Starred Review of Redshirts in Booklist

This makes me rather pleased: Booklist’s reviewer was thrilled with the book and the magazine gave it a star, which means they consider the book to be of special note. You’ll need to be a Booklist subscriber for the full review, but if I were a publicist, these are the pull quotes I would use:

[Scalzi’s] new novel is a real joy to read… new and decidedly mind-bending… It’s hard to imagine a reader who wouldn’t enjoy this one.

w00t! Cannot complain about that.


Head’s Up Re: Kickstarter Promotion Thread on Wednesday

By way of making a tangential connection to the last post, I’ve been getting a lot of e-mails recently about people who have Kickstarter things going on asking if I wouldn’t mind putting in a pointer of some sort. I’ve gotten enough of them that I’ve decided that on Wednesday I’ll have a Kickstarter Promotion Thread, in which all y’all can tell folks here about your Kickstarter project, and include a link to the project’s Kickstarter page. I figure a little advance warning will be good both for the folks who want to promote a project, and those who’ll want to fund them.

So: Wednesday, let’s say, oh, about noon, I’ll put up a thread for Kickstarter promotions. PREPARE YOURSELVES.

(And to assure none of you jump the gun and put up promotions/links early, comments on this entry are closed.)


Catching People Up On What I’m Writing

I’ve been talking a bit about the new project I’m working on here and on Twitter the last couple of days, which has led to folks peppering me with questions about it. I’ve answered these questions before but I’m not opposed to grouping the answers together for your convenience, so here’s a quick, compact update.

Dude, what are you working on?

It’s a new project I can’t officially tell you about yet, which I have given the code name of The Spank Chronicles, Book One: The Spankening.

Is it part of the Old Man’s War/Android’s Dream/Fuzzy Nation/Shadow War of the Night Dragons universe?

What part of “I can’t tell you about it yet” is not coming through?


Sorry, you’ll have to wait until I can talk about it.

For how long?

Probably until some point this summer.

We hate you.

I know.

What did you just finish that you are so happy about?

There was a big thorny chunk of The Spank Chronicles that I managed to hack through and which I am very happy with now.

Can we see it?


Look, we’ll offer you this kitten in exchange! (holds up kitten)

I have three, thanks.

You mentioned you’re writing this on Google Docs. Why that choice?

Because my desktop computer had a meltdown and I’m writing primarily on a laptop for this project — but which laptop varies depending on which room I’m in and which one is available at the moment. Typically I use the Mac Air, but sometimes Athena or Krissy want to use it for whatever reason. In which case I use a different laptop. Using Google Docs means that I can pick up on what I’m writing regardless of which computer I’m using, and that’s actually pretty useful. Also as a word processor it’s now sufficiently advanced that for the (actually very simple) needs that I have, it works just fine. And finally, unless Google explodes, the document I’m writing won’t disappear into the ether if something happens to my computer (if Google explodes, we have bigger problems).

But now you can’t write without an online connection! You’re a slave to the man!

When I’m somewhere I can’t access the Internet (which, these days and considering I walk around with a wifi hotspot on my phone, isn’t all that often), I can still use Word or TextEdit (or Pages or LibreOffice or one of the several other word processors I have on my computer) and then paste into Google Docs later. In short: everything’s fine.

When is The Spank Chronicles going to be done? When can we see the completed Spank Chronicles?

It’ll be done when it’s done, but hopefully that will be be in the next few months. I can’t tell you when you can see it yet; that’s still being worked out.

But… you could release it on the InterWebs right now and we’d totally pay you for it! Do a Kickstarter!

Sorry. It’s contractually promised.

Hmph. Well, you should still do a Kickstarter one day.

Maybe one day.

It’s not too late to tell us what The Spank Chronicles is about.

Yes it is, we’re at the end of the entry.

Wait, no we’re n


DRM On My Books

Question in e-mail today:

I have your books on my Kindle. As an author, would it bother you if I stripped the DRM from the ebook, to read it on another ebook reader? Or should I buy another copy?

Speaking personally and only for myself, I’m of the opinion that once you bought the book, in electronic format or otherwise, it’s yours to do with as you please. So if in the privacy of your own home and for your own personal use you de-DRM’d your book files? Fine by me.

I should note on a personal level that typically speaking I don’t strip out the DRM on my ebooks because from a practical point of view I don’t find it particularly onerous. Amazon, Nook and Google all have reading apps for my phone, tablets and computers, so I don’t find the need to crack the DRM in order to read what I want, where I want. I’ll note the Apple bookstore doesn’t have an Android or PC app as far as I can know, which keeps me from buying many books out of that store (Krissy buys some, as most her iReading is done on the iPad). As a practical matter, it’s access, not DRM per se, which is the issue for me, and I suspect access is the issue for most folks.

This is separate, mind you, from the philosophical issue of DRM, which on a personal level I find unnecessary for the books I write, and which from a business point of view may actually become an economic hindrance to publishers in the long run. Charlie Stross mused about this recently, and I recommend his thoughts to you. Other authors may feel differently than I do on the philosophical and economic desirability of DRM for their work, and that’s fine, and I support their choices. My belief is every author should have the ability to say how their work is presented to consumers in the marketplace.

But again, once you’ve bought it, I think the thing is yours. As long as you’re stripping out the DRM for your own personal use, what do I care? Please don’t turn around and put the book on a torrent, etc, blah blah blah. Athena needs college. But I don’t think most people are really that interested in becoming pirates, arrr. I think most people just want to read the books they buy. I’m for people doing that.

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