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April 11, 2007

The Last Colony Review in the Pioneer Press

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Hmmm. Looks like I'll have to send my legions of angry spider monkeys to harass this critic:

The good news? 'Colony' is good and hard. The bad news: It isn't quite as much fun. OK, I understand Scalzi could only take the geezer-turned-buff-warrior gimmick so far. But the new novel seems a bit humorless as it pits its heroes against a quasi-Borg adversary amid tiresome astropolitical intrigue.

Blasphemy! Fly, my spider monkeys! Fly!

(Note: please don't actually harass this critic. For one thing, you're not a spider monkey. So far as I know. And if you are, you're not one that is part of my angry legions. Trust me, I know how all my angry spider monkeys write. Please, people, leave the harassing to the professional angry spider monkey legions. It's their job. They know how to do it.)

My thoughts on the review? It's fine. I'm now far enough along in my SF writing career that people have their favorite books of mine, which is good, but also means that other books that don't hit the same combination of pleasure buttons in the same way aren't going to be enjoyed as much by that person. Since this is the way I approach books by my favorite authors, I can't be surprised when not everyone loves every book equally, either. This is why I point out this particular review, in fact; it's a reminder that you're not going to please everyone (and certainly not every critic) all the time. Sounds like this guy might like The High Castle when it comes out, however; it's pretty damn funny so far. That is, if my legions of angry spider monkeys don't get to him first.

As long as we're talking The Last Colony, a quick reminder that Tower.com is still accepting questions for their interview with me, and by submitting a question you'll be eligible for their contest, in which they are giving away signed copies of The Last Colony (signed by me, even) to five lucky queriers. Yes, "querier" is a real word. I looked it up.

Posted by john at April 11, 2007 10:42 AM

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Comments

Chang, the real O.C. | April 11, 2007 10:57 AM

FUCKING SPOILERS!!! FUCK!

Ahem. But seriously. fuck. I want to know nothign about this until I have it in my greedy paws.

Jon | April 11, 2007 11:01 AM

Chang: good idea. That way you'll be surprised at Patrick Stewart replacing John Perry in this book.

John Scalzi | April 11, 2007 11:02 AM

There are no spoilers there, Chang. At least, there's nothing in that paragraph that I haven't talked about here. Also, for reasons that will become evident when you read the book, I think the fellow's characterization of the enemy is not quite correct.

You're fine, in other words.

RooK | April 11, 2007 11:05 AM

Spoiler spoiling? You start down a wearyingly iterative road, John.

Steve Buchheit | April 11, 2007 11:19 AM

I gave up my professional status for Lent, although I still carry my Angry Spider Monkey Union Card. They offer good healthcare. So now, not only am I an Unprofessional Angry Spider Money (union, not legion) I am also querier. This day just isn't going well at all.

John Scalzi | April 11, 2007 11:21 AM

Sounds like you got out just before the stop-gap law was enacted, there, Steve. All the members of my angry spider monkey legions are now on 15-month tours. This explains why they're so angry.

A.R.Yngve | April 11, 2007 11:24 AM

Ah, but have you got your own stalker yet? The ultimate sign of success is that weird people start following you around (you know, just like being president of the SFWA)...
;-)

John Scalzi | April 11, 2007 11:25 AM

Hell, I got my first stalker when I was a film critic, more than a decade ago.

Steve Buchheit | April 11, 2007 11:32 AM

"15-month tours" Hmm, wow, this may convert them all to Crazy Scheechy Monkey status. I mean, flinging poo can be fun, but after about 8 months of that it starts to wear thin, and then you realize that you hands are just getting stinky. But that's why I'm in the union instead of the legion, we have defined periods of poo flinging. Any poo flung after that time is paid on a banana and a half basis.

Chang, the real O.C. | April 11, 2007 11:56 AM

I never heard nothing about no frigging borg (the nurse came with my anti-swearing meds so I should be fucking fine for the rest of the day). But if you say so... I've been purposely avoiding spoilers to keep my mind phresch.

I've had a stalker. It's not nearly as cool as it sounds. Kind of sucks, actually.

Tatiana | April 11, 2007 12:50 PM

"Hell, I got my first stalker when I was a film critic, more than a decade ago."

Do tell.

Todd Stull | April 11, 2007 01:16 PM

If you do hire on some more angry spider monkeys, I'd like to submit my resume. I also double as a stunt man, so if you need someone to fill in for you when you make a break onto the silver screen, I'm there as well.

Jim Wright | April 11, 2007 01:29 PM

So, by my count Scalzi has 1 wife, 1 kid, 1 dog, 3 cats, 5 clones (including the worthless twirling slacker), and 1 legion of spider monkeys (with a legion being roughly anywheres between 4000 and 6000 individuals). This would explain the size of the Scalzi Compound, but I imagine the continuous shrieking of the monkeys still annoys the hell out of the neighbors - that and the continuous rumble of the heavy trucks delivering monkeychow day and night. And the smell...

I spent a couple of months working out of Balboa, Panama - the shrieking of howler monkeys in the jungle was the weirdest, hair-raising sound I've every heard. I understand spider monkeys are a bit quieter, except when they're tearing a critic to pieces...

Cassie | April 11, 2007 02:03 PM

But how many zombies does John have?

Fred Kiesche | April 11, 2007 02:03 PM

Hey, I got my first stalker a few months ago. What fun!

Seriously, though, are any of the online sellers (e.g., Tower) doing autographed copies. Never mind a contest (which I'd never win), I'll pay cash on the barrelhead for an autographed copy.

Buck | April 11, 2007 02:07 PM

When I was a kid, these really weird people down the street had a pet spider monkey. It was in a cage in the basement, and was as vile and wretched creature as one would imagine of an intelligent, social primate after being chained in a dungeon for who knows how many years.

Legions of spider monkeys, even those not consigned to an oubliette, would be scary if sicced upon one.

John Scalzi | April 11, 2007 02:07 PM

Fred:

It seems likely that some of the independent bookstores I'll be visiting on the tour will be selling signed stock after I've been there. Also, of course, you can order the book from any of the booksellers I'm visiting on the tour and ask them to have me sign the book; I'll be happy to do so.

Steve Buchheit | April 11, 2007 03:36 PM

Fred, plus you could track Scalzi down at a convension and ask him to sign it. Sure, he may make you walk down a long hallway and sing, "I'm a little tea-pot" in front of a video camera to demonstrate his California Ninja Mind Control Powers to an interviewer before he signs the book, after borrowing your pen, but it's worth it. Really. :)

Paul M. | April 11, 2007 04:38 PM

Fred: Uncle Hugo's in Minneapolis will even take a pre-order TODAY for the amazing Scalzi handwriting on a copy of Colony.

John: I've met Julio at my neighbors (they used to work together). The appropriate action here is to lend him my copy of TAD one day next week when I'm in downtown St. Paul on jury duty, and take it back when he's only a couple of chapters in.

Fred Kiesche | April 11, 2007 08:18 PM

I'll give Uncle Hugo's a gander. As for conventions, I gave them up for Lent, in 1981 or thereabouts!

Now I just haunt author's online. And I have my very own stalker! How cool is that? Now all I need is a drugged-out girlfriend and I'm set for E!

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