So, 2012

I think there are a lot of people who will be happy to see the tail end of 2012. For me, I’ll say it was a year with dynamic range. On the business side, it’s not overstating it to say it was a career year: A New York Times bestseller in Redshirts plus a profile in that same paper, the announcement of Morning Star and The Human Division, Special Guest at ComicCon, Toastmaster and Hugo emcee at Worldcon. They’re still working on making the movie for Old Man’s War, and I sold tens of thousands of copies of that book via the Humble Bundle. Whatever’s viewership grew roughly 50% in a single year.

On the other hand, my wife lost her father, my daughter a grandfather, and I lost a father-in-law. Other personal things are well, and there have been at least a couple of really wonderful moments which I won’t go into because, hey, they’re personal. But losing Mike was a big hit for all of us.

So: Highs and lows.

I’m glad for the good things, and I’m glad for what remains, and hope 2013 is a good year for us all.

Tell me about your 2012 in the comments and let me know what your plans are for 2013.

The Offer on Old Man’s War: A Ten-Year Retrospective

Today is a notable day in my personal history: Ten years ago today, I sold Old Man’s War to Tor Books.

People who have been following me for any amount of time know how this happened, but might not know the full story, and the newer folks might not know about it at all.  So here’s how it happened:

In 2001, I began writing a military science fiction book, the conceit of which was that the soldiers were old, but were given new lives in exchange for their service. I finished the book in October of 2001 and then sat on it for more than a year, mostly because the thought of whole tiresome process of submitting the book to agents and publishers filled me with ennui, and I couldn’t be bothered.

So instead I serialized it on Whatever in December of 2002. I had some precedent for this: in 1999, I took an earlier novel, Agent to the Stars (my “practice novel,” i.e., the novel I wrote to see if I could write a novel), and posted it on for people to read, and if they liked, to send me payment for. That had grossed me a couple of thousand bucks up to that time — a not inconsiderable sum in the days when people had to physically mail me a dollar — so I figured I could do it again. My plan was to serialize a chapter a day through December, and also offer the whole novel as a single document, so if someone was impatient, they could just send me $1.50 through that new-fangled PayPal, and read the whole thing at one time. Then after the serialization was done the book would sit on my site, and I would go on doing what I did at the time, which was writing for magazines and newspapers and putting out the occasional non-fiction book.

I finished the serialization on the 28th, and for the 29th, I wrote an essay on the experience of writing the novel, called “Lessons from Heinlein.” At the time I was a reader of Electrolite, the blog of Patrick Nielsen Hayden, who was (and is) the senior editor of Tor Books, and I recalled him and his readers having a recent discussion of characters in science fiction. I thought he might find the essay interesting, so I pinged him about it. Here was the e-mail I sent him on the evening of December 28:

Hi, there. I’m John Scalzi, who writes the “Whatever” online column.

Over the last three weeks, I’ve serialized a science fiction novel I’ve written on my site. Having completed it, I’ve added an afterwards called “Lessons From Heinlein,” in which I discuss how RAH’s style of writing holds some important lessons for would-be writers, specifically relating to character development (I am an actual published author and science fiction writer, so I don’t feel too hinky about dispensing writing advice). The link is here: Some of the afterward necessarily relates to Old Man’s War, which is the novel I’ve serialized, but the comments about Heinlein are general enough in the matter of writing to be of interest even to those who have not read the novel.

Please note that this isn’t a backdoor attempt to get you to read the novel itself; had I wanted you to read it in your official capacity, I would have done the old-fashioned route of printing out the manuscript and shipping it off to your slush pile (being a former editor myself, I do appreciate when people follow submission guidelines). I simply thought the afterward might be in itself of interest to you and the Electrolite readership.

Best wishes to you and yours for a happy and prosperous 2003.

Less than 36 hours later, ten years ago today, I got this as a response (e-mail posted with Patrick’s permission):

It’s an interesting afterword, but it’s an even more interesting novel.  I read the whole thing last night; as the blurb cliché goes, I couldn’t put it down.

I understand being tired of the schlepping-to-agents-and-publishers thing, but would you be willing to entertain an offer for hard/soft publication of OLD MAN’S WAR?  I’m not talking about life-changing amounts of money, but this is exactly the kind of action-oriented-and-yet-not-stupid SF we never see enough of, and I’d like for Tor to publish it.

(If your first response is to point out that this or some other work by you has sat neglected in hardcopy our slushpile for $BIGNUMBER of months or years, I promise not to be surprised.)

Let me know if you’re open to this.

And, well. Yes. Yes I was.

I remember where I was when I read this e-mail, which as it happens is almost exactly where I am as I’m writing this: At my desk in my home office in Bradford, looking at a monitor, staring at the words there. It was morning (Patrick sent the e-mail at 8:22 am, which is not coincidentally the time I had this entry scheduled to publish on the site), and I was the only one up in the house; my sister and her family were visiting for the holidays and everyone was still crashed out. So there I was with some really big news, and no one awake to tell it to. Of course I told them, eventually, after they were all awake.

I date today as the anniversary of the sale of Old Man’s War, but Patrick has additional details:

I’m certain that I made the actual offer-in-detail on January 2, 2003, because that was the first day Tor’s offices were open after the holiday break, and I distinctly remember that the first thing I did on returning was go straight to Tom Doherty to enthuse about this terrific SF novel I’d found. I conveyed the actual offer to you in a phone call. But it makes just as much sense to date it from December 30, since my email of that date pretty clearly says I intend to make you a detailed offer if you confirm that you’re up for one.

(January 2, 2003 was, by coincidence, my 44th birthday–and I think most acquiring editors would agree that scoring a book that good makes a heck of a fine birthday present.)

This conforms to my memory of it as well. I held back until January 3, 2003 to tell people about it; Patrick followed up with a post on his own site. At the time, ten years ago, people selling books they originally published on their Web sites was still novel enough that neither Patrick nor I could come up with another example of it happening. When it did happen with me, there was a bit of conversation about it online. These days a blog-to-book conversion is less unusual, although at this point, with all the more direct ways to self-publish online and to get that work into the retail channel, putting a book on one’s blog first might seem a little roundabout. It’s a reminder that the world of 2002 and the world of 2012 are different places, publishing-wise.

I was asked then and am still asked whether I posted OMW on my site as a way to get around submitting into a slushpile. The answer now is the same as then: No, I posted OMW on my site because I didn’t want to deal with submitting the book. I fully expected the novel to live its life as part of my site, and maybe be a calling card to sell another novel somewhere down the line. The skeptical response to this is, yeah, but as soon as the whole thing was up you sent an e-mail to an editor at a science fiction publisher, so who are you trying to fool? My response to this would be, yes, but it was not about the novel itself, and I went out of my way to point out that I wasn’t attempting a backdoor submission. To which a further skeptical response would be, then why mention the novel at all?

At which point I will throw up my hands. After ten years I can admit that as I writing the e-mail to Patrick, yes, part of me was hoping that he might be intrigued enough to check out the novel itself, and that when he did and made an offer, one of the first thoughts to come to my head was, well, that worked out nicely. But honestly it wasn’t the intent. Having been an acquiring editor myself, I was well aware of how irritating it was to have someone try to get around the submission process because they think they’re special. I assumed Patrick wouldn’t look at the novel because if I were in his shoes, getting the same e-mail, I probably wouldn’t have. At the time, I knew Patrick hardly at all; I was a reader on his site and had commented there just enough that I felt okay sending him an e-mail. I had no idea at the time how he would respond to it. I know him better now, I will allow.

The original plan, as noted in Patrick’s first e-mail, was to have the book out sometime in late 2003, with paperback to follow. In fact the book came out January 1, 2005, so there was a two-year gap between when the book sold and when it hit the stores. At the time, this gap was frustrating; I was a newbie novelist, I wanted to be published now now now now. In retrospect, I think it was a very good thing. It gave people in science fiction time to get to know me, so that when Old Man’s War was published it seemed like I had been around longer than I had been — which worked, because when it was published some folks were surprised it was a debut novel. It also gave me time to grow Whatever; between December 2002 and January 2005, the readership of Whatever tripled, which was useful for a writer with a first novel. And the book benefited from certain intangibles — for example, it seems like in January 2005, just enough people were missing a particular flavor of Heinleinian/Campbellian science fiction that Old Man’s War offered to help the book take off like a shot.

The idea that waiting to publish to better position your work seems sort of heretical in these “do it now” days, but for me it paid off with benefits. It’s something to consider when you as an author (and especially a new/newer/newish author) are weighing the pros and cons of various publishing options and strategies.

Patrick making an offer on Old Man’s War quite literally changed my life, and almost entirely for the better. The eight novels I have written since are because of that offer and everything that’s resulted from it. I have worked on a television series and on a video game because people read and loved Old Man’s War. The book itself is in the (seemingly endless) process of being made into a movie. If actually becomes one, is likely to have interesting knock-on effects. I have sold hundred of thousands of books in 18 different languages, which have made hundreds of thousands of people happy (and a few unhappy; that’s life). Professionally, I have become who I wanted to be when I grew up. It’s amazing.

Personally — well. There are so many people who I have met because of Old Man’s War and everything that’s come from it that it’s hard to know where to begin with that. I think the best way that I can put it is that just before Patrick made an offer on Old Man’s War, I remarked to Krissy that I suspected I had by then met every person who would be important to me in my life. The thirty-three year old me was thankfully, laughably wrong. There have been so many people I have met in the last decade who are so much part of my life now that I can’t imagine it without them. People I like; people I love; people I wouldn’t want to have missed in this world, and gladly, did not have to.

So. Ten years ago today, my life changed. I thought it would be worth making note of the day.

Thank you, Patrick, for making an offer on the book. Thank you, Tor, for publishing it. Thank you all, for reading it.

Just thanks.

Now let’s see what happens in the next ten years.

The Sunsets of 2012

A brief review.

Not a sunset, but moody and cloudlicious in a sunset-y way:

As always, we have one sunrise:

And as a bonus this year only, what was on the other side of the sky from that sunrise:

That’s not bad.

As one personal comment, I think I may have gone a bit overboard with the “dramatic contrast” sort of sunsets in 2012. Maybe I’ll have few more lighter ones in 2013.

Most Trafficked Whatever Posts of 2012

It seems unlikely that in the next two and half days the numbers will change all that much, so without further ado, here are the most visited entires of Whatever for 2012, in order of highest number of views.

1. Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is

2. Guest Post: A Doctor on Transvaginal Ultrasounds

3. A Fan Letter to Certain Conservative Politicians

4. Being Poor

5. A Self-Made Man Looks at How He Made It

6. Who Gets to Be a Geek? Anyone Who Wants to Be

7. An Incomplete Guide to Not Creeping

8. Speech and Kirk Cameron

9. “Lowest Difficulty Setting” Follow-Up

10. Ten Things Teenage Writers Should Know About Writing

I’ll note that “Straight White Male” was far and away the most viewed piece of the year, with more than twice as many views as “Transvaginal Ultrasounds.” Between here and Kotaku, which reprinted it, it was viewed (and hopefully read) a couple million times, and engendered (heh) quite a bit of discussion out there on the tubes. It’s easily the site’s biggest hit, as it were, since “Being Poor”; it was certainly interesting being the center of attention of the Geekosphere for a couple of days.

Speaking of “Being Poor,” the piece was highlighted on’s front page this year, which boosted its numbers considerably. It’s likely it would have been in or near the site top ten for the year anyway — it really is a perennial, with new people discovering it every year — but it’s nice to see the piece still having a significant impact after seven years. Likewise, “Ten Things” keeps trucking along, in no small part, I would assume, to its Google search placement, which puts it at the top or near the top of all the search variations of “teen writing advice.”

It occurs to me that of the pieces in the top ten this year, they fall into two very wide categories: Me explaining something  or me thumping on people (or some combination of the two). Explaining things and thumping on people have their downsides, of course; do them poorly in either case, or both, and you become a textbook example of a blowhard. I don’t doubt there are at least a few folks out there who would say “yup, that’s you, all right.” And, well. Fair enough. I do try to use my blowhard powers for good, not evil.

This year I also managed to arouse the ire of a whole stack of racist, sexist, homophobic dipshits with the above posts as well as several others. If I did nothing else with my year, this would have made it delightful to me. They also gave the Mallet of Loving Correction plenty of use when they would drop by the site and learn to their surprise that the sort of smug trollery that passes for thought in the land of epistemic closure doesn’t get past the door here. This is not a delight to me — trolls are always irritating — but whacking them so that the conversational level here remains high has its own grim level of satisfaction.

In all, a spirited year for Whatever, in terms of posts. We’ll see what next year brings.

Getting Ahead of the E-Mails

Yes, yes. I know “Whatever” was chosen as the most annoying word this year. Again. As it is many years, apparently. You don’t need to tell me.

For clarity’s sake I will note yet again that “Whatever” in the the context of this blog is used as “I write about whatever I want to write about here,” as opposed to the dismissive “Whatever,” that is what people get annoyed with. Either way, I don’t need to be informed about the existence of this poll and its results. I know. Trust me, I know.

On Transfolk

A question in e-mail:

You recently said you were supportive of transsexuals. Could you expand on what you mean by that?


First off, the quote my correspondent is talking about is probably the one here, in which I say “I am generally trans-positive because I believe people should be who they are, and they deserve love and support in becoming and then being that.”

To expand on that — well, look. Everyone is in the process of becoming who they are; we all start as rough drafts and through the act of living and choices we make, refine who are, hopefully getting closer to who we imagine we could be as we go. None of that is easy. Some people have further to go with that process than others, because of their own set of circumstances. I think if you’re a good person or are at least trying to be, when you see someone on that sort of journey, you encourage them when you can. And if they have come to a place where they are happy (or even just happier) with who they are, then you celebrate that with them.

People who are trans seem to me to have a particularly hard journey: The eventual recognition of the disconnect between the gender their bodies have and the gender they sense themselves as being, the years of dealing with that disconnect, the hard choice to rebuild their lives and all the repercussions of that choice, and having to do all of that with much of the rest of the world looking on and judging. That’s a hell of a road to walk.

So the first question to ask is simply: Why make it harder for them? I can’t think of any good reason for it;  for me that solves that. The second question is: What would I want if that were my road to walk? If nothing else, I would want people to accept that even if my road is rough, where I’m going is somewhere I think is worthwhile and will help me be the person I want to be, for myself and for everyone else. That being the case, by the principle of the Golden Rule, that’s what I should do for transfolk, if nothing else.

(Note, if you will, that this is not a cookie-bearing statement. I am saying I try to be a decent person to transfolk. You don’t get extra credit for trying to be a decent human being. That should be your default setting.)

All the above is general and pretty high-minded, so on a personal level: I know transsexual people, like most of the transfolk that I have met and consider at least a couple to be good friends. I don’t have a single moral, ethical, religious or philosophical objection to transfolk in any way, and have no idea why I should. I support their rights, including the right not to be discriminated against, in the workplace and out of it, due to their trans-ness.  I additionally judge people who I think are transphobic, usually punting them into the category of “asshole.”

I also readily admit to being a work in progress on trans matters. I occasionally flub the gender of the transfolk I know, which I feel bad about because even if it’s unintentional it’s still a poke, and like a lot of folks, there are probably times when I step in it and don’t know until later. It wasn’t until this year that I clued in that “tranny” was a slur; it’s not a word I use at all but I saw a pal get dinged for it and when “ah,” and then “duh.” And in a day-to-day sense I’m not keeping up with trans issues and concerns, and as an extension of that I don’t have positions or thoughts on every issue that has an impact on their lives. So, occasionally clueless but hoping to improve. If you’re trans and you see me step in it, feel free to let me know.

On the tangentially related matter of transvestitism, my entirely of thought on the matter is: Wear what you like, I want you to be happy.

Indeed, in a general sense “I want you to be happy” covers most of my response to the variation of human identity experience at this point. Is what you’re doing making you a happier and better person? Is what you’re doing hurting anyone else? If the answers are “yes” and “no,” respectively, then not only am I fine with what you’re doing, the fact of the matter is that my approval or consent should be entirely immaterial. Be the person you are.

Book Editing Update

And there we go: Another book in. The Mallet of Loving Correction: Selected Writing from Whatever 2008 – 2012 is now off to Subterranean Press, to have done to it all the groovy things publishers do. The end result will be available to you on September 13, 2013 — not coincidentally the fifteenth anniversary of Whatever. This also means that 2013 is officially a two book year, one fiction (The Human Division) and one non-fiction, which always makes me happy.

For my next trick? I’m going to take a shower. Excuse me.

Editing a Book Today

Because it’s due in January, and I’m basically encased in a wall of snow anyway. The book, incidentally, is The Mallet of Loving Correction, the second Whatever compilation, which will be out on September 15. I’m arranging the entries, removing some (the book needs to get down to 120,000 words, from an initial selection set of 145,000 word) and otherwise doing light formatting. Yes, this is the glamorous part of writing. The good news is that the writing was already done, although I need to write an author’s note and some occasional piece prefaces.

The point being, hey, busy at the moment. I’ll be back later in the afternoon. Maybe.

More Boxing Day Blizzard Photos

Athena and I braved the frozen expanses of the outside world to photodocument the results of the blizzard earlier today. Come along and see it in all its frozen whiteitude in this Flickr set.

Boxing Day Blizzard Update

Yup, it’s getting there. It’s supposed to continue to snow pretty heavily for at least a couple more hours, and then snow more lightly for the rest of the day. But it doesn’t look like we’ll have too much problem getting the expected eight to ten inches by the time it’s all been said and done. Krissy is working from home, however, and Athena’s on Winter Break. So: Since we have no place to go, let it snow, etc.

Back to work for me. See you all in a bit.

Here Comes the Blizzard

We’re supposed to get eight to ten inches of snow in the next, like, four hours, with high winds and the possibility of power outages, and I have a project I’m a little bit late on, so now I will ignore the rest of you until I have finished it and/or the power goes out and all the mammals at the Scalzi Compound have to huddle together under a blanket for warmth. So I might be away for a bit.

In the meantime, to keep you busy: So, how was Christmas? Tell us in the comments.

Three Views of My Wife on Christmas




Pose-Off with Jim C Hines, Round Two

The (never unseeable) pictures await you here.

I’ll note that as the pose is supposed to be of the person falling, I originally decided to try get the picture while lying on my stairwell. After I slid down most of the stairs and totally rug-burned my backside, I moved to another piece of furniture entirely. Let it not be said I do not suffer for my “art.”

Eight Million Views for 2012

8mJust passed the number. Thanks to Hacker News for the assist; someone there linked to “A Self-Made Man Looks at How He Made It,” sending a flood of programmers over to read it. You can follow their own discussion of the article here. I’ll note again that this is just the views recorded by WordPress’ software; the actual number of views is higher. I’ll have a full report early in 2013.

But still: 8 million views. It doesn’t suck.  Thank you.

Update: Added image from the WordPress stats program. The numbers about the 8 million are the previous years totals; the first year pictured (2008) is only from October 10 on (that being the date I switched Whatever to WordPress’ VIP service).

Christmas on Mars


My pal, astronomer, educator and science fiction writer Diane Turnshek, is spending Christmas in a most unusual place. Here she is to tell you what it’s like to have the holidays on (nearly) another planet.


I’m out at the Mars Desert Research Station north of Hanksville, Utah. I’ve been in training for this mission all my life. A couple of science degrees, my motorcycle license, years spent cooking for four kids, and my journalism skills all contributed to being chosen by The Mars Society for a two week stint in their desert base, a small two-story cylindrical Habitat with 4 x 11 foot bunk rooms and a single bathroom for six crewmembers.

We are laying the groundwork for a long-term human habitation on Mars. The Campus Martius crew is number 120 in a long line of inhabitants here. “Campus Martius” is a training field for military and athletes in ancient Greece. From our analog station, we conduct well-planned EVA’s to explore the uncharted regions of analog Mars in search of minerals, signs of surface water and life. In spacesuits, we travel over rough red terrain, which looks for all the world like Mars.

Our crew is blogging up a storm, reaching out to as many young people as we can with the message: this is important; this could be you someday on the surface of Mars.

In sim, we eat rehydrated/dehydrated food, have a 20-minute lag time for communication, spend time in airlocks before going out on the surface and conserve water (Navy showers every three days). A row of parked ATVs out in front awaits us for our more distant EVAs. We have to be careful–the nearest hospital is forty miles away on back roads and there’s no cell service here on Mars. Reports are sent via email to Mission Support every evening in which we have to clearly explain any technical or medical problems and they respond in kind.

I’ve been working in the Musk Observatory, taking CCD photometry of eclipsing binary stars. The greenhouse is due to be stocked during this rotation. Our geologist is in heaven, rocks strewn all over the field lab benches. We are busy every minute of every day.

Christmas will be different. We are hosting a Swiss film crew who is making an indie movie featuring humanity’s future life on Mars. We’ll celebrate good tidings with beef stew, homemade bread, potato pancakes and a brownie dessert.

And the day after, back to the grind of pedestrian EVAs on Mars.


See the reports from Crew 120. See the photos from the crew’s mission. Follow The Mars Society on Twitter. Follow Diane Turnshek on Twitter.

Having Constructed the Chocolate House, Athena and Cecilia Now Terrorize the Poor Candy-Based Residents Within

For they are the cruel gods. Fear their sweet vengeance!

And this concludes the Whatever broadcast day. See you on Christmas.

Dear Internets: My Wife Has Made Dessert for Christmas Eve Dinner

Two types of pie, three types of muffins. The deliciousness quotient is off the charts, people. Bet you can’t wait for dessert!

Oh, wait. Right, you won’t be there. Well, don’t worry, I will have a little bit of each and give you a first-hand report. Yes, it will be an extreme caloric sacrifice on part. But damn it, you deserve no less.

No, no. Don’t thank me. This is just the sort of selfless thing I do. Just think of me, kindly, as I set to my task.

Whatever Best of 2012

Hold up there, Daisy! Before we get to 2013, here’s my hand-picked selection of the best of Whatever through 2012, a year filled to the brim with politics, geekery, and of course, straight white men. They’re presented to you today in alphabetical order:

And now, onward! To 2013! Lead the way, Daisy!

Athena at 14

There’s been some speculation at the Scalzi Compound about whether Athena would be taller than me or not at her 14th birthday. Well, today’s the day, and as you can see, it’s a very close thing. Krissy (who took this picture) tells me that whether I’m taller than my daughter or not depends almost entirely on whether I’m lifting up my chin when we’re standing next to each other. Apparently I have a lofty forehead. The upshot of it, however, is that at Athena’s 14th birthday, she and I are more or less tied, heightwise. In a month, and without disputation, I will be the shortest human in the house. At least I will still be able to lord over the pets.

I am, mind you, perfectly fine with this. One does not marry a woman substantially taller than one’s self if one has height issues. Athena has always been tall for her age; when I was her age, on the other hand, I was a shade over five feet tall. It’s never been a question of if Athena would out-tall me; it’s always been a question of when. Now we know.

I otherwise continue to consider myself lucky to have the child I do. I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: Athena may not be the perfect child, but I believe she is the perfect child for me. She’s smart, funny, observant, occasionally wise and sometimes a real pain in the ass, but always her own person. I’m delighted by the person she is and often amazed at the person she is becoming. She makes me want to be a better parent for her, every day.

So happy birthday, Athena, with much love, from your clearly-soon-to-be-shorter-than-you father. May you continue to grow every day, and not just in height.

Old Man’s War Tops Locus Online’s 21st Century SF Novel Poll

Well, this is a nice thing to wake up to on the first day of the new baktun: Locus Online polled the Internet to find out what the best science fiction and fantasy works of the 20th and 21st century (to date) have been. The novel results are in, and Old Man’s War is on top of the list for the 21st century (top of the 20th century list: Dune, by Frank Herbert). On the fantasy side of things, The Lord of the Rings tops the 20th century list, while Neil Gaiman’s American Gods tops the 21st. I am, as you might imagine, pleased to be in such company.

For those curious, here’s the top ten SF for the 21st century (to date), determined by the Locus Online poll respondents:

1. Old Man’s War, John Scalzi
2. Anathem, Neal Stephenson
3. The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi
4. Spin, Robert Charles Wilson
5. Blindsight, Peter Watts
6. Altered Carbon, Richard Morgan
7. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
8. Pattern Recognition, William Gibson
9. The City & The City, China Mieville
10. Accelerando, Charles Stross

From these results, 2005 was a fine year for the young new century in terms of science fiction, as three of the Hugo nominees that year (OMW, Spin and Accelerando) made the top ten .

If you want to really nerd out, here are the complete results of the voting (including, it appears, every novel nominated in each of the four categories).

Caveat for your consideration: Locus Online notes that the large majority of votes for the poll came in the last few days, which also coincides with when both I and pointed people to the poll. It would not be out of line to assume a correlation between people who learned about the poll from my site, and people who might be inclined to vote for one of my works. And of course, I have the ability to move some amount of traffic online. That said, I would note that the next highest performing of my novels comes in at number 35 (The Last Colony), which to me does not suggest the voting population of the poll was irrationally in the tank for my work in a general sense. I’m pretty sure my fans are science fiction fans first, and fans of mine second. In any event, I would be delighted to be anywhere in a top ten list with this particular crowd of writers.

Another caveat: the 21st century is not yet twelve years old, so anyone would suggest the lists for this century are definitive should probably wait at least another nine decades, more or less. But as an observation of the current state of the science fiction art, it’s not a bad place to start.

Finally: If you did vote in the poll (and for me!) thank you. I appreciate it. It’s nice to see OMW doing well.