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November 03, 2006

University of Chicago Magazine Article

My alumni magazine printed up an article on me for its November/December issue; the online version is here. I'm already getting e-mails from fellow U of C folks; fortunately none of them so far have said "Christ, you've gotten bald since the last time I saw you." Although, generally speaking, that would be a true statement. Along with the article, incidentally, there's a lovely picture by Erica Hardesty showing just how bald I've gotten. Although, you know, that's not the primary focus of the picture. I'm going to stop talking about being bald now.

On to other news: Ethan my agent has gotten a sales statement from Tor which says that The Ghost Brigades is now officially earned out, and then some, which is good -- yay! -- but thanks to the dreaded reserve on returns I don't get any of my sweet, sweet royalty money until the next reporting period at the earliest -- boo! That's okay. I only would have spent it on something frivolous (cough) like new therapies (cough cough) for a my drug-resistant strain (hack cough hack) of tuberculosis.

Oh, look. I just barfed up a lung. Better stuff that back in.

Gaaaah! An e-mail just came in discussing my hair! I better quit now while I'm ahead.

Posted by john at November 3, 2006 03:28 PM

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Steve Buchheit | November 3, 2006 04:12 PM

Well, if you've already coughed up the lung, I guess you don't really need those therapies anymore.

Congrats on the article. Now lets start a poll to see how long it takes before the first, "wouldn't you like to give money to your nice Alma Mater" starts. I say, Saturday morning, before 11.

John Scalzi | November 3, 2006 04:18 PM

I contribute to the U of C anyway. They know that.

Scott Mactavish | November 3, 2006 04:25 PM

I'm very close to earn-out after a year of perpetual a.m. radio call-ins, B&N visits and internet give-aways.

I received a container of candy today from my editor, and immediately called to say 'thanks.'

ME: "Greatly appreciate the gesture...It's been a wild year, and I'm forever grateful to you for taking a chance on my book. The candy is a beautiful touch. Thank you."

EDITOR: "It's left-overs from Halloween, dumbass."

Scott Mactavish | November 3, 2006 04:26 PM

Thank you, thank you very much.

I'm here every Friday and Saturday...

Don't forget to tip your bartenders and waitresses.

Stephen G | November 3, 2006 04:28 PM

It's my understanding that baldness and tuberculosis are correlated.

Nick Stump | November 3, 2006 04:36 PM

It's a very nice article. I'm sure you're very pleased and should be. The Starbuck's writers really do crack me up. I couldn't write a grocery list in public. I have to go to my little room with no toys and sit in the dreaded chair.

Miscellaneous Steve | November 3, 2006 04:37 PM

It's my understanding that baldness and tuberculosis are correlated.

Crap. You mean my lungs are gonna go next?

Steve Buchheit | November 3, 2006 05:10 PM

Wait a sec, "Skip Drive" is for galaxy hopping? Huhn, that must have been in OMW. Only reading TGB I thought it was intra-galaxy.

Waltah | November 3, 2006 05:57 PM

"It's my understanding that baldness and tuberculosis are correlated."
Hmmm. If thats true then a couple tubes of Rogaine should clear that cough right up!

Chang who is naturally defoliating | November 3, 2006 06:10 PM

Bald is the new hirsute. Hair is for suckers who can't handle the responsibility of being a clean dome.

It's just that the more evolved are losing their hair. And gaining testoterone. Ha!

Adam Ziegler | November 3, 2006 08:07 PM

As if Mr. Scalzi's ego needed additional fluffing. Bunch of superfluous ego fluffers over there at UofC Alumni Magazine, so it seems. Let this be notice to them that we have the ego fluffing well in hand right here.

Seriously, congrats. Nice write up.

Cassie | November 3, 2006 08:24 PM

Two questions.

1. What's AB, etc. after the names?

2. What's the number 1 blog entry?

And gee, we have to call it "The Whatever" now? Doesn't that miss the point?

Lee | November 3, 2006 09:31 PM

Reading your contemplation of losing hair, taping bacon to the cat and other ruminations, I'm wondering if you get an electric shaver as a gift that you might use it to shave the cat. Alternatively, have you considered using the cat to cover your dome? It might look better than the roadkill on top of Donald Trump's head.

P.S. No offense on your balding head. It is a fact of life for most men.

Tom Nixon | November 3, 2006 11:05 PM

1. What's AB, etc. after the names?

It's the nerd way of saying Bachelor of Arts. There are a few universities out that still use that designation instead of more common BA.

Tom Nixon

Mark DF | November 3, 2006 11:18 PM

We're John's fluffers? Does Krissy know? I thought John was an sf author, not an evangelical leader.

Alison B. | November 4, 2006 12:11 AM

Congrats on the article! Finally, something interesting to read in the alumni rag.

Don't forget to carry a dainty handkerchief for your tuberculosis, and be prepared to sing a long aria as you expire in the last act.

Scott Mactavish | November 4, 2006 08:26 AM

Alison B.- Good one.

The 16th Ohio Battery took heavy casualties and the men ran far and wide to dodge the Rebel lead following down like hell-rain. For days, the brave men of the 16th hid in the frozen wilderness and awaited respite from the elements.
Scalzi, Uncle Hoot and Jimmy Altizer huddled under a pine shelter along the banks or the mighty Huron; a dense, frozen rain pelted the primitive roof of their shebang.
Scalzi lay prone on the frozen ground, wheezing teribly, while Uncle Hoot tended to his fever. Jimmy Altizer, merely a boy at fifteen, stared blankly across the Huron, longing for his mother's corncakes and gravy.
Suddenly, Scalzi buckled and hacked and expelled a stringy black mucus that made Hoot gag. Scalzi became instantly calm, and stared serenley at the shebang ceiling. Hoot turned to Jimmy.
"It's time, I reckon."
Jimmy pulled a rusted Jew's Harp from his ruck, and began plucking out Amazing Grace. Hoot tapped his foot in perfect time against an ammo box.
"Go ahead, son. It's your time. Don't have no fear, boy. It's good there."
Scalzi's eyes focused, and a smile spread between his whiskers.
"Thanks, Hoot. I... I..."
"Go ahead, son. Go ahead."
"I regret..." wheezed Scalzi, "that I have only two lungs to give to Ohio."
With that, he expired, and Hoot and Jimmy wept.
And then, a cat with bacon taped to it entered the shebang, and Hoot and Jimmy set upon it and devoured it, bacon and all. They stripped Scalzi bare, packed up their posessions and his, and set forth for New Orleans, where they opened a successful chain of bordellos called "Crabby's."


G. Jules | November 4, 2006 09:21 AM

Hey, some of us Starbucks writers actually have a reason for being there. I spend a lot of time on the road for work, and if it's a choice between writing in a hotel room with mass-marketed "artwork" on the walls and writing in a Starbucks? I'll go for the Starbucks every time. They've got food, and caffiene, and semi-decent lighting. (Or a Panera, for preference. More seating options, and free WiFi.)

Some of us don't write at Starbucks because we want to have hot monkey sex with a barrista -- we write at Starbucks because home is a six hour plane flight away. *shrug*

John Scalzi | November 4, 2006 09:29 AM

Oh, sure. Muddy the picture with your logic.

G. Jules | November 4, 2006 09:31 AM

I hear logic is the new black.

Scott Mactavish | November 4, 2006 09:42 AM



Mary Anne Mohanraj | November 4, 2006 01:23 PM

I write in coffeeshops about half the time because when I write at home, I often end up doing dishes or reorganizing closets instead.

Also, I like the white noise of cafe chatter; it fills up the part of my brain that gets over-critical and editorial.

Lesley Kim Grossblatt | November 6, 2006 01:00 PM

Cool blog. I will always remember you from a class we had together where I believe (or maybe I just made this up) you were drinking a screwdriver in an umarked plastic bottle made to look like plain OJ. Congratulations on your success and hope it continues.

John Scalzi | November 6, 2006 01:07 PM

Lesley Kim Goldblatt:

" I will always remember you from a class we had together where I believe (or maybe I just made this up) you were drinking a screwdriver in an umarked plastic bottle made to look like plain OJ."

Hey, Lesley!

That's a great story, but since I don't drink (and didn't then), it may have just been regular OJ. With 14 No-Doz crushed into it.

I still haven't come down.

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