My Very Sensitive Author Photo

For when I finally ditch this speculative fiction nonsense and buckle down to write a True Work of Mopey Bastardery. Can’t you sense my pain? My sad, bearded pain?

I think this shall be the book that I write for this author photo:

It shall be a stunning examination of the emptiness of the human condition. But with allegory! Because it can’t be a True Work of Mopey Bastardery without allegory. And quiet, desperate alcoholism. Also, meaningful silences. And pie. Allegorical pie.

I’m going to put on some Okkervil River and get right to work! Wish me luck!

74 Comments on “My Very Sensitive Author Photo”

  1. Well, you’ve got the author photo, the title, and the cover shot already. The rest is just throwing some allegorical emptiness into a computer. It practically writes itself!

  2. Your protagonist must be pitted with a dilemma where they are confronted with the previously mentioned allegorical pie and a delicious cake which we all know is a lie…

  3. I will buy this book, even if it’s a collection of pictures of your cats and dogs, as long as it has snarky comments for captions.

    If you will not write it, you should change it to “Edited by” and then put out an open challenge to Whatever readers to write it for you.

  4. I’m thinking Walter in “The Big Lebowski.”

    Any day you’re compared to John Goodman is a good day.

  5. Allegorical pie, allegorical pie
    If I don’t get some, I think I’m going to die
    Take away the green grass, take away the sky
    But don’t take away my Allegorical pie

    (with apologies to Dennis Lee)

  6. And then the protagonist will make a pie of cake and fall into despondency because nothing will ever equal the greatness of the ineffable pie-cake.

  7. I think Neil Diamond wrote a song about allegorical pie long ago. If you get stuck, just meditate on Neil. He will show you the way.

  8. I think the book cover would be more emo if you changed the font to Comic Sans.

    More… SOMETHING, anyway.

  9. Also, what about the cake that got left out in the rain?

    I don’t think I can take it…

  10. Stunning. I can actually hear Maureen Corrigan reviewing it on Fresh Air. Really actually. SHE’S IN MY HEAD RIGHT NOW!

  11. For true literary greatness, you’ll need to make just a few tweaks.

    –You need a Macbook, preferably the newest and thinnest model, so you can look down on the tragically unhip at the coffee shop. (“Is that one of the old 2008 polycarbonate Macbooks? You dweeb.)

    –A turtleneck. Because nothing says “serious artist” like a turtleneck. A tweed or corduroy sport coat with elbow patches is also acceptable.

    –A goatee.

    Follow those easy steps for improvement, and there will be a Literature Nobel medal next to those Hugos in no time. For extra impact, you can have it fashioned into a necklace and wear it on your chest, above your shirt or jacket.

  12. You look like my brother, only way younger. So I popped over to the wikipedia to find out just how much younger, and dude, I have t-shirts older than you. (And, of course, the brother.)

    But that wiki photo is so radically different. I would like to see that photo and your bearded emo photo meet and do a Formidable Opponent scene.

  13. Sorry, I think you look far too secure and confident in your author photo. And it needs a windswept cliff, and maybe you should wear a jacket with the collar turned up, as the rain washes over you and trickles down your face like tears.

  14. Extra bonus pretentiousness points if you wear the turtleneck and elbow-patched blazer together.

  15. Psst. The T-shirt is supposed to be BLACK. It could also be ironic, but since we can’t see the front that’s really not an option unless you’re sporting a lot of piercings. The visible kind, I mean.

  16. Yanno what? Toss everything out but the pie.

    And add in some bacon.

    And a cat.

    But don’t make it a crime novel if you put in a cat. That’s just wrong.

  17. The pie is an allegory for a nubile co-ed for whom the professor protagonist leaves his cold-hearted wife.

    Then she dies of a tragic and pointless car accident, and the professor sits at the table and eats the sad, sad pie.

  18. I must say this photo really brings out your nostrils. Can’t wait to grab a copy of Dreams and carry it around with a bookmark in it and display it prominently on my nightstand without ever actually finding the time or energy to plow through it.

  19. By the way, my son says pie is the new bacon, and he’s plugged into all the young people lingo and trends now, you know. I think Ghlaughghee should be worried about that.

  20. Sadly, I think someone in an MFA program is working on this very title RIGHT NOW.

    Angst is all!

  21. No, no. The trees are all wrong. You need to be photographed staring up at the sky as you stand in the middle of your Big Damn Lawn, watching as symbols of America’s cultural aridity go up in flames, like broken children’s toys, a DVD player you got at a yard sale, Harlequin Romances, and whatever unused makeup you can steal from Krissy.

  22. “(“Is that one of the old 2008 polycarbonate Macbooks? You dweeb.)”

    I bought the Macbook I’m typing on in 2005. Does that make me super dweeby, or have I crossed over to old-school hardcore?

  23. Catherine @ 39:
        Be serious. There is no possible way that John would tape pie to the Ghlaghghster.

        Wait – what am I saying?

  24. What the…? Uhh, Scalzi, you didn’t respond to one of those spammy emails offering “CHEAP!! ROGAINE!!!!”, did you? Because whatever they sent you, it wasn’t Rogaine.

    Dude, you’ve got trees growing out the top of your head.

  25. I believe that you could write a stunning examination of the emptiness of the human condition, with allegory, and write it well, if there were demand for it and you were being paid well for it.

    But I don’t think I believe that this is in the near future for you.

    I confess that if you did write this book… I’d probably give it a try.

  26. I’ll be honest, I’m not getting “sensitive writer with his heart on his sleeve” as much as “what you lookin’ at punk?” Or maybe “my art is so beyond your feeble aesthetic sensibilities I don’t know why you even try.”

  27. your fans should start a contest to come up with the best “non science fiction/fantasy” book idea for John.

    I see John as a future romance writer. He could write a romance about 2 gay republicans who are tea party members.

    Maybe a political thriller about an evil conservative conspiracy to force everyone to carry a gun?

  28. I think that if ever I’m at one of John’s signing sessions, I’ll make a fake dust jacket using that picture to cover one of John’s real books. John will worry that he’s unwittingly fallen into an alternate universe where he’s an emo poet.

    (What do you mean that it won’t be that easy messing with John’s head ?!?)

  29. I put in another vote for Wil Wheaton takeover. When was the last time you two were seen in the same room? With at least one of you drinking water whilst the other says “Bottle of beer”?

  30. Guess @ 56:

    I see John as a future romance writer. He could write a romance about 2 gay republicans who are tea party members.

    Based on a true story, of course.

    It could be called Turnback Mountain.

  31. For some reason this makes me think of Edward Gorey’s The Unstrung Harp. :)

    And I think you could make it into an excellent Angsty Urban Fantasy photo by the addition of some small, understated black horns coming out of your forehead, right around the hairline.

  32. FADE IN
    (Sam clicks on Whatever bookmark and reads post by Scalzi)
    (Shakes head)
    Scalzi keeps baking pies, but I never get to eat the motherfuckers.

  33. I’ve got a nit to pick. “Dreams, Crushed like WEEDS?” Dude. Have you ever TRIED to crush weeds? You could get on the biggest stompy boots EVER and jump up and down on the things all day, and you’d get nothing but tired calves. Unless it was blackberry brambles, in which case you’d be grabbed by them almost immediately and they’d suck out your bodily fluids with their hollow vacuum-thorns.

    So, “Dreams, Crushed Like Some Damn Fool Who Tries To Crush Weeds” would be a much better title.

  34. So is Allegorical Pie related in any way to Schadenfreude Pie? ‘Cause if it is, I wants me some.

  35. Dude, you kinda look like Wil Wheaton in that photo…

    Yeah, I said Dude. I grew up in the 80s. :-D

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