The Upcoming Scalzi Hiatus: What You Need to Know

As I have mentioned earlier, starting this Sunday, August 1, I am taking a six-week hiatus from Whatever, concluding on or about September 12 (9/13 will be the 12-year anniversary of the site). However, Whatever will still be up and running during that time, for your continued reading enjoymentary. Because I realize these two apparently opposing facts may cause some unpleasant cognitive dissonance, this entry aims to give you further guidance on the subject.

1. How can the site continue when you’re not here? Because I have assembled a SUPER-MEGA-AWESOME team of guest bloggers to blog whilst I am away, and also hired a site manager to handle things like comment moderation and the site back end in my absence. Together, they will ensure the site functions and has interesting stuff to read over the next several weeks.

2. Who are these super mega awesome people who will keep the site going? I will introduce them to you formally on Friday. For now, suffice to say that I picked people who I have found to be interesting people in their own right, and I’ve encouraged them to share their own interests/passions/gripes/whatever with you. They’re not substitute versions of me; that would be boring. They are people I think you’ll find are worth reading in themselves.

3. I’m worried that while you’re away the comment threads will not benefit from the Mallet of Loving Correction™. Fear not! For while I am away, the MLC and all its powers will be fully invested in the site manager, who I have also told to err on the side of Malleting. So if anyone thinks the hiatus will be a fine time to test the commenting fences, Jurassic Park raptor-style, I would beg them to reconsider their incipient plans for commenting obnoxiousness.

4. Will the Big Idea feature continue during the hiatus? Yes; it’s fully scheduled for August and September.

5. Where will you be during this hiatus of yours? For about a week of it, I will be in Australia for Worldcon, but for the rest of it I’ll be in Ohio, and mostly at home. I’ll be alive; I just won’t be on Whatever.

6. Seriously? Not online at all? Hey now, I didn’t say not online — although to be honest I do intend to minimize the overall amount of time I’m doing online stuff. That said, during my hiatus I’ll continue to publish my column (and will likely have pointers to it from Whatever), and will probably offer up a tweet or two, or an occasional Facebook status update. I’m also scheduled to take part in a discussion on in the middle of the month. And finally, if something really cool happens, like, say, I win something in Australia, I might pop in to tell all y’all about it. But all that added up won’t count for much time online. Basically, don’t expect to see a lot of me. That’s the point of taking a hiatus.

7. What has brought about this hiatus? Is everything okay? ZOMG ARE YOU DYING?!? I’m not dying and everything is perfectly fine. I just decided to take a break. Some but not all the reasons: I have other writing I need to focus on, I have immediate SFWA business and some future planning to do and I have a few home projects to complete. But mostly, hey, you know what? It’s been a while since I had a break from Whatever, and I’d kind of like to have something approaching a summer vacation. This will be it.

8. I don’t know how I will survive without your constant online presence in my life. Dude, do we need to have another talk about that restraining order?

9. No, no. I get it. Okay, good.

10. I’ll just sit here and sob quietly into this soft, plush Scalzi toy I made. Okay, now I’m just plain creeped out.

More seriously, if you have any other questions about the upcoming hiatus, drop them in the comment thread.

62 Comments on “The Upcoming Scalzi Hiatus: What You Need to Know”

  1. Thank you for #10, a tough work week so far and that was a good chortle-inducer. Enjoy the hiatus, travels, etc.

  2. I am willing to bet that one of the guest bloggers is John’s buddy Mary Robinette Kowal.

    I understand your break. I would think that many of your longer blogs can take 1-2 hours/day to do well. That is alot of time to take away from the actual revenue generating parts of your job.

  3. If someone is making plush Scalzis they should be putting them up on Etsy. Even better if they have improved snark action. “Pull the string and here one of 20 different remarks. Guess where I’m going to tape the bacon.”

  4. I think John is projecting, I think he wishes he had Kathy Bates-Misery-type fans.

    Kidding. ;)

  5. So… you’re taking a hiatus but not blogging about it.


    Takes all types, apparently.

    ps: Does this have anything to do with Neil Gaiman’s leave of absence and hints of Doctor Who and movie stuff?

    pps: I got it! You and Neil Gaiman are part of an elite crime fighting squad and have a special mission out to Phobos.

    man, you are so in denial.

    what are we going to do? what will we read?

    on another note, when can we order our Scalzi plushies??

  7. I checked on Etsy and there were no Scalzi plushies – I smell a niche market!

    Have fun on your summer vacation/hiatus John. Gods know we all need one now and again.

  8. Sooooo, the winner of the Wheaton/Scalzi Fan Fiction Contest will be announced Saturday…?

  9. Have a great time. Even if I think you and Cory Doctorow are secreting spending your hiati in your secret volcano lair planning a bank heist using a Zeppelin, an Aibo, and The Mallet.

  10. Yeah, but if you take a cool picture, you will obviously post it because that is what we expect and want and of course what we expect and want is your highest priority at all times and whenever you aren’t breathing or pooping you are thinking about how to make us happy. Right?

    But about the pics…You will right?

  11. My soft plush Scalzi toy smells faintly of bacon. This is a feature, not a buy, by the way.

  12. Eager Young Space Cadet:

    “Sooooo, the winner of the Wheaton/Scalzi Fan Fiction Contest will be announced Saturday…?”

    When the winner is announced, I’ll pop in to say so.

  13. Can we get a Scalzi-only feed (dunno, use tags or something) so when I get sick of your first guest author I don’t have to unsubscribe and remember to resubscribe when you get back?

  14. I’m demanding a refund of my pre-payments for the content here at Whatever for the upcoming 6 weeks!

    Seriously, enjoy the time off, and the travel. I, for one, appreciate your willingness to engage with me and the other members of Scalzorc Nation (minions?), and everyone deserves time away from regular obligations. Bring the cats back a didgeridoo, or a wallaby.

  15. Aw man, if I knew there was Scalzi plush dolls available, then I wouldn’t have spent all my day creating this Scalzi hair doll. Which doesn’t really look like you, but is created from real Scalzi back hair.

    Oh wait, I think, those things should be quiet thoughts.

    Anyway, enjoy a fantastic vacation, whatever you do.

  16. Just as I decide to return, you are all but gone for six weeks. What luck. Wishing you the best time off after Australia (maybe you can be a guest blogger on your own blog). Enjoy the rest of the summer.

  17. I think John Scalzi plush toys have been available for years. Due to a mix-up in Marketing, though, they’ve been calling them “Homer Simpson” toys.

  18. I am hugely in favor of summer vacations and breaks, and I’m glad you’re taking one. (Although of course we’ll miss you.)

    Have a great six weeks!

  19. Will this site manger be on top of the important things; like putting up regular pictures of the cats and sunsets while you are away?

    Enjoy Australia. Spent 4 weeks there a decade ago, very nice.

  20. Matt @29: This is why when Stewart and Colbert (or Jay Leno, et al.) go on vacation, you get repeats. Scalzi, OTOH, seems secure enough to risk a few guest bloggers.

  21. This is pretty off-topic, but I am curious so I’m going to ask anyway. Since you’ve been open in the past about money things and you’re very zealous about writers being paid for their writing, do you pay your guest bloggers?

  22. After almost 12 years, you deserve it!

    I wonder whether it will feel weird for you — maybe you’ll see something in the news, or take a nice picture of your cats, and have the urge to post, or maybe you’ll just find yourself fretting about the site. (Almost like those crazy teens who try to go without texting for a whole day and live to tell about it.)

    I suppose the withdrawal process will make a good blog post when you get back.


  23. Dave:

    “do you pay your guest bloggers?”

    They’ll be paid for posting here exactly as much as I get paid. Plus I will owe them One Big Favor.

  24. I haven’t been worried, because I have been comforted by the knowledge that there will be a
    SUPER-MEGA-AWESOME team of guest bloggers.
    And while it won’t be the same, I still think it’s nice that you bothered to provide for us while you are gone. That is top drawer, gracious host major coolness points in my estimation. I won’t even try to break into the liquor cabinet this time. 8D

    Have fun in OZ

  25. I’m with Jennie (#25) in hoping that you’ve prepared a stockpile of Ghlaghghee pictures, taken with particular care, that your guest bloggers will post occasionally to placate the Executive Committee.

  26. I’m not worried that you’re on a simultaneous hiatus with Neil Gaiman. I’m worried that you’re both on one with Cory Doctorow.

  27. John, is it the Loving Mallet of Correction, or the Mallet of Loving Correction? Yes, it’s important. I’ve seen you use both.

  28. It’s probably all my fault. I sent John a link to a site on how to make an In-N-Out burger at home, and now he’s taking time off (per #5, mostly at home in Ohio). I predict much burger cooking going on during this hiatus.

  29. i love cognitive dissonance grilled with lemon and cilantro.

    have a good break. work hard, rest well, store up lots of stories for our amusement, and be sure to take lots of pictures during all your spare time down under. :)

  30. So . . . You’re announcing your break on the day StarCraft II is released. Coincidence?

  31. Only days with that Droid droid and already you’re leaving us. That’s a scary powerful piece of tech, is it directing your dreams yet?

  32. When you say “plush Scalzi toy” all I hear is “new craft project for the summer”.

    Seriously, though, have a great vacation from Whatever.


  33. A plush toy? When did that get marketed? Did I miss something?

    Have a great vacation/break from Whatever.

  34. It is the price of success. I have seen it on several other blogs. Oh well… I got much more than I payed for!

    Seriously, congratulations I am glad that the Scalzi clan is doing so well. Enjoy your time off!

  35. Well, you’ve got to do SOMETHING with your six weeks, so here, go listen to bassoons playing Journey:

  36. A plush toy? When did that get marketed? Did I miss something?

    Actually, it was originally created as a voodoo doll by John’s cat. It was later repurposed as a “plush toy”.

  37. Wow – I’d like to have a Scalzi “One Big Favor” in the bank.

    Kind of like getting a wish from a genie- you want to be sure to think about it and use it wisely.

  38. I can’t wait until they come out with a Krissy plush doll!! :)
    Enjoy your vacation John.
    I’m about to end my nine week vacation and start back to teaching on August 9th.
    Thats the day I’m supposed to be reporting back to work but I’ll be on my way back home from NASFiC.
    Have fun John!!!! :)

  39. Enjoy your vacation John.
    Your family deserves your presence :)

    And I definitely look forward to reading your guests’ posts – just because I trust your judgment and fully expect to enjoy them.

  40. The Scalzi plush toy I sewed together tastes like a giant pretzel. Giant pretzels obviously taste COMPLETELY different than regular pretzels.

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