Why There’s No New Scalzi Novel Next Year, Why You’ll Get Two New Scalzi Novels in 2025, and What I’ll Be Up To in 2024

Let’s address that first thing first: Yes, I am currently writing a novel! Also, that novel will not be out in 2024. The reason is actually pretty simple: The date in 2024 that Tor had available for my book to come out was the first Tuesday in November. Which, if you check your calendar, is Election Day here in the United States. Do I want to have a book come out on Election Day in 2024? No. No, I do not. And neither does Tor! We both very enthusiastically agreed that we didn’t want that date.

Before you raise an objection, here’s a fun fact: I’ve already had a book released on Election Day in the United States. It was my very first book, The Rough Guide to Money Online. The release date was intentional: Rough Guides figured after the election there would be a lull in news, and it would mean that they could get me on TV to promote my little book. It was a great theory, which rammed hard into the fact that the Election Day in question was the one in 2000, when the election wasn’t settled for weeks. The news shows were jammed up, my media tour was cancelled after two days because no one had time for me, and the book flopped, not just because of the election (there was also the collapse of the Web 1.0), but also because of the election.

Now, the 2020 election, you may recall, was quite contentious, and the 2024 election, pairing as it likely will the same two contestants, is also likely to be quite contentious. I know the sort of book I am writing, and as much as I think it’s lovely and fun and that the people who enjoyed The Kaiju Preservation Society and Starter Villain will really enjoy this one too, I am also aware it’s absolutely the wrong fucking novel to go up against the 2024 election, especially if things go wonky and sour, which, again, they may very well do – indeed, let me suggest that at least one of the likely candidates for president in 2024 absolutely wants things to go wonky and sour.

So: If you’re an American citizen, please vote in 2024, and also, please understand why there’s no novel from me that year.

That second thing second: The novel I’m currently writing, which was originally scheduled for 2024, will now come out in February of 2025. It doesn’t have an official title yet (you’ll find out what that is when I turn the novel in) and I want to be cagey on the details for now. I will say that, like KPS and Villain, it takes place in contemporary time and has its cast of characters dealing with an extremely high concept plot device. I’ve taken to thinking of it as the final installment of an unintentional and otherwise unrelated trilogy of “weird shit, modern times” novels that I didn’t even know I was writing until I started on this novel and was, like, oooooh, I see where my brain has been recently. To be clear, KPS, Villain and this book are not in each other’s universes. They, do however, vibe pretty well together.

But what’s this about another novel in 2025? I hear you ask. To which I respond with a question of my own: Hey, did you know that 2025 marks the 20th anniversary of Old Man’s War? Well, it does! And what better way to celebrate the 20th year of the existence of the Old Man’s War universe than with a new story within those worlds? No better way, I say!

And so: In late 2025, expect Old Man’s War #7.

To answer your immediate questions: No, no title yet for this either, since (among other things), I have to finish a whole other novel before I get to this one. Also, I don’t want to reveal plot details, except to say that like The Human Division and The End of All Things, there will be a time jump from previous novels. It is likely that some characters from previous novels will appear in this new one, but who they are and in what capacity I’m not prepared to share, in no small part since I’m still in “moving bits around to see how they play together” mode.

In fact, the answer to any question you might have at this point involving this particular book, other than I know I’m going to write it, and that it will be out in late 2025, is “uhhhh… I dunno, I guess we’ll see.” Except that I feel pretty confident in saying that it will fit extremely well into the OMW universe generally, since, you know, I’ve had that universe in my head for two decades now, and have a pretty good idea how it works.

So those are the two novels you’ll see from me in 2025: Another book similar to KPS and Villain, and another book in the OMW universe. In other words, a pretty good year for Scalzi books.

Third things third: So, what does that mean for me in 2024? Well, there’s likely to be a novella from me, in some form or another – I’m still working out the contractual details of that, but when those get nailed down and the thing is written I will let you know here. So you will not be entirely without new fiction from me next year. Again, no details about the novella, except to say it’s definitely science fiction (there will be aliens in it!) and it’s going to be funny. I think 2024 will need some funny in it, even if I don’t want to plant it directly on Election Day itself. Also, I have a couple of cool things coming that I can’t talk about yet but will happen next year. Stay tuned!

Aside from that? Well, I’m writing a film column in Uncanny Magazine through the next year, so you’ll see me there every other month. Plus I’ll be here and on the social media that is not the former Twitter, so you’ll not be lacking in things to read from me. To the delight of some and the annoyance of others, I never really completely go away.

Also, 2024 is a year where I plan to start the ball rolling on a number of long-term projects that won’t see fruition until later, some possibly a few or even several years into the future. I have writing to do but I don’t have a huge amount of promotional or travel commitments, like, for example, a book tour that stretches across two months. So that’s more time for working on cool things that will pay off, uh, eventually! What I’m saying is, it’s good to have an occasional year where I mostly stay at home.

(I do have events in 2024, mind you: The Confusion convention in Detroit for January, Boskone in Boston for February, the Joco Cruise in March, and so on. I’ll be updating my Upcoming Events soon. But doing one event a month is fine, in terms of time/effort, etc. It does leave me time for strategy and planning, and, you know, writing.)

There you have it: A basic precis on my literary 2024 and 2025, and what’s coming out and when. It’s nice — for me! — to know what I’m up to for the next 24 months. I thought you would like to know, too.

— JS

59 Comments on “Why There’s No New Scalzi Novel Next Year, Why You’ll Get Two New Scalzi Novels in 2025, and What I’ll Be Up To in 2024”

  1. Reminder: Any question about specifics regarding any upcoming novel (or project, really) has the answer of “Uhhh, dunno, we’ll see.” Seriously, I don’t know! This is how my process works.

  2. Nice, that’s exciting! “Weird shit in modern times” is my favorite category, I can’t wait!

  3. 20th anniversary of Old Man’s War + novel release would go quite nicely with the release of a movie wouldn’t it?

  4. Every time I see “KPS” my brain initially processes it as “WKRP” and I then immediately think of Les Nessman reporting live about a Kaiju in downtown Cincinnati.

  5. A Wonky and Sour is a drink served on a rock.: get a big glass and throw an actual rock in there.

  6. Hey there! Currently have a son who is a Freshman in college. We don’t have a ton in common and at tines struggle to communicate even though I desperately want to ( which is, I suspect, a big part of the problem).

    But we both very much enjoy the OMW universe and after I saw the post on Blue Sky and clicked the link, I let him know there’s an OMW book pending in 2025 and we’re now about 10 texts in to the conversation that followed, which is more than we’ve spoken in 3 weeks.

    Not yor responsibility or your intent, obviously, but thank you for your stories!

  7. I always like your film writing, from reviews to Oscar commentary, so that’s great news about your new column!

    I’m also glad that you have 2025 plans, so you probably are not planning some sort of newsworthy bloody ritual in your church in 2024.

  8. Just received on the WKRP teletype:

    “Monster Lizard Ravages East Coast. Officials say this lizard, the worst since ‘78, has devastated transportation, disrupted communications, and left many hundred homeless.”

    The wire service never lies.

  9. When I see “KPS” I always conflate it with “FPS” so I start thinking about giant lizards sitting with XBox controllers playing video games where they’re all shooting at each other. Which, no lie, sounds pretty cool as well.

  10. As a reader, I am so glad you didn’t go down the road of 27 sequels to OMW. However, one more, 20 years later? That might be really nice. And from a commercial point of view, might goose the old back catalog a little.

    I’ve enjoyed the weird crap, modern times, novels and look forward to the next one.

  11. All of this sounds fantastic. Excited about the third modern weirdness novel, and absolutely over the moon to revisit the universe of Old Man’s War! As always, when any Scalzi writing goes live for purchase, it’s an instant pre-order.

    For what it’s worth, if an idea set in the Starter Villain world ever bubbles up, I’d also be ecstatic to return to that universe. (You had me at talking cats!)

  12. “To be clear, KPS, Villain and this book are not in each other’s universes.”

    But… why not…? You’re messing with my fannish headcannon there! Harumph.

  13. Thanks, John, I’m looking forward to these!

    Will there be another Shane & Vann novel at some point?

  14. I have a somewhat related question that I’ve been meaning to ask. A few years back (2018?) I attended one of your book tour events and heard you read a chapter of an unreleased work. Since then it has remained unpublished, though I think it shared some thematic elements with Starter Villain. Is that story still floating around as a potential future release? Or, more generally, how often do you write things that never see the light of day?

  15. I can neither confirm nor deny squealing like a teenager when I read that another Old Man’s War novel is coming.

  16. Adam LaMore:

    I have no idea what that piece was so I can’t say. I can say that sometimes I’ll write chapters for books and then those chapters don’t end up in the books. Sometimes I read them in public when I think they’ll eventually be published and then they’re not.

  17. The very fact that we can blame one of the candidates for us not getting a new John Scalzi novel in 2024 is a perfectly good reason to vote for the other candidate. (Not that there aren’t plenty of other good reasons.)

  18. Thanks for the answer, John. I didn’t want to give more details about the piece because spoilers, but I know that the book in question has to date not been released. Maybe it will see the light of day someday, but until then I’ll just look forward to 2025!

  19. Good call avoiding an Election Day release – even if we have 2 entirely different candidates than the current front-runners, the current state of hyper-partisanship in politics almost guarantees it’s going to be a shit show for several weeks afterward.

    That said, new Scalzi fiction is always worthy of celebrating, even if we have to wait a bit.

    Also, not that I needed an excuse to re-read all of the Old Man’s War novels (again), but a new novel in that universe is a excellent excuse to re-read them all. We will just have to be patient…

  20. Reading that post had the thrill and eagerness of learning about future projects and feeling your own excitement, with the underlying existential dread that for most of that we have to get through November 2024 and beyond and who the hell knows what the world will be like then?
    For all of our sakes, please vote and vote wisely. I’d rather not have to wait for foreign editions of John’s work.

  21. Modern weird stuff 3 – on Xmas list 24

    OMW 7 – oh hells yes on Xmas list 25

    Please can OMW 7 have something with John & Jane’s 2nd child?

  22. YAY!!! Another OMW novel! Sure, I am excited about the Feb 2025 novel, too, but I love the OMW universe.

  23. Thrilled to hear what’s coming, SUPER thrilled to hear there’ll be more in the OMW universe!! YAY!!!

  24. I am super-stoked to hear about the February 2025 release of another installment in the “weird shit, modern times” series! I think that of all the stuff you’ve done, I like KPS and Starter Villain the most, with Lock In a close third.

    My spouse is thrilled that there will be another OMW installment, too, as it is one of their favorites. That series didn’t really hit the mark for me but I know many people love it, and it’s great that you’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of the original that way.

    Of course I’m also very intrigued by your tantalizing hints about projects you can’t talk about yet, but at my advanced age, I’ve gotten pretty good at practicing patience, so I’ll wait until you’re ready to drop the next veil, as it were.

    Thanks for the heads-up about what we can look forward to! And have a lovely feast day, too!

  25. How is this “Avoid-Election-Day” thing working in the United States?

    Is that a general thing and readers have to expect that also other authors from the USA will avoid larger parts of 2024 when publishing their works?

  26. I wish I could be lazy and like comments here, because I would have liked your I thought Kaiju could fly comment so hard. Instead I have to be mildly less lazy and post a comment.

  27. It is with no small happiness that I read your plans for the next year or two, John. As a once-was writer myself (although mainly technical manuals for a computer company), I really enjoy hearing how you, a novelist and sci-fi author, plan out projects and time.

    Thank you for sharing your planning and thoughts.. It’s always illuminating and fun. :)


  28. General good wishes, delight in reading your work when available, and assurance that I can find other excellent authors in the meantime.
    While driving tomorrow which audiobook should I choose first, Martha Well’s new Murderbot, or Travis Baldree’s Bookshops & Bonedust?

  29. FWIW, my brain’s proofreader looks at “KPS” and instantly thinks “kilometers per second” – which is both scarily logical and highly weird, considering that I’m a humanities major and a US resident.

    On the other hand, KPS would probably be the relevant measure if one were considering the speed of a flying kaiju….

  30. Dear John

    I'm old. The higher the gear you get your ass into is the more books of yours I can read and enjoy (and buy, can't forget that one).

    Yours Truly
    Ji(hack cough cough)m

  31. EXCITED!

    I’m going to place a sportsman’s bet here and say that OMW7 will be the link we all secretly want between OMW and the Interdependency, much like how Total Recall is the link between Robocop and Starship Troopers.

  32. Happy Thanksgiving! My best wishes for you always. Looking forward to the new “books?”

  33. @ Michael Fuss
    Actually, we’re thinking of replacing the republic by a loose consortium of not very successful organized crime syndicates that missed out on the main opportunities in Russia, which may impact schedules generally. But stay tuned, and aim for flexibility. You may need to find your way without us.

  34. This finding a way without American authors wouldn’t be that difficult for me or also most Americans.

    There’ll still be British authors and Adrian Tchaikovsky alone publishes a lot.

    When the British authors go on hiatus as well, I can read more in my native language.
    Authors like Markus Heitz, Andreas Brandhorst, Andreas Eschenbach or
    Phillip P. Peterson.
    The Perry Rhodan series alone should be enough to fill several years of publishing outage from the Anglosphere.
    And if reading in German starts to feel a bit too locked in in one language area I could practise my second foreign language some more and read more by Stéphane Desienne and see if Emmanuel Brault or Louis Raffin published something new.

    Btw. To those English speaking SciFi afficandos who miss the golden age SciFi: Have you ever considered learning German?
    – Perry Rhodan should be able to give you lots of that stuff.

  35. Sounds like I’ll schedule a reread of the Old Man’s War series in drooling anticipation of the newest addition.

    I have a little over a year so I’ll pace myself.

  36. Sounds good. Have you got a plan for 2025 if Trump wins? I can imagine that playing merry hell with creativity if it happens

  37. I must admit I’m oddly relieved. Hiaasen-style billionaire villains ceased to be escapism fare for me this year. After the Bankman-Fried trial in particular I looked at KPS in a whole new way.

    (I’m of course kidding. Well, mostly kidding)

    And I’m really excited for OMW #7 of course. It’s a series which for me got better with every book.

  38. I enthusiastically support you not publishing on the future Federal holiday in which nobody will work except truly essential workers so everyone can vote. Opps, an opinion!

    P.S. lovely seeing you in Austin!

  39. Should Trump win, then I wonder if federal prisons in the United States allow state visits.

    I can already picture in my mind (and if I had a DALL•E account I could let an AI draw that).
    Donald Trump behind a glass wall talking to Emmanuel Macron through one of those prison phones.

  40. In honor of the upcoming holiday, and because the obvious “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly” but has already been posted, how about in regards to the old church:

    “Walk right in it’s around the back
    Just a half a mile from the railroad track
    You can get anything you want,
    at the Scalzi’s Restaurant” …

    Almost rhymes. ;)

  41. I’ll save Starter Villain for 2024 then; that and a reread of the OMW series.

    In other news for 2024, I’m hoping to see you at WorldCon in Glasgow in August, and possibly celebrating your Hugo win – if SV is eligible?

  42. Now I’m kinda curious how many autographed copies of The Rough Guide to Money Online there are.

  43. Too bad they didn’t/couldn’t release the novel a month sooner instead of 3 months later. Would make a great distraction to what will almost certainly be a madcap run-up to the election. Alas, them pesky logistics…

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