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November 22, 2005

Basic Friend Pimpage

As I'm crawling through your basic wall of pre-Thanksgiving work, a couple of notes on things friends are doing:

1. My pal Nick Sagan, from whom I enthusiastically stole a major plot point of The Ghost Brigades from his excellent book Edenborn, has gone and started himself a blog, which I recommend you all go and visit and book in your bookmarks and whatnot. He's just getting back from a trip to Portugal (his Portugese publishers flew him out and apparently gave him the royal treatment -- I want foreign publishers like that), so give him a couple days to update and whatnot. Nevertheless, he's a fabulously interesting person so I expect his blog will be as well.


2. My high school friend Charles Keagle is a teacher and illustrator who has a side business marketing his "fluffball" creations -- shirts, mugs and etc with his illustrations on them, and he's asked some of his pals to let folks know he's out there for their holiday cuteness needs. Consider yourself on notice.  

3. If you've not done so yet, go congratulate Cherie Priest. The picture says a thousand words.  

4. If you feel in a self-promotey sort of mood, by all means sploo away in the comment thread.  

Posted by john at November 22, 2005 12:50 PM

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Tim Pratt | November 22, 2005 03:06 PM

An invitation to self-promote? How can I pass that up?

My story "Hart and Boot" is in the current volume of the Best American Short Stories. (More importantly, there's great stuff in there by Cory Doctorow, Kelly Link, Dennis Lehane, and others, so it's not all the stereotypical "moment-of-truth" stories people often think of when that anthology series is mentioned.)

My first novel, The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl, should be hitting bookstores in a week. (I won't lie to y'all. It's garnering mixed reviews. But maybe you'll be in the 70% that loves it, rather than the 30% that think it's utter crap!)

Eric Berlin | November 22, 2005 03:21 PM

Can I take a raincheck on that self-promo for when my book gets picked up?

John Scalzi | November 22, 2005 03:27 PM

Go Tim Pratt! Don't worry about the mixed reviews; I've read enough of your stuff to know I want to check it out. Incidentally, I love the cover art to Rangergirl. That's some pretty awesome stuff.

Also, a link to Best American Short Stories. People, when you self-promote, don't forget the links!

Eric: Sure.

Ron | November 22, 2005 04:43 PM

Oh boy--I get to promote both myself and John!

Details are still sketchy, and we're not exactly sure when it will happen, but John and I are going to do a book event soon. We'll just keep you in suspense until we have it nailed down, but rest assured, it's about '70s sci-fi movies...

Martin Wagner | November 22, 2005 04:47 PM

Self-promo time? Okey-doke. Adventures in death-defying indie filmmaking at the blog (click my name). Also, SF/fantasy writers take note, reviews to be had here. The ARC for Ghost Brigades arrived in my mailbox from Tor yesterday, so John can look forward to my praise/abuse this coming weekend. (OMW got large loving scoops of the former, so unless Athena gave him a debilitating wallop on the noggin with that axe of hers during the writing of TGB, he probably hasn't much to worry about.)

John Scalzi | November 22, 2005 04:58 PM

Oh excellent. Be aware, Martin, the the ARC is not the final text; we've made minor tweaks to the story. For example, the part of about Abraham Lincoln's brain being cloned into an army of three-breasted robots who fight the Evil Monkey Droids of Slagdorn VI? Yeah, we ditched that part. Just so you know.

JonathanMoeller | November 22, 2005 05:12 PM

We have an article in Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Plunges Into Michigan.

And a fun little article on the insanity of message boards at AbsoluteWrite.com.

And, of course, The Book

Tim Pratt | November 22, 2005 05:34 PM

Thanks for the linkifying, John. And, yeah, I seriously lucked out with that cover. Definitely makes me look good.

I look forward to reading Ghost Brigades. I never get the advance copies of science fiction books at work (I'm just the second-string horror reviewer, pretty much), but I'll snag a copy when it comes out.

Steve Eley | November 22, 2005 06:59 PM

Self-promote? All righty. My podcast is now believed to be the largest free, legal repository of narrated audio fiction on the Internet. (Contrary proofs happily accepted -- I'd love to listen to more myself.)

And to keep it on-topic, the John Scalzi short story we obtained permission for back in June is finally going to be podcast in December. Apologies for the ridiculous long delay. This one needed multiple people, and that's tough to coordinate.

Martin Wagner | November 22, 2005 07:17 PM

The three-breasted robots are gone? Well, poop. The book's gonna suck without them, dude. Especially the one named Synthia who does that thing in chapter eight. Expect no mercy now!

cherie priest | November 22, 2005 07:35 PM

Aw ... thanks ;-)

One of these days we'll meet up at a con and I'll buy you a beverage. Also, I shall force a sharpie into your hand so you can sign stuff. I'm just sayin'.

Francis | November 22, 2005 08:54 PM

Wow, free rein to plug. Well, it's not too late to buy my humor collection, Holy Tango of Literature (which answers the seldom asked question "What if poets and playwrights wrote works whose titles were anagrams of their names?"), as a holiday present for the current or former English student in your life.

RooK | November 22, 2005 09:13 PM

Buffer your crass-o-meters folks...

Firstly, the best-engineered trucks in North America are Western Star Trucks.

Secondly, the best free science fiction role-playing game is A I F.

Lastly, the internet bulletin board with the coolest hosts is the Ship-Of-Fools. Well, the "Hell" forum, anyway.

Gah. I feel so dirty. It didn't even have the thrill of trying to bury them in a seemingly-legitimate post. Hopefully, I'll get over it.

Heather Shaw | November 22, 2005 09:31 PM

Hooray for self-promotion! I have two new stories out in anthologies from Wheatland Press: "Single White Farmhouse" is the lead story in Polyphony 5 and my story "Skatebirding" appears in The Nine Muses.

Sue | November 23, 2005 08:28 AM

I'm not a writer (but, of course, I want to be one), but I'll take a moment to preen publicly about how I just got my very first commission check. I'm just starting out as a travel agent and booked some friends on a trip to Europe. It was pretty cool to finally make some money after all the money I've spent on classes and such.

Steve Thorn | November 23, 2005 09:04 AM

Self-promotery? Heh, cool.

Actually I've been so busy (with the real job) I haven't been able to write much.
But I did revamp my website and had a professional recording made of a short - Glow.
It's here:http://www.stevethorn.com/Glow by Steve Thorn.mp3 -- 6 megs

Thanks, John.

Alan | December 16, 2005 03:27 PM

The spring goes on
The love did not die
The fear has gone.

I'm not a writer actually. I'm a professional photographer. But we belong to the same field of art.

roberteggleton | June 19, 2006 05:20 PM

"Rarity from the Hollow" (science fiction / fantasy) is now for sale at www.fatcatpress.com. It's received several blubs, including one by Piers Anthony. A percentage of any profits will prevent child abuse in West Virginia where I work as a Therapist in a children's mental health program. A satirical essay about its self-promotion will be in Wingspan Quarterly by the end of the month (6-06). Thanks,

Robert Eggleton

roberteggleton | August 4, 2006 08:23 PM

"Rarity from the Hollow" is now available from www.fatcatpress.com. A satirical essay about its self-promotion was published last month by Wingspan Quarterly (www.wingspanquarterly.com). Jag Lall, English comic book artist, did the cover pro bono.

"Rarity" has received several blurbs, some of which are on the publisher's site. A prominent SF site gave me a year's free advertising (it normally charges). A review will appear in Baryon Online sometime next month (http://www.baryon-online.com). The best sentences are:

"Eggleton has crafted a novel that deals with social commentary mixed with some eerie science fiction and a strange problem that Lacy has to solve to save the universe with the help of her family and her dog, Brownie. I can almost hear a blue grass version of Metallica while reading this. I expect to see more from Eggleton and Lacy Dawn. Good satire is hard to find and science fiction satire is even harder to find."

-- Barry Hunter

Depending on a schedule, from ten to fifty percent of any profits I receive will be donated to prevent child abuse: Children's Home Society of West Virginia (CHS, Dennis Sutton, Executive Director, 304-346-6644).

If you have recommendations on promoting this project, please let me know.

Robert Eggleton

roberteggleton | September 29, 2006 08:19 PM

A Joke Approved by Rarity from the Hollow:

Three women -- a German, a Japanese, and a Hillbilly -- were sitting in a sauna.

Suddenly, there was a beeping sound. The German pressed her forearm and the beep stopped. The others looked at her questioningly. "That was my pager," she said. "I have a microchip under the skin of my arm."

A few minutes later, a phone rings. The Japanese woman lifted her palm to her ear. When she finished, she explained, "That was my mobile phone. I have a microchip in my hand."

The Hillbilly woman felt low tech. Not to be outdone, she decided that she had to do something impressive. She stepped out of the sauna and went to the bathroom. She returned with a piece of toilet paper hanging from her butt. The others raised their eybrows and stared at her.

The Hillbilly said, "Well, will you look there...I'm getting a FAX.

Robert Eggleton

roberteggleton | November 9, 2006 08:48 PM

I Owe One to Robert Eggleton

Earlier this year I was contacted by a first-time novelist asking if I would review his forthcoming e-book. If people knew how many requests of this kind editors get, they would understand that out of self-preservation we sometimes . . . well, I ignored it.

Robert tried again. There was something in the tone of his e-mail. Clearly this mattered to him. So I said yes, I’d take a look, though I didn’t think we could review Rarity From the Hollow. This is all fogged somewhat in memory: in the months since then our magazine moved its office, I was hospitalized for a cat bite (yes, they’re dangerous!), we’ve published several issues, read hundreds of manuscripts, I went to Africa, etc., etc. But as I recall, Robert sent me the first chapter, which begins with two impoverished schoolgirls (from the Hollow of the title) studying together and spelling the word for an adult sex toy. It was quirky, profane, disturbing. I said I’d look at the book, not entirely sure what I could do to help.

He sent me the whole thing. I read portions of the book, which is subtitled “A Lacy Dawn Adventure,” after the girl protagonist, Lacy Dawn. I liked Lacy, who lives in a world of poverty, classmates with precocious sexual knowledge and/or experience, unemployed men, worn-down women and cruelty so casual that it’s more knee-jerk than intentional. Maybe I was just too bothered by the content, but at a certain point I knew I just couldn’t do anything. Time was nonexistent.

So I deleted the book.

Robert contacted me again, and I got soft. You see, there was something about the whole project in general. Robert is a social worker who has spent at least a portion of his career working with child-abuse victims in Appalachia. The book was partly about that, and mostly very strange. In the Hollow, Lacy takes up with an android named DotCom, from “out of state,” which really means out of this world. Under DotCom’s wing, she decides that she will “save” her family. Little does she know she will end up saving the universe. Robert was donating the proceeds from sales to help child-abuse victims.

Robert is not a kid; he’s maybe my age, maybe older. This wasn’t about youthful ambition, vanity and reputation. It was about some kind of personal calling. I believe in those. I also believe in people who are driven to get their writing out there to an audience, through whatever venue. The e-book idea intrigued me. The earnestness of the appeal got to me. Send the book again, I said. He did. It’s still on my hard drive. (I suppose I should delete it, since I haven’t paid for it.)

Robert kept after me. If I liked it, could I write a blurb? Yeah, of course. I was fund-raising for my African trip (a Habitat build), teaching, editing, raising three kids. But who isn’t busy? We set our own priorities. I put Robert and his book lower than some other things, which really wasn’t fair because I said I would do something, and I didn’t.

And it has bothered me. Here’s another thing people don’t know about editors. They sometimes have consciences about books/stories/poems/whatever that they’ve allowed to get lost or neglected in the shuffle of what amounts to thousands of pages.

So I’m belatedly giving Rarity From the Hollow a plug. Among its strengths are an ultra-convincing depiction of the lives, especially the inner lives, of the Appalachian protagonists. The grim details of their existence are delivered with such flat understatement that at times they almost become comic. And just when you think enough is enough, this world is just too ugly, Lacy’s father (who is being “fixed” with DotCom’s help) gets a job and Lacy, her mother and her dog take off for a trip to the mall “out of state” with Lacy’s android friend, now her “fiancé” (though as Lacy’s mother points out, he doesn’t have any private parts, not even “a bump.”) In the space between a few lines we go from hardscrabble realism to pure sci-fi/fantasy. It’s quite a trip.

Rarity is published by FatCat Press, which has other e-books for sale as well. You can find it at ______. The blurb on the website says in part:

Lacy Dawn is a true daughter of Appalachia, and then some. She lives in a hollow with her mom, her Vietnam Vet dad, and her mutt Brownie, a dog who's very skilled at laying fiber-optic cable. Lacy Dawn's android boyfriend, DotCom, has come to the hollow with a mission. His equipment includes infomercial videos of Earth's earliest proto-humans from millennia ago. DotCom has been sent by the Manager of the Mall on planet Shptiludrp: he must recruit Lacy Dawn to save Earth, and they must get a boatload of shopping done at the mall along the way. Saving Earth is important, but shopping – well, priorities are priorities.

Yes, priorities are. I should have had mine in order. Robert’s book deserves your attention. Check it out.

Evelyn Somers

roberteggleton | January 3, 2007 07:12 PM

Rarity from the Hollow Won an Award!

Please see: http://myshelf.com/backtoliterature/column.htm

Thanks again.

Robert Eggleton

John Scalzi | January 3, 2007 10:27 PM

Posting a self-congratulatory note on an entry that's more than a year old is pretty lame, Robert Eggleton (who is not Bob Eggleton, the Hugo-winning illustrator). Try to avoid being this lame in the future, if you please. Wait for a new self-pimp thread instead of going around to the old ones.

roberteggleton | February 8, 2007 08:09 PM

Do you have a recommendation as to a new "pimp thread?" Rarity from the Hollow is picking up.

John Scalzi | February 8, 2007 08:16 PM

You'll know it because it'll be on the front page of the Whatever and it'll say "this is a pimp thread" somewhere in it. If you don't see it, don't pimp. If it's not on the front page, avoid putting more pimpery in it. Simple.

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