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February 28, 2005

Agent to the Stars -- Available for Pre-order

Okay, here's that big announcement I mentioned the other day:

Subterranean Press is now accepting pre-orders for the limited, signed hardback edition of Agent to the Stars. When you pre-order this book, not only will you be getting a unique collector's edition of this novel, you'll also contribute to an excellent cause: Providing games and toys to children's hospitals all across the United States. And if you pre-order in the next couple of days, you'll be eligible for an exclusive gift from me and Subterranean Press.

For those of you new to the scene, Agent to the Stars is the first novel I wrote, which I then posted on this Web site for people to read. The entire novel is still available on the site (follow this link), but now those of you who prefer not to read an entire novel staring into a cathode ray tube, or have read it and want your own copy in book form, can get it in a handsome hardback edition that will be limited to no more than 2,000 copies. Once the run is sold out, they're gone for good.

The book, which will be released in July 2005, comes in two editions:

1. The limited hardback edition, individually signed by yours truly, for $30, and

2. The deluxe, really limited hardback edition, which is leatherbound, signed, lettered and housed in a handcrafted tray case, for $150. Only 26 of these will be available, so if you want one, now's a fine time to get it.

In addition to my writing, each hardcover of Agent to the Stars comes with an extra treat that I am thrilled beyond words to be able to bring to you: Dust jacket cover art from Mike "Gabriel" Krahulik of Penny Arcade. As most of you know, I've been a huge fan of Penny Arcade -- and of both Gabe and Tycho -- for years, so being able to get Gabe for the cover art is just about the coolest thing ever. I'm fairly certain this is the first book cover Gabe's done outside the Penny Arcade merchandising arena, so if you needed another excuse to own this as a collectable, there it is.

cp.jpgIn honor of Gabe's involvement, Bill Schafer, the publisher of Subterranean Press, has decreed that 10% of the cover price of each copy of Agent to the Stars bought from the Subterranean Press online store will be donated to Child's Play, the charity created by the guys at Penny Arcade. Over the last two years, Child's Play has distributed over a half million dollars worth of video games, toys and other amusements to children's hospitals across the US, to make the hospital stays of sick kids less stressful and somewhat more pleasant. I wish I could say that I suggested this to Bill Shafer, but he thought it up on his own; this inspired act of generosity on his part makes me additionally proud to see the novel in book form, and released through Subterranean Press.

And in that spirit, I'm making an additional pledge: If we sell out an entire print run of 2,000 copies of the standard hardback of Agent to the Stars by December 31, 2005, I'll donate $500 of my own royalties from the book to Child's Play. Mind you, I fully intend to contribute to Child's Play anyway, as I've done for the last two years. But this will be above and beyond that. It'll be my way of thanking Gabe for his cover art, and thanking you for buying the book.

Subterranean Press is giving me the honor of announcing the pre-order, and to celebrate I'm doing something special: If you pre-order from the Subterranean Store today or tomorrow (2/28/05 or 3/1/05), leave the following note in the comments field of the order form: "I came here from the Whatever." Folks who do so will receive an exclusive gift from me and Subterranean. And what is this gift? Oh, just you wait. It'll be my way of thanking you for getting your order in early. The book is also available for pre-order on Amazon, but if you pre-order from Amazon, you won't be eligible for this special offer and Child's Play won't get its 10%. So if you're going to pre-order, the Subterranean site is the way to go.

I'm very excited about Agent to the Stars finally becoming a real book, as you can imagine. I hope you will be, too.

Posted by john at February 28, 2005 01:04 AM

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JH | February 28, 2005 04:32 AM


And there you are, sir. When's it ship?

John Scalzi | February 28, 2005 04:39 AM

July 2005. Although of course while you're waiting, there is always the online edition.

I wonder if you'll get copy #1.

Justin Anderson | February 28, 2005 08:37 AM

Oops. That'll learn me to finish reading...I went and ordered a copy as soon as I got to the link, so no super-special gift for me. Oh well, I think I'll live.

Congratulations, John!

Sue | February 28, 2005 09:25 AM

Done and done. Child's Play sounds like a fabulous organization.

You might actually turn me into a sci-fi fan, John.

Guy Matthews | February 28, 2005 10:29 AM

"Oops. That'll learn me to finish reading...I went
and ordered a copy as soon as I got to the link, so no super-special gift for me. Oh well, I think I'll live."

GAH!! I did the same thing :(.

Bill Schafer | February 28, 2005 10:39 AM

Hey there.

If you forget to mention the special offer with your order, just drop us a separate email and we'll be sure to process it for you.

AGENT is selling quite well this morning, by the way. If you'll want a copy of the lettered edition, don't delay.


OneBallJay | February 28, 2005 11:34 AM

Gah! I also was in such a rush I didn't finish reading the post. I replied to my order confirmation, will that suffice or do I need to send a separate email?

Mark J Musante | February 28, 2005 12:16 PM

ah, crap, I ordered the book, and THEN read to the end of the mail. My order lacks the "I came here from Whatever" comment :-(

And now I see Justin and OneBallJay are in the same boat as me (I learned my lesson and read all the comments before posting this :-)

John Scalzi | February 28, 2005 12:32 PM

As Bill Schafer said -- if you forgot to add in the note, just drop them an e-mail and let them know that came from here.

The e-mail for orders: order@subterraneanpress.com

Let them know your order ID as well to help facilitate the process.

Ellen | February 28, 2005 01:20 PM


Dawn B. | February 28, 2005 01:33 PM

I win! All that schooling paid off and I read all the instructions before picking up my mousepad. ;-)

Rex Schrader | February 28, 2005 04:19 PM

I am such a sucker for Scalzi. I don't believe that I just agreed to pay $30 for a book that I already read for free.

But I enjoy them. Go John Go!

John Scalzi | February 28, 2005 04:25 PM

Thanks, Rex!

Steve Eley | February 28, 2005 05:25 PM

Dude. Don't worry about selling the 2000 copies out by December 2005. If Gabe mentions in Penny Arcade that there's a book with his cover art on it, and that proceeds will go to Child's Play, you'll quite likely sell out that day. (If simply pushing it through Whatever doesn't get you most of the way there first.)

Brandon | February 28, 2005 06:12 PM

Yeah, I'm very glad I got to it before it was mentioned on PA. Wouldn't want to miss this.

John Scalzi | February 28, 2005 06:45 PM

Well, I do think Penny Arcade's folks will make a difference in sales, to be sure. But of course don't want to count the chickens before they hatch.

The Subterranean Press folks have told me that the book is already selling very well, and I'm pleased to hear that.

Guy Matthews | February 28, 2005 08:17 PM

"Well, I do think Penny Arcade's folks will make a difference in sales, to be sure. But of course don't want to count the chickens before they hatch."

*Chuckle* Sounds like you haven't seen the PA fans in action, they're like a force of nature they are!

Soni | March 1, 2005 08:23 PM

I feel better now. All that suspense from waiting was getting to me. (And yes, I read the instructions first - yet another public school success).

*sigh* Settling in contentedly with a big bag o' popcorn to watch the mailbox while I wait for the ship date.

John H | March 1, 2005 10:42 PM

Just bought my copy - look forward to reading it without the typos... :-)

Do you know how soon the second edition of OMW will be in book stores?

John Scalzi | March 1, 2005 10:49 PM

Second printing's apparently already come and gone. We're on the third printing now. And, in a more direct answer to your question: Hopefully soon. On one hand it's kind of nice to be able to say the book is selling so well that stores can't keep it in stock, but on the other hand I would actually like people who want it to be able to find it.

Typos in Agent: Yes, we're working to rid the book of them right now.

John H | March 1, 2005 11:07 PM

I posted that and then found a copy on eBay. Hopefully it will be here next week.

Third printing in what, two months? That's awesome!

Chris | March 22, 2005 06:57 PM

And now we're off to the races! After reading the first few chapters thanks to the PA link, I'm sold! You can guarantee a few more printings will be required now.

Jon in SE Michigan. | July 19, 2005 10:46 AM

I pre-ordered long ago (back when PA linked us over here) and just stopped back to see if there were any updates to the timeline for shipping?

Jeffrey L. Williamson | January 1, 2007 01:27 AM

Wow! Thanks for the great read! Instant fan here. You can bet I will be reading more of your work.

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