The 10s in Review: My Career

The short version is: It was a pretty good decade for my career.

Now, let’s expand that, in bullet points that are in no particular order.

* First, the stats: Eight novels, two novellas, two short story collections, four nonfiction books, six anthology appearances (there may be more, I suspect I’m forgetting one or two), two TV series, two video games, one interactive graphic novel. Multiple appearances on various New York Times bestseller lists as well as the USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Locus, LA Times and other bestseller lists. A week as the #1 author on the entirety of Amazon. Won the Hugo Award for Best Novel, two Locus Awards for best science fiction novel, two Audie Awards, and was nominated for (and occasionally won) other domestic and international awards. Toastmaster of a Worldcon. Special Guest at San Diego Comic-Con. President of SFWA for three years. Got a nice contract. I’m probably forgetting something but I think you get the point. A solid decade for me.

* And also, not inevitable it would have been so. I’ve noted before that there is a three-year gap between the publication of Zoe’s Tale (2008) and my next novel Fuzzy Nation (2011), which is the longest gap between novels in my career. This was because Tor and I had a bit of a falling out in there (due to a contentious contract negotiation) and I spent time doing other things. Tor picking up Fuzzy Nation — or more specifically, offering on Fuzzy Nation in a manner I decided would be acceptable — was not a sure thing, and had Tor decided to go in another direction with that particular book, it’s entirely possible my next decade could have looked very different indeed. So you could say I’m delighted that Tor and I managed to patch things up. I strongly suspect I prefer the current version of events to what might have been.

* Am I the biggest science fiction writer of the 10s? Nope — in terms of sales of a single book, that likely goes to Ernie Cline or Andy Weir (for Ready Player One and The Martian, respectively), and there are other science fiction writers who I suspect in aggregate have sold as well as or better than I have. Nor am I the most important science fiction writer of the 10s — I’m very certain that honor goes to NK Jemisin, although there are other contenders as well, including Paolo Bacigalupi, Ann Leckie, Cixin Liu (in English translation) and Ted Chiang (this is, I assure you, not a complete list; also I’m not talking about fantasy at all here).

So if I am neither the biggest nor the most important science fiction writer of the 10s, when someone bothers to write up the history of the genre in this last decade, what will they say that I brought to the party? That will be up to them but if they were going to ask me, I would say: Consistency and approachability. My work comes out predictably and frequently, it’s remarkably regular in terms of quality (and that quality is pretty good), and my work is really easy to get into and share with other people, including people who don’t think they like science fiction as reading material. I am, more or less, “a sure bet”: People who know they like my stuff can feel pretty comfortable that whatever new thing I put out is going to be something they’ll like, and can share with friends.

Which is, I am the first to admit, emphatically not sexy, and is open to reasonable criticism — the negative complementary of “consistent” is “same-y”; for “approachable” it’s “unchallenging.” Likewise, my science fiction work is frequently called “lightweight” and “pleasant” and other such things. Which I cannot and really would not mount a defense against, because, well, it is, at least on the level of initial readability. My books are designed to suck people in and keep them zooming along until they come out the other side, hopefully having gone “wheee!” most of the way through.

I cannot say my writing is underappreciated, exactly — please see my sales and awards shelf for the last decade, and that contract of mine; I’m doing just fine — but I do think that it’s accurate to say that a very minor curse of an author who writes consistently and accessibly is that people often assume that what they do is easy to do. The best and really only response to this is, well, okay, try it. Then get back to me about how easy it is to do. Of course it looks effortless; that’s part of the point. But in practice it’s more complicated.

I will say that one of the advantages of writing consistently and approachably is that when you do (and, yes, when you’re a straight white dude in the SF genre), you get away with all sorts of shit. This decade, I wrote a novel entirely about metaphysics, personal narratives and free will. I wrote another novel with a protagonist whose gender is never revealed, and which features significant discourse on disability and culture. I wrote a third novel about humanity’s heedless exploitation of a diminishing natural resource it doesn’t understand, and the consequences of a society built on rent-seeking, where the majority of the people pushing the plot forward were not white, straight or male. All of these books got into the NYT lists and/or won awards.

So, yeah, I feel good about what I wrote this decade, and how I wrote it, and where I fit in with the other notable science fiction writers of the decade. Not the biggest, or the most important. But when they write that history, I’ll be in there.

* Any discussion of my career over the last decade needs to include the antipathy of me by a certain cadre of right-wing SF writers and fans, a group which overlaps (considerably) with the “Sad/Rabid Puppies” who publicly shat themselves so dramatically during the middle bit of the decade with regard to the Hugo Awards and other aspects of the business and community of SF/F literature. I noticed the first real push of the antipathy after Redshirts won the Hugo, and certain dudes suggested that Redshirts won because I had sucked up to the Social Justice Warriors sufficiently, rather than because, say, it was a popular book riffing off a beloved science fiction franchise in a clever and affectionate way, written by a writer who’d been nominated for Best Novel a few times before.

In the full bloom of the Puppy beclownery there was more of the same, a fair amount of snide discussion of my sexuality and gender, and general allegations that my sales numbers were inflated and/or propped up by bulk purchases by my publisher, which, by the way, was doing terribly and would soon be out of business. My personal favorite bit of this was when there was a long discussion about how my 2014 novel Lock In had been a massive sales failure and that Tor was about to drop me as an author; this discussion was happening simultaneously with me negotiating with Tor for my multi-book, multi-year, multimillion-dollar contract (which included not one but two sequels to Lock In). When the contract was announced, the narrative shifted to how much more I would have made self-publishing, and then later how I’d never really make as much money as the public figure of the contract. Which, well, okay, dudes. In time most of them have left off this nonsense, but there are a few of them still out there on this bullshit — why, I was chucklingly misgendered just this week!

What is it about me that bugged and in some cases still bugs these dudes? If you ask them they will give you all sorts of reasons, but having dealt with this nonsense for a better part of a decade I’ll tell you it’s mostly envy, and frustration about the state of their own careers, which they feel should be better because they write the sort of science fiction they’ve always loved and assume others still love as well. And which I also do, so why the hell do I get the big contracts and they’re (mostly) left to scrape by? There has to be something else involved — thus the secret cabal of SJWs, bulk purchases, also I’m gay and/or trans and thus not a man at all, hur hur hur. Add to this the fact that at least a couple of these dudes legit dislike me for other reasons (most of which boil down to the fact they can’t argue their way out of a paper bag and at one point or another I pointed that out to them in public), and some of them just happen to be bigoted as fuck, and you’ve got a fairly toxic mix of resentment and complete bullshit.

This hasn’t affected my career in any meaningful way — see the summary earlier in the piece — but on a personal level it could be tiresome. I’m guilty of taunting some of these dickheads on occasion, because they deserve the taunting and because I know my successes irritate the shit out of them. But mostly I’m glad it’s largely done and over with, save a few stragglers. I think after a certain point it just became difficult to argue that I was a failure, and that their doing so just accentuated their own relative positions, which they preferred not to do. And also, after a certain point you do just have to get on with your life and write your things. To the extent that some of them are doing that, good for them. Those that aren’t, well. Bless your hearts, dudes.

* The above nonsense notwithstanding, I do think the 10s were an outstanding decade for science fiction and fantasy, and that we exit the decade with the field being more diverse and (commensurately, as this is causation, not correlation) far more exciting to be a part of and to read. The mode of the genre has manifestly changed, in what sells to publishers and to the public, and to what is out there winning awards and other accolades. Science fiction flatters itself as being the literature of ideas and of challenging accepted orthodoxies; the 10s were a decade in which that actually happened to be true, not only in the topline, best known work, but also in the fray, where new writers are coming up to challenge old ways, and established writers are taking chances they might not have done before.

But speaking of the topline: starting in 2010, the (other) Hugo best novel winners have been Paolo Bacigalupi, China Mieville, Connie Willis, Jo Walton, Ann Leckie, Cixin Liu, NK Jemisin and Mary Robinette Kowal. Over at the Nebula Awards, you can add Kim Stanley Robinson, Jeff VanderMeer, Naomi Novik and Charlie Jane Anders to the best novel list. These writers and their works could easily stand with the best writers and work of any other decade; every time I think of them as my peer group I get chuffed. Toss in the other nominees for both awards over the last decade and it gets even better. I can’t believe I got to be part of such an amazing decade in my genre.

I also think the field is only going to get better from here — more writers, more diverse experiences that they are drawing from, more and better fiction that take us places a lot of us didn’t know we wanted to go. Earlier this year, some half-wit suggested that I would never win another award in the genre because I was a straight white male. My response to this is a) I’ve won enough awards so it will be fine if I don’t win any others, and also b) I feel pretty confident my work can compete, in sales and in accolades, with any work by anyone. Whining that a larger and more diverse pool of writers (and award voters!) makes it more difficult for your work to be considered is the long way around to saying “I can’t write well and my work can’t compete.” It’s gotta suck to think so little of yourself and your work, and also (apparently unwittingly but even so) to say so out loud for everyone to hear and see. Not exactly a sterling self-recommendation.

* And in fact I am looking forward to the next decade of my career. My first book of the new decade comes out in April, and there’s more to come after that. Let’s see where this ride takes me next, and how long it lasts.

45 Comments on “The 10s in Review: My Career”

  1. Note:

    My editorial comments on the matter notwithstanding, this is not a thread to relitigate the Puppy nonsense in a general way, and I’ll snip out any comments that attempt it. Because it bores me at this point.

    Discussing the antipathy toward me is fine; it’s on topic. I will say, however, that I think the issue of the antipathy is less about most of the people having that antipathy being right-wing per se, and more about them having anxiety and/or resentment about their careers, and also, correlatively being right-wing, and then later using politics as a stalking horse for their own personal treasure chest of neuroses. I do understand a number of these folks would disagree with that assessment, but then of course they would. They also think I’m a wildly lefty socialist when I’m mostly standard issue petit bourgeois, so, eh. Their judgment is not great.

    (Also, for the purposes of clarification, just because most of the people who had antagonism against me could be considered right-wing means I feel antagonistic toward everyone who identifies as conservative — I really don’t, and also, I think, vice-versa — or that there aren’t lefties who think I’m full of shit, because, oh my, there sure are. But on average, what antipathy was directed toward me in the SF/F field in the last decade tended to come from the right more than the left.)

  2. Look. I think you are really shortchanging yourself when evaluating your own writing. I am an outlier in terms of being a fan of yours because the work of yours that got the most critical notice (“Redshirts”) is actually my least favorite. I have read all your work except for “Agent to the Stars” which I backed out of after about 50 pages. And enjoyed it all! Also my kid read the entire “Old Man’s War” universe and adored it!

    That said… Me personally… I think “Lock In” and “Head On” were two of the most interesting and unsettling SF novels I’ve read in a long while, and I think what you did there in extrapolating about the nature of the internet, robotics and virtual reality was extremely creative and unique. I think the POV experimenting you did was absolutely suited to your sweet spot when it comes to narrative and dialog. I think both those books may be a bit underrated by the public and possibly by you! The dialog in those books was the best I’ve read by you, and the setup with the POV is extremely well suited to your narrative style.

    You are not an average writer in any sense and it kind of weirds me out when you seem to focus on things like “accessible” and “predictable in the good way.” Not that those are bad things. But that’s not it for me when I think about what I love about your writing.

    So there. Of all the stuff you may write, more in the “Lock In” universe is what I’m looking forward to most. (Also I’m very grateful that you keep up the blogging. It’s an almost daily check in for me.) Of course you should totally write what speaks to you and what will make you the most money and what makes you happy! Go you!

    Best wishes to you and yours in the new year.

  3. Dana Lynne:

    Fear not, I think I’m really good at what I do. Like I mentioned, anyone who thinks it’s easy is welcome to try it and see how it goes.

    (and thank you!)

  4. A note largely to myself: I had mis-remembered that the Bujold your “Redshirts” was up against for Best Novel Hugo was “Cryoburn” when in fact it was “Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance.” Cryoburn in 2011 also lost, to Connie Willis. (I had been expecting Cryoburn to win on the basis of “best job of making readers cry in the last 503 words of a novel” and was surprised it didn’t.)

  5. @Louann – that is the best description of Cryoburn I’ve ever heard. I go back and reread that section, sometimes without even rereading the rest of the book.

    @John – in addition to the various other things you said, one thing I find particularly enjoyable about most of your books is the unself-conscious way you have female and male characters in all different types of roles. Growing up in the 60s, my love of SF was tempered by the sexist depictions of female characters. I love that you and other authors have changed that, and that it’s not only the women writers who have done so.

  6. It’s been a great decade, John, thanks for bringing us along with you on that journey. I’ll also point out something you skipped over, your work with bringing along new and upcoming writers. Making the way a little easier for us and pushing us to be better writers. Also thanks for all the great fiction.

  7. As to your comment about trying it if I think it’s easy, I have tried, and I know it’s not easy. The number of abandoned projects I’ve left behind me is proof. I’m happy enough to have seen improvement in my efforts to reach a level approaching competent.

  8. Since it’s OH, maybe the Honda of SF. There are lots worse things to be.

    If I’m being catty, I’d ask who is the Dodge/Fiat of SF.

  9. Bravo for using chuffed in a sentence. I’ve been reading SF since the sixties. I’ve become a fan since Old Mans War and think that Lock In and Head On are brilliant. Looking forward to more from you.

  10. This seems pretty fair to yourself. Thanks for all the books; I have greatly enjoyed and will continue reading them.

    Can you say yet when the second Lock-In sequel is planned to be published?

  11. It’s kind of Ready Player’s One fault that I stumbled upon your work. I picked it up when it came out (wandering around in my local book store and the title stuck with me), read it, liked it, and forgot about it. Then the movie came out and after seeing it I wanted to re-read it and saw that the audiobook was narrated by Will Wheaton. I enjoyed that a lot and checked out what else he narrated and anyone who has ever listened to him narrating your work likely agrees with me that it is a very excellent combination. I started with Redshirts, and it reminded me of my favorite video games. I was constantly annoyed about *something* but I had a metric shitload of fun and kept wanting more.

    I do agree that it was a good decade for Science-Fiction. Lots of books I enjoyed, a couple authors on my favorites list, many hours spent listening and reading.

    You even got me into a new genre(-ish)! I never thought I’d enjoy Military Sci-Fi, but because I liked your other books well enough I did give OMW a chance. And after reading a couple other books in the genre it turns out that contrary to what I thought I *do* like it. So, thanks!

    A second Lock-In Sequel? Nice! :)

  12. First, congratulations on a successful decade of writing. Well-deserved success too.

    Secondly, “I do think the 10s were an outstanding decade for science fiction and fantasy.” Oh yes. I’ve been reading SF for 45 years now and this is the most interesting decade of them all.

  13. I actually came to your fiction only -after- I attended the Heinlein Centennial Con and was googling to find out what other people had said about it. So I found “Whatever”, checked out your written work, and found that I really liked it. Haven’t found a ‘personal dud’ yet for me, although “The God Engines” was so different it required some thought. I respect your openness here and your consistency in your values. I wish you continued success and admire how you have been able to apply yourself in SO MANY forms of writing. I’m a tech writer but I just don’t have the spark nor rigor that fiction writing demands.

  14. What is the opposite of a ‘Social Justice Warrior’? A ‘Social INjustice Warrior’? Is that a label someone aspires to?

    The insults you use say things about you.

  15. “What is the opposite of a ‘Social Justice Warrior’? A ‘Social INjustice Warrior’? Is that a label someone aspires to? ”

    Just ran across a description of use of such terms as attack memes: ‘vice signalling’

  16. All I can contribute is, who cares what these (ahem) people think or say? You give them too much power but paying attention to their pathetic whining. Ignore them.

  17. John – Congrats on a great decade. I’m looking forward to more to come.

    Saying that your work is not as important / meaningful / groundbreaking as NK Jemisin is like saying you’re not as good at Jeopardy! as James Holzhauer. I won’t argue the accuracy, and there’s plenty of room to be Ken Jennings, Emma Botcher, or Francois Barcomb.

    Those folks can compete and do just fine. Jeopardy! is big enough.

    Similarly, I’m really glad SF/F is big enough to hold dozens of writers. Sure, that’s you and NK Jemison. But also voices like Arkady Martin (language and empire!), Glynn Stewart (spaceships!), and Daniel H. Wilson (robots!) — and dozens more! It might be the greatest era for SF/F ever — so many voices of such diversity, and a large enough market to support the variety.

    And when someone tells me they loved Starship Troopers and don’t know what else to read, because they aren’t really into SF/F? Old Man’s War continues to be my goto recommendation.

    The last ten years have been marvelous. I’m looking forward to the next!

  18. Jeff M:

    Well, like I said, sometimes I have fun poking them.

    William Nichols:

    I mean, I’m not in the least troubled by Nora’s work being more important than my own, and recognizing it as a fact doesn’t suggest that what I’m doing isn’t good, across various axes. I write what I write because I like to write what I write, and I think it has its own uses and value. I’m comfortable with my place.

    I’ll put it this way: I think the Broken Earth trilogy is the best science fiction work of the decade, hands down. I also think Redshirts is in the top ten. It’s really easy to cede the top spot to Nora when my own spot is pretty damn elevated.

  19. This was because Tor and I had a bit of a falling out in there (due to a contentious contract negotiation) and I spent time doing other things

    Did we know about this before now?

  20. David:

    I’ve mentioned it here before now, yes, albeit well after the events in question, and well after Tor and I patched things up to exist in our current felicitous state.

  21. (singing louder than a malfunctioning quantum drive coolant valve): “Eight novels, two novellas, two short story collections, four nonfiction books, six anthology appearances, two TV series, two video games, one interactive graphic novel… AND A FUCKING PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE! Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

    Bette Midler said it best: fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke! Aucuna my tatas and all that!

    P.S. You’re a dude? Profile pic really threw me off…

  22. I’ve mentioned it here before now, yes, albeit well after the events in question, and well after Tor and I patched things up to exist in our current felicitous state.

    Thanks!

  23. Just because your review made me think of it…

    I’ve got a friend who was a mild supporter (not outspoken, but still publicly in support) of the first Sad Puppy thing, and who is RL casual pals with one of the less terrible of the ringleaders of that first round (who went on to disassociate himself from later incarnations). He was also a mild supporter (of the useful pasty variant) of Gamergate in its early days.

    We argued about stuff a couple times, generally ending in a stalemate where I was unable to get him to concede any ground, but he also didn’t double down or escalate things the way that sort often do.

    Anyway, he’s been quiet about it for a couple of years, but over the past 6 months or so he’s been quietly sharing and promoting the sort of content on social media that… our side(?) would also share and promote. Books with female or minority authors. Movies with female leads or directors. Liked The Last Jedi (which isn’t always but can be a litmus test). Loved Broken Earth.

    I feel like my friend has extricated himself from that toxic circle, and I’m happy about it.

  24. When you described how your body of work might be remembered, you missed one thing: much of your writing is laugh-out-loud funny. SF has been droll, or humorous, or whatever it was that RA Lafferty used to do. but rarely funny. That’s what keeps me coming back to your books.

  25. “So if I am neither the biggest nor the most important science fiction writer of the 10s, when someone bothers to write up the history of the genre in this last decade, what will they say that I brought to the party?”
    A lot of great 80s music.

    Congrats on a successful decade.

  26. There’s an old saying that ‘comparisons are odious’. The real beauty of diversity (in fiction as elsewhere) is that more people can find something that speaks to *them.* We can’t all be fans of every writer or tv series or movie out there, but there’s something for everyone. As long as the ‘Dana niche’ s being catered to, I don’t care who sells the most books or gets the highest ratings.

    That being said, thank you for Redshirts and Hafte Sorvalh and Harry Wilson. And yeah, f’ing Kiva ;-)

  27. “So if I am neither the biggest nor the most important science fiction writer of the 10s, when someone bothers to write up the history of the genre in this last decade, what will they say that I brought to the party?”

    Burritos?

  28. Congrats on a great decade! I agree very much with Old Bob about the humor in your novels. It’s a huge part of my enjoyment. Fuzzy Nation sticks with me as being very funny, and the absurdity of Red Shirts was wonderful, and also was the perfect book for a guy who is only a year older than you to enjoy. And although I am an infrequent commenter (The system never remembers me lol) I have been coming here for your enjoyable takes for I can’t even remember how long. Being accessible is a great thing. My wife doesn’t do sci fi, but she loved Red Shirts. And thank you for the exposure to so many new writers, that is a wonderful gift to us all.

  29. The part that I never ever understood about the various Puppy campaigns is how utterly flawed their premise was. I mean, I can understand enjoying (and preferring!) some special flavor of your favorite genre. That’s fine! But…all you have to do is look around at the rest of the library or bookstore. Should all those people dump their techno-thrillers and murder mysteries and romance books and westerns in favor of hard SF with white male heterosexual protagonists?

    Like what you like. But don’t pretend any author has to defer to your preferences. Or prejudices.

    Which brings us around to my preferences and prejudices, and I have to admit that I don’t often purchase books written by our gracious host, and that’s largely due to their “approachability”. I’m not knocking that! I’ve written enough to know how difficult plain old clarity can be, never mind avoiding baroque sentence structure and checking your vocabulary to see if you can get away with “baroque” or if that’s going to make too many readers bounce off. That’s real work. But…I’ve found that they’re just not books I want to re-read, which makes owning them a poor investment. I recommend the ones I’ve read to people who ask. I’ve given them as gifts. They’re fun! But they don’t live on my shelves.

  30. “I’m very certain that honor goes to NK Jemisin, although there are other contenders as well, …. (this is, I assure you, not a complete list; also I’m not talking about fantasy at all here).”

    Except of course that Jemisin is at or near the top of that field, too!

  31. I dunno what to make of you, Scalzi. You’ve done one or two passable pieces. Delete this post if you will – I’m just a former customer and I’m just sayin’.

    When I was a kid the genre was about blowing minds. Now… it’s about lecturing people. You can do that, to a point. But at the end of the day the whole genre now is derivative and boring. Social justice can be done… rarely…but it’s usually done very, very poorly. The puppy warriors are no better; they’re just doing the same derivative dreck without queers, feminists, Marxism,etc. As a customer I’m left wondering if that whole puppy dust up was just a marketing ploy of some sort? I just stopped reading SF in disgust. None of you guys are fit to shine the shoes of guys like Asimov and Heinlein and the greats.

    In fairness those guys are tough acts to follow and just being original in this day and age is an achievement. I hope you guys can turn things around.

  32. Sph: “What is the opposite of a ‘Social Justice Warrior’?”

    The “too cool to care” crowd, perhaps? Not sure if it has a proper name. Folks of this strain usually subscribe to the “tweedledee/tweedledum” view of politics to justify doing nothing, i.e. both sides are equally bad so there is no point in getting worked up about it. They also tend to think they are vastly superior to anyone who actually cares and tries to do anything.

    Maybe “political hipster”?

  33. Glenfilthie:

    I’m not gonna change what I’m doing so I guess you’ll just have to continue to be a former customer. The good news (for me, anyway) is that you’ve been eminently replaceable as a consumer.

  34. I see from your bibliography that “Android’s Dream” was not in the 2010’s, but I find myself wanting to reread it as people discuss your work here. And that’s one of the things you bring to the SFnal table — a really long, elaborate fart joke. Well done.

  35. I think that you are a very entertaining writer. At this point in time and politics entertainment is important, it gives us an escape.

    I also think that the Lock In series is groundbreaking. Part of the reason I like it is because it didn’t try to cloak itself in some better than entertainment style, that made it easy to read. It is something a few other sci-fi writers could study, some of them think their work id some kind of minor god and make the reading obtuse.

    Keep up the good work.

  36. It has been a real pleasure to watch your writing career blossom over the last 10 years. I knew you of course from old man’s war but really felt like I got to know you when I came to your blog. In my opinion you started out as a good science-fiction writer probably because you’ve been writing for a long time. But it has been a lot of fun to watch you go from good to great. I’ve come to most science-fiction writer’s when they are in the middle or the end of their careers and seen their best work and it’s fun to watch you get better and better.

    I think you write the best snarky dialogue of just about anybody in this business. Frankly, you probably could have had an incredibly successful career just punching up the dialogue of other author’s work but now your work is getting more interesting your story arcs are getting more expansive and fascinating and I find myself disappointed when I am coming to the end of one of your books, wishing they would go longer and I don’t say that about many authors.

    Also in reading your blog I’ve come to know you a bit more personally; your love for the great family that you have and your political views have made me realize you’re also just a good guy. That makes it even more fun to watch your career blossom and you become more and more successful. I happen to like to see good guys finish first. I also like to see artists make it financially.

    Your stories in my opinion will translate well visually. I suspect since you’ve been a movie reviewer and love motion pictures you write with some of that in mind. Your timing couldn’t have been better by the way, with content now becoming absolute king and everybody beating the bushes for their streaming services. You’re going to be very busy in the next several years and it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Congrats:

    Ericinaustin

  37. Oohhh, a Kitten sighting!
    Haters gonna hate; even if rarely I have a problem with your work, the vast oeuvre is peachy by me, and no one is forcing anyone to read books they don’t like (unless it’s in a HS English class).

  38. “that people often assume that what they do is easy to do”
    Bwahahahah
    Having read a number of your POST-finishing a novel posts, I can state emphatically that it is not easy for you.

    The “easy” part is that you have been writing your entire life and have long since passed the “10,000 hours to become an expert” threshold.

    AMA – when did you pass that mark? College? First Novel?

  39. Thanks for a great decade. I’ve enjoyed your books so much. I loved the “Locked In” storyline, from the prequel to the sequel. Got to give a shout out to The Human Division. I loved the one episode a week format. I usually race through your books. This on I really got to savor. I stayed up late to catch the new Audible episode as soon as it dropped. Weeks of great entertainment.

  40. Preachy. Heh.

    Being preach is no detriment to sales, no matter what part of the political spectrum they want to graze on. The folks who’ll buy it will just think it’s common sense and pass it along….

  41. Congrats on a good decade. I really enjoyed working with you at Phoenix ComiCon in the first part of the decade and definitely miss that (nothing to do with John but “a difference of vision” with the con). So, in addition to all the stuff you mentioned, your presence at cons, book tours, JoCo Cruises, and other events and your general interaction with fans has definitely been something to be proud of.