Monthly Archives: December 2011

Reader Participation Post: How Long Have You Been Reading Whatever?

I’ve asked this question before, but for the life of me I can’t find the post at the moment, and also, I’d like to get the information in a slightly more systematized fashion, for my own personal long-range planning purposes. So: If you wouldn’t mind taking a quick poll and then answering a single question […]

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Curse My Accursed Honesty!

This just happened, I SWEAR: Phone guy: I’m calling for John Scalzi. Me: He is me. Phone guy: Hi, I’m calling from the Jon Huntsman campaign and we know that you made a contribution to his campaign, and we are looking for people to be Huntsman delegates for the Republican National Convention. Me: BWA HA […]

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Reminder: Tis the Season Not to Be an Ass

Question from e-mail: Any thoughts on the current state of the War on Christmas? I think it’s about as silly as it ever was, considering that Christmas has conquered December, occupied November and metastasized into late October. To suggest that the holiday is under serious threat from politically correct non-Christians is like suggesting an earthworm […]

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Newspaper Dreams

About twice a year I have a dream where for whatever reason I’m back at the University of Chicago and I’m once again working on the student newspaper, the Chicago Maroon. Last night was one of those times; in the dream I’m the same age as I am now, and I was walking into the […]

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2011 SF Film in Review

It’s that time of year again, so over at FilmCritic.com I give the major studio science fiction films of 2011 a quick once-over, with observations about Transformers, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Super 8 and the proverbial “more.” You cannot make it into 2012 without knowing what I think! Seriously, dude, they’ll stop […]

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A Note Regarding Future Big Idea Comments

It is: From this point forward, if you post a comment on a Big Idea post in which the focus of the comment is how you don’t like the price of the e-book, I’m just going to delete it. Why? Primarily because here at the tail end of 2011, I find the subject boring and […]

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The Big Idea: John C. Wright

One of the things about science fiction as a genre is that it has the ability — some might even suggest the responsibility — to think big. Galaxy-spanning big. With his latest novel Count to a Trillion, author John C. Wright is taking that ability and running with it, positing a civilization that not only […]

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A Festive Holiday Dog Picture For You

Because who doesn’t enjoy a festive holiday dog? Festive holiday dog haters, I suppose, but we don’t like those people. Because they don’t like festive holiday dogs, you see. And that’s just wrong.

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Peak Gingrich

Talking Points Memo notes that Newt Gingrich’s poll numbers peaked a few days ago and now seem on a decline of the sort one sees on rollercoasters or cliffs. I’d personally like to think it was because Gingrich blathered stupidly about how he’d arrest  federal judges whose rulings he didn’t like; there is a word […]

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Feedback Request Notes

This is going to be a little meta. Yesterday afternoon I asked for feedback from Whatever readers regarding the site and what they liked and didn’t like and what suggestions they might have going forward. I got 150-some responses since then, which is a very nice, so thanks all of you for that. While I […]

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What I Looked Like at 20

Now you know. This is me on the balcony of the offices of the Chicago Maroon in the Ida Noyes building at the University of Chicago in the summer of 1989. In the summer the newspaper did one weekly edition, so as editor-in-chief I had to stick around for it. The plant, incidentally, belonged to […]

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In Which I Solicit Feedback on Whatever 2011 (and 2012)

Today I’m having what would best be called an “in-service” day here at Whatever, which is to say I’m thinking a little bit about things I want to do with the site in the upcoming year. In an overall sense the “whatever” ethos — i.e., writing about whatever I want to write about because that’s […]

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Of Perhaps Some Archaeological Interest

This post I just found in an archive of the alt.society.generation-x newsgroup, dated July 21, 1997: Just got finished writing my very first novel Thought y’all might like to know. I’m happy, pleased, tired. 96,098 words, cranked out in a little under three months, working mostly on weekends, grinding out 5,000 words at a sitting. […]

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Busy Doing Chores

If I’m extra good at them, maybe Santa will leave an extra gift! See you all tomorrow.

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Child’s Play Auction Update

It is this: We’re currently at $2,000. Which, you know, is fantastic. But there’s absolutely no reason that it couldn’t go higher. Especially when you’re bidding to create a sum that will go to give toys and games to small children in hospitals. Here’s all the details about the auction and how to bid.

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The Big Idea: Eric Griffith

Not every writer comes up with an idea and immediately moves on it. Some let the idea sit and develop — or let life get them to a point where they’re ready to take it on. Take Eric Griffith and his novel Beta Test. The idea was there, but were the conditions ripe for the […]

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Release Dates for Redshirts and Fuzzy Nation Paperback

  Because I want you to be able to plan ahead! Redshirts hardcover: June 5, 2012 Fuzzy Nation mass market paperback: March 27, 2012 Also, 24 Frames Into the Future: Scalzi on Science Fiction Film will be available in February, although I don’t have the specific dates on that yet. It’ll definitely be available at […]

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WordPress Slightly Twitchy Today

There seem to be a couple of glitches here and there when I call up the site (others have noticed it as well). Since the blog is hosted by WordPress, I suspect it’s something on their end. If I had to guess I would bet it had something to do with WP version 3.3. being […]

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In Case You Believe I Am Universally Loved

Please note the reaction to yesterday’s Penny Arcade guest strip in the PA forum area. The commenters there are not falling over themselves with applause, shall we say. My thoughts? I’m fine with it, of course. I am the fellow who encourages writers to embrace their one-star reviews, and accept the idea that one’s work […]

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Hey! Wanna Buy a House?

Since we’ve lived here in Ohio for coming on eleven years now, we decided it was finally time to let go of our house in Sterling, Virginia, where we lived when Athena was born. So, if you or someone you know is in the market for a home in the Washington, DC area, here’s a […]

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