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November 05, 2006

One More Thought Before My Brain Once More Collapses Like a Flan in a Cupboard

You know what's nice to get? An e-mail from someone you truly like and respect, but who hasn't read your books before, complimenting you on your writing. Not that I don't like getting compliments on the writing from other people: Really, please feel free to pile on, because I might as well have a neon sign flashing "please feed the author ego." But when one receives sincere comment from from someone who knows you and who you care about, it's a good thing.

I'll tell you a funny story, which was Krissy's reaction right after she read Agent to the Stars. As most of you know, Agent was the first book I ever wrote, and when I handed it over to Krissy to read, she was rightfully filled with dread. Because what if she didn't like it? After all, she was married to me. And she certainly wasn't going to lie to me about whether she liked it. So she was in no small way actively dreading reading this mass of papers her husband was eagerly shoving toward her. So when she read it and liked it, her first emotion was relief. Because there was one really awkward marital bullet, well and truly dodged.

Of course, this only means that when I do write a book Krissy doesn't like, I'm in deep trouble. Because now she knows I can write well enough to make her happy. And she won't actually tolerate me not doing so. So basically you're never going to see any sort of novel from me that my wife is not 100% happy with. That's quality control, my friends.

All right, I'm done thinking for today.

Posted by john at November 5, 2006 10:40 AM

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Comments

Nathan | November 5, 2006 11:52 AM

Well, even though you don't know me from a hole in the ground, please allow me to pile on with the crowd who enjoyed TAD. Finished it last night and wished there were another dozen or so chapters.

I especially liked knowing that even though I like the OMW universe (and wait drooling for further installments), you're more than capable of creating other compelling characters and settings. (I know, ATTS was different, but that could have been a fluke). This tells me you'll be providing me with new entertainment for years to come.

Yes! It IS all about me.

So, cure your TB, get back to the keyboard and keep your quality control dept. busy.

Dan | November 5, 2006 12:11 PM

As a total stranger who's never read any of your novels, and as a person who generally avoids reading science fiction, I have to say that since I picked up The Android's Dream, I've had a genuinely hard time trying to put it down. It's an exceptionally well-written book. I really am having a good time reading it, and I'll probably read it again and again. And, that's a pretty rare thing for me to say about a novel.

John Scalzi | November 5, 2006 12:12 PM

Well, Dan, I certainly hope you tell other people you know who don't read science fiction to give it a try, too. I'd love to get more readers outside of the genre, and word-of-mouth is how it gets done.

me | November 5, 2006 01:07 PM

Well said, sir.

Tim Walker | November 5, 2006 01:08 PM

John: Your appeal for ego-feeding couldn't have been more timely, since I just finally read OMW -- and pimped it here. Keep up the good work!

Hugh | November 5, 2006 04:35 PM

Of course, this only means that when I do write a book Krissy doesn't like, I'm in deep trouble. Because now she knows I can write well enough to make her happy. And she won't actually tolerate me not doing so. So basically you're never going to see any sort of novel from me that my wife is not 100% happy with. That's quality control, my friends.

So I guess this means that Krissy is part of the female cabal that controls publishing these days? ;-)

Christian | November 5, 2006 04:38 PM

Well my wife doesn't like science fiction books, but she'll tolerate - sometimes even enjoy, a science fiction movie (she digs the Matrix films, but I think it's because Trinity kicks ass).

On many occasions I laughed out loud while reading Agent To The Stars, and inevitably Shelley would ask me what was so funny after each guffaw. I would repeat the process (many times) of sighing, closing the book halfway, and explaining:

"Well, the stinky alien glob just inhabited the body of a dog, and now he is checking his email on AOL".

"That doesn't sound that funny", she would respond.

"Well it's actually pretty damn hilarious, but you have to read the entire book honey".

Through osmosis, Shelley has become educated about "all things Scalzi" (and was kind enough to snap the picture earlier this week with Kevin Bacon taped to the cat). She though that was VERY funny.

Maybe we can make this a viral thing among gals. Now I can tell her that Agent to The Stars has the "Krissy Seal Of Approval", and that she must read it.

Steve Buchheit | November 5, 2006 04:51 PM

What's not to like about a literate author. You know, except for con"cat"onization of bacon products. Consider yourself the recipient of a "We're not worthy" wave.

Tim Keating | November 6, 2006 02:20 PM

An Eddie Izzard quote on the Whatever -- two great tastes that taste great together!

John Scalzi | November 6, 2006 02:27 PM

Man, I love me some Eddie Izzard.

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