Categories
Uncategorized

Now Witness the Power of This Armed and Fully Operational Space Toilet

Last year Krissy decided that she wanted to upgrade our bathroom suite, and not in just a “new hand towels and shower curtain” way — a whole revamp. I was fine with this, I said, if I got what I wanted out of it: a supercool space age “intelligent toilet” with all the bells and whistles. It took a while, because 2021 was The Year of Supply Chain Issues, but the new bathroom is 90% completed and the Space Toilet is now installed and operational.

I’ve now availed myself of the Space Toilet a couple of times, and I have to say, coming from your basic commode, it’s something of a surreal experience. One, it knows when you’re on your way and raises the toilet seat for you, with a little light in the bowl to guide you at night. Two, it then spritzes the porcelain bowl before you sit, presumably so whatever horrible thing you’re about to put into it doesn’t stick to the side of the bowl. Three, when you do sit, the seat is warm — not an awful “this seat was immediately previously occupied” warm, but a “I was expecting you and have thoughtfully prepared you a pleasant experience” warm. The sort of warm that invites you to settle in.

When you’ve done your business, whatever that business is, you have the option of the bidet. The bidet is adjustable for “front” or “back” (figure it out), allows you to adjust the pressure and temperature of the water, and offers both “massage” and “swirl” settings, which you can select from the remote control which hangs on the wall. When you’re done with that, there’s a dryer option, which runs just about as long as you like. When that’s completed, there are two flush modes to choose from, but if you forget (or are just an awful person) and walk away without flushing, the toilet will automatically flush for you. Then it does a little bit of sanitizing and closes the lid until the next time you come in to pursue your business.

It’s probably the single most complicated piece of machinery in the house, and it’s utterly ridiculous. I am very happy with my purchase so far.

Also, in case you’re wondering what happens if you lose the remote, you can operate it from the toilet itself (note the line of lights on the seat, which are buttons), and should the power go out, it retains flushing ability and so on. It is a basic toilet and can do basic toilet things (and we have three other more standard toilets in the house in any event). It just branches out from there.

Would I recommend my new supercool space age intelligent toilet to others? Well, let me sit with it (so to speak) for a while longer before I say. Partly because this thing is absolutely not in any way inexpensive; there are more expensive individual objects in the house, but not many. I suspect you can get 90% of the utility of this toilet for about a tenth of the price. But, oh, that extra ten percent.

It’s entirely the most bougie thing in my place, and while I am just fine with that, I’m not sure that’s for everyone. Give me a month or so with it and I will offer my final thoughts then.

— JS

Categories
Uncategorized

Okay, But, Seriously, What the Hell is Going On With My Shadow Here

I’m genuinely confused as to what’s actually happening here, and I crave your insight. Help me in this moment of crisis.

— JS

Categories
Uncategorized

Sugar the Cat Wants to Know Why She is On This Side of the Sliding Glass Door

Don’t worry, the instant she’s on the other side, she’ll wonder why she’s on that side, too. She’s a very cat-like cat this way: The best side of the door is the side she’s currently not at.

This Sunday has been given over to arguing on Twitter and picking up the house a bit. How is yours?

— JS

Categories
Uncategorized

Oh No, He Said, Wringing His Hands, Where Are All the Men in Science Fiction?!?

I don’t know if you knew this, but in certain quarters of the Internet, it is currently the fashion to suggest that men are being squeezed out of mainstream science fiction and fantasy, as it is being overrun by all the people who are not men, writing stuff that men certainly would never read because the man quotient in it is too low (or something).

Well, I am a man, and I write science fiction and fantasy, and I was curious if indeed I and other dudes like me, being men and all, were currently in the process of being squeezed out the genre. I figured a good place to start would be my own publisher, Tor Books. As it happens, I have access to the Tor Books catalogue for 2022, detailing the titles that it is publishing in hardcover and in trade paperback. The hardcovers are all new releases, while the trade paperbacks are either new releases or re-releases of titles previously in hardcover. Because Tom Doherty Associates has several imprints (aside from Tor, there’s Forge, TorDotCom, Nightfire, Tor Teen and Starscape), I decided to focus specifically on Tor Books, i.e., the imprint my work is published with (save for one novella at TorDotCom).

For the purposes of this exercise, I will be counting authors (as opposed to editors) and if an author appears twice — as several do, because they are either releasing two new books in 2022 or (more usually) one new book and one reissue of the previous hardcover into trade paperback — I’ll count them only once. I’m also not counting editors, no matter how large their name is on the cover (sorry). If a book has more than one author, I’ll count them both. Also, and finally, this analysis comes from the Tor catalogues I found on Edelweiss; it’s possible there will be late additions/subtractions and that I might have missed a few titles here and there. But I did try to be careful and also made sure to double-check publicly-presenting genders when I was in doubt.

So for 2022, I counted 38 male authors with work coming out from Tor Books (alongside 31 authors who are women or non-binary/genderfluid). These male authors include debut authors, current bestsellers, genre stalwarts, beloved authors, authors lost to time but being reintroduced, and authors expanding on the worlds that others originated. There’s fantasy, science fiction, alternate histories and the stuff that slides in-between the usual categorizations.

It’s a pretty good range of (male) authors, presenting a pretty good range of material! One might say, with literally dozens of books across several subgenres, that there might be something for everyone there. And that’s just a single imprint of a single publisher — albeit the imprint and publisher that so many of the folks wringing their hands about the state of men in SFF like to single out as being at the forefront of stomping men out of the genre. However, the numbers, at least, do not seem to support this argument.

Where are the men in (mainstream) science fiction and fantasy? They are, literally, right in front of y’all, and have been all this time. What has changed, I suppose, is that the genre is now wider than it used to be, and that it’s not just men (and not just white men), or at the very least, not just mostly white dudes with a sprinkling of others. This is not to suggest there’s not still work to be done expanding the genre even further. But it’s a more diverse genre than it used to be, and in my opinion, better for it.

So, yeah, if you see someone out there complaining that they can’t find work from men in the SFF genre, remember that there are literally dozens of dudes putting out books this very year, from a single imprint, from a single publisher. I would be very surprised if Tor’s output here is notably unusual for the genre; other mainstream SFF publishers seem likely to me to have more than a smattering of men among their authors.

Maybe if the people complaining can’t find them, it’s because they’re not bothering to look all that hard. Try a bookstore or a library, folks. These titles, and authors, will be there, waiting for you.

— JS

Categories
Uncategorized

New Book and ARCs, 2/18/22

You like the sort of person who would enjoy a big ol’ stack of new books and ARCs, so: Here’s a stack for you! What here looks like just the thing to make you set aside your weekend plans and just read? Share in the comments.

Categories
Uncategorized

I’m Prepping For an Interview Right Now, So Here, Listen to Some Foo Fighters Pretending to Be a Death Metal Band

It’s related to their upcoming horror film Studio 666, as I understand it. The movie looks terrible, but hopefully the fun, cheesy kind of terrible that will be enjoyable to watch. We’ll find out soon! In the meantime, enjoy this, it’s crispy.

— JS

Categories
Uncategorized

Kaiju One Month Away; Review in Scientific American; Appearance at the American Writers Museum Festival

Look, Spice! A book!

As they say, three things make a post, and here are the three things!

1. The Kaiju Preservation Society comes out in exactly a month. And also exactly four weeks, because this is February, which has but 28 days, and that’s how it works. I can tell it’s coming out soon because I’m experiencing an uptick in promotional work I have to do: I wrote up a thing for the Tor blog, I did an interview for a magazine, and I’m recording two podcast appearances this week. I will attempt to blather charmingly. The release date does feel like it’s coming up fast, and not just because February is a short month. It’s also because after two years of mostly being at home, I am going to spend nearly all of March not at home, supporting this book and doing other things. It’s not “life back to normal,” but it certainly is “life, back to busy.”

2. Kaiju was reviewed in Scientific American. How cool is that? When I was a kid SciAm was the fancy science magazine (as opposed to the commoner touch of Discovery magazine), so now I feel like I’ve leveled up. And, the writer for the magazine has nice things to say about the book; they say “it’s as quippy as a Marvel movie and as awe-inspiring as Jurassic Park.” Excellent. I’m glad they think so. Here’s the review; scroll down to the bottom of the page.

3. In exactly three months, I’ll be in Chicago. Because I’ll be taking part in the first American Writers Festival, which is taking place to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the American Writers Museum. So you folks in the Chicagoland area who were sad your fair town was not on my tour schedule, well, be sad no more. I’ll see you soon! And, uh, also in September, for Worldcon. Chicago’s gonna see a lot of me this year.

— JS

Categories
Uncategorized

Gale Scalzi, RIP

Last night my cousin Sarah let me know that my uncle Gale, my father’s brother, had passed away. This hit me pretty hard. Growing up, Gale was the closest of my non-immediate family, literally, as he and his family lived in a house that I walked by every day to and from school. I would frequently just drop in on him and my aunt Karen and my cousins, just because I was in the neighborhood. They always let me in and Gale and I would talk about whatever I felt like talking about. It was a very normal, familial sort of thing, which was a thing I needed back in those days, when so many other things about my life were skewed pretty far off from normal.

Later on, in adult life, Gale acted as my backstop in two pretty important moments: When I was just getting started and I needed to buy a car, and about a decade later when Krissy and I were buying our first house but I had rather inconveniently been laid off from my job. Both times, Gale (and Karen) acted as co-signers to the loans, putting their faith, and their credit, in me. Both times without complaint or hesitation; he knew I was good for it, and also that this sort of thing was what family was for. It was a lesson and a kindness that did not go idly by me.

Gale did not lead a dramatic life. He worked the same job for decades, was married to the same person for decades, had the same hobbies (music and computers and motorcycles) for years and years. But in all the ways I knew him, and knew of him from others, he was a decent and kind person, good to friends and family, the person on whom people relied, because he could be relied upon. He was the sort of friend that everyone wished they could have, and he was the uncle that I needed growing up.

Our adult lives did not have us keeping close, other than the occasional wave on social media. It was not estrangement but merely the day-to-day run of life; he was in California and I was in Ohio and we had our own immediate families to tend to, which in his case included grandchildren. But it was a good thing to see him pop up in updates, being part of his family life, Gale just being Gale. My affection for him never waned, and I always smiled thinking of him. Here was a good man.

I will continue to smile when I think of him. His life is complete, and it was a life we would all be lucky to lead; one of love and friendship and generosity and kindness. I learned a lot from Gale over the years, and when I strive to be the better version of myself, he is one of the models I take from to get there. He had my love, and has it still.

My condolences and love to Karen, his wife and my aunt, and to my cousins Justin and Sarah, their families, Gale’s friends and loved ones, and all who knew him. My heart aches for them all. May his memory be a blessing. I am certain it will be.

— JS

Categories
Uncategorized

On the Subject of Skin Thickness

I was the subject of some discussion last week in the comments of the site File 770, specifically on the matter of whether my occasional snarking on Twitter at the sad, attention-seeking dudes who regularly try to cut me down online is proof that I have “thin skin” regarding criticism, etc. And while I like anyone am an imperfect observer of my own psychology, I do actually live with me, and have some idea of what actually goes on in my head. So I thought I would take a stab at an answer to this question, as of February 12, 2022.

Which is: I don’t think I’m particularly thin-skinned? Bear in mind I am a person who enjoys vicious one-star reviews of my work, and who also (rather famously) grades hate mail on the effort given to it, and will send it back with a request for revisions if I don’t think it shows sufficient creativity. Less flashily, I do frequently remind people that a) I and my work are not for everyone, b) people are perfectly within their rights to not like or even actively dislike me and/or my work, and c) while by and large I believe in letting people alone when they express their opinion about me, positively or negatively, on the occasions I do engage or comment, no one else should take that as their cue to pile on. “Never be an asshole on my behalf” is my motto.

Most people, I think, are happy to oblige me, and for the few who would still persist in being an asshole on my behalf, well, that’s (one reason) why I usually screencap and anonymize comments, or paraphrase and subtweet. None of which, I would suggest, is the sign of a particularly thin-skinned person.

That said, I sure do screencap/subtweet a lot of people being nasty about me, to mock or snark on them, which is certainly indicative of… something. If not thin-skinnedness, then what?

Mostly, I’m just fascinated that they care, and that they take time to create their fantasy version of me, you know, the bubble universe Scalzi who is an abject, emasculated failure propped up by a conspiracy of publishers for reasons. Bear in mind that for some of these dudes, it’s not even (merely) personal, i.e., they don’t like me. It’s an actual (terrible) business model for them; they think there’s some financial or business advantage in publicly hating on me, a way to community build, as it were. And maybe there is! Although I expect that the audience for that is, how to say this, both exclusive and not especially well-moneyed. But when you’re slogging along at the margins and desperate for attention, I guess you’ll try anything.

I’m not going to get too upset that the He-Man Scalzi Haters Club (No Girls Allowed) exists, since fundamentally it’s not actually even about me. I do, however, reserve the right to laugh at it in public when it amuses me to do so. And I do reserve the right to have an interest in the fantasy versions of me that exist, positive or negative (or anywhere in between) and to comment about them, or on commentary about me in general (hello!). That’s not thin-skinnedness, I think. That’s merely ego, and possibly a little bit of childish glee that fantasy versions of me walk the world at all, and a certain level of entitlement that allows me to believe that when the subject of discussion is me (fictional version or otherwise), I’m allowed to comment about it on my own venues.

“But how do you keep finding these fantasy versions of yourself, Scalzi?” Well, sometimes people point them out to me; I’m sort of famously online a lot and people seem to think I need to be told when someone is talking about me. This is not necessarily true, but that doesn’t stop people. Other times, I find them because I regularly ego search on my name in order to find reviews or interesting bits of commentary about my work, and also because I’m the sort of person who will occasionally ego search just to find out what people are saying about me. I gave it up for Lent one year. It didn’t take.

I will occasionally link to professional reviews of work that I find this way, but don’t tend to link to/retweet/highlight the nice things people say about me on their individual accounts, since that feels a little braggy, especially if they didn’t “@” me about it if they’re social media (I may drop a like, which I think feels more appropriate). But I do screencap or subtweet the negative stuff when the mood hits me, because snarking on it is fun. That being the case, I acknowledge someone might look at that and see thin-skinnedness where I just see an opportunity to amuse myself.

Which is fine! I don’t think I’m thin-skinned but if you want to think I am, it’s not especially a bother to me if you do. You may even be right, because again, I am an imperfect observer of myself. But on the inside of me, you know, I feel pretty good about myself, my work, and my accomplishments, and have a reasonable bead on them all, both for myself and in the context of my genre and profession. I’m occasionally snarky and petty, possibly a bit pugnacious, and I certainly have an ego, and can ramble on about myself rather a bit (hello again!). One thing I don’t think I am is insecure, however, and insecurity to my mind is a primary motivator of thin-skinnedness.

(Plus there’s the fact that even if I am insecure — and ultimately, I might be! — the vector of my insecurity is rather more likely going to be pointed upward, and not at the algae-scrapers who currently potshot at me online. I mean, let me be blunt, these dudes don’t rate the effort. This frustrates and annoys them, which, of course, I find delightful. To be additionally blunt, they can fire away at me all they want, because it doesn’t amount to much; in the real world my books sell fine and I do perfectly fine for myself. If training their ire at me keeps them from bothering others, so much the better.)

So, there you have it, me looking at me, and the current thickness of my hide.

— JS

Categories
Uncategorized

And Now, The Kaiju Preservation Society Tour

Yes, there’s a tour, yes, it’s going to be in person (knocks on all the wood), and yes, I’m excited. This tour is going to be a little shorter than some of my most recent in-person tours, in no small part due to an abundance of caution, but a) nine stops is not a small amount, and b) after the official tour I will still have a number of in-person appearances at book festivals, events and conventions, both in the next couple of months and through the rest of 2022. You’ll have opportunities to see me, promise (knocks on all the wood again). I’ll update my Scheduled Appearances page with those events when they’re confirmed and scheduled.

Here are those tour dates again, with direct links to the event pages:

Mon March 14th (VIRTUAL)
Barnes and Noble, 7:00 PM ET
Event details here

Tue March 15th
Flyleaf Books (Chapel Hill, NC), 5:00 PM
Event details here

Wed March 16th
Eagle Eye (Decatur, GA), 7:00 PM
Event details here

Thur March 17th
Fountain Bookstore (Richmond, VA), 6:00 PM
Event details here

Fri March 18th
Brookline Booksmith (Boston, MA), 7:00 PM
Event details here

Sat March 19th
the United Theater/Savoy Bookshop  (Westerly, RI), 7:00 PM
Event details here

Tue March 22nd
Cuyahoga County Library (Parma, OH), 7:00 PM
Event details here

Wed March 23rd
Boulder Books (Boulder, CO), 6:30 PM
Event details here

Thur March 24th
Prairie Lights (Iowa City, IA), 7:00 PM
Event details here

Fri March 25th
St Louis County Library/The Novel Neighbor (St.Louis, MO), 7:00 PM
Event details here

And now, a tour FAQ, which I’m cutting and pasting from a previous tour FAQ, albeit with updates:

Can you also come to [insert town here]?

Nope. The tour dates are locked for this year. Again, however, I’ll be doing other various events through the year; stay tuned for information about those.

Why aren’t you coming to [insert town here]?

For various reasons, but mostly due to a) who wanted us when we asked earlier in the year, b) what made sense for travel this time around.

What do the events cost?

It depends on the venue. Some are free, some are free but ticketed, some have charges associated. Check with each venue for details, please.

Will you be signing books?

Pretty sure I will be doing a signing at every stop, yes.

May I bring previously purchased books for you to sign?

I’m fine with with it but doublecheck with the venue to be sure (if you buy a book there I’m sure it will help with your request). Note also that depending on the size of the signing line, I may only sign three books at a time, after which you’ll be asked to get back in line for any additional books you want signed.

Will you sign my eReader/limb/other non-conventional object?

Generally speaking, sure. If you’re asking me to sign something dark, please bring your own sparkly/light-colored pen; I don’t usually carry those with me.

Do you allow pictures?

I generally allow pictures but again, check with the venue for their policy. If you want a picture with me, please have your camera ready before you get up to the signing table; you’d be surprised at how much time it takes to fire up a camera if it’s not ready. And that’s not great for everyone else in line.

May I give you a gift?

Sure. If it’s something edible please have it secured in something I can take back to my hotel room with a minimum of fuss. If it’s something else, smaller is better. Please note that I am usually traveling very tightly packed so you may see me hand the gift over to the venue in order for them to ship it to me at a later date.

May I take you to a meal/show you around my city, which is awesome if you know where all the cool things are, which I do?

Well, one, thank you, and two, I’m generally very tightly scheduled on tour stops and/or have already arranged to see friends who are local to the area, so probably not. I do appreciate the thought, however.

I’m a member of the local media in a town to which your tour is coming and I would like to interview you. May I?

Possibly! Please contact my publicist, Alexis Saarela, at Tor Books (alexis.saarela@tor.com). Please note that if you contact me directly for an interview, I will ask you to contact Alexis, because she’s the one who will be keeping my schedule straight. So please eliminate the middleman (in this case, me) and check with her directly. Thank you in advance.

I will not be in a town to which your tour is going but I want a signed book anyway. Help!

Here’s what to do: Contact any of the bookstores hosting a tour stop and order the book you want from them, and ask them to have me sign and personalize it when I come through. I will be happy to do so. Alternately, I am likely to sign stock for each store at which I have an event, so if you contact a store that I have already been to on the tour, they will likely have signed stock on hand.

Also, you can contact my local bookstore, Jay and Mary’s Book Center in Troy, Ohio, and request a signed book from them. I go in regularly to sign their stock and take care of requests. Note they prefer phone orders to email.

I have an additional question you have not addressed. 

Ask it in the comments.

See you all soon! I’m very much looking forward to this tour.

— JS

Categories
Uncategorized

Zeus, 2008 – 2022

A kitten came to us in January 2008, on what was one of the coldest nights of the year, in a manner that we would later learn was indicative of his personality: He snuck into our garage, walked up to the door to our kitchen, and meowed loudly to be let in. Athena was the first to hear him meow; she told Krissy, who did an inventory of our resident cats, all of whom were accounted for. The two of them opened the door, and there was the kitten, hungry and cold and indignant about both of those facts.

I found out about all of this when I was called downstairs and saw the two of them staring at the kitten, which they had placed on our kitchen table, along with a bowl of kibble, into which he was avidly snorkeling, purring as he did so. It was made clear to me we had a new pet. I didn’t fight the decision. What I did do was put him into my office for the night, along with a cat box, to see if he knew how to use one. I stayed with him, sleeping on the office floor (much to the disapproval of my back), waking up every now and then to check on his progress. Turned out he could use a cat box just fine. A few days later, after inquires to neighbors to see if anyone was missing a cat, and a trip to the vet, the kitten, who we had been calling Temp Cat™, became permanent, and given an official name: Zeus.

Zeus was, in a word, rambunctious. He’d jump up on the fridge and patrol the top of the upper kitchen shelves; he’d tear around the house; he’d try to drink my hot chocolate and then get deeply offended when I’d tell him that hot chocolate was not for cats. He enjoyed burrowing under the covers to bite the toes he’d find there; on one memorable occasion he got more ambitious than that and bit my ass. He quickly learned that there were some body parts one should not bite, for all sorts of reasons. In time he stopped burrowing under the sheets, but he never stopped pawing me awake at 3 am to be let out of the house on inscrutable cat business: paw, paw, and then, if the pawing didn’t work, a single scrape of a claw between the shoulder blades. He was kind a jerk, Zeus was.

With the arrival of Zeus, we had what we thought of as the original trio of Scalzi Bradford Cats: Lopsided Cat, who arrived first by coming out of woods and hopping on the back of a toddler Athena, Ghlaghghee, who arrived when our neighbor came by, said “here’s your cat,” and gave me a tiny kitten, and then Zeus (Rex, who came with us when we arrived in Bradford, stood aloof from the other cats and passed before Zeus came on the scene). The three of them made a good team: Lopsided Cat was the no-nonsense father figure of the cats, Ghlaghghgee the dainty princess cat, and Zeus the furry chaos engine. The three of their personalities are so memorable, in fact, that I immortalized them in my novel Fuzzy Nation, where Lopsided Cat became Papa Fuzzy, Ghlaghghee was Baby Fuzzy, and Zeus was Pinto. If you read that book, you’ve met this trio of cats.

Time passes, as it does, and both Ghlaghghee and Lopsided Cat went away, and in their place currently are Sugar and Spice and Smudge, a new trio in our minds. Zeus, no longer the chaos cat (Smudge fills that role, amply), found himself in the role of the Senior Cat, keeping the younger trio in line. I think at first he was annoyed that the job fell to him — it was not, shall we say, his natural métier — but in time he warmed to it, particularly in regard to Smudge, who like him was a tuxedo cat, and who he enjoyed smacking around. It was fun to watch the two of them go after each other; we called them the “Tusslin’ Tuxedo Brothers” and would occasionally capture their battles on video.

Athena also noted to me that Zeus was the only cat who knew all three of our dogs: Kodi, Daisy and now Charlie. Zeus liked Kodi the best, I think, and would cuddle up to her from time to time. He treated Daisy as a respected colleague in the firm of Scalzi Pets, LLC. He tolerated Charlie, and was not above reminding her of her place in the pet hierarchy (i.e., the new hire) with an occasional bat of the nose.

All of which is to say that of all the Scalzi pets, Zeus spanned eras in the bottle universe of the Scalzis, not just of pets but of people as well. In the fourteen years that Zeus stayed with us, so much changed for us, and he walked through it all, doing his thing, being his particular brand of cat. Which was: Kind of a pain in the ass (sometimes literally, as noted above), but always in the middle of everything, the constant black and white thread in the Scalzi family tapestry.

Over the last few months age had been catching up to Zeus, and he’d become slower and quieter, and — this was a surprise — more affectionate. Most of his life, Zeus would tolerate being petted only in certain ways (scritching behind the ears) and only by certain people (Krissy and occasionally me). Everything and everyone else would be met with loud and indignant protest that his personhood was being violated so. But in the last few months he would come up to all three of the Scalzi humans and plop right down and accept being petted, and not just in one or two specific places, or for very short durations. We enjoyed this. We also knew it was one of several indications that Zeus’ time with us was shortening and would soon end.

Which it did, in the small hours of this morning. Last night Athena heard Zeus meowing lowly in the other room. Like we did fourteen years ago, we all came to him to be with him and to watch him. Like I did fourteen years ago, I stayed the night with him, lying with him on the floor so he wouldn’t be alone. This morning, we took him to his final resting place, underneath the same backyard tree where Lopsided Cat and Ghlaghghee lay, their trio finally and forever reunited.

Another era has passed in the Scalzi family timeline. Athena noted that Zeus was the last of her childhood pets, and that it made her sad. I agreed, it was sad, here in the moment. I also told her that Zeus’ life was a success story, and that success was because of her. He lived a whole life, loved and safe and cared for, and all of that was because, on one cold night in January, she had heard him call, and opened our door.

Another era has passed, with a circularity that I can’t feel is coincidence. Zeus called to us in the beginning, to let him in. He called to us at the end, to let him move on. We answered him both times. What was in between was everything.

— JS

Categories
Uncategorized

The Times (UK) Review of The Kaiju Preservation Society

The entire review is here (subscription required), but for those of you without subscriptions, just know that the review calls the novel “an escapist delight” and also that it may be the most “purely entertaining” book that I’ve written. Which, you know, was exactly what I was aiming for. I’m happy they liked it.

Also, if you’re in the UK, Tor UK has a pre-order page up here.

— JS

Categories
Uncategorized

Oh, Wait, The Oscar Nominations Came Out, Didn’t They

And for the third straight year, I’m indifferent enough about the whole affair not to write up an official prediction of who will win in all the major categories! I’m sorry, I used to be much more interesting, I know.

I will say that I suspect this is the year Paul Thomas Anderson comes away with an Oscar for something (he’s up for three) because he’s been nominated for years, it’s about goddamn time, and no one wants another Martin Scorsese situation, where the man picked up his Oscar for what was roughly the eighth best title in his filmography. People (by which I mean critics and industry types) love Licorice Pizza! It’ll do!

But, yeah, other than that, meh, I’m not really into it this year, again. Although if you have thoughts on this year’s Oscar class, by all means leave a comment.

— JS

Categories
Uncategorized

Hangin’ With the Cool Cats Down at the Bar

Because, honestly, where else would you want to be?

Today was another day filled with contractors at the house and lots of little offline things that added up and then the next thing I knew, the day was done. It’s wild how quickly the days can go by. I mentioned this to the cats. They did not seem to care. Cats are like that.

— JS

Categories
Uncategorized

A Season of Contractors

In 2021 we had made plans to have our bathrooms renovated, majorly in the case of our bedroom suite bathroom, and in a more modest fashion for the hallway bathroom Athena and any guests we might have use. Those renovation plans, originally scheduled for the second quarter of 2021, got pushed because of 2021’s greatest nemesis, Supply Chain Issues, and as a consequence, our contractor’s schedules slipping because of other jobs they had on their schedules before us. Then at the end of the year, we bought the church, which necessitated engaging another set of contractors, these ones which specialize in refurbishing churches, and getting on their schedule as well.

It turns out that now is the time both sets of contractors are available; the ones for the house have been working on and off over the last month while the church contractors are just getting started. And while we are happy that work is ongoing — we miss our bathroom and would like to have it back — it turns out that having a bunch of dudes in the house drilling and pounding and moving around toilets and such, and me needing to babysit a dog anxious about strangers in her house, is not great for my creative focus. I would go hang out at the church, but, well. We have people there, too. I’m getting some work done, mind you. It’s going a bit slower than I had expected.

I’m the first to admit these are high end problems, especially since at the end of this, my bathroom will have a rainfall shower head and a very fancy toilet that will do everything but read me poetry whilst I sit on it. Still, I will be happy to have my house returned to me soon, particularly in the mornings, i.e., my prime creative hours. There’s a book I meant to be writing. It would be nice to have a substantial portion of it under my belt before Kaiju comes out and I go on tour.

Thus is life at the Scalzi Compound at the moment. And how are you?

— JS

Categories
Uncategorized

Fun Fact About Charlie

She loves chasing and catching snowballs. Which is great, because all her other balls are currently buried under several inches of snow in the yard. We’ll find them in March, probably. Until then, snowballs it is.

— JS

Categories
Uncategorized

Sunset, 2/4/22

Another week down. And a pretty good one for me, I have to say. Hope it was the same for you. Have a fabulous weekend, okay?

— JS

Categories
Uncategorized

Snow Storm Update, Update

The snow has mostly stopped falling, and while there is a lot of it, the worst thing to happen (for us, anyway) was a vehicle momentarily getting stuck in the driveway. It was quickly freed and parked, however. Our neighbor who enjoys snowplowing has now plowed the driveway, and the actual roads have been plowed by professionals, and nowhere near ever lost power, so in all, as storms go, this one was fairly benign.

Both Charlie and Buckley (the neighbor dog) turn out to genuinely enjoy the snow and spent the better part of the hour running about in it. When we finally brought Charlie in, she sulked. Don’t worry, Charlie, the snow will still be there later. Promise.

— JS

Categories
Uncategorized

Back to the High Seas

Yes, I’m part of JoCo Cruise 2022. I’m very happy and excited about it.

And you say, but, Scalzi, haven’t you heard of this COVID thing going around? Well, in fact, I have, but aside from being vaxxed and boosted, as will be everyone on the cruise, we will all have to have negative COVID tests within 48 hours of departure and will have an additional COVID test administered just before we board, plus, there will be safety protocols on the ship.

Which is reassuring to me. I’ve attended several science fiction conventions since September, ranging in size from a few hundred to 40,000 people, all of which had vaccination/safety protocols in place, and all of which I’ve come back from safely, because of the vaccination/safety protocols in place. So I feel pretty comfortable with the idea that this cruise, with even more stringent protocols in place, is an acceptable risk. Also, Omicron is finally declining (rather significantly), even in Ohio, which helps too.

(Also, if we’re being blunt here, I might be safer on this cruise, on which everyone will be vaccinated and happily observing safety protocols, than I am at home, where, still, after all this fucking time, only 36.73% of the people in my county have gotten a full two-course vaccination, much less a booster, and safety protocols are seen as a sign of liberal weakness. So, uh, yeah.)

In any event, I’m looking forward to seeing friends and having warm sun in my face, especially today, when I’m socked in by snow and the ice weasels are scratching at the back door. Bring on the Caribbean! I am ready.

— JS

Categories
Uncategorized

Updates From The Storm

Well, it is a storm, and once it started snowing (sometime in the wee hours of the morning) it hasn’t once stopped, so the accumulation is real and substantial, and the wind is pretty whippy much of the time. I’m not planning to drive anywhere for a day or two at least. That said, where we are is just north of the “ice and frozen rain” line of this particular storm, which means neither our power lines nor our trees are in imminent danger of collapsing, and we’re likely to keep power through this whole thing. And it’s nice to see the neighborhood kids taking a chance to break out the sleighs. So that’s good! Kind of a best-case-scenario for “massive winter storm.”

(knocks on wood)

If you’re caught in this storm, how is it playing out for you so far?

— JS

Exit mobile version