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.