A Scalzi Christmas Rerun: Sarah’s Sister

Back in 2003 I did a small holiday fundraiser thing for Reading is Fundamental, in which I wrote three pieces for people who donated money. One of them, “The Ten Least Successful Holiday Specials of All Time,” has become something of a Christmastime staple around here, but the other two are somewhat less known, so I thought it would be worth it to bring one of them back around on the site. So, behind the cut you’ll find my holiday story “Sarah’s Sister.”

A small word of, well, I guess “warning” is not the precise word for it, but: One, it’s not a science fiction story; two, it’s so very much a Christmas story; three, it’s almost certainly the least snarky thing I have ever written in my life; four, I wrote it with the expressed purpose of making my mother-in-law choke up on tears when she read it. If you’re not in the mood for a non-snarky, sob-inducing Christmas story, it’s best to walk away now. There, you have been sufficiently advised.

Of course, if you are in the mood for a non-snarky, sob-inducing Christmas story: Hey, I have one for you. Enjoy.

Read More »

Whatever Shopping Guide 2011, Day 1: Traditionally Published Books

Welcome to the first day of the Whatever Shopping Guide 2011 — My way of helping you folks learn about cool creative gifts for the holidays, straight from the folks who have created them.

Today’s featured products are traditionally published books; that is, books put out by publishers who ship books to stores on a returnable basis. In the comment thread below, authors and editors of these books will tell you a little bit about their latest and/or greatest books so that you will be enticed to get that book for yourself or loved ones this holiday season. Because, hey: Books are spectacular gifts, if I do say so myself. Enjoy your browsing, and I hope you find the perfect book!

Please note that the comment thread today is only for authors and editors to post about their books; please do not leave other comments, as they will be snipped out to keep the thread from getting cluttered. Thanks!

Authors/editors: Here’s how to post in this thread. Please follow these directions!

1. Authors and editors only, books only. There will be another thread for other stuff, later in the week. Any type of book is fine: Fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, etc. If you are not the author/editor of the book you’re posting about, don’t post. This is for authors and editors only.

2. Your book(s) must be currently in print (i.e., published before 12/31/11) and available on a returnable basis at bookstores and at the following three online bookstores: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s. This is so people can find your book when they go looking for it. If your book isn’t available as described, wait for the shopping guide for non-traditional books, which will go up tomorrow. 

3. One post per author. In that post, you can list whatever books of yours you like (as long as it meets the criteria in point 2), but allow me to suggest you focus on your most recent book. Note also that the majority of Whatever’s readership is in the US/Canada, so I suggest focusing on books available in North America.

4. Keep your description of your book brief (there will be a lot of posts, I’m guessing) and entertaining. Imagine the person is in front of you as you tell them about your book and is interested but easily distracted.

5. You may include a link to a bookseller if you like by using standard HTML link scripting. Be warned that if you include too many links (typically three or more) your post may get sent to the moderating queue. If this happens, don’t panic: I’ll be going in through the day to release moderated posts. Note that posts will occasionally go into the moderation queue semi-randomly; Don’t panic about that either.

6. As noted above, comment posts that are not from authors/editors promoting their books as specified above will be deleted, in order to keep the comment thread useful for people looking to find interesting books.

Got it? Excellent. Then tell the folks about your book! And tell your author friends about this thread so they can come around as well.