium and, the latter placing it on her “Top 13 reads of 2007” list along with the likes of JK Rowling (That’s the only time I’m ever going to be on the same list as her!)

    It also came in second place in the Preditors and Editors readers poll for SF Novel, 2007.

    Project U.L.F. is an old school, science fiction adventure set on a hostile world. Wyatt Dorren leads a team of trappers on a specimen gathering expedition for Chicago’s Interplanetary zoo. However, Wyatt is soon to discover that he is the victim of a foul conspiracy – and the hunters have become the hunted.

    To learn more about the book and read a sample chapter, check out my website by clicking on my name above.

    Once again, thanks again John.

  46. Hi guys,

    just want to introduce myself on, hope this is the right category for that purpose.


  47. Greetings!

    I am having a mid life crisis. I am in my early 40’s and looking to compel a couple of friends online. I’m kind of a one lady and I’d adore to foregather new people.

    Yeap, I am sure I am too old to do this kind of stuff, but anyways I will give it a shot.

    I utilize Mac and PC computers (in actuality I have 2 of each; yes I am freaky :)

    I also like webdesigning, photoshop and adobe fireworks!

    Any suggestions, where to start?

    I wish you all a wonderful day!

    Thanks in advance… and see you around

  48. Hello All,
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