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December 23, 2006

Greetings From the Politburo


To answer a couple of e-mails I've gotten about the John Hersey illustration accompanying the NYT Sunday Book Review article about me and my books, yes, I think it's supposed to be me, and as evidence of this, I have paired it above with what I suspect was its model, the picture on my bio page, in which I am glowering into the camera. Paired up as they are, you can see how you can get from one to the other. I suspect that this was all Mr. Hersey was given to go on, in terms of pictures of yours truly.

I kinda like it, although I also think it looks less like me and more like a cautionary tale of what I might look like in a quarter century if I don't go easy on the bacon and vodka. Somewhere else someone has described it as looking like a 60-year-old Russian gangster; I was thinking more of politburo type myself, which is six of one and half dozen of the other, I suppose. I also think it looks a bit like what might happen if Yul Brynner and I got into a bit of rough trade in the teleport pods from The Fly and then had our genes splice at a critical moment. I'm not sure that's really an image you want to conjure up, however.

It could be a lot worse, though, because for a while I've been thinking of replacing that photo on my bio page with this one:

Imagine what might have happened if poor Mr. Hersey had had to work with that.

Posted by john at December 23, 2006 03:48 PM

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Cassie | December 23, 2006 04:39 PM

I'd like the final product better. The olive/camo coloring does nothing for you, John.

Heather | December 23, 2006 04:40 PM

The Real You Shines Through!!!

Alex S. | December 23, 2006 05:00 PM

I notice he also made you a bit more pointy-headed than you are in actuality.

To date, my favorite "author photo" has Peter Watts' website photo. A close second is Neal Stephenson's from the back of Cryptonomicon

Michael Rawdon | December 23, 2006 08:23 PM

I think the pointy-headedness is why John said he needs to go easy on the vodka.

Soni | December 23, 2006 09:15 PM

Hmmm...I hypothesized over on BTW that the illustration was possibly meant to be Heinlein instead, given the heavy references to him in the piece and based on comparing the drawing with several images of Heinlein, including this promotional poster for the upcoming Heinlein centennial.

However, now that you place it side by side with your author pic, your resemblance to the illustration is inarguably strong.

Which has led me to conclude that no only are you going to be Heinlein's literary heir, but you're also apparently going to inherit his face. Enjoy!

Martin Wagner | December 24, 2006 05:46 AM

Yeah yeah yeah, Mr. New York Times Bigshot. Just remember your insolent mind will never rule this world! And stay away from Athena's cookies.

Patty Cryan | December 24, 2006 08:43 AM

Love the new background for the Whatever.

The drawing's kinda cool, too.

Chang, who gets nothing done... | December 24, 2006 11:18 AM

It looks kind of like a balded Putin with a little Scalzi thrown in.

There's got to be a Photoshop filter that will do this.

Adam Rakunas | December 24, 2006 04:33 PM

In Soviet Russia, author photo watches you!

(...sorry, that's the best I've got right now.)

Jon H | December 24, 2006 07:58 PM

That illo is just *dying* to be animated, perhaps in Flash, with sound.

Scalzi SPEAKS!

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