Starter Villain is OUT + Starter Villain Theme Song by DESSA!

The waiting is over! Starter Villain, my latest novel, is out today in North America (Sept. 21 in the UK), and is available in print, ebook and audio. However you want it, you can get it! It’s available at your local bookstore, and I encourage you to get it there, but here are some additional sales links, just in case:

Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Bookshop|Powells|Apple Books|Google Play|Kobo

And for the audiobook, follow this link to Audible.

I’m happy to say Starter Villain is starting out with some great reviews, including two starred reviews from Booklist (“Scalzi’s latest will appeal to his legion of fans and draw in new ones”) and Library Journal (“Readers of humorous fantasy are sure to love Scalzi’s latest”), with raves from Entertainment Weekly (“Scalzi’s unique, hilarious, and oddly relatable story is the perfect fall read”), Publishers Weekly (“subverts classic supervillain tropes with equal measures of tongue-in-cheek humor and common sense”) and Polygon (“Following in the footsteps of sci-fi greats like Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams… John Scalzi is truly a must-read”), among others. I hope you will dig it as well. I had a ball writing it.

Remember that I am on tour for Starter Villain, which actually began last night in Scottsdale, and now has stops in San Diego, San Francisco, Wichita, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Chapel Hill, Cincinnati and Nashville. Please come see me! I’ll also be at New York City Comic Con, the Wisconsin Book Festival and the Texas Book Festival and on October 6th I have an event with VE Schwab in Bexley, Ohio. Oh, and I’m the Guest of Honor at the Budapest International Book Festival, if you happen to be in Hungary the last week of September. Come see me at those as well!

And now, for something really cool. As many of you know, I occasionally commission theme songs for my books from musicians I like. Previous songs have come from Jonathan Coulton (Redshirts), Ted Leo (The Dispatcher series), William Beckett (the Lock In series) and Paul and Storm (Fuzzy Nation). For Starter Villain, I asked the fabulous Dessa to do a song for the book, and, oh boy, did she deliver:

If you like the song — and you should, because it’s amazing you can get it from Dessa through her Bandcamp page. Dessa also has her own new album coming out on September 29, Bury the Lede, which you can also get at her Bandcamp page, or, you can get one of several deluxe LP/CD packages from her site. Support her, she’s awesome and she made an incredible song for my book.

There’s more to come with Starter Villain and other news to share when I can — but for now, it’s out, it’s in the world, and you can get it. The run-up to the release has been amazing, but honestly the best thing is to see it in the hands of readers, and to have them enjoy it. I hope you have as much fun reading Starter Villain as I had writing it. If you do, you’re going to love it.

— JS

30 Comments on “Starter Villain is OUT + Starter Villain Theme Song by DESSA!”

  1. I just got it delivered to my Kindle!

    I want to read it RIGHT THE HECK NOW but I decided to save it to read on the plane for a trip I’m taking next week.

    But a little peek wouldn’t hurt, right…?

  2. Thanks for coming to Arizona. It was great fun and nice to meet you for the first time. I was the guy who asked for your associates signature also, then left without it. That was because folks were assuming I was that person and that made my presence very awkward. I left to get out of the way.

    Hope that Covid booster doesn’t cause any illness at all.

    Have a great tour. Thanks for coming, and hope you will come again soon. It was a blast!

    Now I’ve got something to go read…:-)

  3. I much prefer the American cover. The UK cover is very “James Bond”, which will speak to some demographics, but doesn’t convey the humour.

  4. just purchased the epub and looking forward to reading it, but there’s a typo in the “about the author” section: “Visit her online…”

  5. Here in Oz, the city indie bookstore (yay Pulp Fiction, Brisbane!) stunned me by txting me yesterday to say its here! I wanted to drop everything and head in to the city, but alas I can’t until tomorrow…

  6. The copy I ordered from Sub Press as my sibling’s holiday gift arrived yesterday (and thanks for taking the time to write the note as well as signing it!), and our copy is arriving from Amazon today. It is going to be VERY difficult to focus on work today…..

    Congrats on a great launch, and please stay safe and healthy on your tour!

  7. The song did not seem terrible to me. If I’muna LIKE a song, I need to watch the lyric while I listen. :(

  8. Actually, it was available this past Saturday in an indy bookstore in NH, so I grabbed it then. So far so good.

  9. Waiting for my autographed copy to arrive in the mail! Cool that you commission music for your books. I’m one of those people who can never understand lyrics, but the music for the Starter Villain song is fun!


    I almost did not preorder Starter Villain

    A first for me and Scalzi books

    I read the free preview and wondered What. The. Frakking. Gorram. Evil spirits came with the ex church and how could we help his family exorcise them


    Once the preorder arrived, I repeatedly read a little then went off to read other materials ( currently recuperating and bored )

    I would have stopped repeatedly putting down the full book if it had started with chapter sixteen ( funny ), or chapter five ( action ), and then did a flash back to how it all started


    “said, “I want you to consider your testicles … as a service.” ”

    This was an amazing line conjuring images of luxury car brands renting heated seats, current healthcare model, and reproductive medicine inequality

    While ignoring



    “I didn’t see the knife until the dude was just about to stab it into my uncle’s corpse”


    This is the opening line I expected from a book called Starter Villain

    The book still did not hook me until Chapter Sixteen, but at least I recognized this as a long, slow, build up to something fun, and interesting

    Not an in depth character study of an alternative universe Scalzi ( Thanks Kristy for sparing us that version )


  11. I picked it up on Kindle (hey, it travels better than paper books). And I completely lost it with laughter when I got to the discussion of the laser, because I remembered from back in the day when Our Gracious Host put out his platform for re-election as president of the SFWA, which included a proposal for deployment of a VOLCANO-POWERED LASER to help with negotiations with difficult publishers.


  12. I’m excited for the new book, but I deeply resent finding out you’re finally coming to Pittsburgh on a weekend where there is absolutely no chance I will be able to attend the event.

    Here’s hoping the tour and book are both successful!

  13. Immediate new life goal: make enough money to commission my own personal song from DESSA
    A+++ choice!

  14. Congratulations on the book release! My copy is sitting nearby taunting me because I’m too busy to start it until the weekend.

  15. Congrats! I am hoping to see you at the WI Book Festival. BTW, I found your books because of a cat named Ned. I was his catsitter. He was asleep on my lap and of course, I couldn’t disturb him (that’s rude). The remote was across the room but a library book was in reach. It was ‘Old Man’s War’. Two hours later, I realized (guiltily) that my own cats at home were probably mightily perturbed as their dinner was now very late….

  16. My copy arrived yesterday and four hours later the book was finished. It is very rare that I down an entire book in one sitting. Kudos to you sir.

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