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June 16, 2007

Me News 6/16/07

Quick Stuff:

* To everyone who's sending me e-mail about Marc Andreessen's list of the Top Ten Science Fiction Writers of the 00's: Yes, I've seen it, and yes, it's cool that the guy who invented the Web browser likes my stuff. And while one can argue whether the ten he lists are actually the ten best SF writers of the young century (so far, as Andreessen himself notes), it's a damn fine list of writers. It's clear generally speaking that Andreessen likes the harder SF stuff (it's also clear this list is really about SF, not fantasy). And, even if as a matter of conflict of interest I leave myself out this particular statement, I think Andreessen's correct that "this crew is arguably more insightful, more interesting, higher intensity, and bolder than many (but not all!) of their predecessors" -- which is to say, some of the best writers in the history of science fiction are writing right now, and if you're missing out, well, then, you're missing out.

One thing I do notice, perhaps as an artifact of the particular flavor of SF that Andreessen seems to like, is that there are no women on that list is only one woman on the list (Update: my commenters tell me Chris Moriarty is a woman. Whoops). Marc, if you wander past this entry at any point, if you haven't checked out Elizabeth Bear's Jenny Series, or Karen Traviss' Wess'Har Series, you should. Both of them qualify as new in the aughts, and these particular series should be right down your alley.

Also, fun bit of trivia: Technically speaking, Andreessen and I were once coworkers: I worked at AOL at the same time the company ate Netscape. However, I was in DC and he was in California; we've never met, either in the real world or online. This is why I say we were technically coworkers.

* My pal Jim Hall draws my attention to the fact that there's a nice review of The Last Colony in the most recent Starlog magazine. It says, in part:

Scalzi has become one of those rare writers who can put together a series of novels with each title capable of standing on its own- and none more so than this one. Even better, The Last Colony delivers a good dollop of action wrapped up in a gradually growing political situation, with characters who continue to improve and evolve.

Excellent. And the reviewer (Michael Wolff) is correct that "stand-alone-ability" is a priority of mine. Every novel should be its own door into that universe. I don't want to give people excuses to set the book back down in the store.

* Something I'll note briefly for now, and will provide details for later, when I know more, because, seriously, at the moment I don't know anything more than this: There's going to be an audio book version of Old Man's War.

Now, having said, "I don't know anything more than this," I know that people will still ask: "When will it be out?" "Who is reading it?" "How much will it cost?" And so on. My answer: I don't know. Come now, people: If you think I knew anything else that I wouldn't tell you? Have you learned nothing of my self-promoting ways after all this time? When I have more details, I'll share them. Honest.

Posted by john at June 16, 2007 10:44 AM

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dp | June 16, 2007 11:16 AM

Andreesen didn't "invent the web browser." He helped write the first widely used web browser Mosaic while a student.

John Scalzi | June 16, 2007 11:32 AM

Aw, bitch, bitch, bitch. Lynx sucks. He co-invented the Web browser that everyone who is not an unregenerate computer dork uses.

bcs | June 16, 2007 11:52 AM

It's worth noting that there actually is one woman writer on the list---Chris Moriarty. Andreesen also mentions her novels' "distinctly female point of view", although it's unclear whether he's referring to the point of view of the (female) main character, or of Moriarty herself.

Sarah Monette | June 16, 2007 11:55 AM

Chris Moriarty is a woman. So there's one.

John Scalzi | June 16, 2007 11:58 AM

My mistake. I'll note it!

Becca | June 16, 2007 12:13 PM

While we're on the topic of The Last Colony, I have to give you mad props for the taped bacon reference. That was just fantastic.

James Enge | June 16, 2007 12:21 PM

"there are no women on that list"

Chris Moriarty is a woman, I think. (That's what her Wikipedia entry says, anyway.) But certainly the list skews very heavily towards the male.

There is a lot of lively interesting sf being written by new(ish) writers. This probably matters more for the viability of sf than market share or the circulation figures for the digest zines or the Nebulas or the other things people tend to wring their hands about.

Jon H | June 16, 2007 01:55 PM

"Aw, bitch, bitch, bitch. Lynx sucks. He co-invented the Web browser that everyone who is not an unregenerate computer dork uses."

I think the first browser was WWW.app, by Tim Berners-Lee, who created the web itself.

That was a NeXT app, though, so there was no chance of WWW.app having more than about 50,000 users.

JJS | June 16, 2007 02:42 PM

OK, I will not ask about the audio version of Old Man's War. I don't like listening to audio books anyway.

Instead I will bug you about the promised sequel to The Android's Dream. How is it coming? When can I read it?

Tania | June 16, 2007 06:18 PM

JJS - Locus lists High Castle as coming out in February 2008.

Matt Jarpe | June 18, 2007 10:33 AM

Well, the guy makes it perfectly clear what he likes in his fiction. Most of the descriptions have "Heinlein" and "cyberpunk" in there somewhere. I like that, it tells me whether I'd like the couple of authors on that list that I haven't read (I would). And with the book jacket copy for RADIO FREEFALL turning up two "Heinlein" and two "cyberpunk" references I just might have found another potential reader for my first novel. Hooray!

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