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December 18, 2006

Housekeeping Notes

A couple of notes relating to the Whatever, books and what have you:

1. First, for those of you who are still thinking having your name inserted into the limited edition of "The Sagan Diary," as members of the doomed (but valiant!) Company D, Subterranean is planning to send the book to the printer very soon now, and we have to close the text, so we know what we have for printing. What this means is that you have until Friday to get your name in the book. The limited and trade editions of "The Sagan Diary" will still be available after that date, but since they'll have been printed up, we'll not be able to add in any more names. So, you know. If you want you name in, now's the time.

Remember you can also choose to have someone else's name put in if you're planning to give "The Sagan Diary" as a gift -- just drop a note to the Subterranean folks with your order.

2. I've noted before that I've been receiving an increase in spam comments, so I went into the innards of Moveable Type and really jacked up the spam rankings of IPs and domains that are known to have spam shooting out of them. Hopefully this will keep more of the spam comments from landing on the site, and stuck in moderation and junk queues where they belong. Be that as it may, I'm not entirely what the effects will be for actual posters. So far I don't see any real comments being shunted into moderation or junk queues, but it's early yet. I'll be monitoring both moderation and junk queues during the day to see how it's affecting genuine posters, if at all. If you want to post some comments to aid me in this quest, by all means go right ahead.

3. I may be fiddling with the design of the Whatever in the next couple of days, because I'm going through one of my periodic "I'm kinda bored with the look of my site" phases. So if it looks occasionally weird over the next few days you'll know why. Just trying to give you all a warning, is all.

4. A couple of people have asked me if I'm planning to repost my Christmas story "Sarah's Sister"; the answer is no, because it's already got a permanent location here. No reposting required. For those of you who are new since last Christmas, "Sarah's Sister" is a Christmas-themed story I wrote a couple of years ago, and it's fairly atypical of my writing, in that it's not written for snark. Indeed, it was written with the specific intent of making my mother-in-law cry like a little girl. And I'm pretty sure she did. So there you have it. Also, fair warning: You may get weepy. I do, and I wrote it.

Posted by john at December 18, 2006 12:05 PM

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Throbotron 6000 | December 18, 2006 12:26 PM

This is crap, Scalzi! I'm a hard working robot that just happens to care about helping people maintain giant erections, and now you're sicking the software on me??? Do the flacid phalluses of the masses count for nothing?? If you try to arouse them, and they remain limp, do they not feel shame? I waggle my circuitry at you in derision, sir. This is a sad day for all american robots.

Good day,
Nigerian Erectobotxxx 3934868956

Chris | December 18, 2006 12:36 PM

Should I be scared of the massive line of co-ordinated comments following that story? Because it's either a massive quote conspiracy or a LOT of spam comments.

Liz | December 18, 2006 01:11 PM

I'm not sure this will be considered spam or not.

How do you kill a circus?

Go for the juggler!

(you might delete this on principle, frankly...)

John Scalzi | December 18, 2006 01:12 PM

I fixed that.

David "The Longtime Lurker" | December 18, 2006 01:34 PM


John Scalzi | December 18, 2006 01:37 PM

Don't push it, David.

Nathan | December 18, 2006 02:00 PM


Its Viag-arrrrrgh

Anything else is piratically incorrect.

Jon | December 18, 2006 02:17 PM

Have you tried Akismet?

Chang who love eat brainz! | December 18, 2006 02:19 PM

see alice

vie acra

pince nez

MWT | December 18, 2006 02:26 PM

Hmmm... I recently got redirected to a "since this is your first post, it's stuck in a holding pen until the proprietor gets around to looking" message, even though it wasn't actually my first post.

So here's another one that's also not a first post. Let's see if it gets through. :)

Paul M. | December 18, 2006 03:41 PM

Thanks for the reminder the deadline was coming up. Order in!

Janice in GA | December 18, 2006 04:19 PM

Ok, I hadn't read Sarah's Sister before. Now I'm crying like a girl.


JD | December 18, 2006 04:23 PM

Thanks for making me cry at work you bastard.

John Scalzi | December 18, 2006 04:26 PM

Hey, I warned you.

Gillian | December 18, 2006 04:48 PM

This is a comment to aid you in your quest. I would work instead of sending meaningless comments, but I am overdosing on chocolate, Chanukah and Batman movies.

Dave Klecha | December 18, 2006 05:27 PM

This is a random post from a Wi-Fi hotspot intended to test the spam filtering.

Otherwise, there's not much point in reading it.

Are you still?

Good, then can I interest you in some enhancement...?

Blue Valentine | December 18, 2006 06:13 PM

Are we really supposed to call it "the" Whatever? Has that always been the case? I mean, of course, it's your blog, etc., but the addition of a "the" seems to turn an otherwise nonchalant, devil-may-care, anything-can-happen-and-very-well-might title into something, well, less so. It's like you're christening a ship instead of founding a new land.

John Scalzi | December 18, 2006 07:04 PM

Personally, I switch between "Whatever" and "the Whatever" on a whim, so if you just prefer "Whatever," you know, whatever.

Lisa | December 18, 2006 08:11 PM

An awesome story, John!

Yes, I cried... but at least I knew enough not to read it at work.

Chang who love eat brainz! | December 18, 2006 08:18 PM

Hey, is this the wrong place to mention that it's my birthday today? hee hee hee

Soni | December 18, 2006 08:23 PM

Chang, I was under the impression that brain-eating zombies didn't age. Why the celebration of solar circuits?

Chang, who gets nothing done... | December 18, 2006 09:21 PM

You're right. ZOmbies are forever. It's just the brainz that age.

I celebrate the year of my zombification. So I am... 38 in human years, and 18 in zombie.

I love brainz.

Steve Buchheit | December 18, 2006 09:27 PM

Happy, happy, Chang.

I would say, "BRAINZ on me," but I seem to be fresh out.

Lisa | December 18, 2006 09:32 PM

Happy Birthday Chang!

May your BRAINZ be forever fresh and delicious!

Nathan | December 18, 2006 09:43 PM

Happy B-Day Chang.

And unlike that Steve guy, I'm happy to provide. (Hope you've got a fork!)


Adam Ziegler | December 18, 2006 10:20 PM

I thought the Throbotron was funny.

Yanni | December 19, 2006 11:50 AM

Re #4

I should not have read it at work. Absolutely should not. All the guys are asking me if I'm okay now. Darn you John!

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