My Professional 2022

John Scalzi

I mean, it was pretty good, actually! Here’s some of the highlights:

The Kaiju Preservation Society: It got three starred reviews in the trades, was a New York Times bestseller in two separate media categories (once for print & ebook, then again for audio), has been optioned for television and has already been an award finalist, thanks to Dragon Con and Goodreads, and ended up on a bunch of end-of-the-year “Best Of” lists. Also, you know, people really seemed to enjoy it.

All of this makes me extremely happy, because as I’ve noted many times before, Kaiju was not the novel I had intended to write, but rather the one that came out at the end of an extremely frustrating creative process that ended up with me shelving another novel entirely. I would have been happy just to have it out in the world; instead it’s become “the little novel that could,” in a whole bunch of different ways. I dig that.

Three Robots: Exit Strategies: The lead-off short for the third volume of Love Death + Robots, it’s the first “sequel” episode of the show, which is a nice distinction and testament to how people really seemed to enjoy the characters. It was “leaked” a day early so people could watch it and get excited for the rest of new season, which I thought was pretty cool. I wrote the script for this; it was directed by Oscar-winning animator Patrick Osborne. It was well-received when it came out, and I think its stock has risen over the course of the year; certainly the final line of the episode hits much harder here at the end of 2022, after the misadventures of a certain billionaire. I’m happy to say LD+R has been renewed for the fourth volume/season, absolutely not only because of the Three Robots, but they did their part.

Travel By Bullet: The third installment of The Dispatcher series of audio novellas was a hit on the Audible Plus service, becoming one of those most downloaded audiobooks on the service as soon as it came out, being part of the service’s “Best Of” list for the year, and getting lovely reviews in the audiobook trade papers. The entire Dispatcher series is currently in development for television; we’ll see what happens next here, but so far, so good. Also, once again, the events of 2022 caught up extremely well with the events of the story, especially regarding shenanigans involving crypto. Crypto is scammy as hell, folks. Please don’t put your grandma’s life savings into it.

The Summer EP: Listened to and enjoyed by literally dozens of people! To be clear, I didn’t (and don’t) expect the music I put out to be popular with anyone; as I’ve said before, instrumental electronic compositions from a dude in his 50s is about as “niche” as one can get. Nevertheless I am proud of it, because it represents creative work, and also that I’m finally using all the musical equipment I bought for myself over the pandemic. Find it on your favorite streaming service.

Also, two short stories: “Grizzly Bear Conflict Manager” and “End of the Year PR Missives from Scrooge & Marley.” I like these a lot. Plus! A short story version of “Three Robots: Exit Strategies” is in the “Love Death + Robots, Volumes 2 & 3” anthology that came out this year. Plus! Plus! I wrote an intro for the “Art of Love Death + Robots” book that also came out this year.

So: A novel, a novella, a television episode, an EP and three stories (and an intro) out in the world in 2022. You know what? I did okay, output-wise, this year. The world certainly did not lack for my material.

And what of 2023? Well, we’ll see where the year takes us, but this much I know and is confirmed: The print/ebook edition of Travel By Bullet (currently set for first or second quarter of 2023), a short story at some point (i.e., I don’t know when the publisher is going to put it out, but it will almost certainly be in 2023), and, of course, my novel Starter Villain in September. So, just on that, it’ll be a perfectly fine year for Scalzi output as well.

Also it will come as no surprise I will be spending 2023 writing things, some of which might show up in 2023, but more likely will show up in 2024, and there’s at least one thing I working on now that’s likely not to be out until 2025 at the earliest. Things take time! And are hopefully worth the gestation period when they come out.

Anyway: Thanks, 2022! You were good to me, professionally speaking. I appreciate you.

— JS

11 Comments on “My Professional 2022”

  1. Thank you for this summation, such great output. Plus, we got weekly “Whatever” posts. ;-) Gosh, I just can’t resist again saying how much I love the work of all of you in making “Love Death + Robots.” One of the BEST shows ever.

    I love thinking of you working on new stories this coming year that we will only see in the next few years. It’s like going into the kitchen and not knowing what’s cooking, but oh boy does it smell delicious. Ha, can’t wait till the meal is done to savor it.

    Wishing you another successful year in 2023.

  2. In regards to your Dispatcher story on Audible and your relationship with Audible in general, do you have any thoughts on the recent statement by Brandon Sanderson about their pay practices of only paying out 40% to creators vs ebooks paying 70% to creators and Apple paying 70% to app creators?

  3. typo = Discover and Picard

    go ahead & delete this feedback after editing yr blog post

  4. I like pretty much all of your stuff, but I really need to thank you for KPS. I just re-read KPS because I was in the mood for a feel good story, and I knew it would not disappoint.

    Even better the second time. For me at least, I think KPS will become the written equivalent of “The Princess Bride” which gets better with every single viewing.

  5. Wait, Kaiju Preservation Society is already optioned for television? That is fantastic, keep us apprised.

    Also, I have not forgotten my pledge to frame it for my office wall. I just need to convert my dad’s office into my office…

  6. Quick question about Travel by Bullet. Is there a release date for a print edition? I do not care for audio books and would like to read it.

  7. KPS has made me so, so happy this year.

    And I hate to say it, but that honestly surprised me. You had said in a post here shortly after you finished writing it that folks who enjoyed Red Shirts would really love KPS. Since I bounced hard off Red Shirts, I had zero expectation that I’d like KPS; I figured I’d read a few pages to be polite and then donate it.

    Boy, was I wrong. Like Steve Cross says a few posts above, I find that I return for another reading when I need a mood lifter, and anything that does that is a mitzvah indeed.

  8. I didn’t know the audiobook had charted… and despite being an audio-first kinda person didn’t know such things existed (I also don’t know what charts on Music related media constructs either.

    That said, the continuing relationship your audiobooks have with Wil never stop being among the best productions amongst the many books I listen to.

    ps. Wil is forever my Kiva Lagos

  9. since this likely my last post, HNY to all and hoping your 2023 trends upwards

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