« Hangin' With the Larbalesterfelds | Main | Yawncat Is Not Pleased. »

March 01, 2006

Three Quick Book-Related Notes

They are:

1. The Ghost Brigades just spent a full week in the Amazon bestselling SF list's top 10 (#9 as I wrote this). I am agog and almost unspeakably appreciative. Thank you.

2. Just sent the final revised text of The Android's Dream to Tor. The book as been done for quite some time, but there were a couple of cosmetic touch-ups that needed to be undertaken (requiring a change of about 20 words in the text -- but 20 significant words). I think I've mentioned before that I am very happy with this book, and I remain so; it was sold to Tor with the premise that it would be heavy on action scenes and snappy dialogue, and I think it delivers both. It's also almost entirely message-free; if a science fiction novel could be described as a "popcorn book" -- i.e., designed to make you cram handfuls of salty snacks into your mouth as you tear through the pages to see what happens next, this would be that book. And also -- and let's never lose sight of this -- sheep play a truly significant role in his book. Which is as it should be. Frankly, sheep have long been underrepresented in SF. That's gonna change, baby. That's gonna change.

3. Today also marks the official start of writing The Last Colony. And that's all I'm going to say about that. Wish me luck.

Posted by john at March 1, 2006 12:34 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Ron | March 1, 2006 01:03 AM

So you could say the SF future of sheep looks up!

Steve | March 1, 2006 01:34 AM

So, does The Android's Dream feature electric sheep?

dan | March 1, 2006 03:20 AM

i'm glad you're agog. the world needs more gogs.

Therese Norén | March 1, 2006 04:51 AM

You might enjoy Before and After by Matthew Thomas. It hasn't only got sheep, it's got exploding sheep!

(I enjoyed reading it, but it was very obviously a first novel, and Thomas tried to be Pratchett a little too much.)

elizabeth bear | March 1, 2006 06:47 AM

sheep lie! sheep lie!

James Goodman | March 1, 2006 07:45 AM

Good luck! :D

suzanne | March 1, 2006 08:10 AM

Frankly, sheep have long been underrepresented in SF. That's gonna change, baby. That's gonna change.

as a woman with 350 pounds of sheep fleece

sitting here and there

around her house

waiting to be dyed in the wool and spun

you know this makes me happy!!!!!

however I'd like to point out

sheep are not entirely neglected

she points to Haruki Murakami's

A Wild Sheep Chase

Dance, Dance, Dance

(and these, by the by,

not his strangest books)

Brandon | March 1, 2006 08:14 AM

Congrats and good luck. I've been tearing through TGB since I started it over the weekend and am enjoying every page.

clvrmnky | March 1, 2006 09:24 AM

"popcorn book", eh?

Anyone pick up the film rights, yet?


John Scalzi | March 1, 2006 09:44 AM

Considering the I can count on one hand the number of people who have actually read the book at this point, no. But I think it could, in fact, make a totally bitchin' film.

Dennis | March 1, 2006 11:03 AM

Are electric sheep anything like the nuclear-powered dogs from Stephenson's Snow Crash?

My favorite Snow Crash scene: "I'm sure they will listen to reason."

Jaye | March 1, 2006 11:25 AM

I saw two copies of the Ghost Brigades for sale at the Barnes & Noble in Arden Fair in Sacramento.

Vicky | March 1, 2006 11:30 AM

I loved TGB. Steeped in tradition and great on its own.

Liviu Suciu | March 1, 2006 12:31 PM


Yesterday The Ghost Brigades arrived in the mail and I will start it ASAP, probably in parallel with what I am reading now (The Voyage of the Sable Keech and a reareading of the Earc of Choosers of the Slain). I want to make 2 points and hope you will agree:

1: I got OMW because of the Amazon excerpt. I like to try new writers both from here and from the UK if the topic sounds interesting (I like especially space opera and military sf) but I accumulated a huge pile of unread books so I try to get only the books I "really" want to read. OMW sounded interesting but the first page from the Amazon excerpt made it a must buy and read. Since the rest of the book fulfilled my expectations The Ghost Brigades became a buy on publication book.

2: Since Tor Webscriptions will launch soon, I hope to see Earcs there as in Baen Webscriptions (~5 months prepublication and priced similarly). I made this point yesterday in a Baen-Tor forum where several editors (Jim Baen, Patrick Nielsen Hayden) posted, namely that for books I really like I get both the Earc and the hc later when it is published and I gave you as an example where if available I would have got The Ghost Brigades as an Earc and I would get The Android's Dream too as an Earc and if as expected I like it as a hc later. I do not know what other people think about releasing Earcs but personally I see it as a great stream of revenue for both the writer and the publisher.

Liviu Suciu

Bill Schafer | March 1, 2006 12:45 PM

As one of the few to read TAD thus far, I can tell you, popcorn or no, it's my favorite of Scalzi's novels. The book's a hoot and three quarters.


Michael G. Richard | March 1, 2006 12:46 PM

Good luck with TLC (the learning channel?)!

Alex | March 1, 2006 12:54 PM

So what were the 20 words that needed changing? Are they related to the 7 words you can't say on TV or more innocuous?

John Scalzi | March 1, 2006 12:57 PM

The 20 words related to the timeframe in which the book takes place. We decided to make it rather closer to the current timeframe, so I went and replaced the word "centuries" with "decades" in a few places. When you read the book, you'll see why this makes some excellent sense.

Brandon | March 1, 2006 01:16 PM

Here's a TGB question. I don't think it spoils anything, but for those that want to be completely spoiler free, please move along.


Is the name Gabriel Brahe a nod to our friends at Penny Arcade? Yes, it fits the given naming convention, but when I read that particular combination, my thoughts immediately flew to PA.

John Scalzi | March 1, 2006 01:56 PM

And I like chocolate milk!

"Is the name Gabriel Brahe a nod to our friends at Penny Arcade?"


Brandon | March 1, 2006 02:35 PM

I knew it! Nothing gets by me.

Now, who's this Einstein person?

Bill Humphries | March 1, 2006 02:35 PM

Vonda had great fun with the squids in SF trope. Maybe you could do a mini site with all the sheep references.

FS | March 1, 2006 03:07 PM

What about John Brunner's The Sheep Look Up?

G. Jules | March 1, 2006 03:49 PM

Other SF sheep-age: Connie Willis's Bellwether.

John Pitzel | March 1, 2006 04:27 PM

Read TGB yesterday after work. Very enjoyable. Don't suppose you can work "Out of my way little robot" into TLC?

Scott | March 1, 2006 05:16 PM

Frankly, sheep have long been underrepresented in SF. That's gonna change, baby. That's gonna change.

Next thing you know, you're going to be on a panel with U. LeGuin talking about how upset you were that the SciFi network version replaced your sheep with goats. They ruined everything with that change. Sure they claim that it was species-neutrality, but species neutrality is the wrong stance in a non-species neutral text!

Mark | March 1, 2006 06:51 PM

Anyone remember the old contest F & SF had called "Ace Doubles"? For those not as chronologically gifted as myself Ace Doubles were two short novels publshed back to back, each with a separate cover and published by (surprise!) Ace. The idea was to choose the two most appropriate titles to be so published.

The winning entry was The Sheep Look Up (Brunner) coupled with Farmer in the Sky (Heinlein).

This completes the obligatory sheep in SF reference. Please resume discussing John Scalzi.

RooK | March 1, 2006 09:55 PM

I claim part of the Amazon ranking glory (although, admittedly, and eensy-weensy part) because I got impatient with Powell's City of Books and just ordered TGB online. Just got it, and is gooood.

Another day or so, and I'll start my consumer campaign demanding access to The Android's Dream and The Last Colony.

Chris D. | March 2, 2006 12:39 PM

Any idea when The Android's Dream will be available? I know it's way early to ask that, but maybe you have somewhat of a time frame?

I can't wait...

John H | March 4, 2006 06:24 PM

Just finished TGB this morning, and now I'm dying to try "I've come to test the theory that you are red-hot" as a pickup line...

Good read - quite the page-turner! Not to pressure you, but how soon 'til TLC comes out?

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)