TGE Soon at Borders; Taos Toolbox; Freer’s “Dragons”

Some various notes of varying variosity:

* For those of you who have been saying to yourself “Why can’t I buy The God Engines in a brick-and-mortar store, as is right and proper?” I have some good news: Word has reached my far province that TGE will soon be shelves at select Borders locations. Which is awesome, because I’m personally a big fan of walking around in a store, going into the shelves and asking them “what have you got for me today?” As to which Borders they will be in, I can’t say, although remember that if you don’t see the book on the shelves, you can always go to the helpful clerks and get them to special order it for you (this works in real-world book stores other than Borders too, incidentally). Yes! Ask for it BY NAME.

Bear in mind that Borders is likely not the only place where you might find TGE on the shelves; specialty bookstores like Borderlands Books or Uncle Hugo’s or Mysterious Galaxy are also likely to have it as well, and of course I love them for it. But if you don’t have such a specialty store in your area and/or are doing more general bookstore shoppery, Borders is the place to go for TGE.

* Other good news for TGE: Subterranean Press tells me that it’s ordered a second printing of the trade edition, which makes me really very happy; it suggests the book is doing well. Thank you, folks. My mortgage rejoices. And while all currently existing orders (i.e., orders up to this point) should be processed out of the first printing, from this point forward if having a first edition is very important to you, I would suggest ordering directly from Subterranean Press.

* Moving away from me and talking about other folks for a bit, I have a note here from my esteemed colleague Walter Jon Williams that he is once again doing the Taos Toolbox, a two-week master class “designed to bring your science fiction and fantasy writing to the next level.” He writes:

This is not a workshop for beginners. We won’t teach you correct manuscript format or what an adverb is and why you shouldn’t use one, because we’ll assume that you already know. We want to concentrate on giving talented, burgeoning writers the information necessary to become professionals within the science fiction and fantasy field.

Though short fiction will be enthusiastically received, there will be an emphasis at Taos Toolbox on the craft of the novel, with attention given to such vital topics as plotting, pacing, and selling full-length works.

Accompanying Williams in the teaching will be Nancy Kress (who won a Hugo just this last year) and New York Times bestseller Carrie Vaughn, who is coming in as a special lecturer, all of whom know just a little something about that whole “writing what works” thing. Check it out.

* Brought to my attention: Save the Dragons, by Dave Freer. Freer’s an sf/f writer formerly of South Africa, currently of Australia, who is trying to bring his pets to his new home but in a jam due to the expense of the quarantine requirement. To help with the costs, here’s what Freer’s doing:

The idea is simple and borrowed from Schezerade and her companions of ages past: I tell you all a story and at critical moments I pass the hat around. When you’ve given me enough money I continue.

In fact I’m modifying this slightly – the idea is to put up a chapter a week of my latest book “Save the Dragons” assuming that I’ve received enough donations. The book has 25 chapters plus an epilog. You get the first one free and then I collect $400 (US) per chapter (and per week).

If and when the book is published anyone who contributes more (in total) than $25 will get a personalized signed copy in Hardback posted to them (or if it doesn’t ever come out in hardback -all but my first book have done — in the next most expensive format). And no matter what all the money raised goes to keeping the Freer furry animals together with their servants –  that would be us  – as we head off in search of a new life.

The story has been in process for a while now — Freer’s at chapter 21 and within $2,000 of his goal — so this would be a fine time to help with him a late push. Hey, dude’s doing it for his pets. You gotta respect that.

46 Comments on “TGE Soon at Borders; Taos Toolbox; Freer’s “Dragons””

  1. Just got my copy of TGE in from Sub Press.

    I do not know how I got lucky enough to get number 13 of 400.

    Can not wait to read it tonight. Ambulance calls permitting.

  2. What’s wrong with adverbs? I’m no author of books, but still… it’s a perfectly good part of speech. Isn’t it?

  3. Still waiting for my copy of TGE, (come ON, Sub Press), but I did kick in for Freer’s pets… I like causes like that.

    and yeah, what the heck’s wrong with adverbs? Without adverbs, we wouldn’t have Tom Swifties!

    “I’ll take that,” said Tom appropriately.

  4. @ 5 — Nothing’s wrong with adverbs. You just don’t want to fall into the trap of overuse, habitually writing things like “He said angrily” when you might be saying “he hissed” or “he growled” or “he purred, striking me lightning-fast from behind with an unexpected mallet” or suchlike.

  5. Thom @3: Lucky bastard. ;-) Mine came today and I got #203.

    Ben @5: I also have nothing against adverbs, provided that, like any other part of speech, it’s used properly. I suspect that WJW has seen so many used improperly that he discourages their use altogether.

  6. When I checked my favorite local library system and discovered they were buying a copy of The God Engines for each of their six branches (and that when I put in my request I was number 8–about a week ago) I suspected another printing might happen…

  7. For SF Bay Area folks, The Other Change of Hobbit in Berkeley didn’t have it as of Wednesday but should soon. (They also have the paperback of Hate Mail, which I almost missed because of automatically looking for the scary hardcover illustration even though I knew full well what the paperback looked like.)

  8. Finally ordered my copy of TGE from Sub Press. The limited edition is sold out, but I’m happy to get it any way I can.

    I have only recently begun stripping the willy-nilly adverbs out of my own writing, and have seen a huge, notable benefit. Wish I’d started that way.

  9. Darn Taos Toolbox. Darn in the way that means, “I cannot attend, even to an awesome writing workshop in my home town.
    Though, for those of you who do attend:
    The restaurant pictured here –
    (bottom right hand picture in the square)
    is The Bavarian. Excellent brautwurst, beer, and schnitzels.

    I envy those who can attend!

  10. My Amazon order from November or so couldn`t be filled (too many orders before me?), but hopefully with the second printing, Amazon can send me one finally.

  11. Note to my note, disclosure:
    I worked at the Bavarian in Taos Ski Valley.
    I miss that mountain.

  12. I chipped into Save the Dragons too. Real fast, when I discovered thatl “If and when the book is published anyone who contributes more (in total) than $25 will get a personalized signed copy in Hardback posted to them (or if it doesn’t ever come out in hardback -all but my first book have done — in the next most expensive format)”.

    So, if like me you aren’t into reading on-line, but want to protect the puppies and kitties, Here is a good way to get a personalized copy at bookstore prices.

  13. Regarding Dave Freer: I believe he’s posted pictures on his blog of the cats (and dogs). Although they do not compare to the brilliance that is, Ghlaghghee (sure hope I spelled that right), at least Dave knows his place in life: it’s to provide food and scritches for his cats (and dogs). Gourmet food, even!


  14. i’m all about keeping the pets with their servants! thanks for posting this kind sir. just made my donation. :)

  15. About Mr. Freer and his pets:

    I have never traveled from one country to another but was vaguely aware that some countries quarantine any animals you are trying to bring in so that you don’t import any nasty diseases with you. HOWEVER, if I am understanding correctly, you seem to be implying that not only do they take away your furry friends but also CHARGE you for their room and board while holding them hostage ???? Is that the expense to which you refere? Maybe I’m hopelessly naive, but this strikes me as obscene. But then, I think that charging for parking is obscene.

  16. I forgot to include my favorite Tom Swifty:

    “Look at that big hole in the ground,” Tom said gravely.

  17. That is correct. Quarantine is paid for by the person transporting the animals. Fortunately Freer is able to have most of the time in SA with only a minimal amount in Aus. It would be far more obscene otherwise.

  18. I got The God Engines in the mail today. Pictures don’t do it justice; it really is a slick little book. Very handsome.

    Oh and it’s an awesome read. i sat in the post office parking lot reading it.

  19. Thanks for the heads-up re: Dave Freer. Went, read, donated. Looking forward to the day when his pets regain their freedom (in Tasmania!); also to reading the rest of the tale, especially if in HB form.

  20. John,

    Since Dave’s an internet friend of mine I really appreciate this. For everyone else, his latest hardcover “Dragon’s Ring” is a fantastic read. So go read it!

  21. I work at Barnes & Noble. If I walk into a Border’s I will be killed. How am I supposed to get the book now? Oh, wait, I already have it. Nevermind.

  22. If only James Joyce were “teaching” me how to write better his rules with regard to adverbs or even punctuation might enlightenment me electrically. If you want to know about taking risks with style, ask Mr. Williams about Aristoi–his best work in IMHO. But did the rest of the SF illuminati think so?

  23. The OMW series is now on the bookshelves of What the Book? in Seoul, South Korea. Along with Charles Stross. I’ve been raising a fuss for the past year to the pretty part-time clerks. “No Scalzi! No Stross! What kind of expat bookstore is this? Half the guys walking around here are wearing vintage Star Wars T-shirts!” Next up, Jake Lake and John C. Wright.

  24. As fun as it is to be assumed to be an idiot I clicked on your link and all it came up with is Olympus Prime – Return of the Titans by J.R. Smith. Are you sure your books are available in the Kindle store in the UK? All evidence, or lack thereof, points to no.

    Books are licensed on a country by country basis and I can’t find any of your books available on the Kindle on my Amazon Scalzi search.

  25. Thank you for including a link to Dave Freer’s stuff. I love his books, and now I’ve had a chance to donate and actually SEE all the pets. I knew he had quite a few, but … now I have cuteness overload.

  26. Ask for it BY NAME.

    Important, this, because asking for “that new book with the weird naked guy chained up on the cover” will not always achieve the desired result.

  27. And just to say — I skipped from Old Man’s War to Zoe’s Tale. Which latter I read on yesterday’s lengthy train ride home from a family gathering. When I was finished, I handed it right across the aisle to my 11-year-old nephew, who had his nose buried in it within minutes….

  28. John,

    Many thanks for the shout out for “Save the Dragons” – Whateverites chipped in about $1000 over the weekend and so there’s a new chapter up, the next one is paid for and almost the one after that too!

  29. John:
    I just finished TGE – Wow! just Wow.
    VERY different from your previous work. I found it dark, downright grim (all in a good way). I’ve read reviews where commentators said it had a Lovecraftian ‘flavor’ – I ‘tasted’ Dan Simmons and maybe some George R.R. Martin in there as well – not deriviate of their work – something genuinely new and different. Good stuff

    for those who have not yet purchased – what are you waiting for?

  30. Phillip #32, you might want to clear your cache. Or log out and in. Or reboot. I clicked on the link and was shown an Amazon page full of Scalzi titles available for the Kindle…

  31. Phillip:

    “Are you sure your books are available in the Kindle store in the UK?”

    Phillip, noting that you were in the UK is a pertinent piece of information which you have not revealed until just now. It would have saved a lot of trouble if you had noted it from the beginning.

    Also, I have no idea what Tor UK is doing re: electronic rights in the UK. Which I would have told you earlier, had you informed me that was where you were.

  32. 37.JASONMITCHELL: Thanks for the review.

    I’m patiently waiting for my copy from Sub. Press. When did you get your copy, and how was it purchased?

    New Scalzi – ohboyohboyohboy! :)

  33. BeVibe – I pre-ordered a trade copy several months ago (direct from subterranian press – they were running a 1/2 deal) – my book arrived via US Mail on/about 01/06 – my understanding is that the current run is nearly sold out and that the publisher is doing a 2nd printing!

  34. For Lyle Blake Smythers: The places that quarantine are generally island nations that are free of rabies. They remain free of rabies through aggressive quarantine laws, and at least in the past, by conducting broad all species hunts on the rare occasion that a rabid animal is discovered in any given area.

    They also discourage people from importing pets, so there is an aspect of going up against the man to bring your animal family along with you.

    As an aside, Hawaii also quarantines, and for the same reasons. If you go to live there, it will be infinitely easier not to take pets, but if you’re willing to spend a bit, and start planning a year or so out, you can shorten the quarantine to a month, if you have records of the correct sequence of animal vaccines and have your pet chipped before transport.

    Animals die in quarantine fairly often, with cats faring much better than dogs. This isn’t caused by poor care, but by the fact that dogs don’t really handle being kept in smallish cages for months at a time very well. They do a lot better if they get regular visits from their loved ones.


  35. Sorry John, fair point. In this interwebs thing I keep thinking that borders don’t matter anymore and keep being reminded that they really still do.

    Would you mind asking your publishers whether or not they’ll be licensing your books for the UK?

    I hope they do, I’ve really enjoyed the excerpts you’ve put on your blog and would love to read more.

    Thanks for your time and patience.

  36. Mr. Scalzi –

    I was totally thrilled to learn about the Taos Toolbox! I live about two hours from Taos, and that would be the perfect place for me to refine my novel.

    Unfortunately, like most hopeful novelists, I am starving. The cost of the workshop really got me down. Do you know of any workshops where you don’t have to spend three months worth of paychecks to participate?

    Mange tusen takk!