John Scalzi

Despite a very busy schedule, author John Scalzi found the time to field some of your questions about his book (and this month’s SF BOTMC selection) The Android’s Dream.  Before turning things over to John, I’d like to take a moment and dedicate today’s entry to blog regular Whovian and birthday girl Amy Lynn.

Over to John…

Ytimyona writes: “I’m sure you’ve answered this question a million times, but where did you get the idea for the beginning of your book??? It is probably the most original thing I’ve ever read…”

The idea came from me asking myself “what is the most ridiculous thing I could do to start off this book?” I wanted something that would grab people right from the start, and would also be a fun writing challenge for me. This particular opening seemed like it could work — if I could pull it off, basically, then I felt I would have proven something to myself about my writing chops.

Stace writes: “Apart from congratulating Mr Scalzi on writing another great novel, my questions would be:

1] You choose to deal with religion and politics, albeit in a comedic way; is it something you consciously choose to do or just a result of a story’s evolution? Do you yourself have strong interestes in these areas?

I do have strong interests in both, so there was always an intent to have it in there. That said, the shape of this particular religion came out mostly in the writing.

2] Why did you decide to have the followers of the Evolved Lamb be aware of their own cult-like status? Have you faced criticism from people of a religious nature who think you are mocking all religion, or do they see it as you condemning cults based around money/greed/fame (no names, of course!)?

I had them aware of it because it was something new; not many people are part of a religion they know to be fundamentally made up, after all.

I’ve gotten very little negative feedback from religious folks about the Church of the Evolved Lamb, actually; it’s sufficiently different from other religions that I don’t think it trips any triggers. The one religion I think people see the most association with is Scientology (because of the SF writer angle), but inasmuch as the Evolved Lamb church is portrayed positively, I don’t know if there would be any complaint. None has come back to me, anyway.

3] What side of the ‘topian fence do you prefer your reading material to come from – Dys or U?

I simply prefer good books — if a book is well-written, I can go with whatever -topia the writer wants to present.

4]Is comedy an important element in books or can an author succeed in capturing their reader if everything is just doom and gloom?

I like comedy; I don’t think it’s an essential element. There are plenty of excellent books without overt comedy in them, nor is comedy required for an uplifting story. I think I would personally have a hard time writing a book without at least a little bit of comedy in it, though.

5] What one book would you advise people NOT to read?”

I would never advise someone not to read a book, although I might remind them that they’re not obliged either to finish every book they read, or to take every book (or the ideas within) equally seriously.

Beverly writes: “My question for Mr. Scalzi: Will there be a sequel to The Android’s Dream, and if so, will there be any more backstory on Harry Creek, so the readers get to know him a little bit better?”

I’m writing the sequel right now, and it’s called “The High Castle.” It’ll be out in May 2009 (or so). I do imagine we’ll learn more about Harry then (I’m still writing, though, so I don’t know what we’ll learn yet).

Trekkiegirlt writes: “My question for John is : When did you develop an interest in sci/fi? I began my journey in the 5th grade when the local book mobile stopped at my school and I purchased “A Wrinkle in Time” I haven’t stop reading the sci/fi yet!

I think it was in second or third grade, which is when Star Wars came out and simultaneously I started reading Heinlein juveniles. I fell in love with astronomy even earlier than that. Basically I don’t remember a time where I wasn’t interested either in science or science fiction.

Emily writes: “Question for Mr. Scalzi: Why did you choose to name the sheep species after the Dick novel? In the book, it’s said that they were named that “in reference to some book”, but that’s it. Had you already decided to use sheep and just wanted to have an homage to the novel for whatever reason, or is there some sort of thematic (or otherwise) connection that I missed (which would not be at all unlikely)? Am I spending way too much time thinking about something to which there’s no answer?”

I knew there would be a sheep and I wanted a bit of a shoutout to PKD that astute SF readers would get. I think everyone likes an in-joke or two. The name of the sequel is also a PKD shoutout. However, I would be the first to say not to read too much into it. I’ve seen a couple of reviews that suggest the whole book is a PKD tribute, and I have to say it’s not. I couldn’t be that whacked out (in a good way!) if I tried. Not without pharmaceutical help, and I’m not going to go there.

Michelle writes: “1. The title is clever but misleading, in that there are no actual dreaming androids in the book. Did you worry this would put off potential readers who aren’t so interested in androids?

Nah. I mean, the book is shelved in the science fiction section of the bookstores; I feel pretty safe that most of the folks there could handle it.

2. Is there an indication we might see a movie version of the book some day?

No one’s made an offer on the book yet, but I’m open to listen if someone wants to. Of all the books I’ve written so far, I think it’s the one that’s probably the most cinema-friendly, and I know I want to see the Wallball sequence, personally.

3. Do you think the Church of the Evolved Lamb is any more or less valid or righteous than all the other many religions on the planet, old and new?”

I think a lot of the validity of any religion rests in those who follow the religion and how well they filter their religion through their own sense of right and wrong. I know admirable people of many religions (and none at all); I know people of many religions (or none at all) I wouldn’t trust further than I could throw them.

Amazonauntie writes: “I did have one question for John…are you a computer geek yourself knowing all the computer world ins and outs that you described in your book or did you have the help of outside consultation?”

I’d say I’m geek enough to plausibly fake the appearance of knowledge. But you wouldn’t want me to do any of your coding. That code would be inelegant, to say the least.

Joe Abercrombie writes: “I would like to ask Mr. Scalzi the following question: Do you seriously believe that your guest spot can be anywhere near as good as Joe Abercrombie’s was?”

Of course not! Joe Abercrombie’s guest spot was the Platonic ideal of a guest spot; mine is but a flickering shadow on the wall. Every one knows that.

(Also, Joe, you owe me $36.95 for that self-abasement. I take Paypal.)

Fsmn36 writes: “1). What drew you to sci-fi as a writer? Something you’ve always been interested in yourself, or you like the possibilities of something futuristic, or something else?

I was drawn to it most because it’s what I like to read. I also like it because it (and other genre writing actually) still maintains a focus on storytelling, which sometimes gets lost in literary fiction. But I like stories with stories, you know? I like reading them, like writing them.

2). I’ve noticed a lot of branding in the book. Two questions regarding that. A) Did you have to get rights to list them or anything special? It’s rare to see current brands listed in most fictional books and I’ve wondered if that was for legality reasons (the way TV shows and movies sometimes have to make a can of soda look like Coca-Cola without labeling it as such). And b) What made you decide to use brand names? I suspect a lot of authors don’t use them so as not to date the storyline. What was your motivation to use them?

I use them because I think it grounds readers in the familiar and makes the world seem more realistic. I don’t worry too much about the brands going out of date, because forever is a long time and brands that go out of fashion do make a comeback now and again. Blade Runner famously featured an advertisement for Atari, which went out of business a few years after the movie came out — but now it’s an active brand again (and in the book, I have the Washington Senators back in Major League Baseball, which suggests ominous things for the Nationals). So no, it’s not a concern. 3). How do you create the storyline? Do you develop characters or plot first? Do you sit down and write it in as little time as possible, or do you do a more measured approach, say 1,000 words a day? What brings inspiration for you?

I make it up as I go along and I write each day until I get bored or hit a wall, and then I stop and think about the story some more. This way I end up being as surprised as anyone about how the story develops. As to what brings inspiration, well, the idea of paying my mortgage is actually very inspirational for me. Glochidiagirl writes: “1) Did you come up with the first two lines while you were writing the book or were they something you came up with in the past and just had to find a story in which you could use them?

I knew before I started what the first chapter would be, and then I just made sure the first couple of lines totally hooked people in. I’m a big believer in big first lines.

2) In reading Old Man’s War, I have noticed that you also have a character named Javna and named the cemetery where John’s wife is buried is Harris Creek. I was wondering if these were the names of friends or people who saved your life and that is why you keep using them.”

“Harris Creek” is the creek next to the road I live on, which is Horatio Harris Creek Road. “Javna” is the name of a writer of my acquaintance. I use them because I’m really bad at making up names. The names of quite a number of my friends and people I know show up in my books. What can I say, I’m lazy.

Thornyrose writes: What sort of hobbies or interests do you have outside of writing, and how do they influence your writing?

I read a lot, and play video games and I like to dance. Reading certainly influences me, since I see how other people solve their story problems. Video games and dancing don’t have much to do with my books.

Do you hold anything or anyone responsible for your rather…not ordinary sense of humor?

Nope, that’s pretty much all me. No one in my family can explain it. My daughter seems to have inherited it a bit, however. This does not displease me.

Finally, are you, Joe Mallozzi, and Joe Abercrombie all fraternal twins separated at birth? It strikes me as monumentally coincidental that the three of you all share such traits as being rogishly handsome, amazing wordsmiths, and people with similiar senses of humor.”

You’d have to ask our moms.

OHinNJ writes: “Questions for Scalzi:
1) How did you keep track of all of the subplots, the plot twists and connections between the different groups? Do you map out the story elements before writing?

Nope. I just make it up as I go along. I’m just good at remembering details, I suppose. I’ve never had a problem keeping it all clear in my head.

2) As I mention in my comments, some of the scenes seemed like they would play well on screen (like the mall fight with the “jumping shoes”) When you’re writing these sections, did you storyboard the action beforehand, like one might do with a film – or do you simply sit and write?

No storyboarding; I just have a good action sense (and also, I can fix scenes that aren’t working perfectly in the writing without you knowing any better). I was a film critic for several and would watch five or six films a week — do that long enough and eventually you develop a sense of how an action scene should work.

4) A friend who read Android’s Dream told me that he saw it as a satirical commentary on organized religion – or at least one particular religion – and also on genetic engineering gone haywire, as much as a scifi story. Was that your intention?”

It’s certainly satirical, although not of any specific religion. As noted earlier, it’s really easy to see it as a satire of Scientology (again, because of the SF writer angle), but while it’s clear I can’t avoid the similarities, it’s not meant to hammer on Scientology. With the genetic engineering aspect, I don’t intend it to be cautionary, although it would be nice if it WAS; I do expect eventually someone somewhere will do something as inhumanly egregious as happens in the book.

Kimberly writes: “A few questions for Mr. Scalzi, and then I’ll close:

1) Where in the world did the idea for the vending machine wire come from? That was unbelievably clever (and sadistic). I will never look at white chocolate M&M’s in quite the same way. (I did always suspect that there was something slightly sinister about white chocolate. Perhaps this is why?)

It was just that I needed a way for Archie to wear a wire without getting caught, and this seemed like the best way to go about it. Personally, I like white chocolate and put the white chocolate M&Ms in there because I would totally buy them. It’s the wish fulfillment part of the book.

3) I have read many a book with multiple points of view that was derailed by that very fact. This book was not one of them. How did you manage to create so many storylines and so many characters, yet still manage to keep everything coherent, interesting, and important?

I think first I work on the idea that my characters have a life outside their purpose in the book, which gives them an extra dimensionality and makes their own story stand out. The rest of it comes from a good organization sense, and also because I hate it when I write boring crap more than any of you do. If something gets muddled or boring, I hammer on it until it works, basically.

5) Do you generally find that humor and science fiction novels can mix well, or is your own personality such that you need to add a level of humor and snark to your writing?

The tone of this book in particular is very close to my own default sense of humor and snark, so a lot of it really is just me. That said, I don’t think there’s any reason science fiction can’t be funny. But as anyone can tell you, comedy is actually hard; it’s underappreciated how hard it is to do well. Lots of people try it and fail pretty miserably. It doesn’t help that written SF sort of has an unwritten law that all humor in SF has to be like Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which is a problem, as British farce is tricky stuff.

While I appreciate that someone in the thread compared me to to Douglas Adams, I think my humor is more like the situational humor of folks like Elmore Leonard or (especially) Carl Hiaasen, and that’s a sort of humor that doesn’t show up too much in SF. I think it’s one reason The Android’s Dream sticks out as it does.

Thanks everyone for the questions!

35 thoughts on “May 29, 2008: Author John Scalzi drops in.

  1. (*sigh* Why do I always pick a day you’re not doing mailbag to ask a question? At the risk of being redundant, I hope you don’t mind if I post my query again… )

    Since the back half of S5 seems to be falling into place, does it look like there will be any more episodes with Sam in it or are we going to have to hold out our hopes for Season 6? (Trying to stay positive! )

    And I know the movies aren’t your area, exactly, but I have to say, the Sam/Jack shippers’ mojo is running on empty these days…any chance you could give us a wink or a thumbs up that we might have something squeeable to talk about in the not-too-distant future??? Some sign…maybe?


    Thanks, Joe! 🙂

  2. My thanks to Mr. M for once more allowing a guest author to appear, and my thanks to Mr. Scalzi for taking the time to answer our questions. Hearing the answers makes me understand a bit better how our earliest ancestors must have felt looking at the moon. Not able to totally comprehend, but filled with a sense of wonder netherless. Hmm. On that note, I think I will head off to bed.

  3. Hey Joe. I wanted to know…what kind of a computer do you have, the one you use to do your blog?

    ….I can’t think of anything else right now.

  4. Great gust spot… really enjoyed the answers to everyone’s questions.

    So Joe what are your plans for the upcoming weekend?

  5. Wonderful blog, Joe. It is so enlightening to hear about the thought processes of such intelligent and creative people such as the authors you have invited to your blog. Your ability to make your readers laugh on a regular basis is also a wonderful skill.

    Speaking of skill, you are no doubt aware of the hub bub in the news today surrounding Martin Gero’s screening of “Young People F***ing”. The media is all atwitter about the title and content, and that members of parliament had the nerve to attend the screening today. I don’t know if Martin should be congratulated or consoled. What is your opinion?

    Patricia (AG)

  6. You realize I’m compiling a winter reading list from all this, don’t you? Android’s Dream.

    Summer reading? HAH! Tomorrow we head out for the Utah Burn … Element 11, sodium, Great Salt Lake … makes sense. I’ve been painting and painting to stock my Home for Wayward Art. Plenty of bustle, rounding up costumes and camp gear, prepping for fire safety and mai-tais. But not together, fire safety means basic sobriety. Oh, the pictures I’ll post!

    And how I suffer for my art, today I was painting outside, one of those big photo op boards, you know, with the holes cut out for faces and such. The first board went quickly, pumpkins with a bum-shaped hole. TeeHee. Ganesh took quite a deal longer to paint, far more detail, holes for the eyes and two extra arms. And speaking of De Tail … my roll around seat flew out from under me as I was painting his robe. I went wham! Slam! on the concrete … on my tailbone. I am currently commenting under the influence if *gasp* prescription pain killers. I get verbose and rambly. I am forbidden to help with the lifting and packing. Hubby figures I can’t hurt myself on the keyboard. Riiight.

    Have a joyous weekend everyone. I will resurface on Sunday night. I think. Send bail money.

  7. Mr. M…in addition to my previous question as to whether we can expect to see Todd in more than just three episodes next season (I hope!), I was wondering….

    Do the writers ever throw ‘gratuitous’ things into scenes just to thrill the fans?

    I ask this because I have a friend who LOVES Desmond on Lost (Ian’s a great actor, easy on the eyes, too. I don’t watch the show, but I always take a peak over hubby’s shoulder at Desmond’s scenes, and have never been disappointed). Anyway, she swears that Desmond’s scenes are written for the fangirls, especially since his popularity seemed to take them by surprise. Wet Desmond. Angsty Desmond. Messy Hair Desmond. Gaping Shirt Desmond. Sexy Fruit-eating Desmond. And now, Kiss-of-life Desmond (THAT one should keep slash fic writers busy for years!). She swears it’s all written to keep the fangirls…maybe a few boys…hooked.

    So, since SGA characters/actors have strong fan followings, I was wondering if you ever write scenes just to ‘thrill’ fans, even though it’s not necessary for the telling of the story. Do you ever say to yourself, ‘let’s have Jason’s belly showing in this scene, ’cause it’ll drive the girls crazy’, or ‘let’s throw in a Teyla/Shep sparring scene ’cause people love it when she kicks his ass’, or anything like that? Writing to seduce your audience, so to speak…

    If so, we Wraith fans are always open to seduction!!! See, Todd is to SGA what Desmond is to Lost…so maybe work with it. Ya know – Wet Todd. Angsty Todd. Messy Hair Todd. Gaping Coat Todd. Sexy Life-sucking Todd. Oh, you get the idea… 😉


  8. I just wanted to say I enjoyed John Scalzi’s responses! He is a man of much humour and wit… :DDD

    I’m also rather excited to hear that there is a sequeal and we will find out more about Harry Creek!

    Have a nice weekend, Mr M!

    BTW, quick question – though I’m sure it’s been asked – which of the SGA (if any) actors is the most adventurous in terms of wearing the most outlandish costumes – or loves asking to keep trying new clothes?

  9. Wonderful guest blog; I didn’t even have to read the book to be entertain my it!

    You know, Joe…er…Joe M.; have you ever considered letting these 2 authors maybe pitch for Atlantis or something? They seem to have the same sensibilities as the Atlantis writers, from what I’ve read here. Give it some thought Joe, you never know what good could come of it!

    Anyways, the marathon continues…

    Scorched Earth: A very nice episode indeed! Another one of those headscratchers where you just can’t decide which side is right, and yet you know you have to do something. Lotan was a very facinating character portrayed excellently by Brian Markinson, especially his innocence, and at the same time, his strength of will to complete his mission. I thought the plot was very tight, with very few plotholes and the like, if there were any at all. The best thing though, was the ending. Everything was dovetailed together, every fact presented earlier was used to forward the plot and to conclude it. Excellent episode.

    Beneath the Surface: Average episode; seeing the characters slowly remember was funny at times, and the way of life, though horrible in one respect, was still beneficial for some, so it’s difficult to decide; I think this part could’ve benefitted from the City people finding out about the slave labor, if they didn’t know about them, and seeing their reactions. The ending was a tad too quick; once again I wanted to see the ramifications of what SG1 has done. So overall an enjoyable episode, but nothing spectacular.

    Point of No Return: Hilarious; I mean, what else can I say? I laughed my ass off throughout most of the episode thanks to Marty’s antics, and Jack and “Murray”‘s reactions to them. The way you guys wrote how Marty handled everyday life was excellent, truly excellent. It was so genuine, as if one of you guys lived through it yourselves (I mean, the toothpick leaning against the inside of the door? That’s obscure stuff!). However, even though it was funny, there wasn’t much else. The explanation for Martin and his friends was placed at the end and went by too quickly for my taste, and Martin’s friends were portrayed as being too…evil, to be the simple deserters Martin painted them to be. I had a hard time believing that they weren’t bad people, even though Martin said they weren’t. Overall, hilarious stuff, but not as deep as I would’ve wanted it to be.

    Tangent: Wow, that was a lot of technical and military speak that meant pretty much nothing to me. Still, I loved how we’re slowly advancing, and the Jack-Teal’c moments were very well done, along with the hopelessness of the situation. I also have to give props to Joel Goldsmith for that uplifting score at the beginning, as well as the CGI. I think this episode suffers from repeated viewing, since it’s very much in the catagory of episodes where the entertainment comes from wondering how the hell are our heroes going to make it out of this one; when you know how…it looses some impact. Still, an enjoyable episode overall.

    The Curse: I remember somewhere that you liked this episode a lot, Joe. Well…I didn’t. Sorry. I mean, it was a nice episode and all, but there was too much “CSI stuff”. Too much investigation, measurements, preliminary studies and stuff like that. It was very plot heavy, which again suffers from repeated viewing since you know that Sarah was Osiris once you’ve seen the episode. I think I was supposed to feel sorry for Danny that he lost Sarah, but I just never felt the connection between the two. It felt underdeveloped, with the investigation of the missing artefact being much more focused upon instead of the relationship between Danny and Sarah. Still, the exploration of Danny’s past was nicely done, with Steven being basically jealous of him, understandably enough.

    Well, that’s it for now!

  10. Thanks to Mr. Scalzi for answering my question!!! A fun challenge it would be indeed!!!
    Stubborn child that I was in 7th grade (and still am), I similarly challenged myself… but with less satisfactory conclusions:
    A teacher once told me that all short stories follow the same basic plot structure: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. I decided to prove her wrong by writing a short story out of order, where you get the climax first, and everything else follows, but I couldn’t make it work without flashbacks. Perhaps I shall revisit this idea now that I’m older…

    And a question:
    Tonight’s episode of LOST has me once again wondering:
    Do shows hire physics experts, or do all the writers just have this amazing knowledge of the subject??? Specifically, does Stargate have physics consultants???

  11. Thanks again Joe for your efforts in getting the writers here, and thanks writers for not ignoring Joe’s emails and think that if you ignore him, he will go away.

  12. This is why I tune in every day, intelligent discourse, informed opinions and the ever present SOH. Thanks Mr M for turning things over to Mr S and thanks Mr S for giving us a peek into more inner workings of certifiable genius. It makes me happy to know I’m in such august company even in may!
    I’m prone to prattle and indeed gibber of late but I’m putting it down to the stresses and strains of organising a wedding so I really don’t know what excuse I’ll have when its all over.

    I’m currently enjoying the reruns of SG! and SGA which are totally the only reason I have Sky in the first place. I have to ask in spite of knowing the answer will be a big fat NO, Is there the remorest chance that we will see O’Neill in season 5?
    *eyes shut and wishing *

  13. JS: While I appreciate that someone in the thread compared me to to Douglas Adams, I think my humor is more like the situational humor of folks like Elmore Leonard or (especially) Carl Hiaasen
    Hmm, I’ll have to think on that.
    Again, thanks Mr M for lending the space and thanks Mr Scalzi for answering questions, the people here ask a lot of good ones.

    Also yesterday I said it looked like JM was officially mad; I meant Mr Momoa. Not you Mr M. Not yet. 😉

  14. Hi Joe,

    Will the Atlantis expedition ever find instructions in the city to try and make their own ZPMs instead of always looking for old ones? Sooner or later they will be used up.

  15. Hey Joe,

    Wow! A blog dedication for me? Thanks so much! It put a smile on my face after a sad, yucky day. *sigh* It’s hard to be a grown-up some times. But chocolate helps.


  16. Woot! Sci-Fi released Atlantis season premier date. Can’t wait!

    “Stargate Atlantis’s 20-episode fifth season begins July 11 at 10 p.m. The new season introduces a powerful new race and will feature the show’s 100th episode. Robert Picardo joins the regular cast as Richard Woolsey, and fan favorite Paul McGillion returns for five episodes as Dr. Carson Beckett. Amanda Tapping (Col. Samantha Carter) and Stargate SG-1 star Michael Shanks (Daniel Jackson) will also appear as special guest stars this season. ”

  17. Hello John Scalzi!
    Also echoeing the praise from fsmn36 when I say great responses, and thankyou for a good read this friday.

  18. I wanted to tell you that I’ve found my mums secret stargate stash and I’m watching Atlantis from season 1. I love Dr McKay, he reminds me of one of my teachers.
    I used to take the mickey outof mum watching her shows but I’m starting to see why she enjoys them so much. Thank you for writing them.

  19. PLEASE answer StellaByStargate’s question!! (number 1) All of us Sam/Jack shippers are pretty eager for news!!! =D

  20. Hey Joe!

    Sorry to barge in on an author post (the book sounds stupendous, I shall be investigating shortly), but I just wanted to say thanks (for letting me know of the change in release date awhile back for “Young People Fucking”) and to pass along my congrats to Mr. Gero for his Ottawa screening of said flick! I read about a few reactions in a CBC article ( and the reaction (aside from the whole tickets and argument about who went or not) sounded pretty darned good; I hope those MPs who opted not to go realize their silliness and join in on the fun. I can’t wait for June!

    Oh, and just curious- have you ever had chocolate from Rheo Thompson or Chocolate Barr in Stratford, ON? If you have, how do you find they size up, if at all? I ask because I usually grab some every time I pop through Stratford, but I always wondered if they were good in the grand scheme of things.



  21. Hello!
    I asked this question yesterday but since there was no mailbag I’m going to try again!

    The Rodney and Ronon team-up aspect of Tracker sounds great! Will there be any specific Sheppard and McKay episodes like last season’s Harmony? I really enjoy their banter. I love the idea of pairing up Rodney and Ronon but not at the expense of Sheppard and Mckay.


  22. Hey Joe,

    There’s this thing I’ve been wondering about for quite some time now, and it’s slowly driving me insane, so I thought I’d better ask so you can hopefully save me from my misery. 😛

    The scientist from “The Gift,” is that someone we’ll ever actually see, or was he just a one time mention kinda Wraith?:

    *Goes to sit on knees and uses her puppy dog face*

    Please save me… 😀

    Have a wonderful weekend!


  23. I’ve had very limited Internet access this past week, and I realize I’m too late for the discussion on The Android’s Dream, but I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this book. It was nothing like I expected but endlessly entertaining. I was particularly impressed with how well Mr. Scalzi managed to balance so many different characters, details, story lines, and alien cultures, and as a reader I never once felt lost or confused. This is an impressive feat for a writer. Thanks, Joe, for this BOTM selection. I think I’ll go find a copy of Old Man’s War, and I’m very glad to hear there’s a sequel to the Android’s Dream coming out next year!

  24. I enjoyed Mr Scalzi responses to questions, it was nice of him to take the time to do this. And thanks to Joe M for inviting him and giving him blog time.
    It is rather boring on Friday nights(tv) without SGA, I will be glad to see it return in July. I hope Joe gets to do something fun on his vacation time(hiatus). anyway, back to my reading, Have a great day, and it is Friday, so enjoy the weekend!! 🙂

  25. Many thanks to John Scalzi, who seems to be an incredibly busy guy judging from his blog. Very nice of him to take the time.

    Now, was it better than Joe Abercrombie’s visit? I’d have to say “no” based on word count alone. Beyond that it’s way too rude to compare the two. Like choosing which pug you love best. 🙂

  26. Thanks to John Scalzi for an interesting q&a session, I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes open for his books next time I head to my bookstores. And thanks again Joe for the great BOTMC, even when I don’t or can’t get the books in time, I always appreciate reading peoples comments and hearing from the authors.

  27. Trish said –
    “Hey Joe,

    Wow! A blog dedication for me? Thanks so much! It put a smile on my face after a sad, yucky day. *sigh* It’s hard to be a grown-up some times. But chocolate helps.

    Watching 11 seasons of M*A*S*H will have the same effect as chocolate – especially the first 5 years!!!

  28. Awww, Joe, that was very sweet of you to dedicate the blog to Trish! 🙂 *Glomps her Trish*

    Also, thank you for the many pics of David of late, and the pics of Jason as well. 😀

    I’m still alive! XD I’m making progress on my mountain o’ personal projects, despite my muses distracting me with extra projects like Tony Stark’s Arc reactor. XD Hope *you’ve* been as productive as you’d like to be as well. 🙂

  29. Hi Joe! Hi John Scalzi!

    I really enjoyed reading The Android’s Dream and John’s Q&A. It was a great BOTM choice!

    One feature of the book I really liked was how natural the conversations were, even when they dealt with sci-fi elements. The words came across in a flowing, natural manner, versus the stilted way many people write speech.

    The Nidu, Takk, the Church, the dog people, Robin, and Brian were all very interesting and felt unique. The book was quite a page-turner!

    I thought the political intrique throughout the book was fun and interesting.

    I got the Nugent and Scientology references, as well as the title/sheep/PKD ref. 🙂

    I did wonder at the end whether the Church would actually turn everything over to Robin. I guess with all of the political intrigue and back-stabbing, it surprised me that the Church didn’t back out of their plan/rule/goal of giving Robin the money, even though they would continue to manage it (if I remember right).

    Have a lovely weekend!


  30. @ wolfenm – That is quite cool! Good job! I guess you liked the movie as much as I did, then! Only one this year (so far) that merited a second viewing, considering the cost of tickets these days.


  31. @ das Thankee kindly! #^^# Yes, Tony/Pepper, aka Pepperony (is that not the best shipper fandom name *ever*??), is my current obsession –I just spent the last three weeks writing a 20,000-word fic on them. (In my spare time, I mean — it didn’t take the *entire* three weeks. XD) I really want to see it on the big screen again, but I doubt I will get to. *pout* Hafta wait till DVD, I guess.

  32. I’m (very) late to the party, I know, but thought I’d go ahead and post my thanks. For posterity, let’s say.

    This is the first time I’ve had the chance to read the guest blog entries and know what in the world the author is talking about. It’s kind of thrilling! And to top it off, a few of my questions were answered! Fantastic!

    I really appreciate the time that Mr. Scalzi took to drop in and discuss TAD with all of us. Since finishing the book, I’ve been visiting his blog every so often, and he seems like a busy, busy guy. It’s nice to know that fans are important to him! (Frankly, the same could be said about you, Joe.)

    I have to comment on the humor question. I missed the comment that compared TAD to Hitchhiker and, while I did initially make that comparison, the humor in the two books is completely different. They are both great examples of how humor can be used to expand a good sci fi plot, but each author approaches the humor in a totally different way. It’s an interesting thought, though.

    Just this past weekend, I visited my parents and forced TAD on my dad with the order to read it soon. I’ve also been making my way through Old Man’s War, which, while not quite as fast paced and hilarious as TAD, is quite enjoyable. Thanks, Joe, for introducing me to a new author, and thanks, John, for stopping by!

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