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May 19, 2007

Old & New


Here's an interesting contrast of things that came in the mail today: First, the Japanese version of Old Man's War, and underneath that, a photocopy of a story collection of mine from 1984 -- which, for those of you too lazy to do the math, was when I was but a callow sophomore in high school. I personally had no copies of these stories, but my friend Natasha, who did, sent me copies as a birthday present, because she rocks.

How are the stories, you ask? Well, pretty much exactly how you would expect stories from a 15-year-old boy who thought he was pretty damn clever would be (there's a reason that in my advice to teen writers I make the notation that at their age, their writing pretty much sucks). Don't worry, I won't subject you to these stories. Be that as it may, it's nice to have copies for my own archival purposes. Incidentally, this picture also confirms my story that that werd-ass signature of mine was something I worked on since I was a teenager; you can see a proto-version on the cover sheet there.

As for the Japanese copies of OMW, I note that it's interesting that in the cover art the female soldiers' nipples are protruding despite the fact she's apparently wearing full body armor; those are some nipples, I'd have to say. It's exciting to have these copies nevertheless. Now I have copies of OMW in every language in which is it published, except Chinese, Bulgarian, and Polish. Which reminds me, in case I forgot to mention it: I sold OMW and TGB in Polish. Go OMW.

One other publishing bit of note, regarding "The Sagan Diary": The trade edition of TSD sold out its entire 2,000-copy first printing, which is pretty nice considering it's a novelette, and there's enough of a continuing demand that Subterranean has run a 1,500-copy second printing. If you kick in the 400-copy print run of TSD's limited edition (a few of which are still available, incidentally), that means that there are now more copies of "The Sagan Diary" (3,900) than there are of the first printing of Old Man's War (3,800). I think that's pretty cool.

Posted by john at May 19, 2007 05:08 PM

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Schloi | May 19, 2007 05:48 PM

protruding nipples are all the rage I guess, makes the book sell better I suppose
though you would think that the nipples being that obviously protruding would bother the other soldiers

Foreign copies of OMW is the coolest thing ever by the way

PixelFish | May 19, 2007 06:01 PM

No wonder you told me to keep an eye on my first edition OMW. (Now if only I can find it and The Last Colony--we moved and they are the only two Scalzi books we haven't uncovered yet, I think.)

Mary Robinette Kowal | May 19, 2007 06:14 PM

Aw c'mon. You won't even give us the first page of one of theses sophomoric stories? What fun is that?

John Scalzi | May 19, 2007 06:39 PM

I don't want your eyeballs to bleed.

Kendall | May 19, 2007 07:07 PM

Cool cover! For the 5th anniversary cover redesign of the U.S. version of OMW, please ask for green-skinned soldiers on the cover. ;-)

Chang, for rizzle. | May 19, 2007 07:07 PM

I hear that.

I found some writing of mine from those days when my parents recently moved. They brought up boxes of notebooks, most a quarter filled with notes and doodles. Seemed I had a premature ejection problem at that age. I quit stories way too early.

Good thing, though. They were made of mighty sucketh.

Ron Hogan | May 19, 2007 07:17 PM

That cover's so cool, I'm almost disappointed they didn't do an OMW manga.

Dan | May 19, 2007 11:34 PM

Your signature reminds me of that weird crystal spaceship in the old Battlestar Galactica series. Remember that thing? It zoomed up behind them with some sort of odd noise and turned their brown suede jackets white.

Jenny Rae Rappaport | May 20, 2007 02:10 AM

Ron, the cover totally reminds me of all the manga ones that are out there in Japan.

Rhiannon_S | May 20, 2007 08:34 AM

The Armour was obviousl desgined by Joel Schumacher. It's the only explanation.

Bob Wall | May 20, 2007 02:22 PM

Hmm, I am going to Poland in July. What would you trade for a Polish copy?? :)

John Scalzi | May 20, 2007 04:01 PM

Heh. Well, contractually they're obliged to give me copies. So I'm good. But thanks.

Kate | May 20, 2007 06:31 PM

What is the first edition of the OMW anyway? I do have a hard copy edition with the cool old guy on the front and the weird bald guy on the back cover flap, but I'm not sure if it's first.

Kate | May 20, 2007 06:33 PM

Nevermind. I'm a moron and couldn't find the page that had the info on it.

Says its a first.

John Scalzi | May 20, 2007 06:45 PM

Kate, some first editions are selling for $500 - $600 already. So you might to keep hold of that.

Kate | May 20, 2007 08:13 PM

You already personalized it :)

It's not going anywhere.

Mine. Mine. Mine.

Austin Loomis | May 21, 2007 10:26 AM

My kanji dictionary lets me decipher the Japanese title as Rôjin to Uchû — literally The Old Man and the Cosmos. And yes, Ron and Jenny, there ought to be a CDF manga. (There was a Starship Troopers anime and a Forever War bande dessinée, after all.)

David Huff | May 21, 2007 10:47 AM

Mmmmm...Mil-Spec nipples

Muneraven | May 21, 2007 11:10 AM

Scalzi said "it's interesting that in the cover art the female soldiers' nipples are protruding despite the fact she's apparently wearing full body armor; those are some nipples, I'd have to say."

No no no. The body armor is a luxury model with extra roomy nipple compartments built-in. You know, like extra leg-room in a fancy car. You want your elite female soldiers comfortable you know.

Jim | May 21, 2007 01:38 PM

Speaking of signing, when are you going to show up in western New York?

ship | May 21, 2007 03:47 PM

ya know, the first time the japanese cover was posted, i said "am i mistaken or can you see jane's nipples in that picture?" well, someone corrected me and said "ship, i think you're mistaken." i knew there were nips there! i knew it!!!

Brian | May 22, 2007 03:40 PM

Not to be too much of a fanboy nerd, but I don't recall CDF soldiers actually using armor at all. Wasn't the normal combat wear that stretchy nano-bot stuff?

In which case, protuding nipples are probably not unusual at all.

ajay | May 23, 2007 01:07 PM

Kryten: Now then, my nipples don't work.
Lister: Er, in what way `don't work'?
Kryten: Well, uh, when I was a mechanoid, the right nipple-nut was used to, uh, regulate body temperature, while the left nipple-nut was used mainly to, uh, pick up shortwave radio transmissions. Now, what I'm saying is, no matter how hard I twiddle it, I can't seem to pick up Jazz FM.

John Scalzi | May 23, 2007 01:13 PM


Fanboy nerd!

Anyway, the woman on the Japanese cover is clearly wearing armor.

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