2017 Recap + What’s On Tap For 2018
Posted on December 29, 2017 Posted by John Scalzi 26 Comments
Sure, 2017 was an unmitigated shitshow in a general sense here in the US and in lots of other parts of the world — but how was it for me? Well, in fact, it was pretty good. In no particular order:
1. The Collapsing Empire came out to great reviews and sales, hit a bunch of bestseller lists and was snapped up for TV by Working Title pretty much when it hit bookstores, so all that was pretty great. I did a five-week tour for the book, which was exhausting but also a lot of fun.
2. The Dispatcher won an Audie Award in the “Original Work” category and debuted in print and has done very well there, so that was also pretty great.
3. Don’t Live For Your Obituary officially comes out in two (2!) days, and has been getting very good reviews and the signed limited hardcover edition has sold briskly, so that’s also pretty nifty (don’t worry, I’ll remind you about it again in two days).
4. Old Man’s War was optioned by Netflix to be made into a feature film, which pleases me immensely. It also came out in a very cool new small-format hardcover edition, which I think looks awesome and which I recommend for everyone.
5. I wrote Head On, which took longer than I would have liked to get done but still (barely) got in to make production dates for its April 17 release, so, yay!
6. My kid graduated from high school, and got into and is now attending college, which I think is pretty great.
7. Was a finalist for a few awards that other people won, which is fine, you don’t win them all.
8. Met and became friends with one of my all-time favorite musicians, which still fills me with squee. And met the Librarian of Congress at the National Book Festival, which was also pretty cool.
9. Remained married to a tremendous human and have gotten to be friends with other tremendous humans. Which is tremendous.
10. I was not consumed by wild animals nor by fire.
So, in all, 2017 was not bad on a personal level. I would have vastly preferred to have my good year along with a general good year for the country, mind you. But that wasn’t up to me, generally speaking (and if it was, I wish someone would have told me earlier because there were so many changes I would have made).
What’s on the schedule for 2018? Well:
1. On the 9th of January, my short story “Three Robots Experience Objects Left Behind From the Era of Humans for the First Time,” will be published in the Robots vs. Fairies anthology.
2. Head On publishes on April 17, and I’ll be doing a tour to support it. Not five weeks this time; a rather shorter one. Dates and places to be determined.
3. The sequel to The Collapsing Empire, entitled The Widening Gyre, is currently scheduled for release on October 16, although that might shift a bit. I start writing that, uuuhhhh, monday. No tour or events scheduled for it yet, although I imagine there will be some.
4. I’ll also be working on a non-fiction book, tentatively scheduled for the third quarter of the year. More details on that soonish.
5. Also somewhere in there I’ll be writing a novella, the release date for which is as yet undetermined.
6. Depending on how quickly the Old Man’s War and Collapsing Empire film/TV projects advance, I’ll be taking part in those (I’m an executive producer on both projects).
7. Certain things which were in process in 2017 but not made public will likely become public in 2018. You’ll know them when they arrive.
8. I’m Co-Guest of Honor of the Bubonicon science fiction convention with Mary Robinette Kowal, this August in New Mexico. I’m also planning to attend Confusion in Detroit in January, the Los Angeles Festival of Books in April, and the Worldcon in San Jose in August (and JoCo Cruise in February!), plus other events, I’m sure. I’ll update my appearances tab when they come in.
9. Uuuuhhh, I think I’m forgetting something but I can’t remember what it is and honestly what’s listed above is kinda enough, you know?
10. And then somewhere in there I need to sleep and spend time with family and friends and eat and enjoy recreational activities and post here and on social media and maybe even actually do some diet and exercise because middle-age is a thing for me now and I’ll be 49 in May holy cow I’m oldish.
So, in sum: 2017 was a busy year! 2018 will be a busy year too! It beats the alternative.
Also, for those of you who were wondering why the follow-up to The Collapsing Empire is now called The Widening Gyre and not The Last Emperox, as I had originally planned, the answer is: Plans change. People change. Titles change. But don’t worry, I plan to use The Last Emperox as the title to the third (and at this point, final) book in the Interdependency series.
I just turned 62 so stop whining. Lol
Sounds like a fine year of Scalziness on it’s way. Here’s hoping for a better year all around for everybody
Dont let them Hollywood types kill Old Man’s War. Hopefully your presence as Executive Muckty Muck will prevent that. :) I am curious to see how it will play out in film. Any idea of when it may be on Netflix?
Wait. WIDENING GYRE has a release date ten months out and you haven’t started *writing* it yet? And HEAD ON is going from turned-in manuscript to published in, what, four months? You work on an amazingly compressed schedule.
You got to hang with Ted Leo. That would put 2017 in the positive column regardless of the broader political outlook. Happy New Year!
@Ron Mitchell: Speaking as a professional editor, I would like to suggest that the preferred term is “Scalzicity.”
“I’ll also be working on a non-fiction book, tentatively scheduled for the third quarter of the year. More details on that soonish.”
Since you’re talking about schedule details, is the non-fic book scheduled to come out in the third quarter, or is the manuscript done in the third quarter? If the former, then I imagine there must be some overlap in writing “The Widening Gyre” and the non-fiction book. I know you’re a writer with prodigious powers, but is shifting gears like that (having two books in completely different mindsets that you’re writing simultaneously) difficult, or is it all part of the Scalzi writing portfolio?
Also, “The Widening Gyro” would be an excellent name for a Wierd-Al cover band.
Luther M. Siler:
It wouldn’t be this compressed if I had managed to get my shit together in 2017 and finished Head On when I originally planned to. But I’m pretty sure I can make it work.
Just read your entry in my email and what more can I say but I’m very proud of you on your end! Being a writer and composer of music too (I seem to be better at the latter than the former), I only wish that in 2018 I can achieve 20% of what you’ve done in 2017! Congratulations and best of luck.
I am curious, what does an “executive producer” really do?
“Remained married to a tremendous human and have gotten to be friends with other tremendous humans. Which is tremendous.” The sentiment is lovely, but I fear you’ve been reading Trump twits, John, judging from the excessive tremendousity in expression.
I’m just happy you managed not to find yourself on Dancing With the Stars.
So, is it safe to assume that you are far enough away in time and subject matter that the naming collision with Robert B. Parker over The Widening Gyre is not to be worried about?
Great name for the next novel.
It has to be from the Yeats poem “The Second Coming”.
The first verse is especially apropos to your series….
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
And also applies quite well to these troubled political times.
Thanks for your #10 entries, the only ones that apply to me ;)
Awesome as usual. I’m looking forward to reading more stories from your finger tips.
Thanks also for the inspiration to look back at all the things I’ve done in the year.
See you next time your in Melbourne Australia. :) I’m still using the signed Kindle!
Your daughter had left school and my youngest is yet to start (2019) time moves on but the cycle continues.
Best of luck and wishes for 2018 and beyond.
Just curious, but what inspired the coining of the word, “Hilketa”?
For the “diet and exercise” bit of #10, might I recommend Mark Sisson’s The Keto Reset Diet, https://www.amazon.com/Keto-Reset-Diet-Metabolism-Forever-ebook/dp/B06Y56VD6P/. I’ve enjoyed it.
Turning 49 in May? Youngster! I’ve been 49 for a few weeks now.
As for diet and exercise, I’m still holding out for Progenitorivox: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZPZG92iYE4.
I am *so* jazzed you re going to be GOH at Bubonicon (my local con).
And Old Man’s War has a good chance at the (pick-your size) screen! I am very hopeful you are able to keep it from not sucking.
It was hard for any reasonably aware person to function at a high level in 2017. Unless they avoided the news! People, dammit, *vote in the primaries!* It counts *more*. And drag your friends there too. Please, in the name of the Republic.
Will 2018 be better than 2017? Well, who can say. But there are two bright spots in it already, two new John Scalzi books. As for the rest, well, it’s the only year we have. Make the most of it.
You’ve got a lot on your plate. I just turned 55 myself so look back on my pre-50 years as full of energy compared to now. Pace yourself. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. The longer the track, the slower the pace as you go farther.
Otherwise all I can add is it sounds like you’ve got some great things in the works. I look forward to seeing if the Old Man’s War saga can make the translation into the a different media. I’m hopeful since you are on board in a role as more than consultant.
We live in some interesting times for sure right now.
Best wishes on a fun new year.
Wishing you a happy, healthy, productive, and prosperous 2018! Thank you in advance for (what I’m sure will be) another marvelous novel – can’t wait!
I like the title ‘The Widening Gyre.’ Slithy toves, those dam’ flow portals.