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(Krypton Radio)   Sci-fi writer John Scalzi credits his success to good business sense, lots of luck, and being the last son of a biatch standing   (kryptonradio.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, John Scalzi, Fresno Bee, newspapers, diplomacies, Morningstar, Tor Books  
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2761 clicks; posted to Geek » on 25 Apr 2013 at 12:38 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-25 11:20:40 AM  
I like how he was able to take a troll attack and turn it into something positive in such a huge way.

+1 to him.
 
2013-04-25 11:41:36 AM  

strangeluck: I like how he was able to take a troll attack and turn it into something positive in such a huge way.

+1 to him.


this
 
2013-04-25 01:09:41 PM  
John is a funny guy, went to college with him. The series is pretty interesting.
 
2013-04-25 01:22:06 PM  
I enjoyed Old Man's War and he seems to not be a total arseclown, which is nice! For some reason, I thought there was a thread a while back explaining to me why I was supposed to hate Scalzi.
 
2013-04-25 01:24:48 PM  

INeedAName: I enjoyed Old Man's War and he seems to not be a total arseclown, which is nice! For some reason, I thought there was a thread a while back explaining to me why I was supposed to hate Scalzi.


He is a total nerd, but otherwise he was nice enough
 
2013-04-25 01:31:29 PM  
the flashing webpage made it a bit difficult to read anything.
 
2013-04-25 01:51:53 PM  
A friend of mine noted that there are no more good cyberpunk novels, mostly -he argues- because we are already living in a cyberpunk world.
 
2013-04-25 02:08:21 PM  
Scalzi impresses me as one of the new breed of SF writers who is more known for self-promotion than for being a particularly good writer. It is not a particularly bad strategy because avid SF readers are more into their doses of escapism than being particularly discriminating.

I picked up one of his recent books at the library and while I was able to finish it, it didn't make me hunt up other books he wrote.

As you may guess, I detest Cory Doctorow.
 
2013-04-25 02:13:54 PM  

INeedAName: I enjoyed Old Man's War and he seems to not be a total arseclown, which is nice! For some reason, I thought there was a thread a while back explaining to me why I was supposed to hate Scalzi.


He's good friends with Wil Wheaton, maybe that was it.
 
2013-04-25 02:20:56 PM  
Red Shirts has to be one of the most hilarious books I've ever read. Which makes its veins of fairly intense suspense and drama to be even more impressive.
 
2013-04-25 02:32:04 PM  

HairBolus: Scalzi impresses me as one of the new breed of SF writers who is more known for self-promotion than for being a particularly good writer. It is not a particularly bad strategy because avid SF readers are more into their doses of escapism than being particularly discriminating.

I picked up one of his recent books at the library and while I was able to finish it, it didn't make me hunt up other books he wrote.

As you may guess, I detest Cory Doctorow.


I'm reading one of the books Doctorow plugged on his site, Warren Ellis' Gun Machine. I will attest to the writing, plot, and character not being anything outstanding.

It makes me wonder if Doctorow himself has any taste.
 
2013-04-25 02:45:38 PM  

imgod2u: Red Shirts has to be one of the most hilarious books I've ever read. Which makes its veins of fairly intense suspense and drama to be even more impressive.


I hated everything about that book.  Old Man's War was great stuff.... Redshirts put me off of Scalzi, maybe for good.  What you're saying about it being hilarious and having veins of intense suspense/drama?  Lies.  Damned lies.  The wheels fall off the humor a couple chapters in -- most of the meta jokes are replaced by characters slapsticking each other and calling names.  And the only "drama" is in the weird, meta after-appendices.

I mean, come on - the ending was SO DAMN BAD he had to append an "er, actually, never mind" in the actual book itself!
 
2013-04-25 02:55:52 PM  
My biggest grip with Scalzi is that serialized "Human Division" project.

Whenever I hit the Kindle section on Amazon, I get at least a half-dozen of those in my recommendations list.

It's one story.
 
2013-04-25 03:01:26 PM  
His Fuzzy book was a crime against the Fuzzies.  The single biggest crime of that book was making Jack Holloway a farking lawyer!  The second crime was having Jack not check his weapon after they'd been out of his control.  Jack would never make that mistake.

Red Shirts was a huge let down.  It had potential, but didn't deliver.

Every single one of the books from the Old Man's War universe is a must read.
 
2013-04-25 03:04:49 PM  
I liked Agent to the Stars.  But I haven't followed up yet on his other works.
 
2013-04-25 03:27:04 PM  

OgreMagi: His Fuzzy book was a crime against the Fuzzies.  The single biggest crime of that book was making Jack Holloway a farking lawyer!  The second crime was having Jack not check his weapon after they'd been out of his control.  Jack would never make that mistake.

Red Shirts was a huge let down.  It had potential, but didn't deliver.

Every single one of the books from the Old Man's War universe is a must read.


The double-edged sword of writing a book as mind-bogglingly awesome as Old Man's War is that people expect everything that follows to be as good as that one. That book sets a very high bar.

Redshirts was a decent book, but not something that I've given any serious thought to re-reading. Meanwhile, I've read OMW at least four times, and will definitely read it again.
 
2013-04-25 03:31:44 PM  

OgreMagi: His Fuzzy book was a crime against the Fuzzies.  The single biggest crime of that book was making Jack Holloway a farking lawyer!  The second crime was having Jack not check his weapon after they'd been out of his control.  Jack would never make that mistake.

Red Shirts was a huge let down.  It had potential, but didn't deliver.

Every single one of the books from the Old Man's War universe is a must read.



Do a slightly more careful reading of Piper's original stuff. Jack was a lawyer befor he left Earth.

Scalzi's fuzzy book wasn't a reboot or a retelling. He took all the "Mad Men" set design out of Piper's stuff, took out the "Fuzzies aren't native to Zarathustra" hook, and threw in a little grit and bad whiskey.
 
2013-04-25 03:35:48 PM  
I've read everything in Old Man's War series except Zoe's Tale, as well as his remake of Fuzzies, Redshirts, and Agent to the Stars.

It's all very well written - I never read the original Fuzzies, so I don't have any nostalgia holding me back there - and I enjoyed it.

It may not be to some people's tastes. That's fine.

I am now UBER FARKING PISSED that I missed this event. Goddamnit work, don't call me in for a month, then suddenly I get ALL THE OVERTIME.
 
2013-04-25 03:45:08 PM  

INeedAName: I enjoyed Old Man's War and he seems to not be a total arseclown, which is nice! For some reason, I thought there was a thread a while back explaining to me why I was supposed to hate Scalzi.


People who aren't you think he's great. That's why you are supposed to hate Scalzi.
 
2013-04-25 04:19:58 PM  
I loved OMW, liked the Fuzzies, Agent to the Stars and Redshirts.   I thought Agent to the Stars had a clever hook.

I wasn't familiar with the original Fuzzies story.

He seems like a good person to have a beer with
 
2013-04-25 04:28:49 PM  
I thoroughly enjoy everything of his that I've read. Of course, none of them are as good as OMW, but like someone else said, that's a damned high bar to set. His blog has gotten me onto a couple other good authors, too.

For everyone singing the praises of Old Man's War, have you been reading the serial that just finished up, The Human Division? I liked it, even the serial style of releasing a new part every week, but it didn't feel finished at all. I was glad to read on Whatever that he's doing a second one soonish.
 
2013-04-25 04:54:04 PM  
Scalzi continues to fail at attributing taping bacon to a cat as part of his success.
 
2013-04-25 05:09:02 PM  

imashark: HairBolus: Scalzi impresses me as one of the new breed of SF writers who is more known for self-promotion than for being a particularly good writer. It is not a particularly bad strategy because avid SF readers are more into their doses of escapism than being particularly discriminating.

I picked up one of his recent books at the library and while I was able to finish it, it didn't make me hunt up other books he wrote.

As you may guess, I detest Cory Doctorow.

I'm reading one of the books Doctorow plugged on his site, Warren Ellis' Gun Machine. I will attest to the writing, plot, and character not being anything outstanding.

It makes me wonder if Doctorow himself has any taste.


I've always said that Doctorow was an overrated hack who just managed to get some good techie press purely by being in the right place at the right time.

"Gun Machine" was okay, but has some serious, serious, issues. The latest guy who I think is worth a read is Nick Harkaway.

/I've just discovered Ben Aaronovitch as guilty pleasure.
 
2013-04-25 05:14:12 PM  

Fear the Clam: imashark: HairBolus: Scalzi impresses me as one of the new breed of SF writers who is more known for self-promotion than for being a particularly good writer. It is not a particularly bad strategy because avid SF readers are more into their doses of escapism than being particularly discriminating.

I picked up one of his recent books at the library and while I was able to finish it, it didn't make me hunt up other books he wrote.

As you may guess, I detest Cory Doctorow.

I'm reading one of the books Doctorow plugged on his site, Warren Ellis' Gun Machine. I will attest to the writing, plot, and character not being anything outstanding.

It makes me wonder if Doctorow himself has any taste.

I've always said that Doctorow was an overrated hack who just managed to get some good techie press purely by being in the right place at the right time.

"Gun Machine" was okay, but has some serious, serious, issues. The latest guy who I think is worth a read is Nick Harkaway.

/I've just discovered Ben Aaronovitch as guilty pleasure.


I wasn't thrilled with Gun Machine either, but I did like Crooked Little Vein. I think Ellis works better in the comic format. And I'll give those two a look, thanks.
 
2013-04-25 05:56:42 PM  

Summercat: I've read everything in Old Man's War series except Zoe's Tale


As it happens, I'm reading Zoe's Tale now. It's a retelling of The Last Colony from Zoe's perspective. I initially thought it was intellectually lazy of Scalzi to tell the same story twice, but it's more engaging and interesting than I expected it to be.
 
2013-04-25 06:00:29 PM  

CygnusDarius: A friend of mine noted that there are no more good cyberpunk novels, mostly -he argues- because we are already living in a cyberpunk world.


Why couldn't we have gotten the Space Opera future instead? I hate cyberpunk. Give me green women and consoles full of toggle switches and blinking lights.
 
2013-04-25 06:09:13 PM  

Mitt Romneys Tax Return: Summercat: I've read everything in Old Man's War series except Zoe's Tale

As it happens, I'm reading Zoe's Tale now. It's a retelling of The Last Colony from Zoe's perspective. I initially thought it was intellectually lazy of Scalzi to tell the same story twice, but it's more engaging and interesting than I expected it to be.


Your first thought was correct. It's a damn lazy book and adds nothing of note the the information you already possess.

Scalzi is a decent writer, but most of his stuff is canned tropes stolen from his betters. The Old Man's War series was marginally interesting at best.

What really put me off him was his forward to the new paperback edition of The Forever War. I found it pretty damn tacky and can't believe they published it with the new edition.
 
2013-04-25 06:13:36 PM  

Cthulhu_is_my_homeboy: CygnusDarius: A friend of mine noted that there are no more good cyberpunk novels, mostly -he argues- because we are already living in a cyberpunk world.

Why couldn't we have gotten the Space Opera future instead? I hate cyberpunk. Give me green women and consoles full of toggle switches and blinking lights.


Well, we instead have all-powerful companies, high-tech and lowlife, violence all around us and underground counterculture instead.
 
2013-04-25 06:33:46 PM  

Starhawk: imgod2u: Red Shirts has to be one of the most hilarious books I've ever read. Which makes its veins of fairly intense suspense and drama to be even more impressive.

I hated everything about that book.  Old Man's War was great stuff.... Redshirts put me off of Scalzi, maybe for good.  What you're saying about it being hilarious and having veins of intense suspense/drama?  Lies.  Damned lies.  The wheels fall off the humor a couple chapters in -- most of the meta jokes are replaced by characters slapsticking each other and calling names.  And the only "drama" is in the weird, meta after-appendices.

I mean, come on - the ending was SO DAMN BAD he had to append an "er, actually, never mind" in the actual book itself!


Yes, I read the reviews as well...Redshirts is funny, etc., etc.  There were about fifteen pages at the start where I actually found the book amusing.  Then it turned into just silliness, and not terribly funny silliness.  People falling down or calling each other names.  I should have known the book would have been negative after the intro, where Scalzi basically said ... "uhhh, I had an idea, but it didn't fit the page limit, so I just tacked a bunch of stuff on at the end."
 
2013-04-25 06:38:21 PM  

Cthulhu_is_my_homeboy: Why couldn't we have gotten the Space Opera future instead? I hate cyberpunk.


Thanks Obama!

pgilston.smugmug.com
 
2013-04-25 06:38:50 PM  

give me doughnuts: OgreMagi: His Fuzzy book was a crime against the Fuzzies.  The single biggest crime of that book was making Jack Holloway a farking lawyer!  The second crime was having Jack not check his weapon after they'd been out of his control.  Jack would never make that mistake.

Red Shirts was a huge let down.  It had potential, but didn't deliver.

Every single one of the books from the Old Man's War universe is a must read.


Do a slightly more careful reading of Piper's original stuff. Jack was a lawyer befor he left Earth.

Scalzi's fuzzy book wasn't a reboot or a retelling. He took all the "Mad Men" set design out of Piper's stuff, took out the "Fuzzies aren't native to Zarathustra" hook, and threw in a little grit and bad whiskey.


No.  In the original he was familiar with the law to keep himself out of trouble.  He was not a lawyer.  Just in case, I'll pull the book out this weekend and read it again.

The Fuzzies aren't natives narrative was from a non-Piper sequel (Fuzzy Bones, I forget the author).  The original had way more grit, smoking, and drinking than Scalzi's.
 
2013-04-25 06:53:09 PM  

INeedAName: I enjoyed Old Man's War and he seems to not be a total arseclown, which is nice! For some reason, I thought there was a thread a while back explaining to me why I was supposed to hate Scalzi.


I seem to recall a thread where someone was calling Scalzi a racist because he recognizes that while male privilege is a thing.
 
2013-04-25 06:54:13 PM  

GeeksAreMyPeeps: INeedAName: I enjoyed Old Man's War and he seems to not be a total arseclown, which is nice! For some reason, I thought there was a thread a while back explaining to me why I was supposed to hate Scalzi.

I seem to recall a thread where someone was calling Scalzi a racist because he recognizes that while male privilege is a thing.


The article that was being referred to
 
2013-04-25 07:14:15 PM  
I may be in the minority but I vastly enjoyed the episodic nature of The Human Division.  It read like a kick ass TV series, and one I would watch the hell out of.  I'm looking forward to the next "season" of the B-team.
 
2013-04-25 07:25:55 PM  
Redshirts was a tedious chore to get through.  It was neither funny, nor well written.
 
2013-04-25 09:31:57 PM  
Haven't read his books but that rape letter was comedy gold.
 
2013-04-25 10:48:44 PM  
I liked Old Man's War.

Everything else was lazy with insane gaps in logic required to accept.

Here's an easy couple for all of you:
- In The Ghost Brigades, how did Jared know Charles Boutin was on Arist was but *not* know that Zoe was still alive? Didn't Boutin go to Arist because he knew the Obin had Zoe there?
- In The Lost Colony, did everyone forget what a Faraday cage is? It's not like any of the devices were burning enough power in transmission to make it even close to space anyways (unless they were carrying information so slow that they couldn't use it to transmit anything more than rough voice).
- Then there was the wonderful deus ex machina that is the SmartBlood explosions (also in The Ghost Brigades):
  - If Jared was able to enable the combustible blood with a thought then why didn't Boutin disable the virus with a thought as well? For someone who designed the BrainPal he was pretty ignorant of it's capabilities.
  - And why wasn't the SmartBlood smart enough to know that it would be killing the user. Seems like a pretty simple fail safe against that should be in place.
  - If Jared was the first person that thought of using SmartBlood as a weapon then what the fark was the person who invented it thinking? "This seems like a great way that our troops can kill mosquitoes. I'm going to turn the individual blood cells of our troops into little bombs just in case they need to kill insects. No danger there..."

Ok, getting bored...

Good books. Needs one more editor to check for logic problems.
 
2013-04-25 11:39:05 PM  
never hearda him.

i'm sure he's awesome.

http://www.mediafire.com/?tuj7cjf3oq3oooi
 
2013-04-26 02:59:33 AM  

INeedAName: I enjoyed Old Man's War and he seems to not be a total arseclown, which is nice! For some reason, I thought there was a thread a while back explaining to me why I was supposed to hate Scalzi.




His coolness hit critical mass, so now it's hip to hate him.

He's funny and geeky, his blog is highly entertaining, and he seems like a genuinely nice dude. Oh, and he has some good books he's written.
 
2013-04-26 05:02:25 AM  

Starhawk: I hated everything about that book.  Old Man's War was great stuff.... Redshirts put me off of Scalzi, maybe for good.  What you're saying about it being hilarious and having veins of intense suspense/drama?  Lies.  Damned lies.  The wheels fall off the humor a couple chapters in -- most of the meta jokes are replaced by characters slapsticking each other and calling names.  And the only "drama" is in the weird, meta after-appendices.

I mean, come on - the ending was SO DAMN BAD he had to append an "er, actually, never mind" in the actual book itself!


^^This^^

I like Scalzi, and I sought out old mans war just so that I could buy it over again on kindle.  Then I read redshirts and I was less than thrilled.
 
2013-04-26 08:18:52 AM  
Scalzi is recapitulating Heinlein era SF because it sells. OMW is Starship Troopers with a coat of paint. Entertaining, but not really breaking new ground. James S.A. Corey isn't breaking a lot of new ground either, but he's writing deeper opera. Scalzi knows his SF - and he knows that most readers are at about the Star Trek level when it comes to concepts and narratives.  Writers like Alastair Reynolds, Paul McCauley are writing much "harder" science fiction. People like Hannu Rajaniemi and Ken McLeod, and  are writing even more complex stuff - but if you look at the Hugo and Nebula ballots this year, other than KSR's 2312, there's not much on there that will stand the test of time (then again the last Hugo winners I thought wer great was Windup Girl/City and the City)
 
2013-04-26 08:58:14 AM  
It took a lot for me to forgive the Little Fuzzy debacle, but the burn he put onto that troll makes up for it.  Sadly, most of the more successful franchises have been getting the same treatment these days.  It's almost mandatory that a cousin or uncle with the same last name will be dragged into an editor's office and told to write a posthumous sequel.

Let's hope it will fall out of fashion before Mr. Scalzi dies so the world won't be treated to "John Scalzi's Old Men Still At Way (by jimmy scalzi, his nephew from altoona)"
 
2013-04-26 09:59:34 AM  

narkor: Scalzi is recapitulating Heinlein era SF because it sells. OMW is Starship Troopers with a coat of paint. Entertaining, but not really breaking new ground. James S.A. Corey isn't breaking a lot of new ground either, but he's writing deeper opera. Scalzi knows his SF - and he knows that most readers are at about the Star Trek level when it comes to concepts and narratives.  Writers like Alastair Reynolds, Paul McCauley are writing much "harder" science fiction. People like Hannu Rajaniemi and Ken McLeod, and  are writing even more complex stuff - but if you look at the Hugo and Nebula ballots this year, other than KSR's 2312, there's not much on there that will stand the test of time (then again the last Hugo winners I thought wer great was Windup Girl/City and the City)


2312 was truly not Robinson's best work. I mean, Blue Mars plodded a bit, but 2312 just dragged in places... and not in the way that Alastair Reynolds drags due to deeper ideas.

Galileo's Dream was much better.
 
2013-04-26 11:13:23 AM  

narkor: Scalzi is recapitulating Heinlein era SF because it sells. OMW is Starship Troopers with a coat of paint. Entertaining, but not really breaking new ground.


There's room in Science Fiction for engaging tales as well as literary works. Recently I've been alternating heavier novels with breezier (for want of a better term) fare. So, for example, I'll read a Culture or Revelation Space novel followed by an OMW or Vorkosigan saga book.
 
2013-04-26 08:50:01 PM  

narkor: Scalzi is recapitulating Heinlein era SF because it sells. OMW is Starship Troopers with a coat of paint. Entertaining, but not really breaking new ground. James S.A. Corey isn't breaking a lot of new ground either, but he's writing deeper opera. Scalzi knows his SF - and he knows that most readers are at about the Star Trek level when it comes to concepts and narratives.  Writers like Alastair Reynolds, Paul McCauley are writing much "harder" science fiction. People like Hannu Rajaniemi and Ken McLeod, and  are writing even more complex stuff - but if you look at the Hugo and Nebula ballots this year, other than KSR's 2312, there's not much on there that will stand the test of time (then again the last Hugo winners I thought wer great was Windup Girl/City and the City)


I live with my mom

No mention of Gene Wolfe.
 
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