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May 11, 2007

The "Back From the Tour Catching Up" Entry

Well, I'm back, and it's nice to be here. A couple of notes going in:

1. As many of you know, while I was on tour I answered pretty much only the e-mail I had coming in that related to the tour or immediate business that could not be put off (I put that in the automated response I had going out to folks). Today is in fact "respond to e-mail day" here in Scalzi land, so I will be combing through the couple thousand e-mails I got over the last couple of weeks, catching up and answering the e-mail I did not otherwise get to. So, if you've been waiting for an e-mail response from me since 4/23, today may be your lucky day.

However, if you do not get an e-mail response from me today re: an e-mail you sent between 4/23 and yesterday, and you were hoping for one, send me a new e-mail on the same subject later today or tomorrow, and I'll address it. Basically, I want to try to catch up on all my e-mail in one fell swoop.

2. I have a huge pile-up of author interviews to send out for Ficlets -- I lost track of them in the run-up to the tour, and didn't send out any questions while I was out. My plan is to catch up with them starting next week. The nice thing about the Ficlets blog is that the author interviews are not tied into any particular day, so I can have a veritable festival of author interviews over the next few weeks. Go me! So if you're an author who has been waiting for interview questions for me, they're coming, soon.

3. Most of you know that I will not be attending the Nebula Awards Weekend, which starts today, and during which it will be announced who won the SFWA elections. Once the election results are publicly announced, I'll post a comment here. As noted before, while I very much wanted to be at the Nebula Weekend, the timing with the end of my tour just doesn't work, and I prefer to be at home with my family this weekend.

4. Now that the tour is over, I'll be likely to start posting on other topics than my own damn self around here, because, you know, I'm a little tired of that topic. So, if you have any thoughts about what you'd like to see me write about over the next week or so, drop them in the comment thread. Think of it as a mini-request week; frankly I could use with some requests not related to me or to writing to jolt my brain out of its self-regarding rut. I thank you in advance.

Posted by john at May 11, 2007 08:33 AM

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Dan | May 11, 2007 08:44 AM

Can I make a request that you write about cupcakes and sundry yummy baked goods?

Shawn Powers | May 11, 2007 08:58 AM

Contrast the problems concerning chalkdust with the health concerns of white board marker fumes. Which is better, and why.

Ok, maybe that's too related to writing -- but you do have a stacked crowd here...

Shawn Powers | May 11, 2007 09:01 AM

Dog, cat, goldfish, or Obin -- which is the one, true pet.

Jon | May 11, 2007 09:15 AM

Something I wanted to ask you on your tour, but forgot: How do you come up with your aliens? They're pretty well realized, not just humans with funny foreheads. Do you have something remotely resembling a reliable process, or do they just come from Schenectady?

Jon | May 11, 2007 09:17 AM

That is somewhat writing related, sorry. As an alternative: Do you think the California voting machine inspection team is going to turn up anything hugely damning that will affect the use of these machines in other states? Or will it be business as usual?

Steve Buchheit | May 11, 2007 09:26 AM

What gardens and/or flowers do you plant around the Scalzi compound and what's your take on annual versus perennial?

Are MP3 players the death of CDs?

Ohio has been described at the "furthest West of the East, and the farthest North of the South." What's your take on that?

Paris Hilton is going to jail, career move or unfortuante setback?

We're seeing a resergance of "Union workers are draining profits" and "buy America." What are your observations on the current economy and the work place in America?

Chang, for rizzle. | May 11, 2007 09:34 AM

Pants or trousers?

Shorts of knickers?

Stun guns or handshakes?

These are the questions...

Good to have you back in the command chair, John. We missed you.

Jim Hall | May 11, 2007 09:51 AM

Coney dogs, or Pizza. If pizza what type, thin crust, deep dish, or regular crust.

RitaInHood | May 11, 2007 10:27 AM

If Yellowstone blows (it is, after all, an active volcano), what effects do you think would reach the Scalzi compound?

fuz | May 11, 2007 10:42 AM

Someone asked you a spoilerish question at your DC reading. At the time, having not read Last Colony yet, I was quite glad you told him you'd tell him later. Now I really want to know. I'm avoiding asking it again on the basis of spoilerage, but hopefully you'll remember what I speak of.

John Scalzi | May 11, 2007 11:08 AM

Clearly I was unclear on the "not about me or writing" concept.

Chang, for rizzle. | May 11, 2007 11:17 AM

Who's sexier: Obin, Nidu, Consu, Rraey or Doselle Young?

Annalee Flower Horne | May 11, 2007 11:17 AM

What's your take on the whole 'judge suing for 65 million dollars over lost pants' debacle? Horrible miscarriage of our legal system or just a tort-reform astroturf campaign?

Bob | May 11, 2007 11:32 AM

Hey John,

This isn't about you, though I guess it's about writing. What do you think about what happened to Lileks?

Megan | May 11, 2007 11:43 AM

The Vatican editing transcripts of the Pope's comments: practical PR, hypocrisy, divine inspiration, the path to damnation, or none of the above?

Adam Rakunas | May 11, 2007 11:45 AM

Ponies: awesome? Or really awesome?

Megan | May 11, 2007 11:53 AM

Tape: Scotch, masking, electrical, or duct?

Tom Grey | May 11, 2007 11:56 AM

I'm an addict of the Mid East -- what's happening in Iraq, Lebanon, Iran, Israel, etc.

Michael Totten, a far better writer than (a liberal who favored the Iraq war and is now doing citizen reporting from there) has a blog you might enjoy reading.

There was a question about whether Israel should attack Iran's nuke capability.

In my longish answer (the US should neutralize Iran's nukes first), I included the idea that Israel should either attack Iran -- or consider evacuation of Israel.

What do you think about evacuation before being nuked rather than not-fighting and greatly risk being nuked?

derf | May 11, 2007 12:06 PM

I was sorry to miss you in DC, but Monday my employer decided that Tuesday would be an excellent day for a business trip. Unfortunately, they sign the checks.

Shawn Powers | May 11, 2007 12:10 PM

derf - I'd say fortunately they sign the checks, otherwise payday would be much less fun.

(Yes, I knew what you meant, just feeling snarky on Friday.)

GO FRIDAY! w00h00!!!

Jeff Hentosz | May 11, 2007 12:41 PM

How about let's pack a box lunch, put on our best straw boaters and go to the moving pictures with John Scalzi!

Do you have any insider scoop on the relative merits of this summer's cinema blockbusters and/or sleepers?

WTF with CG cartoons, and is John Lasseter the paradoxical last, best hope for 2D animation?

What movies do you own and watch over and over, and watch on TV even though you do, in fact, own them?

fuz | May 11, 2007 01:35 PM

John Scalzi said:
"Clearly I was unclear on the "not about me or writing" concept."

No, I think I was just unclear on my "reading comprehension". Sorry!

TCO | May 11, 2007 01:43 PM

What's your take on Sawyer and his blog? It seems to me that the dude plugs himself so continuously that it's boring and slightly uncanny.

P.s. Hey, I'm not banned any more?!

Sally Lou Liz | May 11, 2007 01:43 PM

I've got a couple of questions.

Do you prefer dry heat or humid heat in the summer? And of course, why?

On a kind of writing note, I have a suggestion for a topic sometime. What do you think about female SF characters? I'm thinking, really, about older SF, such as how Heinlein portrayed his females, vs how someone like Asimov wrote his female characters. They had very different female characters, and as a woman reading SF, I find it fascinating how different male authors portray their female characters. Do you find it tough to write females? Was Jane Sagan hard to develop? Expiring minds need to know :)

Thanks :)

Jim Wright | May 11, 2007 01:59 PM

Okay, you want questions to stimulate the imagination. How about this?

Twenty years from now. Hollywood makes a semi-documentary movie of your life (and they will, oh they will). Working title: Scalzi: Man, Myth, Self-proclaimed King of the Blogsphere! The movie opens with a flashback to 2008 and you're tooling up the Pacific Coast Highway somewhere between LA and San Fransisco (for reasons that will be explained later) in a red 2007 Ford Mustang convertible. It's a beautiful smogless day in middle California and you're cruising with the top down, headed north, wind flowing smoothly over your shiny melon which is turning baboon-ass red from the sun (a fact you'll regret later in another flashback), a frosty can of coke-zero is in the cup holder. Krissy is riding shotgun and Athena is in the backseat with her hands up, hooting like a kid on a roller coaster as you top each hill at reckless speed and go momentarily weightless. You thumb the steering wheel control to tune the radio to a local station, squeal in delight as if you've just hit number 1 in Amazon rankings, and crank up the Bose(tm) six-speaker surround system to defending volume. This is the theme song to the movie.

So here's the question: What's the song?

Kevin Smith | May 11, 2007 02:19 PM

I just watched your presentation at Google from the book tour via You Tube and agree with your premise that an author's visibility can help separate them from their peers. I have just recently discovered "Whatever" and visit several times a week. I just bought "Old Man's War" over others on my wish list, that have been there longer, because I enjoy your writing and perspective so much.

On the flip side, I read an interview of a new author concerning his first novel and was disappointed by the way he came off in the interview. His book has gotten strong reviews but I will probably not buy it or even check it out from the library because of the way he presented himself in the interviews I have read.

So my question would be how do you determine which means of promoting yourself and your work are positive and keep yourself from falling into the same issues?

Bill | May 11, 2007 02:27 PM

Now that we've been broadcasting radio waves into space for over fifty years, do you think we'll have alien visitors within the foreseeable future? Do they exist at all? Are they already here? What is the most likely form of first contact- a kind, gentle Star Trek type or more of a "Nice planet. We'll take it" style?

Jeff P. | May 11, 2007 03:16 PM

Wow---not THE Kevin Smith?!

Mark Siegal | May 11, 2007 03:50 PM

I'd enjoy a post on personal experiments regarding environmental causes, such as eating local foods: No Impact Man, 100-Mile Diet, Barbara Kingsolver, Michael Pollan, etc.

Jason Summers | May 11, 2007 04:03 PM

To expand on part of Chang's question - boxers, briefs, boxer-briefs, thong, cache-sexe, commando? When and why? When not and why not?

Okay, a little about you, but not written by you - check out the Murderati blog for Wed. May 9 - one J. Scalzi and Agent to the Stars are the lead-in to the day's topic.

Ron | May 11, 2007 04:23 PM

This reader is curious to hear your learned opinions on the US Attorney firing scandal.

Old Jarhead | May 12, 2007 02:24 AM

In the Sclazi Produce pic you are waving what appears to be a Nikon DLSR. Which model, why did you choose it, what lenses, and your opinions of the Nikon

Joe Rybicki | May 12, 2007 09:42 AM

OK, maybe this isn't off-tour-topic enough, but after reading your Ficlets post about who's paying for the tour, I really want to know more about that "audition" you had to do. Sounds fascinating and terrifying and perhaps a little bit creepy.

Ray | May 14, 2007 09:21 AM

Greetings all,
Long time to post. I have been...well, rather busy.
I have a few suggestions for topics.
1) The plight of the Artist.
Is the plight of the artist self afflicted in order to create contrast to inspire art?

2) Death.
Let us explore the afterlife as a group. Is there existence beyond?

3) Ghost stories.
I know we all have some.

4) Ummmm...NASCAR? I think not..

5) Not whatever but...Whenever.

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