2011 in Review; Looking Ahead to 2012

Objectively speaking about the world at large, 2011 was about as crappy a year as I can remember existing in my entire adult life; a genuine clusterbang of monumental proportions. But on a personal and professional level, it was really good: Fuzzy Nation popped onto the New York Times best seller list and received some of the best reviews I’ve gotten, I was able to announce my Old Man’s War movie deal, I did book tours on two separate continents, SFWA members not only did not burn me in effigy but actually elected me to a second term as president, I wrote and sold Redshirts, raised $10,000 for my local library and learned how to play the ukulele. Plus met some very cool new people, who I have added to my list of folks I am happy to call my friends. So, yeah. Dear world: I’m sorry 2011 was not as good for you in aggregate as it was for me personally.

2012 has a full plate for me as well. Here are the things I know I am doing:

1. Releasing two books: 24 Frames Into the Future: Scalzi on Science Fiction Film in February, and Redshirts in June.

2. Being a Guest of Honor at Boskone in February, Penguicon in April and Capclave in October.

3. Being the Toastmaster for Chicon 7, the 2012 Worldcon, in August.

4. Working on a new and very cool project about which I can give you no details now but which I think you will be pleased about when I can.

5. Wrapping up my tenure as SFWA president and handing over the reins to whomever will be the new president in July.

6. Voting for the US president (among others) in November.

7. Continuing to write my science fiction film column for FilmCritic.com

Plus a couple of other things I can’t announce yet, because they are secret and/or preliminary, but are cool nevertheless.

Last year I noted that while I was writing books I would stick to a schedule of writing fiction in the morning (when my brain is not yet cluttered with the real world) and then dealing with everything else, including e-mail and Whatever, after I’d reached my writing quota. Expect this to be in effect in 2012, particularly in the first half of the year, when most of the work of that Very Cool Project I hinted at will need to be done. On a practical basis I don’t know that you’ll notice this too much — in 2011 the “write in the morning” scheme didn’t seem to have a huge effect on how things worked around here, and even if it did I have to pay my mortgage, so, you know, it wouldn’t change things — but I figured I’d let you know. I don’t think any of you mind the idea I’m writing cool stuff when I’m not here.


28 Comments on “2011 in Review; Looking Ahead to 2012”

  1. 2011 was pretty crappy generally… life-wise, politics-wise, planet-wise, even pop-culture-wise it kind of sucked… but at the same time, there were some pretty good ups (I placed my first short story!) and for some reason I feel like 2012 will have even more good things in store. I think this coming year is going to be a good one… I hope.

    Good luck out there!

  2. O Silly Scalzi, the Executive Committee of The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club has a simple quiz for you.

    What supremely important items did you fail to mention?

    The Executive Committee provides a helpful hint for you in the form of a correctly revised list:

    1. Post many perfect images of the Beauteous Ghlaghghee.
    2. Post perfect images of Her Minions, excluding Rancid Dog-Thing.
    3. Tripe that nobody of any import cares about.

    Item 3 may be excluded from further lists.

    The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club

  3. John, it was good to meet you in Reno. I like your plan — to complete the daily fiction goal before moving on to Real World concerns — and so I shall emulate it. Good luck with your Sekrit Projektz. Will most likely be bumping into you again at Chicon 7. Best wishes for 2012.

  4. 2011 definitely had its ups and downs. But personally, I sold my first book! Saw my baby turn 16 and my firsborn begin her senior year of high school. Sigh. Had my worst haircut ever. Celebrated with my parents for their 50th anniversary. Celebrated 23 years of marital bliss with my hubby. Saw a nephew graduate Marine boot camp and a friend make it back safely from his tour in Afghanistan. You won’t catch me complaining much about 2011. I’m hoping 2012 will hold great(er) things!

  5. A-ha! Your revelation about your 2012 blog posting schedule continuing to be dependent on you first meeting your book-writing quota means that your super-secret project must be a book. We’re on to your nefarious schemes, Scalzi!

    Unless it’s not a book, but something else that requires your attention. In which case … we’ll be watching you like hawks, Scalzi! Or, you know, not.

  6. Another book, yes, that would be just dandy. I’d love to see what the Perry’s are up to on Earth. Or how Harry and Robin are doing, or, or, or….

    New is good, but revisiting ‘old friends’ is good too.

  7. I guess I’ll have to objectively review. I didn’t think 2011 was that much more onerous than previous years. It was the usual mix of good and bad. The ‘arab spring’? Generally pretty good. Sectarian violence, not so much. Gaddafi’s ending? Bad. Occupy Wall Street? Maybe I wasn’t on board with it so much, but Americans expressing their rights assertively but peacefully and having it virally spread through social media across the nation? Good. The violence marring some demonstrations? Bad. The reaction of disgust to said violence? Good. Pulling out of Iraq? Good. People still ignoring Afgahnistan? Bad. Riots in London? Bad. No riots in Paris this year? Good.

    And so on. I’m trying to remember what made 2011 so bad in comparison to the last few years.

  8. Graduated grad school with MFA in hand, finished a 15 minute short film about a love triangle between 12 year old nerds, got to live with my sweetie full time, figured out a persistent health problem, wrote a script about a robot with ADD who explodes lights through sheer happiness, and a satire about God and Mary.

    It just FEELS crazy and stressful and oh my god, but I guess 2011 was actually pretty good for me.


    And I’d actually chalk 2011 up not necessarily for bad, but for change. Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, the lack of a viable Republican candidate (when has THAT happened, ever, in the history of the world, amen)…you know, I think that 2012 will be interesting, Chinese curse and all.

  9. 2012. Romney over Obama. Warren over Brown. People over Bashar al-Assad. Sectarian violence over unity in Iraq.

    That’s all I care to predict, and I’m only hoping for two of the four.

  10. Y’know, congrats, but I can’t help reading “Very Cool Project I hinted at”, feeling some jealousy, and thinking “Damn, I wish I had a ‘Very Cool Project I hinted at’, and not just a bunch of pretty lame projects I can’t tell you about at all”.

  11. “SFWA members not only did not burn me in effigy but actually elected me to a second term as president,”

    Third times the charm?

  12. My wonderful fiancee got me a signed copy of Fuzzy Nation for Christmas and I just finished it a day or two ago. Loved it, and definitely need to pick up Little Fuzzy now. I definitely “enjoyed the fuzzy” and am looking forward to Redshirts and all the other Very Cool Stuff to come next year.

  13. 2009 was my lowest point so far. laid off and couldnt find a job for 9 months. towads the end, we were considering selling everything and moving anywhere that was hiring. luckily I found a couple of temp jobs and finally a permanent job.

  14. I don’t think any of you mind the idea I’m writing cool stuff when I’m not here.

    In fact, we appreciate it greatly.

    My personal year wasn’t so hot. Spent the first half working at a job I hated, the second half unemployed and failing to write a book. But! I have a job interview next week and the new book is going very well. So 2012 is already looking to be an improvement. Here’s to sharing this improvement on a global scale!

  15. John,
    I’d absolutely hoping for a better year than this last one has been. Lost my job in January, spent my second year watching my mother slide closer and closer to her last breath, and finally laying her to rest this afternoon. Depressing stuff I know, and I really do like hearing people DID have a good year. I myself am looking forward to a much better year in 2012. Best wishes to you, your family, and to all of your readers. And a double special Happy New Year to all of you who offered condolences on this same blog a few days ago.

  16. First, my condolences DA, as I missed the earlier posting. I lost my father in October, after he suffered a very brief illness.

    2011 was indeed a roller coaster year Mr. Scalzi. My granddaughter arrived in April, a month and-a-half early (she is doing just fine),, I had an emergency triple-bypass in late May, had to have a fasciotomy due to the necrosis of a leg muscle, spent 19 days in a coma from a bad reaction from the anesthesia, had to learn how to walk with my new AFO and cane, got a promotion at work in September, lost my father in October and had my daughter and granddaughter move to Bavaria to be with my son-in-law, who is stationed there.

    I was blessed to read some excellent science fiction from you and learned about some new authors whose work I really enjoyed.

    I wish you, your family and all the authors and readers of your blog a healthy, prosperous and wonderful 2012.

  17. @Jerry A.

    Thank you. It is a trying time for us all but my mother left one good thing behind with me: she never judged anyone based on race, nationality, relgion, language, what have you. She was born and raised in the south where predjudiced was not only acceptable it was fuckin’ law. There was never a person excluded from our home and table, and it pissed her off mightily when people acted on their ignorant bigotry. Actions were her standard.

    I’m sorry for the troubles you have had this year, and I know what it is like to lose a father too. Mine died 26 years ago when i was a way to young 18.

    However, you have seen a granddaughter (who is wonderful in all her creation i’m sure) make her entrance to our crazy planet and survived some other rough stuff.

    @John, please forgive me for derailing this thread with my maundering ways. I salute you on the awesome year you have had and am even now raising a toast with a shot of rum in your honor. (and there are only a couple other people who have gotten that from me)

    Salud y prospero ano nuevo as my Hispanic buddies would say.

  18. I hope one of these upcoming projects is the long-promised new book in the vein of The Android’s Dream. Whatever it is, it will be awesome. You don’t seem capable of writing bad stuff.

    I saw a daughter recover from a disease that nearly killed her. I got in touch with some people from my past via Facebook, which is still a pretty good place even though its proprietors keep trying to destroy it. Got a couple of singing gigs I didn’t expect. Started watching two grandkids part of the time. And got to see one of the great authors on his book tour. Got a mostly clean bill of health from my doctor, inspite of becoming over 2/3 of a century old. Mostly good, I guess.

  19. JJS:

    “You don’t seem capable of writing bad stuff.”

    Oh, how I wish that were true.

    What I am capable of, however, is not showing off the stuff I consider bad.

  20. 2011, finally read my first Scalzi *fiction* (Old Man’s War, fwiw). :) I’ve read the nonfiction for, I don’t know, yoinks, but my discretionary spending is miniscule.

  21. John,

    I’ve long been a fan–and student–of ONE of Haldeman’s books, “The Forever War,” and I read your intro to one of the editions with interest. Thought you’d like a little flattery to go with your blackeyed peas (a Southern tradition) to start off your New Year. Your books, “Old Man’s War” and “The Last Colony” are better, in many ways than Haldeman’s, just barely, but better. We could discuss the whys and wherefores, but they are fine writing and we’ll leave it at that. Happy New Year.

  22. John, I’m curious as to whether you’ve ever written anything and actively not kept it a secret. I’m afraid I’m a fairly recent fan (<2 years) so my knowledge of previous experiments is sadly lacking.

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