« The Comedy Canon: A Meme for You | Main | What I Did With My Morning »

November 07, 2005

TGB, Described

Look, Amazon has up what I assume is the dust jacket copy for The Ghost Brigades:

The Ghost Brigades are the Special Forces of the Colonial Defense Forces, elite troops created from the DNA of the dead and turned into the perfect soldiers for the CDF's toughest operations. They’re young, they’re fast and strong, and they’re totally without normal human qualms.

The universe is a dangerous place for humanity—and it's about to become far more dangerous. Three races that humans have clashed with before have allied to halt our expansion into space. Their linchpin: the turncoat military scientist Charles Boutin, who knows the CDF’s biggest military secrets. To prevail, the CDF must find out why Boutin did what he did.

Jared Dirac is the only human who can provide answers -- a superhuman hybrid, created from Boutin's DNA, Jared’s brain should be able to access Boutin's electronic memories. But when the memory transplant appears to fail, Jared is given to the Ghost Brigades.

At first, Jared is a perfect soldier, but as Boutin’s memories slowly surface, Jared begins to intuit the reason’s for Boutin’s betrayal. As Jared desperately hunts for his "father," he must also come to grips with his own choices. Time is running out: The alliance is preparing its offensive, and some of them plan worse things than humanity’s mere military defeat…

In case you didn't know, no, the author doesn't usually write up the text for the dust jacket copy; I actually don't know who does (I assume it's Patrick Nielsen Hayden in my case, but I'm not entirely sure). It reads a bit like the pitch I made for the book before I wrote it, but it's not exactly what I wrote. Be that as it may, I'm perfectly happy with this text, which gives the basic plot set-up without revealing any of the major secrets. It's a pretty decent come-on for the potential reader, I think.

Anyway, if you had no idea what The Ghost Brigades was about before, now you know. Within reason.  

Posted by john at November 7, 2005 05:52 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Rajesh | November 7, 2005 07:22 PM


Could have done without the "...elite troops created from the DNA of the dead...," though. Kind of a spoiler for one of the neat twists in the first book.

John Scalzi | November 7, 2005 07:36 PM

Yeah, it's one of the hazards of positioning a sequel, I suppose.

Richard Campbell | November 7, 2005 08:09 PM

So John, is the Ghost Brigades going to be available in a Science Fiction Book Club edition? Yes / No / Too Early To Tell?

I'm planning how to best maximize my membership...

Kevin Q | November 7, 2005 08:29 PM

It sounds great, and it's now on my Wishlist at Amazon. I notice that it's scheduled to come out the day after my birthday, something which should be noted by a certain someone else who also reads this blog.


John Scalzi | November 7, 2005 08:38 PM


No idea re: SFBC edition. I would assume so, considering the first one did reasonably well for them (it was on their best seller list for a few weeks), but as far as I know no deal has been reached.

Michael Rawdon | November 7, 2005 08:46 PM

I didn't realize the Ghost Brigades used Imperial Star Destroyers...

John Scalzi | November 7, 2005 09:28 PM

Michael, I find your lack of faith disturbing.

RooK | November 7, 2005 10:25 PM

Damn, but that's got me hooked. Which, while academic since I've already intended to obtain The Ghost Brigades, bodes quite well for the ultimate performance of the book.

Congratulations, in advance, again.
I still can't quite stomach the fact that I'm essentially a fan-boy on this site. Perhaps I should be at ease with it, and just go with it. With that thought in mind, fellow burgeoning Scalzi fans, what should call ourselves?

Scalzians? (Second thought, no - "Scalzian" would probably be reserved as an adjective of superlative fart joke style.)
UFOS (Unimaginative Fans Of Scalzi)?

John Scalzi | November 7, 2005 11:21 PM


"I still can't quite stomach the fact that I'm essentially a fan-boy on this site."

Eh. We're all somebody's fan boy. I know if I ever met Daniel Lanois, I'd probably drool on myself.

Anyway, if people here were really fanboys and fangirls, y'all wouldn't argue with me so damn much. Real fans wouldn't tell I'm as full of shit as you folks do on a regular basis. Which, of course, makes all of you much more fun than real fans.

Harry Connolly | November 8, 2005 12:49 AM

What's a "Sci-Fi Essential Book?" Are you being endorsed by the TV channel?

Mark Ensley | November 8, 2005 02:34 AM

"Eh. We're all somebody's fan boy. I know if I ever met Daniel Lanois, I'd probably drool on myself."

I've always loved his work, but I nearly wet myself when I heard Willie Nelson's Teatro, which Lanois produced, through a good stereo system.

Not my favorite album ever, but the closest we'll ever come to hanging out next to Willie whilst he's playing. Ahhhh....

Dean | November 8, 2005 08:23 AM

With that thought in mind, fellow burgeoning Scalzi fans, what should call ourselves?

I thought we had this discussion at one point. I remember something about it.

Ach, the brain, he is old and dim. Sux to get old. But that's what search engines are for, isn't it?

John Scalzi | November 8, 2005 09:25 AM

Harry Connolly:

"Are you being endorsed by the TV channel?"

Yes. It's a joint thing between Tor and SciFi. Both Old Man's War and The Ghost Brigades are being promoted in January on the SciFi.com Web site and in the SciFi magazine.

Jim | November 8, 2005 10:34 AM

Why the change in artists for the covers? I really liked the original OMW cover.


mythago | November 8, 2005 10:48 AM

Now, now. Some of us are fangirls.

I think "Scalzoonis" has a nice ring to it.

John Scalzi | November 8, 2005 11:06 AM


"Why the change in artists for the covers?"

It's complicated but has to do with secret cover art code to booksellers. I like the hardcover artwork as well (heck, I own the original), but the new artwork is good, too.

RooK | November 8, 2005 11:38 AM

mythago: I think "Scalzoonis" has a nice ring to it.

Aye, it's possible that you bear that elusive HANRTI gene which permits you to recognize pleasing auditory combinations. I lack it myself, and will just have to take your word for it.

I still have a preference for "Scalziacs", because I feel that it captures my fundamental proclivity for using butcher knives rather than firearms when I fantasize about killing those I hate. How about a show of hands; how many other potential knife-weilding crazies in our demographic? Bare-handed and blunt-object crazies probably qualify as well. Come on now, don't be shy.

Dean | November 8, 2005 11:50 AM

How about a show of hands; how many other potential knife-weilding crazies in our demographic?

I must confess a fondness for knives and other edged weapons.

Brian | November 8, 2005 12:38 PM

I think I'm disposed towards firearms, mainly because I find the mechanical and chemical complexity intriguing. Needless to say, I'm a fan of Counter-Strike... though it'd be nice if I weren't so terrible at it. :-P

I agree with Rajesh... could've done w/o the 'DNA of the dead' spoiler, as I've been bad and not yet read OMW. <hangs head> It's on my Christmas list, though, I promise!

Jim | November 8, 2005 12:56 PM

While I do have a preference for complicated mechanical objects, I find most personal weapons don't have enough authority for my tastes.

John Scalzi | November 8, 2005 12:59 PM

Brian, it's not actually a spoiler for OMW, as it's not a main plot point.

Mikhail Capone | November 8, 2005 02:51 PM

I haven't had the time to read Old Man's War yet, but I'll certainly get it when it comes out in paperback. If it is as good as people say, I'll certainly get the sequel too.

M.A. | November 8, 2005 04:01 PM

Yeah, when is OMW gonna be out in paper, anyway?

John Scalzi | November 8, 2005 04:03 PM

Its official release date is 12/27, which means you'll probably see it before Christmas.

Cherie Priest | November 8, 2005 04:04 PM


Simple. Descriptive. Fun to say.

alkali | November 8, 2005 06:27 PM

"Time is running out: The alliance is preparing its offensive, and some of them plan worse things than humanity’s mere military defeat..."

The ellipsis at the end tells you, the potential buyer, that there's more stuff in the book you might want to know about. Wicked clever, that.

With that thought in mind, fellow burgeoning Scalzi fans, what should call ourselves?

I'd say "dorks" probably covers it. (Hey, I liked Old Man's War too, but I'm just sayin'.)

Leslie | November 8, 2005 06:38 PM

Wish Ghost Brigades was coming out sooner - I'm about to spend a lot (more) time on the couch reading. ah well....

Scalziac - definitely.

kingkrispy | November 8, 2005 07:53 PM

Loved the first book, definately gonna get Ghost Brigades. As for the Scalzi fan club thing, I liked the UFOS one.

Michael Rawdon | November 9, 2005 12:25 AM

I would suggest that John's fans - or at least the female ones - could be "Scalz Girls" [sic], but that would be silly.

And lord knows we don't want that.

Dean | November 9, 2005 12:36 AM


John Scalzi | November 9, 2005 12:44 AM


Harry Connolly | November 9, 2005 12:52 AM

John, that's pretty cool about the cross-promotion. Congrats. I hope it brings in a ton of readers.

And I think that cover is pretty cool, too.

Aaron Haynes | November 10, 2005 01:34 AM

I sent the parents a link to OMW on Amazon when they asked about birthday presents. However, in what I considered a brilliant cost-saving measure, I sent them the link to the paperback version.

They picked up Book of the Dumb 2 instead. I found that more appropriate than I was quite comfortable with. Great read nonetheless.

Anyways, looking forward to this, and hopefully getting a copy of OMW for Christmas.

Lee | November 15, 2005 11:52 AM

I hope your books make it to the following list even if the list caters only to a limited audience.


Post a comment.

Comments are moderated to stop spam; if your comment goes into moderation, it may take a couple of hours to be released. Please read this for my comment moderation policies.
Preview will not show paragraph breaks. Trust me, they're there.
The proprietor generally responds to commenters in kind. If you're polite, he'll be polite. If you're a jackass, he'll be a jackass. If you are ignorant, he may correct you.
When in doubt, read the comment thread rules.

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)