The Consuming Fire Contest Winner + Notes One Week Out From Release

Hey! We’re one week out from The Consuming Fire officially being released and me starting my book tour! Let’s talk about these things!

1. First, congratulations to Shatle, who for the Consuming Fire contest yesterday correctly guessed (and was the only one to correctly guess) that the city I was thinking of was Kingman, Arizona. Kingman is called out in “Route 66,” of which there are many, many versions. Here’s Chuck Berry’s:

In the event that no one guessed Kingman, I had a backup in mind, also in Arizona: Winslow, made famous in the Eagles’ “Take It Easy.” More than 40 of you picked that one. But Shatle had you all beat. Sorry.

2. The Consuming Fire is out next Tuesday, and people often ask what’s the best way to buy it: In hardcover, in eBook or as an audiobook. My answer is always the same: Get it in the version you prefer, because I get paid more or less the same for each, and also fundamentally I want you to be happy with your purchase. My publishers would be happy to have me get on the NYT bestseller list (and I wouldn’t mind, either), but the thing is at this point each format has its own NYT bestseller list (and there’s also a combined print/ebook list), so, honestly, again, pick the format you like, it all goes into the sales pile.

3. If you have no real preference in format, get it in hardcover, and also pre-order, or buy it in the first couple of days. That will make everyone happy. If you are waiting to pick up the book when I’m on tour, go ahead and pre-order the book now from the bookstore you’ll see me at — that way your sale still counts for the first week tally, and the bookstore will hold the book for you until I show up (I mean, or you can come pick it up from the bookstore any time before then, you don’t have to wait).

4. On this subject of purchasing books, If you are coming to see me on tour, please really do get the book from the bookstore you’ll see me at. It’s how you support that local bookstore and encourage them to bring in authors to do events. If you just can’t wait, and pick up the book prior to my event from somewhere else, when you’re at the event, please buy another book from the bookseller to show your support. It doesn’t even have to be one of mine! But bookstores need sales, and I need my events to do well for the bookstores. If neither happen, I stop being able to tour. So buy! Buy! Buy!

5. Speaking of the tour, here are all the tour dates this time around. All the events except Chicago’s are free, but some are ticketed (and some give priority to people who purchase the book at the store, another reason to get the book there), so click through to the venue Web site and get the details. If the information isn’t on the front page, check under “events”.

At the events I will: Read from upcoming work that no one else except the people who come to see me get to hear, sign books, answer questions, and otherwise attempt to be charming and amusing. As always, if someone brings an already tuned ukulele, I will play a song, poorly (strangely, this seems to be a popular part of the event; you people are weird). The exception to this will be in Texas, where I will be in conversation with the super-awesome Victoria Schwab, but that’s going to be very cool, I promise.

To pre-emptively answer some popular questions: Yes, I will usually sign more than the latest book but check with the venue for their signing policy; Yes, I will pose for pictures but please already have your camera ready to go (and again, this may be overridden by the venue); Yes, you can bring me gifts if you like (thank you!) but be aware that I am unlikely to travel with them (I will probably have the venue ship them home for me); No, I will probably not be able to hang out with you before or after the event because I am almost certainly already booked. Sorry. You’re awesome! Tours are just busy.

6. Please please please do come to see me on tour, and bring along every single person you know. It’ll be fun, I promise. I make an excellent performing monkey.

I think that’s it for now. If you have any questions, put them in the comments!

25 thoughts on “The Consuming Fire Contest Winner + Notes One Week Out From Release

  1. Would bringing you a Coke Zero be considered:

    a) Thoughtful. Touring is thirsty work.
    b) A nice gesture, but Scalzi can only drink so much Coke Zero
    c) Annoying, because airports and liquids and such.

  2. Would you enjoy another sour cream apple pie in Fort Collins, Colorado, on October 21st? I’m the person who made one oofor you at the Boulder event.

  3. Thanks to you I have had “we are all some way or another going to Reseda someday to die” stuck in my head. The song is not looking so great in light of #metoo but every few years it earworms me because I dunno, someone mentions songs with names of cities in them, and then that one line repeated will not go away until I listen to the entire song, and I am listening to Los Angeles. I am listening. I am listening.

  4. That was a mischievous contest challenge, there. Maybe I’ve spent too much time being serious about game theory and probability, but if I had noticed the contest in time to play, I’d have followed these heuristics:

    1. OGH was once a rock journalist of some sort, so it probably wouldn’t be C&W, and probably a 60s-80s hit (because hey, getting, um, rich in years and experience).
    2. It would be suboptimal at best to post a city anyone had already posted, so I’m bemused about the forty Winslow AZ submissions, and similar quantities for other more-famous cities.
    3. And, speaking of that, OGH having a puckish streak, it probably would not be a famous city but rather one conjured up primarily by the (unspecified) hit song.

    My sentimental favourite would have been Benson, Arizona, but sadly that remains only a cult hit, not a popular one. TANJ!

    Trivium: When CBS greenlighted the 1960s anthology TV series ‘Route 66’ to capitalise on enthusiasm for the hit Bobby Troup song, the studio was so ridiculously cheap that it was unwilling to licence the song as theme music, and instead commissioned a perfectly forgettable bit of instrumental dreck by Nelson Riddle — which unaccountably nonetheless made the Billboard top 30 before dropping out of sight.

  5. Fortunately, there is a Circle K right nearby Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, so I usually make sure John gets a fresh Coke Zero when he arrives. I should double check if PP is getting some signed copies.

    I almost put Kingman, but saw someone else had, so I went for Sausalito. Congrats Shatle!

  6. At #2 where you say The Collapsing Empire you mean The Consuming Fire.

    Also here in Australia copies of the UK edition arrived yesterday. Adjusting for time zones and hemispheres and so on that’s about mid next summer in US time I think.

  7. I pre-ordered a signed copy back in the summer from Sub Press and am now impatiently awaiting the shipping notification – this one has been on my “I can’t wait” list for a very long time now. I won’t be able to make it to any of your tour stops this time, unfortunately, but you came to our community on your last tour and I know you’ll be back again at some point.

    As a somewhat related question, will Jay and Mary’s Book Center be hosting a book-ordering marathon again during this holiday season? My younger sib loved The Collapsing Empire as much as I did, and I would love to order a signed copy of The Consuming Fire as their holiday gift this year.

    Safe travels on tour, sir – wash your hands frequently, drink plenty of fluids, and try to get a decent amount of sleep if you can. That’s a gruesome-looking travel schedule, and I would like to see you survive it.

  8. I was going to submit Winslow, AZ, but 500 had already commented and I thought it pointless at that point. Enjoy your book tour.

  9. I was considering guessing Benson, Arizona, from the theme song in Dark Star. I know it wasn’t a hit song, or a hit movie, but they both ought to have been.

  10. I tried to pre-order for the Oregon event but it says, “this book not available for store pickup.” :(
    I guess I will have to take my chances.

  11. On another topic entirely, but wanted to say this somewhere, thank you very much for your recentish mention of Mary Robinette Kowal’s Lady Astronaut series. I devoured them, and then got her whole regency series from the library too. I love her work, and her skill with accurately portraying usually-marginalized people. If I had the money right now, I’d buy all her books. I also tend to skip over the Big Idea posts, as they’re often rather long and I’m here for your voice, not the voice of anyone else, so I’m glad you mentioned them in one of your regular posts.

  12. Unfortunately, I can’t make the tour this time around. I do recommend that people show up—you are a delight to see in person.

    HOWEVER, I did pre-order the book from Avid (the Athens, GA visit). I look forward to lots of profanity and clever dialogue.

  13. I’ve already finished it, since the UK paperbacks got shipped on Monday. When I mentioned this in a tone of some surprise to the staff at Waterstones, they seemed confused and commented that “paperbacks aren’t usually embargoed”, which is… interesting. But whatever, it’s their problem.

    It’s good. Very good.
    A cool Big Twist (that *maybe* could have stood some more foreshadowing, but I get the narrative reason for not having any) and an *extremely* satisfying denouement.

    Something that came to mind when there was an explanation of how the title of “Emperox” came about though: why no non-binary characters? No trans characters of any kind, in fact, as far as I can tell.

  14. I got the song right – yay me! – but the city wrong. Not bad, considering how many places satisfied the stated requirements.

  15. I am bummed that you won’t be coming to the Boston area, but will be happy to buy the book anyway! Hope the tour is awesome.

  16. Any chance you are coming to Europe at some point? We love your work here as well and would love to see you :-)

  17. I sometimes buy hardcovers, but lately, my strong preference is for e-books. If I buy a hardcover, it only to have, since I can’t hold them up for long any more. I am a persistent pre-orderer.. I have had The Consuming Fire on pre-order since February.

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