Up in the Air: An Open Pimp Thread

Another day of travel for me, back to Ohio, where I am told it will be snowing when arrive, which means my car in the airport parking lot will be a shapeless mass under a huge pile of snow. You can imagine how excited I am by the thought.

In any event, as I’m busy hurling myself across the sky, I thought I would throw open Whatever for an Open Pimp Thread, in which you — yes! you! — recommend something for other people to be excited about. Could be a Web site, could be a new book, could be some other sort of awesome project. It could be something you’re doing, or maybe something a friend of yours is up to, or maybe it’s done my people you don’t even know, but is still so cool you’d like to share. So share!

How to do that: in the comment thread, tell us about the cool thing, and then leave a link. Easy. Note that if you do more than a couple of links in a comment, you might get the message punted into the moderation queue. I’ll be checking that queue from time to time today to release those messages, so don’t panic if it doesn’t immediately post.  But, as I’m traveling, I won’t be able to do it as often as I normally do. So I recommend one link per comment, and making more than one comment if you have more than one thing to suggest.

To start you all off, I’ll make a suggestion of my own: Illustrator Vincent Chong (who did the excellent cover to The God Engines and the Subterranean Press editions of the OMW series) has just started a new blog to show off the work he’s done on various projects. I love Vinnie’s stuff, and I think after you look at it you will as well. If you’re already a fan of his work, he’s also go an upcoming book collecting up some of his best stuff over the years, which you can pre-order. Check them both out.

Now: What do you want to share with the rest of the class?

173 Comments on “Up in the Air: An Open Pimp Thread”

  1. Everone should be excited that the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl Last night!!! The whole city of New Orleans is going crazy!! The French Quarter is still rocking! Sorry Colts fans, but we have been waiting for 43 years for this. Also my parade, the Krewe of Morpheus rides on Friday night and Mardi Gras is next Tuesday, It does not get any better than this!!!!

  2. Hello!

    We’ve been making an anthology horror-comedy audio series, which we’ve been releasing as podcasts for a few months now.

    They’ve been getting great reviews, including from Ramsey Campbell (““I thought that was really pretty horribly funny… Tasteful the tale isn’t, but enjoyable for sure.”) and SFFAudio (“It’s very dark humour, dark and very funny. It’s actually quite creepy how much laughing I did. Body dysmorphic disorder probably shouldn’t be this funny. I’m going to subscribe.”).

    We’re getting a couple of thousand downloads a month, have been featured on The Sonic Society, and will be performing live at the World Horror Convention in March.

    Anyway, if you like anthology shows like The Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, Inner Sanctum, Tales of the Unexpected, or just good comedy you might like this.

    Our podcast archive is here, and Episode 3: The Night Whisperer is my particular favourite: http://inthegloamingpodcasts.wordpress.com/podcast-archive/

    Hope you enjoy!

  3. The best movie I’ve seen ever for those of us DnD, RpG, pen and paper old school fans. Called The Gamers: Dorkness Rising by Dead Gentleman Productions. There are posts of the entire movie on YouTube, and is also available on Netflix for those of you subscribed. Technically a sequel but there’s only one joke you might miss by not watching the original. If you like it then please help support these awesome independent filmmakers :)

    YouTube link for part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwtH5oQqHPg

  4. Morning:)

    We’ve just put issue 111 of Hub up at http://www.hubfiction.com. This week we’ve got an extract from The World House, Guy Adams’ debut novel and a fascinating look at the role of religion in current fantasy movies. And yes we do talk about Paul Bettany and angels with assault rifles:) Come take a look, it’s free and if you like there’s 110 other issues to play with.

    Meanwhile, over at Pseudopod (www.pseudopod.org), my other other job we’ve just put up this week’s story. The Getalong Gang by Barrie Dark is a very odd story about what happens when you realise the world has changed and…you might be okay with it. Again, all free.

  5. A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel (author of the more recent Wolf Hall). Most things you wanted to know about the French Revolution, in the form of a gripping historical epic. Reminded me of I, Claudius* in its depiction of how rational people live through – and participate in good conscience in – a reign of terror. As she says, if you’re unsure what is true and what is fictionalised, the true parts are that which seems most unlikely.

    Sold by all good booksellers, and Amazon.

    *Which, also, read if you haven’t.

  6. I’ve had the good fortune to ask a bunch of wirterly types about their fitness pursuits over at http://www.shrinkgeek.com – Elizabeth Bear, Jay Lake, and Laurell K Hamilton have all weighed in.

    This is the kind of stuff that will keep Scalzi alive and feisty, if he’d ever stop killing zombies long enough.

  7. John@0: “…as I’m busy hurling myself across the sky…”

    You know you can pay people to hurl you across the sky now. Saves you the trouble of having to do it yourself. I’m just saying.

  8. For any fans of Joss Whedon’s Firefly/Serenity universe, an independent company out of Maryland is making an unofficial sequel. Set 3 months after the events of the movie with a new ship and a new crew all the proceeds from the movie go to 5 charities supported or created by our Big Damn Heroes! The movie is 100% filmed and in the editing process now. And yes, we do have Joss’s blessing!!!


  9. My main man Ed Lin writes awesome books. Way Laid is great but This is a Bust is a masterpiece; cop story told form the perspective of a Chinese-American cop working in NYC’s Chinatown. The sequel, Snakes Can’t Run, is due out soon. He’s touring for this book thus you should go see him read. His website is also awesome and not just because it’s called edlinforpresident.com.

    Also, my homegirl Nicole Chaison wrote an awesome graphicnovel/biogranovel called Passion of the Hausfrau. It is funny, poignant and wicked smart just like NC herself. Not only do I have the privilege of knowing & working with her, my wife also has some of her original artwork which someday I will hock on eBay to fund the purchase of a 1987 Montecarlo SS.

  10. I’ve held off from pimping my blog before because it’s baseball-related, and baseball fans aren’t exactly the Whatever audience. But I think I can make an exception for this piece since it’s more than just baseball (and a lot of people seemed to love it)…

    If you’re a fan of Charlie Brown and Peanuts, you’ll almost certainly like this: a complete breakdown of Charlie Brown’s wins, losses, and other stats (including a count of every time he was knocked down by a line-drive), between 1950 and 1970. Here’s the link: http://wezen-ball.com/2010-articles/january/calculating-charlie-browns-wins-losses-a-other-stats-introduction.html

    I’m currently working on completing the stats for the last 30 years of the strip… I hope you enjoy it.

  11. I haven’t been able to really brag about publicize this except to my local friends, but I designed the big motherships that hang over all the cities in the new “V” tv series.

    I did the exterior work, including the views of the ship where the bottom turns into the huge video screen and the most recent view from the last scene of episode 4 where the ships open up a bit and reveal more of their true nature, heh heh.

    God of War concept artist Andy Park did much of the mothership interior concept work and designed the smaller shuttle ships. The mothership was modeled by Steve Graves and lit by lead artist Chris Zapara; all the CG for “V” is directed by Andrew Orloff and produced by Karen Czuckerberg at Zoic Studios.

    Although I’ve designed others for various games and shows, that’s my first spaceship that’s actually made it on screen! :)

    Hopefully I will hear back soon from ABC about getting permission to post the concept art on my blog… sigh.

    Oh and if you saw that Meow Mix commercial with the cat playing the piano when the owner’s back is turned, I storyboarded that one. It’s a pleasant surprise to find one can earn a living drawing stuff like that.

  12. @13 Victoria I saw that exhibit a couple of days ago! I can heartily second this recommendation. Go as early on a weekday as there were/are/will be crowds! It’s not just Tim Burton’s work but also items from animation and movies which made by other people making his visions into a reality. Very cool!

  13. Over at PodCastle, we’re hosting Ann Leckie month, where Ann Leckie takes the editorial reigns and selects some of her favorite fantasy stories. It’s off to a great start with Israel Zangwill’s “The Queen’s Triplets”

    And IMO, it’s only going to get better as February continues on! Check it out at PodCastle – every episode is free!

  14. I’ve recently started a blog called Meme Overload where I talk about computer security, social networking, information warfare and the latest wacky piece of code I’ve written (see my post about emulating Warren Ellis on twitter).

    It’s also a place where I put up links to my Masters research papers which so far have been about Eve Online and Twitter as information warfare platforms.


  15. While I’m at it (my first link to my own blog, which is tagged to my username here, appears to have dropped into the mod hole), check out a friend’s blog, Schlockmania!. It’s all things cult/exploitation film and related, and it’s a lot of fun.

  16. I recently started a website for my photography. I’ve been doing a 52 weeks project in which I do a specific photowalk or shoot each week and post the final results. Sometimes with lessons learned along the way.

    Recently I got some shots I think are great from our Olympic Torch Relay here in Canada for the 2010 Winter Games.

    URL is http://jclossphoto.wordpress.com/

  17. Shameless self-promotion:

    I’m writing the story/doing level design for a video game. It’s an RTS, and features single- and multi-player free form time travel. Don’t like how a battle turned out? Slide back along the time line and change how it went. Just know that your opponent is likely doing the same thing…

    If you pre-order it, then you get access to the alpha version of the game, receive monthly content releases, get a $10 discount off the release price, and get to provide feedback that will help shape the final product.


  18. I got my very first drop of royalties for my book Faerie Blood, and I’m celebrating by having a contest to name the Nook that these royalties have just bought! I’m taking nominations for what I ought to name it, and will be launching an official poll to vote on the choices on the 16th.

    I’m giving away one of three prizes to the winner of the poll:

    1) A free copy of both Faerie Blood and Defiance, the anthology I appear in with Laura Anne Gilman and Joely Sue Burkhart

    2) A free print copy of the Drollerie book of the winner’s choice, or

    3) A $25 gift certificate to the Drollerie Press bookstore!

    Come over here to submit your nomination choices and participate in the poll (can YOU beat ‘Peregrin Nook’ for a name choice? ;) ):


  19. The Dell Award results came back, and four Alphans are heading to Florida– look at the Past Honorees and you’ll see quite a few Alphans in there. Including this year’s winner, second and third-runner up, and two honorable mentions.

    What is <a href="http://alpha.spellcaster.org"Alpha, you ask? It’s a great SFF writing workshop for young writers, high school and college-age. This year’s guests are Holly Black, Tim Zahn, Mike Arnzen, and Tamora Pierce. The application deadline is coming up, but you can donate any time.

  20. I created ebooks for Shadow Unit Season 2 (which is a wonderful non-TV paranormal investigator TV show written by Elizabeth Bear, Emma Bull, Sarah Monette, and up until recently, Will Shetterly).

    The ebooks are available in EPUB, LIT, and Mobipocket formats—e.g, they are compatible with Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader (though not the older Sony Readers that don’t read EPUB), Stanza, Microsoft Reader, Adobe Digital Editions, and quite a few other things.

    I’d also like to plug Calibre, by Kovid Goyal, which lets people manage and convert books from any format to any other format (so, for instance, if you have eReader, you can still read the Shadow Unit S2 ebook).

  21. Jedediah Berry’s new book A Manual of Detection. Not only is he a super nice guy, but the book is terrific. If you are in the Chicago area, more specifically Hyde Park, he is doing an author event at 57 Street Books. The following link will give you info on the event and the book:


    Author events are disappearing all over the map (as are indie bookstores) so brave the snow and cold and check this out!

  22. Two things: First, I am over the moon that my girl, Tiffani Angus, is Campbell Eligible this year! How crazy cool is that? Go check out her bio and read her story “If Wishes Were Horses” published by the good folks at Strange Horizons.

    Second, and more modestly, my screenplay Fast Money has made it to the 25 finalists in the ScriptShadow Logline/Screenplay contest. Winners to be announced in about 5 1/2 hours. Cross your fingers for me!

    ScriptShadow is an excellent blog for screenwriters, and covers a lot of sci-fi spec scripts. Go check them out!

  23. Shameless promotion: THE LITERARY UNDERWORLD. It’s a web store selling sf/f/h books directly from authors’ personal stock. The Literary Underworld offer books at or below the price you’ll pay at Amazon or Borders, but because the authors are providing the books themselves, they can keep a larger percentage of the profit. Sometimes it’s the difference between 7 and 40 percent.

    It is not self-publishing; our authors come from various small and not-so-small presses, ranging from Apex Books to Leisure. It’s just a tiny retail outlet that makes it a little easier for us authors to stay alive in this economy.

    You can also find the Literary Underworld touring cons in the Midwest and Southeast. The booth is staffed by authors and authors keep the profit. Our next appearance is at Conflation in St. Louis, two weeks from now. In March we’ll be at Midsouthcon in Memphis.


  24. Is it really alright to do this?
    Timid self-pimp:
    I have a short story, “Ding, Dong, Dell,” in Weirdly, Volume III (a Collection of Strange Stories) , an e-pub from Wild Child Publishing http://www.wildchildpublishing.com.
    “Corpse Candles” appeared in Weirdly II: Eldritch, and “Stone Child” ( avec trolls) in Weirdly I.

  25. I loved James Enge’s Blood of Ambrose: epic fantasy, reminded me of both Michael Shea and George R. R. Martin’s novels.

  26. Free-form role play…it’s a mix of storytelling and improvisational theater (in a chat room), but you might also think of it as an RPG without dice.

    Lyran Tal Press has played host to FFRP since 1999. The world of Lyran Tal is based in high fantasy, and has been extensively developed by the many players and writers who have joined us over the past ten years.

    Sometimes the place is a little quiet, sometimes it’s very busy. But writers and players are always welcome to join in.


    The website design is courtesy of one of our players at Owl In the Mirror productions (link at the bottom of the website pages). Go see her stuff, too. :-)

  27. Well, for all the people who were not around when CJ Cherryh got her first Hugos it has to be


    where she, together with Jane Fancher and Lynn Abbey, are fighting the good fight to get their backlist out as e-books.

    For $5 each you can buy ‘Heavy Time’ and ‘Hellburner’ which are the first two books in the chronology of her Alliance-Union Universe, and that has to be the biggest bargain on the Web today.

    Go forth and buy!

  28. What a cool thread! I’ve just linked to about twenty of these items.

    I’m excited that my urban fantasy novel DOPPELGANSTER is out:

    What with one thing and another (my last two agents didn’t want to send it out, my regular publisher rejected if FIVE times, subsequent agents whom I queried declared it unsaleable, a publishing contract got canceled, etc.), it took me years of perseverance to get this book on the stands. Now it’s been released by DAW Books, who’ve been great to work with and who’ve done a terrific job of publishing it, and getting terrific reviews and reader response. Next book in the series is scheduled for Aug/10 release.


  29. In case Whatever readers also happen to be Doctor Who enthusiasts or fans of some SF writers in particular…

    My co-edited essay anthology, Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It, will be published by Mad Norwegian Press on March 15th.

    It includes essays by Catherynne Valente, Elizabeth Bear, Mary Robinette Kowal, K. Tempest Bradford, Carole Barrowman, and a whole lot of other really cool folks talking about their experiences with Doctor Who and its fandom.

    It’s on sale through Barnes & Noble this week:

  30. For those of you who are unaware, Ficly.com is a website where amateur authors write and collaborate on ultra-short stories. You have to fit whatever you can into 1024 characters. (You’d be surprised how much you can write, though.) Once a story is published, you or others on the site can write prequels and sequels to them. It’s a lot of fun, and the community over there is great.

    I’ve set a challenge for myself this year to write a Ficly story every day. I’ve made it successfully through the month of January, and I’ve collected all of my stories so far into a post on my blog. Check it out if you’re interested: http://ipushbuttons.blogspot.com/2010/01/one-month-of-storytelling.html

  31. Well, thanks, John, for the opportunity to flaunt my own wares for a moment.

    My next novel, THE FALLEN, which is the third novel in the Derek Stillwater series (he’s a troubleshooter for Homeland Security and an expert on biological and chemical terrorism) is out April 5 from Oceanview Publishing. It’s already received a couple early rave reviews. To read the first couple chapters, visit my website at:

  32. May I suggest the Science Fiction Book Review podcast (http://www.sfbrp.com/). Luke Burrage reviews both new and old science fiction books. What’s really nice is he goes into exactly what he likes about a book and why, so even if you don’t have the same tastes as he does, you still get a good idea if you’d like the book.

  33. Third, if the acronym “MUD” in my previous comment meant anything to you, you may be interested in http://mudseek.com, which is a Google custom search engine indexing a large number of hand-picked sites related to MUDs.

  34. Cold Iron Badge, the webcomic I write, recently hit the 100-pages milestone (actually, with today’s update, it’s 101 pages), which I’m proud enough about that I don’t actually feel shameless about indulging in this bit of self-promotion at all.

    Cold Iron Badge is an urban fantasy police procedural about the mortal cops who patrol the border between our world and Fairyland.

    Or, to give you the high concept:

    “She’s a cop. He’s an elf. And yeah, they fight crime.”

    You can read the entire series online, free at http://coldironbadge.com/

  35. Back in January our host, Herr Scalzi, talked about submitting to “100 Stories For Haiti. Well, I am pleased to report that my short SF story “Three Drink Minimum” will be part of this anthology to raise money for the Red Cross efforts in Haiti.

    100 Stories For Haiti will be available in both ebook and print anthology versions — details will be forthcoming. The list of the 100 authors and 100 story titles is up on the website.

    Everyone involved surely thanks you all.

    Dr. Phil

  36. March 13-14 in Tucson is the second Tucson Festival of Books. Modeled after the L.A. Times book festval, they really did a great job with the first one last year and this one looks to be even better, especially with genre authors.

    First of, the entire Shadow Unit team will be on hand (Emma Bull, Will Shetterly, Elizabeth Bear, Sarah Monette, Amanda Downum, Leah Bobet), plus Joan D. Vinge, Charles de Lint, Terry Brooks, Nini Kiriki Hoffman, Janni Lee Simner, Timothy Zahn, Jeff Mariotte, Yvonne Navarro, Weston Ochse, John Vornholt, Catherine Wells, Jane Lindskold, Dennis McKiernan, and more. And that’s just the SF/F authors. There will be signings after the panels they are on as well as signings likely at the Mysterious Galaxy booth, the Bookman’s booth, and likely a few at the Leprecon, Inc. booth.


  37. No writer should be ignorant of the index at the end of Fred Shapiro’s _The Yale Book of Quotations_ — that index enables one to quote very pertinently on about any subject. This work is light years, nay parsecs, beyond the now-obsolete Bartlett’s.

  38. Wow some nice links to follow. Will have to bookmark more when I get home.

    Any knitters out there in Scalzi land?

    I dye yarn! http:/www.slackfordstudio.com

    Yeah I know, it’s very random considering the venue, but you DID ask… :)


  39. My friend Tracey Kelly recently published her first novel, ‘The Hal X Syndrome’. Very funny, sassy, snappy book about boys and girls and lots in between. But hey, don’t believe me, Terry Jones (yes, the Python Terry Jones) says ‘Funny, surprising and original. On Amazon US and UK, and also Barnes and Noble. http://bit.ly/bein6v

  40. Kevin Smith has been looking into a fan-funded movie idea. I don’t know anything about the movie itself other than its called RED STATE. I am just really intrigued by this idea of non-conventional movie funding. He speaks about it here:


    I would like to see something like this tried at least once.

  41. I produce a twice-weekly talk show (check the link) called A Closer Look With Pam Atherton.

    Pam interviews writers, and celebs, and thinkers oh my!

    Check us out! Suggest a guest for the show, sign up for the newsletter!

    You WILL have fun!

  42. The Chinese New Year is on Feb 14th this year. Why not celebrate the Year of the Tiger with some dumplings?

    Recipes and video by Nina Simonds of Boston Globe can be found here

    Recipes links can be found on left hand side of article under the heading “Related”.

    Nina’s website is at http://spicesoflife.com/

  43. I’m in the process of serializing the opening chapters of a new fantasy novel on my blog (think Dark Tower meets Sons of Anarchy): http://emittime.wordpress.com/ It’s been really interesting so far to see people’s reactions day after day and week after week…sort of a random/shifting circle of beta readers…never sure what I’m going to get. There’s also tons of short fiction up there, some previously published and reprinted (including the story “The Maid” that Stephen King chose as one of the winners of his On Writing contest, back in the day), and some appearing for the first time.

  44. Hmmm.

    Oh, what the hay.

    My SO (Sordak in LJ, Michael in RL) and I have been noodling stories more-or-less loosely based in a universe he created when he was just a wee lad playing wargames (alone because he was really a loner nerd kid).

    Right now he is coming to the end of a somewhat alternate history (loosely based on a certain era) set in Ancient Rome – The Roman View. Some of the ideas and background of the stories (as well as some of my pity-party-please-overlook-that-thank-you-very-much) is covered in Make A Wish Upon Tomorrow.

    If you are really into looking at something based in the same universe as The Roman View, but set many, many, many thousands of years before and on another planet, I am writing a Mary Sueish sort of story on Ashantara Chronicles.

    Let me know you cruised by from here, please. I would like to know that we have come to the attention of something other than the Russian search engines.

  45. I would like to recommend a book that just came out — SPIDER’S BITE, by Jennifer Estep. And I might humbly suggest, Mr. Scalzi, that she might be an excellent choice to feature for The Big Idea.

  46. I will start with a series of novels. I love the Avery Cates books by Jeff Somers. If you haven’t read them run out and fix that.

    On the home front I am about to hit the 365 days in a row goal I set for my blog. I write about all kinds of different things. My life, publishing, trying to get published, music, and just about anything else that pops into my jaded little head. I am proud of it. I think I am am far better at writing it now then when I started.


  47. I would like to pimp my game company. I, and my trusty coder, are attempting to make a pulp-sci-fi MMO, flying by the seat of our pants! We’re close to looking for some Alpha Testers, and I’m doing my best to roll out content and commentary on the wacky world of indie game development. :)


  48. A friend of mine has been working in co-operation with studios in Australia and in the UK on ‘The Sixteenth Touch’ radio drama. It is due to broadcast on St. Valentine’s Day at a radio stations somewhere near you (or you will be able to listen on line)


  49. Well, I have two Etsy stores and a blog that I’d love to pimp here:

    Irving Place Photography

    The Floating Market

    Irving Place Photography is, as the name suggests, photographic prints. The Floating Market is jewelry and accessories with a bit of an Urban Fantasy twist.

    I’m proud of the work in both shops.

    My blog, Irving Place (link available under my name, so as not to have too many links in the post) has been around in one form or another since 2001. I use it to talk about the work in both shops, as well as cool internet projects I have found, artists I admire, goings-on around town in the Madison area, and other things as they grab my interest.

    Stop on by!

  50. DAZ Studio is a free application for posing and rendering virtual human figures (similar to Poser, for those who are familiar with the hobby). DAZ has just made all of their base human model figures free as well, so you can try out the 3d rendering thing for $0.

    This is similar to trying out crack cocaine for $0, because all of DAZ’s add-on models and texture maps and modules and suchlike cost money, and if you like playing around with the app you will want a growing array of add-on stuff. However, there is a thriving hobbyist community that gives away things for free (I am a member of this community as well as a 3rd party content creator/broker with DAZ), and the for-sale stuff is not crazily expensive, except in aggregate (there are thousands 3d-related items out there, in a multitude of stores).

    With just the free app and the free models, and no further investment, you can pose a male or female human figure and render an image from any angle and with any lighting effects–very good for creating artist’s reference pics, if you are the drawing sort.

    The Daz site is over here.

  51. I’ve got two podcasts I’d like to pimp here.

    Geek Survival Guide – http://www.geeksurvivalguide.org, is a tongue in cheek look at sci-fi genre cliches and whatnot, and talks about surviving classic gnereal threats, like werewolves, zombies, and vampires, to more one-off kinds of things (surviving John Carpenter’s The Thing). It’s been truckin’ along since 2006.

    And my new project – Mad Poet Files. I’m writing and producing a new short story every two weeks. One of them won an Honorable Mention in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest last year. This is a new project for me, intended to provide me with some writing practice, and help me develop more of a writing habit. You can find it at http://www.madpoetfiles.com.

  52. The third book in Lorna Freeman’s _Borderlands_ series ha finally been published – I have been eagerly awaiting it for four years!!

    Fictionwise has it, and it is not even geographically restricted *does happy dance*

    For those who need the Dread Tree edition, I expect it can be found in any online store. Personally, I am happy to wait for the physical copy to appear here in Oslo before I snap it up, since I already have bought the ebook.

  53. Fans of lush downtempo/chillout electronica would do well to investigate French label Ultimae. Yes, their catalog is available on iTunes, but if you’re one of those old fogies who still likes music on physical media, if you order their CD’s you also get sent a delightful hand-written thank-you card and — awesomecakes — a couple of incense sticks as a blissout accessory. Just the kind of TLC you’d only get from a quality indie. Excellent starting point would be the Albedo compilation.

  54. if you like podcasts, i’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite podcasters. mike bennett can be found at http://mikebennettpodcast.com/?q=node and he has short stories, a novel and is currently at work on a second novel. he has everything up at itunes as well. i think he’s awesome. :)

  55. Science Fiction Fan and student of writing at a Beautiful California University. It’s a public school too, so dealing with all that wonderful stuff.


    I discuss any issues that may come to mind, thoughts I have, and memories of a homeschooled childhood, and orpahned teenage years.

  56. I’ve written “The Road to Seetee” for a new chapbook for Haffner Press.

    *Opposites– React!* is a story in Jack Williamson’s Seetee series from 1943. Asteroid miners race to gain possession of a priceless antimatter artifact.

    My essay explores how antimatter, an arcane idea of 1930s quantum physics, found its way into science fiction stories, ultimately becoming a standard plaything of SF. Thirty-five footnotes included, at no extra charge.

    The chapbook was printed to bundle with a fancy slipcased edition of *The Worlds of Jack Williamson*. (Only 75 copies will be sold, so my audience will be very small.) It also contains a sequence from *Beyond Mars*, the space-opera comic strip by Williamson and artist Lee Elias, and a short essay by Williamson about antimatter.

    I’ve enjoyed working on this project with Stephen Haffner, whose Haffner Press specializes in collections of classic SF stories. Who knew that science fiction was published in Royal Oak, Michigan?


  57. If you’re in the Atlanta, GA area this weekend and are looking for a quirky fun place to take your Valentine (or just yourself) check out the Upper West Side Folk Art Market:


    I apparently qualify as a ‘self-taught’ artist, so I’ll be selling my Word Art pieces there. Come by and say howdy!

  58. I’d like to Pimp Decoder Ring Theater, and original “Old Time Radio” drama company in Canada. The do Good stuff–Noirish detective stories and Old Fashioned Hero adventure.

    Check them out!

    Decoder Ring Theatre

    Also, if anyone is curious about getting the best shave around with a traditional straight/cutthroat razor and a brush and soap, check out my blog dedicated to shaving like your (great?) Grandfather:
    Eastern Smooth!

  59. My very good friend and webmaster has just completed her new website hub, with links to all the websites she hosts (including my blog, and a really awesome GIS links database she created). I think it’s very exciting, and thought I would share, since Mr. Scalzi said I could! ^_^

    The link is http://straydreamers.com/

  60. This is a show I made about tiny, horny, foul-mouthed Ultramen and their struggles against evil. I’m embedding the first episode, and there are two more available at http://youtube.com/miniultraman. (These are NOT for children!)

  61. Thank you for the opportunity for shameless self-promotion, Mr. Scalzi!

    At the instigation of friends I’ve started blogging again, about one post a week — the blog is linked from my name on this post.

    My penultimate post covers science fiction magazines — which I read and why. I also have a three-part series on the proposed Google Books settlement — here’s the first post.

    I also have the odd book review up — why The Magicians by Lev Grossman frustrated me, that sort of thing. Drop on by!

  62. As with previous pimp threads, I’d like to pimp my podcast – The Labyrinth Library, the single most popular book review podcast coming out of Osaka [1].

    I talk about a wide range of books, not just new releases or bestsellers, and they usually clock in at around 10-15 minutes per episode, so you can listen during even the shortest commute.

    So come and give it a listen! You’ll get a free pony! And ice cream! An ice cream pony!

    [1] As far as I know.

  63. Attention writers:

    I’d like to bring to your attention the Fiction Writing Directorate. Part role-playing, part writing exercises, part motivator–check it out at

    Run by Beth Wodzinski, Editor in Chief of Shimmer Magazine.


    (thanks for the space, Scalzi)

  64. I finally feel like I have something to contribute to a pimp thread! Go me!

    I published my very first knitting pattern a bit ago, it is here. Well, it isn’t technically my first, I’ve written others… it’s just the first one I’ve actually written up intending to share it.

  65. I would like to pimp my blog.


    I write about politics, philosophy, science fiction, culture generally, and sometimes about bartending and mixology.

    Recent items of interest include a review of the first episode of Caprica, and also of Jeff Vandermeer’s City of Saints and Madmen.

    Plus, sometimes when I find funny things on the internet, I post them also.

  66. How about reading _Mansfield Park and Mummies_ by Vera Nazarian and Jane Austin? It’s a great twist on an Austen classic, and it will keep a writer hard at work (and eating, too!).

  67. Zombie Haiku. Because where else can you read a story of the zombie apocalypse written in haiku?


    The embedded YouTube commercial is well worth 3:06 of your day (not for the faint of heart):

    Disclosure: I’m a bit unbiased because my son and daughter appear in the video and book.

  68. If you’ve made it this far into the pimp thread, bless you. Now, in a (not so) shameless bid for increased traffic, please to visit my blog, Notes from Limboland. I just started blogging again, and this month’s stupid gimmick to get me to keep blogging is called 28 Days LOL-ter.

    Click my name to find out just what the hell that’s all about.

  69. Clarion is accepting applications until March 1st for this summer’s 6-week workshop!

    Instructors this year are: Delia Sherman, George R. R. Martin, Dale Bailey, Samuel R. Delany, and Jeff and Ann VanderMeer.

    As a bonus, you get to write and crit like crazy in sunny San Diego. You can even do it on the beach if you want to.

    More details here!


  70. OK, this may be shameless even by the standards of an open pimp thread, but what the heck.

    So…anybody got a job? Because I need one. My current job goes away March 1 due to budget cuts and I haven’t had much luck finding anything else yet. I’m exploring all the usual avenues, of course.

    A little about me:

    My background: Twelve years in journalism, pretty much split between writing and editing, with the last couple years spent in a management position.

    My skills: Excellent writer and editor; excellent verbal and written communication skills; management and budget experience; extensive project management experience; training experience; in-depth knowledge of and experience with social networking and digital media; experience working individually and in teams (small to very large); experience working on deadline like you wouldn’t believe.

    What I’m seeking: Something outside of journalism that uses similar skills, such as PR, media relations or an in-house writing or editing job. Management would be ideal (I actually like being a manager). I’d also be open to freelancing to help pay the bills while looking for something permanent.

    Where I am: Anywhere between downtown Chicago and downtown Milwaukee. Relocation is a possibility, but it’d have to be one heck of an opportunity.

    Would you like to know more? claughman@gmail.com. Writing samples and references available upon request.

  71. I just read Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me, an excellent YA novel. Good story, interesting characters, mysterious happenings; I guessed what was going on before the main character did, but it was still interesting seeing her figure it out, and there were several little twists I didn’t see coming. Also, Miranda gets a really awesome Christmas present.

  72. I’d like to recommend something Mr. Scalzi already recommended to us. But y’all, I just read Darkship Thieves, and it is a good book. Fun, silly, sarcastic, serious, scary, and kinda goofy.

    Not the same patented Voice of Scalzi, but you and Sarah Hoyt could definitely sing harmonies. ;)

  73. I’ve actually just become aware of some generally awesome and fun T-shirts made by some guy in New Zealand. If these don’t engage your insanely-funny geek-out centers, I’m at a loss as to what will. Check them out, they’re funny.


  74. Like a few others here, I’m going to shamlessly pimp myself. I’m currently spending a year abroad (my partner won a Fulbright-Hayes scholarship to conduct research for his PhD). I’m chronicling my/our adventures abroad. Its not super sexy right now (we’be only been here a month, a large portion of that was spent establishing our home and his research contacts) but should pick up shortly. Its called Stranger in a Strange Land


  75. Capricon 30 is this weekend! Thursday, Feb 11 – Sunday, Feb 14, it is a generalist SF / F convention in the Chicago area (Wheeling, if you would like to be precise). Programming for adults and kids, special events, films, anime, gaming, parties, dealers room, art show, filk…we have it all!

    This year we are featuring lots of great guests – on the author side we have Robert J Sawyer, Spider & Jeanne Robinson (via video feed), Gene Wolfe, and Lawrence Watt-Evans. Frederik Pohl unfortunately just had to bow out due to health (and there’s another thing to pimp – Get Well Soon wishes for Fred!). Our artist guests include Lucy Synk and delphyne woods, and our fan guest of honor is Alice Bentley (Chicagoans know her as the owner of the much beloved and much missed The Stars Our Destination bookstore).

    We are also doing some video programming concurrently with Boskone in Boston – one of our panels features Rob and Gene on our side along with Alastair Reynolds and Charlie Stross from Boston!

    Plus, it’s our 30th Birthday, so that means CAKE!!!

    If you’re in the Chicago area, please join us. It’s a great time!


  76. Someone else mentioned a MUD, so I thought I’d mention a MUSH. (Simply put, a MUSH is a realtime text-based roleplaying environment.)

    Harry Potter: Alere Flammas MUSH. We picked up where book 4 left off (because we started playing before book 5 came out!) and continued the story from there. It’s now 2011, but we’ve played every year getting there.

    Our next Sorting is coming up in just 2 weeks, so now’s a great time to make a first year. Get your wand, ride the train, be Sorted by the Hat, and then be terrorized by Headmaster Snape. Good times.

    Our website: http://www.alereflammas.org/

    Or connect directly to the game at: alereflammas.org 9034

    You can use MUSHClient, TinyFugue, your mu* client of choice, or just plain old telnet if that’s how you roll.

    Come play!

  77. Oh, I wish I saw this yesterday! Sigh. Oh well. At any rate, thanks John. It’s highly extremely cool that you run such threads.

    SHAMELESS SELF PLUG: A free, weekly serialized novel, with a new episode every Sunday morning. Great art, passable writing. Disclaimer: It is NOT SF. Serious SF fans will have a field day ripping this puppy apart. But. If you are a former (?) twerp in possession of brain cells mutated beyond repair by anime, manga, American comics, Michael Moorcock, and Gerry Anderson, you might enjoy it. (There. That wasn’t so hard, was it?)

    Thanks again.


  78. The best book I read last year I learned about in a ‘Big Idea’ post here on Whatever:

    The Magicians by Lev Grossman

    Although the Big Idea article makes comparisons Harry Potter, I found The Chronicles of Narnia to be a much more relevant touchstone, particularly because of my own affection for that series.

    For anyone here who grew up wishing you could go through that wardrobe, or thought that Hogwarts would be much improved with some sex and drugs, THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN FOR YOU.


  79. Thank you for the opportunity to pimp my novel, Armistice Day. It’s an alien invasion story, but not what you’d expect. A review can be found here. If your curiosity is piqued, the first three chapters (PDF format) are available for free here. More info can be found on my website.


  80. There’s a fandom auction going on for the rest of February to benefit the Virginia Avenue Project in Los Angeles:

    Help The Project is a fandom auction to benefit the Virginia Avenue Project, a free afterschool arts and academics program. 100% of participating children graduate from high school. 95% go on to college. 98% are the first person in their family to go.

    There are lots of cool things being auctioned: original fiction, packages of goodies around the country, signed books, etc. In particular, I am auctioning one of the signed and numbered first printing copies of You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing. These are being offered for $150 and up by booksellers, but this copy has a minimum bid of just $50.

    You can see everything being auctioned here:

  81. Are you in the Chicago area? Would you like to meet other fans of science fiction? Well, a group I belong to, http://ChiSciFi.net , has a monthly meetup on the first Tuesday of every month. We usually meet at Mystic Celt to have dinner, play games and just have fun. We are always planning other events throughout the month, so be sure to check out the website and join the group. We have lots of fun!

  82. Dang, see what happens when I do other things for a few days?

    New blog: franklandis.wordpress.com. I’m a having fun with biology and environmentalism on this one. Right now, I’ve been playing with the biology in Avatar, and why the Na’vi don’t breathe through their nipples like the rest of the wildlife on Pandora. Check it out if you’re into these things.

  83. For those in Central Florida OASIS 23 (a local science fiction convention) will be held on Memorial Day Weekend (May 28-30).

    Guest of Honor: Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (writers), Richard C. Livingston (art), Michael Hinman (fan), Rob Balder (filk).

    For more info: oasfis.org/oasis

  84. Is Imagination Wasted on Children?

    Or only on school boards?
    Literature, like enoki, should not be wasted on children. Fortunately there is no question that Magnetic Betty, another effort by Rob Hunter, is literature. For one thing, its cover does not proclaim that it’s word choice is level appropriate, or class specific or meet any other double entendre friendly rubric. This means that this volume is not approved by the Global Council for Excessive Explanation of Pointless Innuendo’s Dumb Down Project (GCEEPI:DDP). This relieves all serious adults of any responsibility to attend the remainder of this review.
    Now, for the rest of us: Yes! Rob Hunter has done it again! He has added a highly polished small industrial diamond to the crown wrought by Carroll, Sendak, Thurber, and a few others. Too few others for our own good. With the omelette pan I join in giving this book a full “zoop!” This tale is splendidly illustrated by Lee Suta, a superb choice to complement Rob.
    It is available from Lulu , or through Rob himself. You have your directions — follow them!

  85. I second rakdaddys post. Daughters are awesome. And, dude, my baby is awesome, too.

    Though, I admit to some mild concerns about introducing her awesomeness to some of the interwebs on a pimpage thread.

  86. I’ll second earlier posters’ recommendations for Schlock Mercenary (for the writing, not for the art) and Gunnerkrigg Court (great writing and OH MY what great art), and for the Language Creation Kit.

    Andy Weir, who did the webcomics Casey and Andy and Cheshire Crossing (both recommended if you haven’t read them, though the latter was left unfinished) has been serializing his prose fiction on his LJ for the last year and a half. He just posted the seventh chapter of one of his two novels in progress; both of them are pretty good so far. If you want a stand-alone taste of his writing, look for the Moriarty short stories posted in December 2008. Look at the oldest post on the page, where he introduced himself, for links to his webcomics.

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