Old Man’s War: 15 Years!

Fun fact: Today is not only the first day of the ’20s, it is also the 15th anniversary of the release of Old Man’s War, my first published novel and still the one I’m best known for. Five years ago I wrote a ten year retrospective on the novel, the details of which still stand, so if you haven’t read that, I encourage you to check it out. Five years later, I can say the book is still selling just as well as it ever has, in even more languages, and in even more places on this silly globe. This makes me happy.

I’m constantly delighted and amazed at its persistence, and how well it continues to speak to readers after all this time. It was the book that made my career, and I’ll be eternally grateful to it, and to Patrick Nielsen Hayden, the editor who asked to buy it and who remains my editor to this day, and to Tor, who published this book and every subsequent novel of mine, up to and including The Last Emperox, which comes out this April. It’s been a ride.

Also, and again, as I said five years ago today: if you’ve ever read Old Man’s War: Thank you, too. You helped change my life.

(And now to answer the questions that will inevitably be asked: Yes, the book is still in development at Netflix, as a movie, not a series; Yes, everything is coming along nicely there; No, I can’t tell you anything else at the moment; Yes, when I can tell you I will; Yes, there will be at least one more novel in the Old Man’s War series; No, I don’t know when or what it will be about or which characters will be in it. Patience!)

My Personal Project for 2020: Time to Register to Vote

For the last few years, the subhead for Whatever has remained the same: “This Site Mocks Fascists.” I thought it was a good subhead, since it both set the tone for the site, and also, made people aware of the sort of person the proprietor of the site was. But now it’s 2020, an election year, and I think it’s time to retire that subhead and put up something else — something more aspirational, and dare I say, more important.

2020 is an election year in the United States, and in several states where the GOP holds a political majority in the state houses, there is a decided push to shove people off the voting rolls and to make voting generally more difficult, particularly for people who are not white and (heavy correlation, here) not likely to vote Republican. We could dive deep into why that is, but the short version is that here in 2020, the GOP is the party that caters to racist white people, and one of the ways the party catering to racist white people has decided to win elections in 2020 is to make it difficult for anyone who doesn’t vote with racist white people to cast their ballot.

This isn’t right and it isn’t fair, and frankly, it’s unamerican. In my more perfect union, every adult US citizen would be automatically registered to vote on their 18th birthday, and could not removed from the voting rolls until their death. But we don’t live in that more perfect union, we live in this imperfect one. So, it’s important for every adult US citizen — especially those currently targeted by the GOP — to register to vote, the sooner the better. It’s also important for every adult US citizen — especially those currently targeted by the GOP — to check their registrations to make sure they’re still valid, and (in my opinion) to check regularly; I just checked mine, and will do it again every month between now and election day. And of course once these folks are registered, and have checked to make sure their registration is still valid, it also important that they actually vote — both in primary elections and caucuses if they are able (which start next month) and in the national election in November.

Thus, the new Whatever subhead for 2020: “Time to Register to Vote.” Accompanying that subhead, a widget in the site sidebar, which shows up on every page of the site, encouraging adult US citizens to register and to check their registration, with links for both of those activities. Both the sidebar and the widget are up through Election Day, which is November 3, 2020. Beyond that I’ll be making it my personal mission to encourage every adult US citizen to register to vote, check their registration and then vote when they can. It’s good for them and good for the country.

(Along this line, I’ve also updated my Twitter bio with the links to register and to check one’s registration.)

Speaking of which: Hey, are you an adult US citizen? If you are, are you registered to vote? And if you are, have you checked your registration to make sure it’s still valid? Get on it, folks. I’ll be bugging you about it all year long.