“John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular,” the Audiobook, Read by Me, John Scalzi
Posted on August 29, 2015 Posted by John Scalzi 103 Comments
Quick recap: John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular is a parody of an ebook by an obnoxious bigot who is obsessed with me, and I said (full details here) that if people raised $2,500 for Con or Bust, which funds science fiction convention memberships for people of color, I’d create an audiobook version of it. That happened. Then I said if we hit a stretch goal of $10,000, I’d also commission a song about me not being very popular. And that just happened! Whoo-hoo!
It will take me a bit to organize the song (update, 9/1/15: The song is commissioned! It’ll be a few weeks before it’s ready! Patience! It’ll be worth it!), but because you lovely people got us to an amazing $10,000 for Con or Bust in under 48 hours, I decided not to make you wait any longer for the audiobook. Here it is, with my love and appreciation.
First, the complete book, in one 40 minute chunk!
And now, the individual chapters:
Chapter 1: How it Begins
Chapter 2: John Scalzi’s Blog is Not That Interesting and No One Reads It
Chapter 3: John Scalzi Does Not Understand Satire as Well as I Understand Satire
(Note: This chapter contains reference to a piece I wrote about rape, and despite its humorous nature as parody, may be triggery for some folks.)
Chapter 5: John Scalzi Did Not Get Me Thrown out of the SFWA
Chapter 5: John Scalzi’s Deal With Tor is Not a Very Good Deal
Chapter 5: John Scalzi is Not a Very Popular Author
And for those of you who want to download the files: Complete Book|Prologue|Chapter 1|Chapter 2|Chapter 3|Chapter 5(a)|Chapter 5(b)|Chapter 5(c)|Afterword|Appendices
(Update, 9:09pm: Kate Nepveu of Con or Bust has created an Audible-like audiobook file of the complete book, which you may find here.)
And if you did enjoy this, and have not already done so, may I suggest you donate to Con or Bust, and help people of color attend science fiction conventions? That would be awesome. Thank you! And song to come!
PayPal account straightened out. $10 donated. :)
I listened to this while taking out the trash and the recycling.
It seemed appropriate.
Thank you so much for bringing this to life, and letting me be a part of an amazing fundraiser.
After listening to this, I find fault with the inability to circle parts of this audio with red pen. How are we to make links between this and the secret conspiracy without being able to mark out sections with the clear red ink of proof? Perhaps you’ve done this DELIBERATELY.
Jay, we’ve got you covered. Just get the ebook on Amazon and mark out the words on your screen!
I just love Con or Bust. It’s a worthy cause for our community. I can’t donate right now, but I’ve been able to spread the word and get a couple of cons to sign on and offer memberships to Con or Bust. Love your work!
I did not realize that you weren’t just going to read it, you were going to do it in character! It is great but I feel like I should send you some throat lozenges now.
I assume there was quite a bit of spittle to clean up after recording, but it was worth it! Laughed, laughed, laughed through all the Chapter Fives.
I suppose it is interesting (somewhat) reading about two guys pissing on each other’s shoes. But I’m not a big fan of petty politics.
However, if John Scalzi is not a very popular author, I wish I was so unpopular. ;>) Congrats John, I do enjoy reading your books. They move at a fast pace and keep me glued to the pages.
Thanks for that.
I especially enjoyed Chapter 5.
Who is this Pratt guy? I’m not being facetious; I seriously don’t know and I don’t want to Google him to give them the hits.
@Sami: Pratt is a fairly transparent parody of a real-world hatemonger who also likes to invoke the name of God in his nom de guerre. He is the creation of SFF writer Alexandra Erin, who has also done other parodies along these lines, albeit on a smaller scale.
I’m putting this on my Hugo slate.
Sami: Theophilus Pratt is a parody of the leader of the Rabid Puppies, the folks who tried to hijack the Hugos with slate voting. That person recently self-published a self-congratulatory book about how terrible people who aren’t racist sexist jerks are, and, amusingly enough, it was edited so badly that it had two Chapter 5s. This from a guy who slated his way on to the Hugo ballot as Best Editor. Twice.
I read the print version of the parody. I have to ask, does the original book it lampoons really have duplicate chapters, and is it really written in this style? If so, how can anyone take it seriously?
wally pleasant is a humorous songwriter who will write songs for people. For a fee.
Robyn Bennis brings up an interesting point… in all seriousness, could both the eBook and the audio version of this fine parody be nominated for a Hugo within their respective categories?
wagnerel, most parody involves a bit of fun house mirror distortion, emphasizing certain features at the expense of others, but the original is still… well, before I even decided to write the parody, I was livetweeting my read-through. Here’s the thread. If you click through all the mores, there are some screen shots, including a gem I refer to as “All The SFWA President’s Men”.
I loved the brachycephalic nuances you gave to the Pratt figure, but am now concerned for your nasal passages… sounds like it hurt!
This is a glorious reading – you are vastly superior to the voices in my head!
I think it wise to warn people who will read the e-book edition and/or listen to this audio adaptation that you should not do so while drinking liquid beverages, particularly carbonated ones, and particularly when the audio narration gets to the part about Scalzi in his web on top of the mountain of lies. Seriously. My husband almost had to do CPR, plus it’s dangerous with electronics.
Very nicely done! The sheer moistness of your voice is appropriately disgusting.
Yes, both the print and the audio would be Hugo eligible (in the categories of “Best Related Work” and “Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form”, respectively).
“Mr. Pratt” sounds eerily like an excessively creepy and conservative law professor of my acquaintance. This is why I died laughing while listening to the prologue and will have to come back from the dead to hear the rest.
@MVS and @Robyn: Theophilus Pratt was a special guest reviewer in the series of reviews by his close friend and colleague John Z. Upjohn, USMC (Aspired) earlier in the year. You may want to look at those and consider their wider body of work and their worthiness for awards in appropriate categories.
I hope no cats were annoyed in the recording of this audiobook. And that you warned your wife and child to flee the house while it was being done, lest they call 911 because they thought you were having a stroke.
Also, maybe avoid the beverages while reading Ms. Erin’s Twitter recap of the original work being satirized. Not just for what she says, but also because of the excerpts she puts up from the actual book. Which makes Pratt’s book all the more impressive, really. Because it actually seems to be more restrained.
I know who I’m voting for in the Best Fan Writer category!!
I have suggested this be added to SP4. Not sure if the puppies will do that.
Congratulations, John. I look forward to the song being sung lustily at filks at cons.
Making my Hugo nominations now.
(As I WOULD, being a WOMAN.)
The husband and I enjoyed this. I had to explain to him what parts were made up. Hint: not the ones he thought.
I hope you had a spit shield on your mike. Your characterization was primo, going more and more unhinged as it went along. The snorts and “heh” were just icing on the cake. Also liked your Srs Bzness voice announcing the chapters. You could try voice work if this whole writing thing doesn’t work out (which we know it won’t, as this book proves).
We ARE amused. (And yay for Con or Bust)
Wait, we’ll have to decide whether it should be nommed (nom! nom!) as Best Related Work or Best Fan Writer. Otherwise we won’t know what to tell the Secret Cabal, our legions of minions, or Mrs. Knipperdowling.
And do we nom Theophilus Pratt as BFW, or Alexandra Erin?
Does the real RSHD really talk like that? Yeesh. Fingernails on a blackboard (remember blackboards? get off my lawn).
Thanks for the link, Alexandra Erin. Hazardous to read at the keyboard whilst drinking iced tea. And thanks for reminding me that humor is often the best response when faced with such unpleasant people.
Sounds like Chief Wiggum trying to do Jeff Goldblum’s voice. That is hilarious.
I think the book itself is “Best Related Work”, Scalzi’s reading is “Best Dramatic/Short”, and Alexandra Erin is “Best Fan Writer”.
We nominate Ms. Erin for Best Fan Writer. That way, we can include the book and the Puppy children’s book reviews by “Pratt” and “Upton” as a packet of fan satiric writings together. There’s not much point in trying to nominate Scalzi’s audio version of the book for Short Form Dramatic as it will just lose to t.v. shows. But a live performance with Scalzi and guest readers at Wheaton’s W00tstock event might not be amiss.
Scalzi has a future in voiceover work. Someone needs to animate this thing and put it on youtube.
Did you say you commissioned a SONG? Here, have another for free—
There’s a famous SJW
Who thinks that he’s so great
But really, he’s not worthy
To be on my Hugo slate
He isn’t very funny
He writes inane sci-fi
And when he sees I’ve told him off,
How Scalzi’s gonna cry!
Watch me take down Scalzi!
Watch me take down Scalzi!
Watch me take down Scalzi!
Give him all I’ve got!
Watch me take down Scalzi!
Yappy, crappy Scalzi
Twerpy, derpy Scalzi
He thinks he’s so hot
I posted nasty comments
Screamed till I was deaf
He tried to grade my hate mail
So I gave him an F
He banned me with his hammer
And his smirky little grin
And now he thinks he’s locked me out
But really, he’s locked in
Watch me take down Scalzi!
Tacky fracky Scalzi
You just think he’s ballsy
His readers all are bored
Watch me take down Scalzi
His incoherent scrawlzi
Vapid and banalzi
Give him No Award
Who cares about his blog? (Whatever)
Who cares about his book, Redshirts?
Who cares that fandom gapes and mentions sour grapes
When I rant about my myriad butthurts?
Who cares about his so-called satire?
Who cares about his old farts’ war?
His Book of the Dumb is clearly autobiographical
What’s fictional’s his deal with Tor
I love to pick on Scalzi. Wouldn’t be him if I could
You’re dreaming like an android if you think he’s any good
Don’t be fooled by his apparent popularity
No one really likes him, but I’m sure they’re fond of me
If it weren’t for SJWs his sales would really drop
It’s all the left’s conspiracy, we have to make it stop
He’s such a sissy beta-male, He should have his own sex
And when I’m done with him, Teresa Nielsen Hayden’s next!
Watch me take down Scalzi!
Watch me take down Scalzi!
Make him feel so smallzi
Stomp on Zoe’s Tale
Watch me take down Scalzi!
Yucky, sucky Scalzi
Break up his cabalzi
He’s so full of Fail.
Watch me take down Scalzi!
Hear me caterwaulzi
Rage and scream and squallzi
Tell him that he stinks
Scorn and pity Scalzi!
I don’t care at allzi
(And please, when Scalzi reads this
Someone tell me what he thinks!)
(May be sung to “Smash the Frickin’ Fairies”, by Tom Smith, music GoH at Sasquan. Youtube of the original here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TK1aYEzf9w )
That… was a surprisingly good reading. I think you really nailed the “nutbar ranting about things he is but dimly aware of” voice.
Thanks. I laughed. I recognized the tune when I got to the first chorus.
For those of you who like your audiobooks in Audible-like format, with internal chapters, I’ve converted the files into an m4b file, which you may download here (right-click and save). Enjoy!
It occurs to me there’s nothing to keep us from nominating Erin as BFW AND nominating the book as BRW. I don’t know how I’m going to fill up my BRW slots anyway.
But my nominating ballot (my first ever, thank you Sad & Rabid from a hard-core SJW) will DEFINITELY have this on it somewhere.
The extra spittle and heavy breathing every time you read your name is a nice touch.
Hah oh man I’m only through the first few parts but this is so excellent and I’m so glad this came about! I absolutely adore con or bust and have donated to them in the past. Unfortunately this time around I wasn’t in a position to since I was laid off recently but without them I wouldn’t have been able to attend Sasquan15 (since no job = time to go but not so much on the funds for membership. Luckily airfare was miles and hotel room was split between 5 so not that bad) and I’m so so glad I was able to as it was a marvelous time.
how in the world did you channel the spirit of Wallace Shawn? maybe you just channeled Vizzini
Reblogged this on Mirymom's Blog and commented:
I didn’t get to listen yet, but I definitely plan to.
It would be very difficult to find anyone, for any amount of money, to write a better song than the one Miles V. posted here. And I say this in spite of the fact that Miles is both a friend and a fellow denizen of the filk community. (I laughed myself silly.)
I thought the voice of Mr. Pratt had distinct shades of Vizzini. Which seemed highly appropriate.
Um, you know, that song? It’s pretty good!
@Miles V: That is a terrific song! How much do we have to raise to get someone to record that? Not only was I impressed with how you worked in all the titles, I lost it when you got to “banalzi” and again at “cabalzi”. Good show. Whoever writes the “official” one has a big standard to live up to.
@Kat G: I don’t know as it’s going to be automatically shut out (or it wouldn’t be in a non-Puppy year). Remember, the video of “F Me, Ray Bradbury”, and Chris Garcia’s acceptance speech for Best Fanzine have gotten nominations in DPShort. So if the TV year isn’t too impressive, it could happen.
Wait, I’m confused. I thought this was supposed to be a parody of Teddy’s writing?
Despite my lngstanding avidance f listening t audi bks, despite my aversin to wrks that are nt n a printed hardcpy page, and despite my general Luddite attitudes, I was beguiled by the respnses here, and I unmuted the speaker n my laptp lng enugh t listen t the recrding that Mr. Scalzi made f Ms. Erin’s wrk.
And nw my spuse has been awakened by hts of laughter, the baffled cats are cntemplating me with cnsternation frm the tp perches f the cat tree where they fled in respnse t the spluttering guffaws, and the key between i and the p on the keybard of my laptp is nnfunctinal after having been sprayed by a muthful f a gd chardnnay.
Thank yu, Mr. Scalzi and Ms. Erin. My spuse and cats may nt agree, but I’d say the cllateral damage is well wrthwhile.
Donation made – great cause. Cons were/are a big part of our formative years back when dinosaurs ruled the earth. Never been to KC before …
@Lurkertype–I’ll leave that up to Scalzi. If the song meets with his approval (and Tom’s. I know Tom and he’s always been fine with my parodies of his stuff before, but I’m not going to presume just yet), then I’m fine with him raising what he wants off of it and applying it to Hugo participation or any other cause.
Because, you know, he could probably use the money, not being very popular and all whereas I myself am quite popular. :-)
While I laughed while reading the e-book, I think I split a testicle from laughing at the audio version. Voice. Was. PERFECT!
“Someone needs to animate this thing and put it on youtube.”
Whoever does this should make sure there’s a skull on a shelf in the background. One of these dipsticks who’s obsessed with the feminist Anita Sarkeesian inexplicably puts a skull into the background of his videos.
Merus: Unfortunately in the more recent movies professor skull has moved on to better things.
That was hilarious! I was unsure if I would be able to donate before the deadline, but I think it will be ok now. Sending money tomorrow morning.
I loved the extra sound effects, the hissy sneering/snickering was perfect, and yes, I was also reminded of Wallace Shawn as Vizzini. Perfect. (Does Ted really sound like that?)
Did you get confused and read the -actual- “book” instead of the parody? While very funny, this text all sounds identical to a certain individual’s frequent public rants about you…. But then, that’s been one of my complaints about this whole mess: it’s so hard for me to tell what’s parody from what’s not.
I am listening to this while doing errands. The “Whatever” use-mention elision gotcha is fun!
I remember that Ashok Kondabolu, in one of the Untitled Kondabolu Brothers Podcast episodes, mentioned that he and Das Racist, while on tour, would listen to YouTube rambles by racists, since some of them have super soothing voices and it’s fun to laugh at them. There’s something similar here.
Also, I will have to remember the sandwich where the butter is lies and the bread is also lies.
I am never getting the coffee out of my Cintiq, dude. THANKS SCALZI
“When I wrote his name on the cover of my notebooks…” BRILLIANT
I dunno if this needs a new song, pretty sure it already has one.
Pardon a French reader who lacks references (though a fair bit about SP/RP&Hugos), but is John mimicing someone’s voice here ? Anyway, well done Ms Erin & Mr Scalzi, humour is the best weapon against inflated egos.
That made my day! Thank you Alexandra Erin and thank you John. You’re showing what the fandom is really about. Donated to Con or Bust earlier and I also bought the ebook. Keep up the good work Alexandra and John!!
I’m definitely putting this in my Hugo nominations.
Please if done on YouTube or in public wear one of your better regency dresses. Why do I see another stretch goal coming on? I’ve started setting up my nomination ballot. I’m surprised by how many categories I already have a number of slots filled in.
@Tasha: I’ve been setting up my nominations too. And this work is on it, believe me. As Dramatic/Short, Alexandra for Fan Writer, and the ebook as Related Work.
Drama/Short is my fullest category right now, with this and 2 episodes of “Person of Interest”. I looked up the title of the series finale (viewers who remember Harold talking to the Machine [sob] will know why I’m nominating it), and it’s… wait for it… “YHWH”.
I’ve also got “Cat Pictures, Please” for Short Story, so right now my ballot is all artificial intelligence and organic stupidity. Hee.
Point of fact: John does not actually own any Regency dresses, he has to borrow them from MRK. But as she is the most gracious person alive, I’m sure she’d lend one out should it be needed.
@Col. S: Your comment got a LOL from me; please award your keyboard a LL.
@Miles: Well, sure, there’s big money in filk!
Query: has anyone been unfortunate enough to hear Teddy speak, and does he sound at all like this? I’m thinking the accent/nasality is true to life.
On his blog he posted a little speech that he made to gamer gate in Paris (to give you a hint at some search terms, won’t link here).
Mr Scalzi, if you get an award for this please please please accept it in character.
FWIW, this Scenes from a Multiverse guest comic is completely unrelated to the puppies mess.
@Lurkertype I keep forgetting MRK only loans the dresses.
I’ve got several semiprozines as well as fanzines & fan writers (or whatever those various categories are called LOL) with a number of possibilities. I have tons of magazines & anthologies from this year to read for the various categories on my kindle or stacked by my bed. I also need to look over the books I’ve read on Goodreads to see which are from this year and eligible and check my notes on those for my thoughts.
This will be my 5th (?) year voting but my first nominating. I’d hoped to nominate for 2015 but my membership was all messed up and it took a while to get things straightened out. :(
Mr. Scalzi or Ms. Nepveu, would either of you be willing/able to share the final total that was donated to Con or Bust as a result of this challenge? We can tell that it was in excess of the $10K stretch goal, but it would be lovely to know just how far over the top this project went.
Thanks again to both of you, and especially to Ms. Erin, for a most amusing and gratifying weekend. Got a good start on my Hugo nominations list already….
Sure–I had an update in the other thread but not here! The current total is $11,002.59 (from 365 different donations), plus John’s matching $500.
I still haven’t come up with a better word than “amazing” for it, even though it’s later in the morning. Thank you all so, so much.
Just listened to the prologue and love the voice. Yes, Wallace Shawn is much in evidence. Was that an aesthetic choice, or just a happy accident?
I have no particular desire to ever see the face or hear the voice of Tedious Bore, but if he made a reaction video I’d happily make an exception.
Thanks for tanking my lunch plans, Mr. Scalzi and Ms. Erin.
I always knew you were hilarious and a talented author, but who knew you could act?! That wheezy, drooly and spittle-covered delivery salted with speech impediment was genius.
Is there a way to buy the ebook version without giving money to Amazon?
Even with YOU reading it….I began to tune it out it was so awful
Tigerfort, you can buy it from the author:
If this illustrious work requires it, one presumes MRK might be able to make John his very own dress. Although they are enough of a size that borrowing would save her much time, perhaps a few alterations. It is, of course, the accessories which would make or break the outfit.
(ack, no WP I wasn’t done!!!)
In addition, listening to this when the blog header is Loppy’s SOON photo makes it even funnier. Although Loppy is much more dignified and handsome as a rule.
This is awesome. And now I want to participate in an Eye of Argon reading with you. :)
Welp,I haven’t read any of Voldevox’s writings, but if this is satire of them….HOOOOOOOOOOOOO BOY.
Ah-ha. Thanks, Linda.
New link for Audible-like compiled version! http://steelypips.org/miscellany/scalzi-audiobook.m4b
Updated the link in the entry!
I second your PoI nom but would you consider “If-Then-Else” instead of “YHWH”? To me, it’s a better crafted episode and certainly the most SciFi of the series. And if the end of that ep doesn’t tug your heartstrings, I don’t know what will. I grant you the tragic end of “YHWH” but, to me, it was a lesser episode, the end of a grueling, relentlessly downbeat season rather than the surprisingly twisty and sometimes funny mid-season ep.
Enjoyed your reading of the audiobook tremendously. It’s nice to know that you have a fallback position, if this writing thing doesn’t work out for you.
This was a thing of beauty and everybody involved should feel good. I haven’t laughed so hard since I started school again.
Thank you, “Theophilus Pratt.” Your mockery of my least favorite RSHD is a shining star of pure awesomeness.
Really, the delivery is pure genius.
@Nick/OC: “If-Then-Else” is my other nomination, fear not. I liked the twistiness, and it too has the emotional punch. And certainly a different, very sci-fi POV!
Honestly, anyone who’s not watching “Person of Interest” has been missing out on the bestest SF show of the past 4 years. Binge them on Netflix and be ready for the mid-season return!
OMG IT’S VIZZINI!
Credit where credit’s due, John. You do a pretty good Vox parody voice. :)
I…am not sure my ears will ever be the same.
@Erin – your blurb on Sellfy is wrong: it contains *100%* more Chapter 5’s than the competition. You express an increase as a proportion of the *original* value, not the end value.
$10 donated. Very funny.
Interestingly enough this audio book is even better if read over The Best of Psychedelic Rock on Youtube.