Today’s Tale of Epic Cluelessness

Today I went to Jay & Mary’s Book Center, my local indie bookstore, to get some new books with Athena. I came through the door, saw a display for the Halo Encyclopedia, said “hey, cool,” and made a beeline for it, because I knew Toby Buckell advised on it and I wanted to take a look at it. I was so engrossed in it that I didn’t notice that the folks at J&M had a whole stack of God Engines right next to it, and continued not to notice the presence of TGE in the store until I was paying for Athena’s books at the register, looked up and noticed they had copies in a wall display. At which point Athena mocked me for missing the previous stack despite it being inches away from my nose. I have to admit it’s not like me to miss something like that. But, hey: Halo, man. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

All of which is a long way of saying that Jay & Mary’s Book Center in Troy, Ohio now has about eight signed copies of The God Engines on sale ($17!), and I suspect if you called them and asked to buy one, they’d probably ship it to you for a reasonable price.

Update, 2/12: They’re sold out now, but are ordering a new batch for the store and will take your order for those. And, yeah, if you make an order with them in the next couple of days (say, by Sunday, 2/14), I’ll go down to the bookstore and sign your copy.

31 Comments on “Today’s Tale of Epic Cluelessness”

  1. Kinda a shame that they put that big sticky label on the dust jacket. Those things are a bugger to get off without leaving residue or tearing the paper.

    A hundred years from now the guy on the February 2110 “Antiques Road Show” is going tell some poor smuck that his copy is only worth $1500 instead of the normal $15,000 because of that.

  2. Tom:

    The kind they use at the store in my experience comes off very easily and doesn’t leave residue. I’ve bought enough books from them that I would notice if it did.

  3. That picture is not actually the Halo encyclopedia–that’s Halo Evolutions, the new Haloverse anthology featuring stories from Toby and others. The Halo encyclopedia is what Toby advised on (and is credited as editor on). Halo Evolutions doesn’t list an editor, but I believe it was put together by Tor Books’s Eric Raab.

  4. JJA:

    The Halo Encyclopedia is actually in the picture, on the left (you can see a bit of the page, and the display stand). Halo Evolutions is also present, yes, and was indeed spearheaded by Mr. Raab.

  5. John:

    I’m sure Athena was really impressed by her Dad’s extreme modesty, but where’s the fun in that? :)

  6. Well, I was looking for an excuse to buy The God Engines. Now I can tell the spouse “Look! it’s signed! And I was supporting a local bookstore!”

    And now I’ll have to buy a second copy to actually read, dog ear, etc.

    PS: Staff at the bookstore was very friendly over the phone and had no issue shipping out of state. $24.10 total with shipping charge.

  7. Well, that was a pleasant surprise. I figured 2.5 hours after the post, all the signed copies would be gone.

    But no! There are still some remaining.

    And you’re right, John@11 … they were very friendly and helpful with out of state orders.

  8. @9 & 10: But do you really want that stuff on a book jacket? I use baby oil to remove label adhesive because it smells better, but I still wouldn’t apply it to paper that I wanted to keep.

  9. GooGone is fine on book jackets or any glossy paper.

    Are you more modest or more jaded than I? Because whenever I go into a bookstore, the very first thing I do is to see if they have any books what I wrote.

  10. I hope you don’t mind me asking a question about The God Engines. I followed a link to the first chapter last night. (Loved it – fascinating concepts… can’t wait to read the rest.)

    What impressed me was the original concept. I want/need/demand original ideas in my fantasy but too often I’m disappointed. Originality should be the basic foodstuff of which fantasy is made, rather than the fancy stuff on top.

    And here is TGE, with deliciously dark and fascinating ideas… yet so many people in the comments were talking about the way one sentence went. Hardly anyone said, ‘OMG! The concept!’ Now maybe they were trying not to have lips plastered to your rear, and I appreciate that, but seriously, OMG, the concept!

    So is there a Big Idea post for TGE? I’d love to find out how you came up with the ideas…

    (No lips on rear here either… genuine interest.)

  11. Hey, I work in an Amazon warehouse here in Delaware (the state, not the city in Ohio), and I pick almost as many of your books in a week as I do Halo books. Now let’s not talk about video games though…

  12. I think the most interesting thing is that John’s book became invisible to him. Our mind is always filtering out the ordinary.

  13. Hi Scalzi fans. I am the owner of Jay and Mary’s Book Center. Thank you for all the support. We are now sold out of The God Engines. We will get more in stock hopefully next week. If you emailed us, you will need to wait until the new shipment comes in. I am confident I can twist John’s arm to sign these too. Oh, by the way, the sticker comes off easily and never leaves any residue. We have them specially made for just our store. Once again, thank you for the support and all your kind comments.

  14. Dave H @13

    You’d be surprised at how well lighter fluid works, didn’t leave residue and didn’t damage the jacket cover the few times I’ve needed to use it.

  15. The local Borders did not have “The God Engines” yesterday but did have nearly an entire shelf full of all of your other books. It was interesting because this was certainly not the case a month or so ago. I wonder if someone at Borders was trying to cash in on the Amazon thing. Sadly, they seem to have done it by shelving all the books I already own.

  16. I didn’t mean to say that the God Engines was ordinary. Only that J.S. is use to seeing it, so it’s ordinary for him to see it. I just read it yesterday and my brain’s still humming. Very nice work. Hmmmm….

  17. Goo-Gone can leave an oily residue. Naptha (lighter fluid) evaporates completely. Over many years of book scrounging naptha has become my sticker-residue remover of choice.

  18. @Guess
    By having books that other places aren’t carrying, Scalzi did say it was an indie bookstore, which leads me to believe they have stuff that Borders/B&N doesn’t.

    I think a better question is this: How do bookstores like B&N and Borders compete with Amazon?
    I’ll wander through Borders/B&N and add them to my Amazon cart on my phone. The order shows up (usually the next day) and costs me at least 10% less than the “member deals” offered by the chain stores.

    It’s 9 o’clock Ohio time & probably too late to give Jay & Marys a call now. Going to call tomorrow & have the girlfriend give me the book as a Valentines gift.

  19. I agree with Tanner … Amazon’s my #1 choice too, simply because selection beats the heck out of Coles (biggest Canadian chain), prices are good, and delivery excellent. Even their free delivery (via Canada Post) is almost invariably next working day, since I’m only 45-50 miles down the road from their Mississauga (Ont.) shipping point, so why pay extra for “express” service?

    I first got hooked on them a few months after getting my first DVD drive … we’ve got a couple of excellent secondhand book-and-movie shops in walking distance, but quickly found that Amazon had a much larger selection of even quite old stuff in new condition, often even cheaper than the secondhand prices. I finally gave up on the local shops when I found Amazon had new (admittedly, trade-paperback editions rather than MM) copies of the two big Alfred Bester books I’d been hunting for years.

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