It’s Monday. Have an Open Pimp Thread

I’m feeling sort of introspective today and not like I want to be spending the whole day in front of the computer, so I’m going to take the day off today. I get to do that sometimes. But in my absence, why don’t you tell us about something you’d like to have people know about? It could be something you’re doing, something a friend is doing, or even just something cool you’ve found that you want to share with others. Go ahead and tell us about it in the comments.

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. I recommend one link per comment, and making more than one comment if you have more than one thing to suggest.

The thing I’m pointing out today: Subterranean Press has come out with a new edition of The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox, the three-novel omnibus of Barry Hughart’s vastly entertaining Master Li series, including Bridge of Birds, which is one of my all-time favorite fantasy novels. The edition corrects some typos in the previous edition. If you’ve not read these books, I can’t recommend them enough, and I envy you getting to read them for the first time.

So. What would you like to share?

149 Comments on “It’s Monday. Have an Open Pimp Thread”

  1. Wearing my Old Earth Books ( hat, I’ll be reprinting Pavane by Keith Roberts. I have laudatory quotes from these up & coming writers: George R R Martin, Terry, Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, and some others. Hope to have it out by the end of the year. Cover art by Leo & Diane Dillon too.

  2. I’d like to pimp my website It’s a resource site for fans of science fiction and fantasy literature where you can browse cover art galleries all the major awards like Hugo, Nebula and Clarke and “best of” lists such as SF Masterworks, The Guardian Best SF/F and the NPR list. You can also track your reading history, submit your own reviews etc. Too much to list here. I hope you’ll check us out!

  3. I have recently discovered my local library allows you to check out ebooks, for use on reading devices such as my NookColor, or on any computer/tablet running the Adobe Reader software. They also have digital download lends of audiobooks. The DRM means there can only be a certain number of copies lent out at a time, and they disable reading after your ‘lending period’ is up. But it’s still pretty cool living in the future.

  4. Thanks for the chance to pimp John. I always like when you do this. I would like to pimp out my blog. I deal with all things geek but right now I am mostly concentrating on reviewing all 52 #1 issues in the DC Comics reboot. The first 14 are up,

    The Pleonsatic Rants of C.S. Daley –

    Why your there take a look at a few of the novels I have for sale.

    Thanks again,


  5. First of all, thanks very much to John for allowing folks to pimp. You are a true mensch, sir. *tips cap*

    Two things I’d like to pimp, if our host would so indulge me.

    The first is a charity anthology put together by members of the Liars Club, which includes in its number myself, Jonathan Maberry, Gregory Frost, William Lashner, Marie Lamba, Solomon Jones, Merry Jones, Keith Strunk, Edward Pettit, Dennis Tafoya, Don Lafferty, Jon McGoran, Kelly Simmons, and, sadly, the late L.A. Banks (rest in peace, Leslie). (And yes, it’s a group of just over a dozen, and we’ve got two Joneses, two Jonathans, and two Keiths — go fig’.) Anyhow, our new anthology is Liar Liar, a collection of tales in a variety of genres about deceit and deception, perjury and prevarication, falsehoods and fibs by some truly fine liars. Do check it out. Part of the proceeds go to benefit literacy organizations, so it’s not only a good book, buying it is inherently noble!

    Also I have a new novel out that you’ll all love. SCPD: The Case of the Claw, the first book about the Super City Police Department — cops who have to deal with enforcing the law in a city filled with costumed superheroes. Here’s the back cover copy, which sums it up nicely:

    The great metropolis of Super City is the home of dozens of costumed heroes: Spectacular Man, the Terrific Trio, the Bruiser, the Superior Six, and more.

    This isn’t their story…

    When the heroes are done punching out the villains, it’s left to the stalwart men and women of the Super City Police Department to restrain them, arrest them, and hope that this time there’s enough evidence to actually convict them.

    The mutated spree killer known as the Claw has returned, leaving bloody victims all over Super City. While Homicide detectives try to find out who the Claw really is, uniformed officers must deal with the Bolt’s escape from the drunk tank, and the bumblings of aspiring hero Knight Dude. Meanwhile, the Superior Six claim they’ll cooperate with the police and stop the Claw—but they’re busy fighting the Brute Squad and stonewalling the cops. The SCPD must find out the Claw’s deadly secret, before he claims another victim!

    Don’t take my word for it that you’ll love the book, though. It’s got three five-star reviews on Amazon (which can be seen at the link above), plus another five-star review on Smashwords, and another gushing review at Unreality SF. FIVE PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET CAN’T POSSIBLY BE WRONG!!!!


  6. Hello, Open Pimp Thread, how are you?

    I’ve been busy lately. I’ve been building custom bicycle frames out of steel. I took a year-long apprenticeship and now I’ve started my own business, building them. My first one goes off to a customer in Singapore later this week, another one goes to a client in Minneapolis at the end of next week, and one will be getting shipped off to Arizona in the coming weeks.

    Not much of a website now, but that’s on the “to-fix” agenda for tonight.

  7. Testing…1…2..Is this thing on?

    I’ve never done this sort of thing before, but I think my last post fits in more than most since it is kind of about science fiction movies and Mr. Scalzi is sort of an expert on that sort of thing.

    Please check out my blog about a geekdad trying to cook : The Mike/Mitch Project. Thanks.

  8. I detest pimps. I have known a few, and fail to see anything they have done as worthy, and before you get all uptight about my negative feelings toward a small sector of society, think carefully about whose cause you are taking up.

    But I digress, quite possibly to the detriment of my message: I cannot resist taking advantage of John’s thoughtfully provided forum to bring to your attention a young author of the forthcoming YA paranormal: Tangled Tides for your reading pleasure.

    I had the very great pleasure of meeting Karen Hooper in the flesh, and was enriched by the process. I am quite sure Karen will be will be bringing many good things to YA and to the written word. Indeed, she already has.

    Doubt me? Then please read this:

  9. I wanted to point people to my Vacation in the Golden Age posts. I started reading “golden age” issues of Astounding Science Fiction beginning with the July 1939 issue. I read the issue cover to cover and then do a detailed post on the issue. I do one every 2 weeks and the posts usually come out Sunday afternoons. I’ve covered the first 23 issues of the Golden Age so far and this Sunday, Episode 24 (covering the June 1941 issue) will be posted, and will complete the first two years of the Golden Age. The comments to the post often have as much interesting information as the posts themselves. If folks are interested in the history of science fiction or golden age authors and stories, check out the posts.

    Thanks for the opportunity to signal boost some stuff, John.

  10. I’d like to pimp out (could be taken a couple of different ways, I guess) a murder-mystery web series I wrote/directed titled “Curtain Call”. It centers around the on-stage murder of an actress during a live performance and is a combo Agatha Christie whodunnit/police procedural. Shot for only $2500 in Fargo, ND, I’m sure you’ll find it interesting!

  11. I’m part of a recently announced bid to held a NASFiC (North America Science Fiction Convention) in the Phoenix area in 2014 when WorldCon will most likely be in London. It is being sponsored by Leprecon, Inc. The voting for it won’t actually happen until 2013, but we’re ready to take pre-support memberships at the website. Magnus and Loki fans should check it out as well since we’ve got them on board.

  12. I’ve recently published the sixth issue of a quarterly print sf/f magazine, Bull Spec, having had the great pleasure of interviewing two recent “Big Idea” folks (Lev Grossman and Lewis Shiner) and publishing reviews/interviews of other “Big Idea” folks (TC McCarthy, Ann and Jeff VanderMeer). Working on issue 7…

    And beyond. I’ve gone about as far as I can go as a “this is my all-consuming, full-time hobby that I do after work and family, instead of sleep and friends and exercise” thing. So there’s a few weeks left in a “Year 3” Kickstarter campaign to allow things to go where I think they can go with more people at the helm. Fun rewards include things like short story critiques from Kij Johnson, original artwork from covers and story illustration, and, speaking of those “Big Idea” folks, a Tuckerization from Lew Shiner.

    There’s a PDF version in addition to the print, which looks really, really good on the iPad, by the way….

  13. Jeff Vandermeer said, “A promising first novel from an interesting stylist with a lot of atmosphere and chills.” He was talking about my book, Crude Sunlight. I’m pretty chuffed at having earned that blurb, so why don’t you hop over to my book page and take a look? It’s not like it’s the King In Yellow, or anything like that. Promise.

  14. Thanks, John, for giving us the chance to share — even us lurkers. ; ) I’m subscribed to your blog and have commented a few times, but I mostly keep quiet and watch the goings-on. Which are always entertaining and thought-provoking, so I thank you for that, too.

    My current project is final edits of my second Christian fantasy novel, SHADOWS AFTER MIDNIGHT, which is also Book 2 in my Demons of Saltmarch series. Shadows is due out October 8th. Forsooth, excitement and nervousness abound!

  15. I’ve recently discovered Duane Swierczinski, who writes as if his pants are on fire. Amazing books, many crossing between genres. I reviewed Expiration Date here: And I just reviewed Fun and Games on my personal website, Reading the Leaves, to which you can probably figure out the URL if you want to (I don’t want to risk a second link kicking me out of here). No, I’m not Swierczinski’s publicist, nor his friend or relative; just a reader who loves to pass good books on to other readers.

  16. I’d like to pimp Kater Cheek’s urban fantasy novel (first in the series) “Seeing Things”. If you like your urban fantasy to have characters who are still human enough to be recognizable, or if you like your vampires to be neither sparkly nor perfect superheroes, or if you just like a good story well told, this is a book you should check out. And rest assured, if you love this one, there are already two more in the series.

    From the ebook description: “Coffee shop barista Kit Melbourne inherited a magic jewel to let her tell the humans from the glamour-disguised faeries, the Goth poseurs from the real vampires. Her bindi lets her know which witch casts real spells and which one just went through the motions. The only trouble is, plenty of people want a jewel like hers. And someone is willing to kill for it.”

    Available from Amazon here:
    Available from Smashwords here:

  17. Two things, one for me and one for a friend:

    1) I just had a non-fiction piece published in the new issue of Apex Magazine entitled “The Improbable, Inevitable Domestication of the Great Old Ones: HP Lovecraft’s Iconic Influence on 21st-Century Fantastic Literature and Culture:” . This issue also has some solid fiction from Gra Linnaea and Betsy Phillips.

    2) Paul Jessup has opened a Kickstarter project for his next novel, a surrealistic space opera entitled Spiral Suns: . Paul writes high-energy, risky prose and given his previous work (especially Open Your Eyes, another surreal space opera) I think this new novel could be powerful and downright infective. Well worth supporting!

  18. What’s the worst movie pitch you can come up with that Hollywood might still conceivably make? That’s the challenge my friend Alex White and I have set for ourselves in our new podcast Disasterpiece Theatre. In the most recent episode we convinced Colin Ferguson, who plays Sheriff Carter on Eureka, to help us invent a Eureka movie as directed by Michael Bay. For fans of Eureka, I’ll warn you: we do terrible things to the character of Fargo, and replace Jordan Hinson with Megan Fox as Carter’s daughter Zoe.

  19. Thank you John!
    I’d like to pimp my short story collection, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades. These are stories that all, save one, earned an honorable mention in the Writer’s Of The Future Contest. The collection is just .99 cents. You can get it here for your kindle at Amazon
    and for all other e-readers here at Smashwords.
    These are all stories if Horror and dark SF.

  20. I’m pimpin a book that my best friend’s Mom wrote. It’s a murder mystery mixed in with some paranormal goodness. NO! Don’t turn your nose up at it. Yes I see and am watching you.. *grin*

    I am so very proud that I got to be apart of this book. I got to hear bits and peices as my friend helped her Mom with ideas for the story line.. I got the honor of reading and adding my 2 cents to a couple of chapters.. OH OH and I nearly wet myself when I heard that most of my suggestions were used to develop the main character of the book.(He’s SEXY!!! You’re welcome! hehehe) So to say that I’m a little attached to this book is totally an understatement. hehe.. Please.. take a look at the link.. look inside the book. If it’s something you’d be interested in reading PLEASE buy it.

    OH! And I get to be one of the murder victims in her next book. SQUEAAALLLL!!

    Thanks John! You rock. ;)

  21. For anyone in the Midwest (or with budget to travel) I’d like to pimp Photographie 51, a photography studio that does amazing work at “there has to be a catch”-level rates. Jennifer, the chief photographer, specializes in editorial/artistic photography for high school seniors, newborns, children, families, engagements, head shots, fashion, and pretty much anything except for weddings. She runs her business out of the Chicago area but she does work all over the Midwest.

    You can see her Newest Work over at her blog. Be forewarned, it’s the middle of senior season so it’s very “high school senior” focused at the moment. If you’d like to see some more eclectic/artistic photography check out the Random section of her portfolioHERE

    If you are a new parent looking for some nice pictures for friends and family, an old parent looking to capture your senior before they head off to college, or an author looking for a new dust jacket photo on a budget, look no further.

  22. I’m pimping my newest game – it’s an RPG and/or collaborative storytelling game for kids, parents, educators and other interested folks. Rather than create a character sheet, your character is based off of a sock puppet you construct for the game.

    Argyle & Crew is available now at DriveThruRPG for $2.99 (PDF) with the softcover forthcoming at $9.

    Also of note – 25% of the proceeds from sales of this game go to The Wayne Foundation, a 503(c) charitable organization dedicated to helping young girls who are victims of underage prostitution in the US.

  23. I am pimping the verb ‘strunk.’

    Strunk — to aggressively line-edit for concision. From William Strunk, of The Elements Of Style.

    “Someone needs a strunking.”

    “Let me see this after you’ve strunked it.”

    “I don’t know about you, but some mornings I like to just get down and strunk.”

  24. Thanks John! And lots of really great posts here already.

    I’d like to pimp my partner’s project:
    Street Books – A bicycle-powered mobile library for people living outside.

    She (Laura Moulton) started off with a grant, and it’s been successful enough that they’re looking to turn it into an ongoing project, partially using the patrons as librarians (creating jobs!).

    To launch it into an ongoing project, they’ve started a Kickstarter Campaign here: There’s a good video overview of the project there.

    Ben Parzybok

  25. In January, the Crucible (a sort of industrial arts theater and collective) will be performing a Fire Opera in Oakland called MACHINE. This opera is based on my short story “Dea Ex Machina.” More information on the opera can be found at the Crucible’s website ( ), and the original story can be found in my collection Machina ( , available in both Kindle and paperback).

  26. A good friend’s husband is starting a small press comic publisher, IC Geeks Publishing, and has put up a Kickstarter for an anthology series that will give new and aspiring comics artists, writers, inkers, colorists, etc. a venue to display their talent. I plan to contribute financially, and hope that some interested comics fans might be interested in sending a donation their way.

  27. We’re in pre-production for Ninjas vs. Monsters, the sequel to Ninjas vs. Zombies and Ninjas vs. Vampires. We’re starting a Kickstarter campaign this weekend, but if you want to bookmark and head back later, that would be cool. Even $5 would buy some gaffer’s tape! In the meantime, you can video-on-demand Ninjas vs. Vampires through Netflix and enjoy some very-low-budget comedy/horror from the backwoods of Northern Virginia. (Yeah, IMDB lists a budget … we wish we’d had that much.)

  28. I’ve got nothing to pimp this week, but man, I love to follow this thread whenever it pops up. I’ve discovered some fun new stuff on previous pimp threads.

  29. I’m hip deep in my second novel, but you can read my first, The Machine of the World:

    As the world succumbs to a slow death, choking on mushrooms and poison, a young servant girl is caught in the last attempts by human hands to thwart fate and the destiny of all living things. The King of Ruhleheim made a deal for immortality but not longevity. 1500 years later, his mummified corpse keeps his descendants up at night. But Prince Laslo and his twin sister, Princess Lydia have a plan to rid themselves of the king once and for all. Inez Vespertine, Lady’s Maid to Princess Lydia, overhears this scheme. To get her out of the way, the royal twins send her to visit their cousin, the Marquise, who lives deep within the Ergot Forest, a vast swatch of poisonous fungus that is overtaking the world. But when Inez returns not just alive and well but with a scheme of her own, the conniving twins are befuddled. Who will survive to rule a dying world?

    It’s available for free (PDF, sorry, no Kindle version yet) and in paper form for the reasonable price of $10 yankee dollars from Create Space or Amazon.

  30. Hey, cool. On my blog, which is: I’m serializing a novella featuring my thriller series character, Derek Stillwater. I’m up to Chapter 7A today of DIRE STRAITS. In the novels, Derek is a troubleshooter for Homeland Security, a former Army Special Forces expert on biological and chemical warfare. I took this opportunity to go back to 1992 and visit Derek when he had just left the military and joined the CIA and was sent to Cuba undercover to look into a pharmaceutical company the CIA thought was manufacturing biowarfare agents. Check it out. It’s FREE!

  31. My friend, Paul Victor Wargelin, had his short story collection Twisted Tumbleweed Tales published this past spring by ebook publisher Crossroad Press. It’s 18 tales of the Weird West and all the bizarre, reality-skewed wonderfulness that comes with it. Santa Claus is a wanted man, a donkey faces off against a band theives and Jack the Ripper has some new stomping grounds. It’s an awesome collection I am happy to note I’ve been reading from the earliest stories, waiting patiently for them to be collected for the world at large, and proud to shout about here. Thanks for the opportunity to do so.

  32. Thanks for the opportunity to talk about my work.

    One of the features of my Web site, Les Pages aux Folles, is a series of news articles and opinion pieces written by reporters of the Alternate Reality News Service. The basic conceit is that ARNS send reporters into other dimensions, and they write about what they find there. The feature has been described as “a science fiction version of The Onion.”

    As it has evolved, two advice columns have been added to the mix. “Ask Amritsar” is a column about love and romance and sex and technology. “Ask the Tech Answer Guy” is about technology and anything that doesn’t involve love or romance. The Tech Answer Guy doesn’t do love or romance. It’s a thing with him. Don’t ask. Anyway, for the last few months, I have been asking readers to submit questions to the advice columns. If I use your question, your name will be immortalized on my Web site (and, hopefully, in a future print collection of advice columns, working title: The Alternate Reality News Service’s Guide To Love, Sex And Robots).

    While my writing is humourous, the offer is sincere. If anybody would be interested in contributing a question to either of the advice columns, they should probably read some samples to get a sense of what I am looking for. Starting at the beginning of September (to mark the ninth anniversary of my Web site), a new advice column will be posted every week; you can find a link to it on the front page. In addition, there was a chapter of advice columns in my third collection of ARNS stories, Luna for the Lunies!. It can be found here. Look for the chapter on ALTERNATE ADVICE.

    I look forward to your contributions.

  33. It’s fall, which is apparently zombie season in Iowa! Three zombie-flavored charity events coming up for those living in the Midwest:

    Iowa City Zombie March, Saturday, September 17:

    Des Moines Zombie Walk, Saturday, October 1:

    Iowa City Zombie Ball, Thursday, October 20:

    Thanks for the pimpage post — I’m not involved in organizing any of these, but it’s nice to be able to give friends a shout-out. (Three different groups of friends, no less.)

  34. The lead singer for The Angry Orts is the daughter of someone I work with.

    I love the band & wanted to share.

    We R Electric is my favorite song, but I have plenty of other’s as well.

    Thanks for the opportunity & I hope that everyone takes a moment to check them out.

  35. I took a class in stand up comedy about a year ago, and have done several open mics in the DC area since then. I’m curious as to whether pimping my graduation video will appreciably drive up my page views. (And have people pay attention to ME! ME! ME!)

    Warinng: Not genre-related in any way, and NSFWish, in a poop joke kind of way.

  36. Hi, I’m the Internet’s Jeff Zugale! You’ve seen my visual art work in the Unicorn Pegasus Kitten painting and the first pass at the cover to John’s Fuzzy Nation, but did you know I’m also a recording artist?

    Yes indeed. Under the rocker name “Jeff Steele,” my previous career was hard rock/”hair metal” lead singer/guitarist, and my friends and I released a CD in 1996 called “Steele” which until recently was a vary rare, hard to find Japanese import going for over $100 a copy on eBay.

    Happily, the CD has been re-mastered and re-released worldwide by England’s Z Records and retitled “Tricks Up My Sleeve,” and is available now. If you’re a fan of ’80s rock like Dokken, Whitesnake, Van Halen, Ozzy Osbourne, Warrant etc., you will definitely enjoy this disc. As a bonus, I also did all the album artwork!

    You can learn more, hear a few of the songs for free, and find links to where you can buy “Tricks Up My Sleeve” here:

    Thanks as always for the pimp thread, John!

  37. Something to take the mind off everything else – politics, terrorism, major league baseball in Chicago – I heard an interview of an author who wrote a book about the longest professional baseball game ever. Outstanding interview, I downloaded the book to my Kindle app and it is a good read. It is surprising to learn how many eventual baseball hall-of-famers played in this minor-league game, on the same team, and against each other; surprising also to learn that a couple of these HOF’ers were once little-regarded prospects. It is interesting, too, to learn about strong minor league prospects who never made the big leagues because their parent teams had othe HOF’ers at their respective positions.

    I’m a baseball fan. If you are, you might like this book too. If you’re a fan of east-coast history, there might be things about the book you’ll enjoy too.

    “Bottom of the 33rd: Hope and Redemption in Baseball’s Longest Game” by Dan Barry

  38. Joan Slonczewski’s The Highest Frontier is released tomorrow, Tuesday Sept 13. The blurb:

    Go to college in a space habitat financed by a tribal casino, colonized by a geocentrist church, and defended from aliens by Homeworld Security.

    Recall that Joan won the 1987 John W. Campbell award for her A Door Into Ocean.

  39. Well, I’m looking for a job. I’m a technical writer, software QA analyst, and technical support analyst. I’ve written manuals, business requirements, functional specifications, detailed test plans, and diagnostic procedures for technical support.* (I’ve also written – or rewritten – most of the important memos for almost every boss I’ve had in the past decade.) If I understand something myself, I can explain it to anyone. I start from the end-user perspective, but also have the ability to communicate with hard-core techies.

    My LinkedIn profile is here.

    John, if you feel this is an inappropriate use of the OPT, please accept my apologies and delete it.

    *That is, “scripts” that can be followed by a relatively non-technical support person to determine what problem a user is having, and collect the information needed to resolve it.

  40. I have nothing of my own to add to the pile, but while I was Pointedly Ignoring the Media yesterday, I discovered the Salted Caramel Mocha at *bucks.

    If you’re into that sort of thing, holy cow, it was delicious.

  41. I’d like to pimp a charity event in Seattle this weekend!

    Seattle’s 6th annual Can’t Stop the Serenity movie screening & shindig is this Saturday the 17th at the Museum of History & Industry.

    Girl Genius’s Cheyenne Wright is the MC; tons of awesome stuff is up for raffle drawing (including passes to Emerald City ComicCon) and there’ll be a live concert by, well, me. :) Or rather, my band. And we’ll probably do a lot of Seanan McGuire’s songs since she’s written more Firefly stuff than I have. ;)

  42. I’m going to pimp my choir, the Cherry Creek Chorale. We gave a free concert for 9/11 with about 12 other choirs and orchestra. Everybody involved donated something, including a free concert hall. Really moving and made everybody involved feel good.

    If you’re in Denver, check us out

    Thanks for the free pimp John.

  43. My local club, WSFA, is putting on their annual convention, Capclave, October 14-16 at the Gaithersburg Hilton.

    this year’s guests of honor are Carrie Vaughn and Catherynne Valente. We’re doing books for each author that you can pre-order on the registration page of the Capclave website. Catherynne Valente has written an original novella for us called Silently and Very Fast and Carrie Vaughn has collected 10 of her non-Kitty short stories and Jay Lake has done the introduction. $20 each for convention goers, and after the convention available for $25 to the general public.

    And if you come to the con, you can buy your memberships for next year at the very low rate of $35. In 2012 our GOHs will be John Scalzi and Nick Mamatas.

  44. I’ll play.

    If you guys aren’t already members of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, I urge you to become so. Not only do you get to put your money toward the study of some of the world’s most interesting creatures, but you get the spiffy quarterly magazine Living Bird to boot.

    And since they’re publishing an article of mine in the upcoming fall issue–learn all about the seamy underside of reintroducing Atlantic Puffins to the coast of Maine!–you can take further satisfaction in enjoying the work of a fellow Scalzi fan while you examine the outstanding photography and columns by Pete Dunne, Jack Connor, and some of the best writer/birders in the nation.

  45. I’m yet another former print news journalist who has just published a science fiction novel. Mine’s called Through Struggle, the Stars, which I am here to pimp. Here’s the blurb:

    In 2139, a network of artificial wormholes has allowed humanity to reach nearby stars, where nations fiercely compete to settle new colony worlds. War is imminent between Earth’s top powers, China and Japan, for reasons that no one fully understands.

    Neil Mercer, a freshly commissioned officer in the United States Space Force, is assigned to shepherd a senior spy on a covert mission that risks drawing America into the conflict. In a story featuring high adventure, interstellar intrigue and some of the most scientifically realistic space combat depicted in fiction, Neil and his comrades must face difficult questions about duty, citizenship and national interest as they struggle to discover why the war threatens to engulf every nation on Earth.

    It is available in paperback as well as various e-book formats. It has to date received only five-star reviews on Amazon. Information on the story and setting and links to retailers are on my web site, The Human Reach. Thanks for your interest.

    And here’s a bonus pimp from which I derive no direct benefit: Meet Dustin Edge, a friend and musician. He’s on tour on the East Coast … do check out his work. Great stuff.

  46. I’m pimping “Frazz”, one of the wittiest things to hit the funny papers in the last ten years. This strip and the next one are fine examples.

    Also, my friend Russ recently used the word “schadenfreudegasm” in a sentence. It appears to be used correctly as well. We should all start using such a fine word.

  47. I’ll mention my favorite SF bookstore ever: If you’re in Minneapolis, MN, be sure to stop by; otherwise, yes, they’re happy to conduct business over the phone or through newfangled highfalutin’ Internet methodologies. I’ve been going there for 20 years and hope to continue to do so for at least another 20 more.

  48. My totally awesome and gorgeous friend Jessica sells adorable, one of a kind handmade cat figurines on Etsy. Profits are used to fund her work managing feral cat colonies. She pays for food and medical attention out of her pocket, as she is THAT awesome!

  49. Hi,

    After years of saying I was going to start a fanzine, I finally did this year. Issues #1/2 and #1 are up, and I’m working on Issue #2, which is a theme issue on the Hugos. I’m always looking for contributors, and you don’t have to be in the fanzine fan fold to write for me. Check them out:

    Rhyme & Paradox

    While you’re at it, you should poke around the rest of the site as well. There’s some good reading there.

  50. I’d like to share my recent “discovery” of Kurt Vonnegut, specifically the short story collection Welcome to the Monkey House, which I’m loving.
    I’ll also pimp my post-apocalyptic buddy comedy webseries, The End.

  51. Thanks John. I’d like to pimp our convention, FenCon. If you are anywhere within driving and/or flying distance of Dallas Texas next weekend then we heartily encourage you to join us for FenCon VIII on Sept 23-25. We are hosting DeepSouthCon 49, a regional convention based in the southern United States. This is the first time that DeepSouthCon has ever been held in Texas and we are quite proud of the honor.

    We have amazing guests this year:

    – Guest of Honor (GoH) Gail Carriger, author of the popular “Parasol Protectorate” steampunk series.

    – Music GoH Joe Bethancourt,a musician who plays more instruments than you can probably name

    – Fen GoH Steven H. Silver, a multiple Hugo award winning fanzine editor

    – Artist GoH Vincent Di Fate, Hugo & Chesley award winning artist. He is joining us through the virtual magic of the Internet

    – Science GoH Les Johnson, Deputy Manager for NASA’s Advanced Concepts Office. Has written several non-fiction and SF books.

    – Toastmaster Bradley Denton, author & musician and all around great guy

    – Special Guest Lou Anders, editorial director at Pyr. Oh and he won a Hugo this year!

    – Special Guest Stephan Martiniere, internationally acclaimed artist

    plus many more great guests.

    In celebration of our Guest of Honor and DeepSouthCon, our theme this year is Southern Steam. You haven’t seen steampunk until you’ve seen southern steampunk.

    You can find more information on our website

    Please come and join us for great discussions, art, music and more.

    And if you can’t join us, then please look around and find a SF convention near you. There are lots of them all over the US and the world run by dedicated fans. There is no better place to meet your favorite authors, artists, and new friends than at a con. Go find one and have fun!

  52. FWIW, I was a special guest at FenCon two years ago, and had a FANTASTIC time. The con is definitely worth your while to attend, and I really really really wish I could afford to go back there. *sigh*

    (Hey, Tim! Invite me back, dadgummit!)

  53. I would like to pimp a fantasy series by Lindsay Buroker, who decided to experiment with self publishing ebooks. I stumbled across the first one in iBooks simply because I happened to look at the just posted books at the same moment it was the latest one to be entered, and then I sought out anything else I could find by her because they’re really good.

    Here are links to the Smashwords versions:

    Encrypted (prequel)
    The Emperor’s Edge (book 1)
    Ice Cracker II and other stories (short stories after the Emperor’s Edge)
    The Dark Currents (book 2)

    Also available from iBooks and Amazon’s Kindle Store.

    Please buy them, I want her to write more.

  54. Well, since you asked….

    I’ve got about 40 years work of Analog SF magazine that needs to find a new home. This pile starts with ’63 or ’64, and runs pretty continuously up through the Mid 2000’s. I’ve read them all at least twice, and I’d like them to find a home where they’ll be read and appreciated. This is about 4 book moving boxes full, and is a fair amount of paper. Delivery available within a reasonable distance of the Washington DC area. david dot bengtson at the main google email address should get to me. Careful with the spelling of the last name, it’s tricky.

  55. Always appreciate the open pimp threads John.

    Our new anthology The Worlds of Philip José Farmer 2: Of Dust and Soul–a Numbered Limited Edition of only 500 copies–is out and shipping. If you already own a copy of volume 1, you automatically get a $5 discount off volume 2 and we will of course send you the same number of volume 2.

    Better yet, if you don’t already own volume 1, and you buy both books together you save $7.50 off the cover prices and save even more on the combined shipping–and of course we will send you matching numbers.

  56. First of all, THANK YOU for the link to SubPress. I’ve read “Bridge of Birds,” but finding the other volumes has eluded me. Until now…

    Anyway, pimpage. I usually promo my book review podcast in these things (The Labyrinth Library, which you should still totally go check out), but this time I want to push a project I’m working on: A Year of Stories.. It sounds pretty much like what it says on the tin – every day I write some fiction. Usually over a thousand words, if all is going well. Sometimes the stories connect up, sometimes they don’t, and I make no claims as to the crap-to-gold ratio, but some of it is – in my completely unbiased opinion – not half bad.

    The purpose is twofold. First, to get back into the habit of daily writing, something I had let slide for a long while. And second, to try and push myself creatively in general, to see what’s lurking in my brain when I’m forced to come up with something every day. When the year is done, I hope this will provide me with the experience and the ideas to pursue storywriting more seriously.

    It’s been an exciting/tiring/illuminating experience, and I’m looking forward to keeping it up for the full year. I had a bit of a glitch in August, as I was on vacation and my otherwise rigid self-discipline stayed several time zones behind me, but I’m working on making that up.

    Stop by and say Hi!

    Thanks for the pimpage space, sir….

  57. Hello!

    Have you heard of Kate Grace’s new book Burden of the Soul? Well, now you have. She’s recently had a YA novel published:

    And here are some nice things people on Amazon are saying about it:

    “When I started the book I immediately connected with the main character, Clara. She was the teenage girl that I had been oh so many years ago. As I continued reading I was pulled into the story. My heart raced and I giggled, my heart broke and I cried. This is the best read I have had in ages! I highly recommend this book to women from 15 to 100, and men who love an exciting story.” – H. Boegler

  58. The Orlando Area Science Fiction Society will be holding its annual convention OASIS 25 on May 25-27,2012 at Sheraton Downtown Orlando.

    Our Guests of Honor:
    -L.E. Modesitt (writer),
    -David Weber (writer),
    -Pat and Roger Sims (fan).

    Our website is
    We will have online registration up soon.

  59. Wow, thank you Latasha! Yes, “Burden of the Soul” is my dark YA Urban Fantasy novel that’s keeping people up at night and getting some buzz going.

    Only $2.99 in eBook form. On Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and coming to Kobo and in paperback.

    Feel free to give it a test drive with a free (and quite long) excerpt over at Goodreads:

    What one reviewer said: “The concept of life, death, and continuation of souls presented in this novel are entirely unique to Kate. In creating her paranormal world she combined a lot of elements from many religions around the world as well as a few twists of her own to create a fascinating concept of what happens after we die and what happens to our souls.
    Urban Fantasy at it’s finest Kate brings the world of the dead and old souls into New York City to play. ”

    Thanks for the chance to pimp my work (and to those who already have)!

  60. On a more serious note, I would like to remind/inform everyone that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Every day 46 kids get cancer – for us, it’s been 2 1/2 years since we found out that our little boy had a tumor. Gold ribbons for Childhood Cancer Awareness often get overlooked or overwhelmed by other cancers or other concerns. If you could, please spare a moment and think of all those tiny heroes fighting cancer.

    Thank you!

  61. My friend, Shaun Winter wrote a book about travelling around the country on the Greyhound bus after the September 11th attacks, and also made a book.

    Here’s the link to the book: Book
    And here’s a link to the trailer that he made to go along with the movie he made along with the book: Trailer

    He’s selling it as a pay what you can model, with various rewards. 2 bucks gets you the book, 5 bucks gets you the book and the movie, and 8 bucks gets you the book, the movie, and another film he made.
    Hope you guys enjoy this.

  62. This is the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network‘s 17th anniversary and, in addition to that milestone, they have a lot going on this month. Five years ago, RAINN launched the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline and so far more than 87,000 survivors of sexual assault have gotten help using this innovative method. September 22 is RAINN Day, RAINN’s annual campaign to raise awareness and fight against sexual violence on college campuses. You can visit if you’re interested in making a donation, would like information about volunteering or just want to find out more information about RAINN.

  63. I’d like to pimp my websiteEastern Smooth, which features a blog about Straight razors, Japanese blacksmithing, and various and sundry related themes, and a webshop featuring some of the best Japanese razors and razor goods available.

    I know, it’s kind of niche, but a random comment about shaving i read on this very site 4 or so years ago is what led me down this road, so I figure someone else like me might be out there. And there’s stuff there that I think appeals to people who don’t consider shaving like your great-grandfather all that exciting.

  64. I’ll mention Lisa Snelling’s work – she’s an artist primarily known for her sculptures, which come in all sizes and shapes but usually focus on fantastical elements. She’s worked with lots of people – Neil Gaiman’s written stories based on her works, as have Larry Niven, Gene Wolfe and Peter Beagle. Lisa talks about her work on her blog, often detailing how current works are being made, and there are links there to her Etsy shop (StrangeStudios) for her sculpture sales (including Poppets) and her eBay store (for book sales). Well worth a look if you’re at all artistically inclined.

  65. No pimping today for me. I just want to say that Bridge of Birds was one of the best fantasy novels ever written and that the second book was not far off the mark. Just mention Moon Boy and I still smile.

  66. I’d like to give a big shout out to my friends in the Facebook hydrocephalus communities. Rep. Michele Bachman (sp) has been a big supporter of hydrocephalus funding and research, and Sept. 23 there will be a special event on Capitol Hill commemorating National Hydrocephalus Awareness Month. Check out the FB page:

    I wish I could be there, but I live in TX, and I’m broke. Please, anyone in or near the DC area who can make it to show your support, it’d mean so much to all of us who’ve dealt with this neurological condition since birth.

  67. *timidly raises hand*

    My very first published fiction is in Spellbinding: Tales from the Magic University, an anthology of stories set in Cecilia Tan’s Magic University series about Veritas, a magic version of Harvard. It’s written under the name Sarah Ellis:

  68. I’m gonna pimp Kylie Chan’s series which starts with “White Tiger”. It has been available in Australia and the UK for a while, but is only now being published in the US.
    Premise is a woman working as a nanny in Hong Kong, and her boss turns out to the Xuan Wu, the lord of martial arts. The series is now 6 books long, and is an amazing entree into Chinese myths and culture, and a ripping yarn to boot.
    Check it out!
    And I note that this is on theme with the Chinoiserie of Bridge of Birds.

  69. I’m currently(begrudgingly) selling my first edition signed copy of Mr. Scalzi’s excellent book on writing You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing here: I’m hoping to use the money from the sale to buy a cheap old pinball machine to fix up.

    Unrelated, I wholeheartedly recommend Ernest Cline’s book Ready Player One that was featured here a few weeks back. I read it in a week, which is saying something. I have two young kids in the house, so it usually takes me much more time to get through a novel.

  70. Thank you for the chance to pimp our stuff. I would second your recommendation of The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox’. I was delighted when I saw it available for Kindle, and I’m currently about halfway through Eight Skilled Gentlemen. The Kindle price is very reasonable which is always pleasant.

    My current project is a new ebook release blog: I’ve found the current ebook interfaces for Amazon very frustrating. If you are interested in best sellers, it is great. However if you want to quickly scan for new releases it can be very painful. I’m using Amazon APIs to parse out books in specific genres (as determined by Amazon) and posting a text only list of all the ebooks published in those genres.

    I’m only doing Kindle releases because I’m using the Amazon APIs to gather the information.

    I’ve found several authors publishing their backlist in eform.

  71. I had my first ebook published called Catbooks and Other Methods: Free Writing Techniques to Clear Your Head, Improve Your Mood and Make Waiting at the Dentist’s Office Just a Little More Bearable. It is a mere 99 cents, currently available for the Kindle and coming Real Soon Now for the iTunes Bookstore.

  72. I’d like to promote Machine Man by Max Barry.

    I am not Max Barry, but he once sent me an autographed book.

    To quote the blurb:

    “Scientist Charles Neumann loses a leg in an industrial accident. It’s not a tragedy. It’s an opportunity. Charlie always thought his body could be better. He begins to explore a few ideas. To build parts. Better parts.

    Prosthetist Lola Shanks loves a good artificial limb. In Charlie, she sees a man on his way to becoming artificial everything. But others see a madman. Or a product. Or a weapon.

    A story for the age of pervasive technology, Machine Man is a gruesomely funny unraveling of one man’s quest for ultimate self-improvement.”

  73. I’m coming to this super late, but I thought I’d mention that the SF/F podcast I run with my friend (The SKiffy and Fanty Show) has a lot of nifty episodes up for those that are interested. Tonight we’re releasing an interview with Rhiannon Frater, author of The First Days (a zombie novel), and in the last month-ish we’ve interviewed Nick Mamatas, Erin Hoffman, Daniel Polansky, Philippa Ballantine, and Stina Leicht, Peter Orullian, and Alex Bledsoe. And in the past we’ve interviewed Lauren Beukes, Tobias S. Buckell, Jason Sanford, and many others.

    The podcast isn’t all interviews, though. We rip on a bad SF/F movie every month (we’ve watched some real stinkers) and have had a lot of roundtable discussions about various things in SF/F.

    If folks are interested in that, please check out


    On the less “for me” side of things, I’d love it if folks would help spread the word about the need for YA fiction which has LGBTQ, people of color, or other minorities as protagonists (hinging off the recent Publishers Weekly/Genreville ordeal about an agent trying to get a pair of authors to change their gay character straight or remove him entirely from the book in order to get representation). My take is here:

    What would be great is if more bloggers, readers, and what not would talk about these things, buy books which have such characters in them, etc. It’s all about audience, after all.

    Thanks for giving me the space to rant about my stuff, Mr. Scalzi. I appreciate it!

  74. I borrowed Master Li… from the library (yes, they had it – bravo Cleveland!), and got through “Bridge of Birds” before I had to take it back. Very worthwhile; another great Scalzi recommendation.

    My own recommendation: The Monster Blood Tattoo YA series:

    Not the deepest work of literature, but extremely creative uses of language. There’s a sweetness to the story that you rarely find; if you know a young person who is more tender-hearted, this is an excellent fantasy series to recommend.

    I also love that the author’s day job is in graphic design & illustration – his drawings add a lot to the books.

    Spoiler Alert: Be careful when reading entries in the Explicariums (i.e., the glossary in each book), and also the blog.

  75. My blog,, features books I want to read (including some from here), food I’ve eaten, a weekly sunset, and letters to various entities (most recently, the Packers, to thank them for their wedding present to Spousal Unit and I: the Super Bowl win).

    I recently inherited a mandolin, so I’m going to start posting my progress learning “Losing My Religion.” I also recently acquired my second bookstore job, and will be writing about why tux jackets are not like dust jackets.

  76. I’m an aspiring screenwriter and also a control freak, so naturally I want to make the movies myself. Since I have better sense than to try and leap straight to making a feature film, I’m making shorts to develop skills beyond the writing. I’m trying to get a new short up approximately once a week. So far there are three of them and you can find them at . There hasn’t been anything this week because my monitor died and it is shockingly difficult to edit without one. The new one just arrived today so now I’m getting back to work. The next short will feature a demolition derby because mayhem is fun.

  77. I’d like to promote the serial novel Nightlights on my website (! I would have mentioned it earlier today but this is the first time I’ve had a chance to go through my feeds in a couple of days. Or maybe I was just avoiding the internet yesterday. Hmm.

    Anyhow, it is a vaguely anime-inspired YA story about monsters, weapons and relationships, and it updates 3x a week. It’s free, and it’s starting to get totally unsolicited good reviews, so apparently some people are enjoying it already.

  78. I have a graphic novel that came out not-too-long-ago from SLG Publishing.

    The Sixsmiths is about a family family of suburban Satanists who have fallen prey to the Global Financial Crisis. Dad has to find a new job in the secular world, the twins have to go to a public school, Mom has to keep everybody sane and under budget. And then there’s their estranged eldest daughter, Jezabelle, who is having her own crisis of the faith. Sort of the SImpsons meets Rosemary’s Baby… in, uh, Australia.

    Lots of free material at the website. If you dig on it, you can buy the book from amazon or order from Diamond in any comic store.

  79. I’d like to pimp my new side-project/business Robertson Investment Services where I offer to provide the missing entry-to-middle-level of support to investors: the background education and basic skills to actually get going investing for themselves. What I mean by middle level of support is that there are often advisors (with financial designations like a CFP) that will do everything for you, but charge fees to do so, and there are companies offering cheap do-it-yourself options (e.g.: discount brokerages), but no support (to answer questions like: what kind of account do I select when filling out these forms? I know my plan calls for me to buy $X of a Canadian equity index, but how do I actually do that?).

  80. Welll…. since I can.. (even though it’s the day after so who knows how many people will see this.)

    I started a new audience participation fiction project.

    Tabitha Reeves: SPACE GIRL
    Part 1:
    Part 2:

    read and let me know what you think should happen next!

    A light Pulp/Space Opera about the cosmically unusual Tabitha Reeves, and her adventures. Adventures… IN SPACE! Pursued, used, and hounded for her strange abilities, the story follows her travels to become her own woman and live her own life, but destiny has other plans in store.

  81. If people like “old” PC games (where “old” is defined loosely), they really need to check out Good Old Games. I have no affiliation with them other than being a thrilled customer. Since I’m an adventure game fan, I’ll mention things like the Sierra games (King’s Quest, Space Quest) and The Last Express. They also have Planescape Torment and Baldur’s Gate, and many other things (I know it’s over 100 games). Every game there is either $6 or $10 (and some are multipacks for that price). Also they regularly have promos where stuff will be half off. So, you know, it’s a good place (especially if you are like me and prefer not to pirate).

  82. Kindle version in the USA? Done!

    Pat Rothfuss recommended these as well… two mentions from authors I respect means I need to buy this NOW. Thanks John. I hope I enjoy it as much as you have,

  83. Hey, folks! I’m Mary Anne Mohanraj — you may know me from two posts I did for Whatever at John’s request during the RaceFail imbroglio, where I attempted to a) talk about race and racism in SF, and b) talk about how writers might handle it. Or you might know me because I founded Strange Horizons (which, if I’m remembering right, published one of John’s first pro stories). But you may not know (unless you’ve been on the internet a long time) that I spent a decade writing and publishing erotica (including editing the waterproof anthology Aqua Erotica. I’m coming back to writing sex now, with a SF erotic novel-in-stories, and I’m trying to use Kickstarter to fund it.

    My Kickstarter project launched on Monday, with just thirty days to raise enough money to fund the book. Demimonde is an erotic science fiction novel-in-stories, by me, (author of the award-winning Bodies in Motion and nine other titles), set in the universe of “Jump Space”.

    “What would you do if the world were about to end? Many people would head straight to bed. A few might lie there with the covers pulled up over their heads, but many of us would choose something more — distracting…”

    Fabulous prizes await! Please help spread the word!

    Mary Anne

  84. Dammit, I’m always offline working when these come up! But wow, people have so much cool stuff, I can’t wait to check it out.

    I want to tack on two things, a day late:

    One is WZMB: The Zombie Radio Show. It’s a short, serialized horror-comedy show set in a jazz radio show in NYC after the Zombie Apocalypse. It stars the incomparable James Mathers who writes it along with writer/producer/cult horror god Robert Craig Sabin (Slime City). I voice the role of Radio Producer/Zombie Slayer Jaimie Bogart and the Songwriter (aka Steven Gullett) engineers, mixes and foleys all the episodes. He also provides all of our high-quality fake-ass jazz.

    We’re up to episode 24, and we have new releases every Monday. Add us to your RSS! If you want to listen to past episodes, check the archive link in the right nav bar. We’ll also be hosting the Zombie Theater night at the Polly Grind Film Fest in Las Vegas next month, so if you’re in town, come say hi!

    AND speaking of the Songwriter, his fifth solo CD, Secular Jukebox, just came out and is available from Amazon, iTunes and free to stream from SoundCloud. If you like sardonic anti-folk singer-songwriters, you should check it out!

  85. Looks like I’m late to the party. Anyway, I have reissues several of my backlist short stories and novelettes in e-book format, available at many of the usual vendors. You can find a list of available stories here.

  86. With a tip of the hat to the proprietor, I can’t pass up the chance to pimp my fiction website: – Free science fiction, post-apocalyptic fantasy and contemporary fiction shorts and excerpts from novels.

    A couple highlights:

    “Owl in the Oak: The Siege of Opteos and other Fragments” – Translated fragments reveal the story of Pyroen the swordsman and his Uncle Ythevni as they travel a post-apocalyptic land exploring the mysteries of an ancient artifact – from our present time.

    “Bad Engineering” – What happens when the world receives a blunt message from an approaching alien armada? The Stranger’s Revolution. What future lies in store for the colonists that are sent out on arkships to preserve humanity and the purity of the new Revolutionary ethos? Bad Engineering. What dark secrets does a certain scarred pilot on Arkship 9 harbor, and how will they affect the life of the boy only he knows to be his son?

    “Othryadas Lost” – Marooned on a frozen planet plunging towards a star, the last surviving human being has only Herodotus and his LSS Capsules for company as he attempts to survive the Sunstorm to come.

  87. Listen to Ambrose Akinmusire’s debut album – When The Heart Emerges Glistening – which came out last year. Trumpet Phenom. Jazz. Classicism. Awesome!

  88. Thank you Mr. Scalzi for the chance to pimp my book. I wrote a book about my experiences every year at a fishing camp in Maine and recently published it at CreateSpace. My name is Joseph M. Kockelmans and the title is Picking Up Where We Left Off: My Bear Spring Camps Stories. The URL to my e-store is You can also find it at

  89. Crap. I get days behind in my RSS feed reading just about the time Our Glorious Host declares a pimp thread, and I actually have something to pimp. In the off chance that someone else is even further behind in their blog reading, I offer:

    Chrysalis, my very firstest self-published book, a mish-mash of genres and a great beach-reading book conveniently published after the end of summer, is available now on Kindle ( and on the Nook, as soon as Barnes & Noble can figure out that I did not provide them with a phony Tax ID to try to scam the IRS out of what they’re owed on my measly few ebook sales.

    And if you don’t want to buy my book, no big deal. You can check out my blog for free… click my name up above.

    Or, if you’re tired of hearing about me, and you need a way to waste a lot of time, check out the super-hero MMO City of Heroes ( which just had another major new expansion and is going with a freemium model soonTM.

  90. I am just completing my basement and I’m going to add a best home theater projector.
    I fell curious what all of you feel the most perfect home theater projector is available. I’m owning near one hundred inch screen.
    I read the reviews about best home theater projectors, but who knows the actual projector is.
    Can I use the gt750e for this or will it be terrible for films and sports? Recently, I have read the gt750e isn’t able to have a zoom or focus control, is that true?
    Thanks to you guys for the help beforehand.

  91. Cool, thanks.

    It has little to do with this blog, but I run a non-fiction book blog at It’s not an amazing site but I got tired of so many fiction-oriented sites when I’m always desperately searching for non-fiction, so I said what the hell and started my own. Maybe someone here will be excited to find the site I never could.

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