My New Writing Gig

So here’s a cool thing: I, along with nine other folks, am one of the Los Angeles Times’ book section’s “Critics at Large.” This means from time to time in the pages of the Times, I’ll be writing about books, the universe and everything. I’ll be joined in this endeavor by Marlon James, Laila Lalami, Susan Straight, Viet Thanh Nguyen, David Kipen, Alexander Chee, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Rebecca Carroll and Adriana Ramírez. They are deeply impressive writers and it’s an honor to be in their company.

I’m mildly geeking out about this gig because I grew up reading the LA Times and it remains one of my favorite newspapers. When I was a full-time journalist it was one of the three papers I hoped that I might one day write for (the other being the Washington Post and the NY Times). And now I get to! My younger, newspaper writer self is asquee. This will be fun, while it lasts.

51 Comments on “My New Writing Gig”

  1. Please post links when you publish reviews so we can find them quickly. I look forward to reading them!

  2. Jay – New Bern, NC – INGREDIENTS: coffee, books, music, podcasts, NPR, cats, movies, the Oxford comma, and Netflix - - - WARNING: may contain nuts - - - MADE IN THE USA
    Jay E.


  3. Wictionary definition of asquee: First-person singular present subjunctive form of asquear. Definition of asquear: (intransitive) to disgust, to cause disgust

    So WTF?

  4. Congrats! It sounds like you’ve got a very full and fulfilling plate.

  5. Wow! They’ll let anyone in! Congrats, Mr. Scalzi!

  6. Last time I was in California, in April 2001, I was able to spend a few hours at the LA Times-sponsored book festival on the UCLA campus. I know the paper has gone through some unwelcome changes since then – what newspaper hasn’t? – but I’m glad they still seem to care about books.

  7. Dear Hugh,

    The LAT (like many papers) lets you read a limited number of free articles each month (ten, I think) but I don’t know if that includes columnists. It’d be easy to check out– get a link to a news article there (e.g., via a Google news search) and see if you can step from that article to one of their “feature” or “columnist” links.


    Dear Jeff,

    Greg’s a friend of mine and I would say that remark would be highly out of character if it were meant seriously. Unless he’s turned into a horrid grouch in the past few years (it’s possible), it’s a rib.

    I’d say it’s a very maladroit one, though. Most everyone reading it won’t know him… or that. It makes him sound like a troll.

    pax / Ctein

  8. For a Chicago-educated individual I’m mildly surprised you had no ambitions for the Tribune, particularly considering its strong arts section and columnist roster back in the day.

  9. landrovan “Hum, is there a reason your picture is the only one in black and white in the list?”

    Shhh. You got it with your first word. It’s the bees. That cover story about “Oh, it’s just the picture they chose” is merely what They want you to think. Don’t let on that you know or the bees will get you.

  10. Read Diverse Books – Austin, TX – I'm just a simple man who loves to read. My blog is dedicated to reviewing, discussing, and promoting books about and by people of color.
    Read Diverse Books

    Congrats! I am a fan of many of those author, Marlon James and Laila Lalami in particular.
    What a sweet gig :)

  11. But, but, I’ve been told that you are not popular. How is this possible? :)

  12. John Scalzi, as has been noted before, you are NOT a very popular author! This is just more SJW nonsense to show that you are more popular than you are which is not very popular at all. It’s all lies! Lying liars maybe pick you because you are popular with liars, but for the REAL PEOPLE, no, you are not even known, much less known. /sarcasm>

    Congrats. I don’t really know any of the others, although I vaguely recognize a name or two, but I don’t think they would have been chosen along with you unless they are pretty damn good at their craft. I hope you gives us a few of those linky things to articles you write.

  13. lnr03 – I am Lisa, I am just about 44 years old. I enjoy writing, Always looking for freelance work. I basically am recently widowed. Have 3 children 21,15, and 11. My youngest daughter is special needs requiring dialysis and other medical treatments. I am pretty busy but I am not working out of the home at this time so I do spend a lot of time trying to figure out how I can make a living and continue to take care of my kids. My oldest is doing her own thing and I don't want to hold her back by being my babysitter. I love to share funny stories, serious ones, recipes and generally talk about what ever comes to mind. I am one who believes a good sense of humor takes you a long way. I look forward to sharing about me and mine here.

    That is wonderful news. Congratulations!.

  14. That’s some impressive company to be among; congratulations and have a blast with it!

  15. I also note that the only two comments on the article specifically refer to you. Evidently this means you are the Titan of the Titans

  16. dann665 – A generally libertarianish critter that has been loving sci-fi and fantasy since the age of 10. Give or take. For more, check out my blog at

    Congrats, John. A well earned opportunity. I hope you enjoy it.


  17. Whoa, diversity represent! you look so … white in that company! (and now I have more people to put on my to-read list)

  18. This is funny. I saw this announcement floating around, and I twigged on a couple things…one, the diversity of the panel, and two, the appearance of Viet, a friend of a friend, who I was pretty excited for. Never even realized you were included….shows you where my mind’s at

  19. Congratulations, that’s utterly marvelous! I look forward to book ads which includes a quote from you and crediting the Los Angeles Times.

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