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February 08, 2007

French Art, Bulgarian Sales


Not sure that I actually showed off the cover to the French-language version of Old Man's War, so: Here it is. I don't know if this is original art or art snitched from elsewhere; what's going on in the artwork is close enough to an actual scene in the book that may be art done for the book. That would be lovely. Of course, if you recognize it from something else, let me know.

Also, some nice news: We've sold the rights to OMW and The Ghost Brigades in Bulgaria. Bulgaria! This pleases me immensely; I like the idea of the book hanging out in Sofia. I hear it's a lovely city. That's the eighth foreign language sale for OMW and the fifth for TGB. Nifty. Много благодаря, Bulgaria!

Posted by john at February 8, 2007 01:14 PM

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Nathan | February 8, 2007 02:08 PM

And I suppose you expect us to believe it's complete coincidence that you introduced us to the musings of Stan Goff mere hours before demonstrating, once again, your inroads into foreign cultures.

Where are you keeping your USAID contract hidden?


John Scalzi | February 8, 2007 02:11 PM

I can neither confirm nor deny your outrageous accusation, Nathan.

Also, when the CIA shows up to "talk" to you, tell Agent Percy I said hello, and that you should get the "lightly toasted" treatment. Trust me, you'll thank me afterward.

CJ | February 8, 2007 02:14 PM

Of course, in the Gallic version of your book, they will again change their massive breakfasts. Bowls of coffee and fresh croissants for all!

I also think they should be stomping snails instead of one inch tall humanoids when Jean finally cracks.

Matt Jarpe | February 8, 2007 02:19 PM

And the CDF forces will be given enhanced surrendering capabilities.

Malcolm Tredinnick | February 8, 2007 02:20 PM

The title seems to have lost some meaning, though (or my French translation skills are atrophying): "The old man and the war"?! Does the same company publish The Lorax as "The purple guy and some trees"?

John Scalzi | February 8, 2007 02:22 PM

Considering that the Russian title is "Doomed to Victory," I'm not entirely sure that "The Old Man and the War" is the most variant of possible titles.

Martin Wisse | February 8, 2007 03:18 PM

It's actually a good title, sort of Hemingwayesque.

Steve Buchheit | February 8, 2007 03:20 PM

Mmmm. Lightly toasted Nathan.

Bulgaria? Don't you have to ad "Moose and Squirel" for that market?

Chang, father of pangolins | February 8, 2007 03:29 PM

Congratulations, John! I think you need to take Krissy and Athena on a Gallic book tour. Then find a little chalet in the same town as Robert Crumb and hang out with the other ex-pats.

I have to say, everybody is much funnier than I am today. I'm not sure what it is. Perhaps the view from my new home is so spectacular that it has made me boring. Perhaps I was never funny to begin with.

BTW, I'm re-reading TGB just because my wife hasn't picked it up yet. Can't wait to see the translations of that title.

Annalee Flower Horne | February 8, 2007 03:40 PM

That is extremely pretty. I think it's my favorite OMW cover art yet. Something about the figure in the foreground, I think.

Anonymous | February 8, 2007 03:57 PM

Matt Jarpe

"And the CDF forces will be given enhanced surrendering capabilities."


Chang, father of pangolins | February 8, 2007 04:02 PM

In the French version, does the CDF plant trees on a nice Boulevard on Phoenix so the Consu can march in the shade?

John Scalzi | February 8, 2007 04:05 PM

So, you all trying to make sure my French publisher never wants to work with me again?

Chang, father of pangolins | February 8, 2007 04:11 PM

Oh, shoot sorry. We all know the CDF would just end up seeing the error of their ways and... oh I'm just back-pedaling here. I apologize to the people of France. Our good friends who helped us be free of the frigging British.

(how's things with your British publisher, John?)

Queenie | February 8, 2007 04:56 PM


One of my favorite books in my first language. Thank you Scalzi. Be prepared for OMW to hit Bulgaria's bestseller list. Bulgaria, watch out.

John Scalzi | February 8, 2007 05:09 PM

Well, you know, Queenie. I did it for you specifically!

Nathan | February 8, 2007 05:13 PM

No offense intended, but just how many books does one have to sell to be #1 in Bulgaria?

*Aside* I'll be right back Mr. Percy.

You're friends are nice, Mr. Scalzi.

Adam Rakunas | February 8, 2007 07:24 PM

He was an old man who fought alone on a planet and he had gone eighty-four days without killing a Consu. In the first forty days another soldier had been with him. But after forty days without a kill the soldier's superiors had told him the old man was now definitely and finally salao, which is the worst form of unluck, and the soldier had gone at their orders in a skipship which had made three thousand good kills in the first week. It made the soldier sad to see the old man come in each day with his ammo block full and he went down every day to help him recalibrate his BrainPal or carry the extra war suit furled around his Empee. The war suit was patched with Willy Wheelie posters, and, furled, it looked like a flag advertising oil changes.

Matt | February 9, 2007 01:48 AM

Have you done a tally of language translations of your books? Will it be translated to Klingon too?

I guess you still have about a hundred versions left to do.

grhm | February 9, 2007 03:03 AM

Sofia, lovely? Not the bits I saw on the way from the airport to the ski resort we were going to. Not that airports are ever in the prettiest areas of town.

My memories of the quisine seem to consist of stuffed vine leaves and tough.

The beer was fabulous and cheap though.

This trip also ended in the worst return flight home. Fog had closed Sofia airport and the only other airport in Bulgaria. The travel company then bused us to GREECE to meet our plane as that's where our plane diverted to. 8hrs non-stop on a freezing Bulgarian coach on terrible roads with no food or drink. The only consolation was that the Greeks wouldn't let the Bulgarian coaches cross the border so we transfered to warm, comfortable, modern greek coaches for the last part to the airport. The looks on the faces of the new skiers as they had to transfer in the other direction still makes me laugh.

grhm | February 9, 2007 03:04 AM

"stuffed vine leaves and tough meat" - Doh!

Chang who gots flavor | February 9, 2007 10:57 AM

And now the discussion ends in slagging another country. groan...

SFC SKI | February 11, 2007 12:07 AM

Please let me know if your books are ever published in Arabic. The best way to learn or maintain a foreign language is find subjects that you enjoy reading about in English, but written in the foreign language. Alas, it's hard to find modern English novels translated into Arabic, though Shakespeare, John Steinbeck, and Hemingway are fairly easy to find.

John Scalzi | February 11, 2007 12:10 AM

I'd love to be published in Arabic. No offers yet, however.

grhm | February 12, 2007 06:36 AM

Chang said...

And now the discussion ends in slagging another country. groan...

I don't believe I slagged off Bulgaria.

I related my experiences in Bulgaria, and my opinion of the parts of Sofia I saw (not lovely at all, but I caveated that), food I received (which was not to my taste) and the beer (which was).

I made no reference to the rest of the country or to it's people. The people, incidently, were very helpful, friendly and pleasant. (The english holiday reps less so!). Do I blame Bulgaria or the people for the fog or the terrible bus journey we had to endure - no.

This all happened within a few years of the fall of the communist regime and the country had obviously suffered. It was a stark contrast to my comfy life in the UK.

I would recommend Chang goes there himself so he can make his own mind up about the place (if he's not already done so). The Bulgarians will be delighted to have him I'm sure.

I could also regail you with poor return journeys from places all over Europe, Geneva being another particularly memorable one, but that wouldn't be me slagging off Switzerland, it would be me telling a small anecdote from my life.

I now leave much saddened.

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