I’m really rather delighted to say that the Tor trade paperback version of Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded: A Decade of Whatever 1998 – 2008 is now officially out and about at bookstores everywhere, making it the perfect gift for the Feast of the Epiphany — and I know you were worried about what to get people for that. It’s also the perfect gift for people who have always wanted to read my commentary on the world but have phobias regarding the Internet and/or glowy screens. On the other hand, if people want to know when the eBook version of this title will be available, well, uh. Hello. Look where you’re reading this. Although of course the book offers the best of Whatever in handy concentrated form. Distilled Whatever, as it were. 180 proof. The Everclear of Whatever.
One reason I’m delighted about this particular release of Hate Mail is that it was unexpected. As you almost certainly know, the original — and fabulous — Subterranean Press release (seen up there on the computer screen) was a limited edition hardcover, limited to 1,000, on the thinking that the audience for the book would small and select; i.e., the people who already read Whatever. But as it turns out the book sold quickly and the folks at Tor strongly believed there was a larger audience for the work — and it winning a Hugo certainly didn’t hurt, either. I’m very pleased Tor is making the effort to bring the book to a wider audience. Hopefully their faith will be justified.
And for me having that wider release is also meaningful. It’s no secret that one of the early motivations for writing on Whatever for me was to keep sharp in the “column” format, having written a newspaper column in the early 90s. One of my dreams when I was writing the newspaper column was that one day I could have a collection of my columns out in book form, following in the path of columnists I admired, from H.L. Mencken and Mike Royko, Molly Ivins and Roger Ebert, Dave Barry and James Lileks.
Well, I didn’t get on that path from newspapers, but I did get on it, and I’m pretty happy about that. And while Hate Mail is definitely not the first book based on content from a blog (or indeed, even my first book based on content from a blog), if it’s not in fact the first collection of general interest — that is, newspaper column-like — blog posts offered up by a major book publisher, it’s pretty damn near the top of that list. In its own small way Hate Mail is a historic book, and I’m proud of that fact.
Another small way that this edition of Hate Mail is historic: It’s the first book to be published using the new Hugo Award badge on its cover, which I will show you here:
Neat (the Wil Wheaton quote is nice too).
In any event: Book! Out! Now! If wanted a copy for yourself or someone else, and couldn’t get one, now you can. Enjoy. And thanks.