Activity from jscalzi

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Writers can now afford butter with their Toast
Drinky Die:

"That John Scalzi, what a troublemaker."

ZOMG HE IS THE WORST I met him once and he smells like licorice WHO EVEN EATS THAT SHIT
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 6:03 AM on December 18, 2014

Everyone is poised to attack anyone. But it's all a joke.
I find this sort of presentation more difficult to read than it should be; a reminder that (for me, at least) Twitter is not a perfect vehicle for long-form writing. This is why I still maintain a blog and then link over from Twitter.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 9:56 AM on December 16, 2014

"I'm not the only one who could be blackmailed for this album"
I listened to it once.

The odds of me ever listening to it again are 3,720 to one.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 9:01 PM on December 15, 2014

The first rule of Art Club? Don’t talk about how you run Art Club
Potomac Avenue:

"Art is not a business. It is Art."

(insert enormous eye-roll here)
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 6:13 AM on December 14, 2014
Potomac Avenue:

"Don't eye-roll me Mr. Scalzi"

Then don't make eyeroll-worthy assertions, if you please. Otherwise you'll get an eyeroll from me, and it will be deserved.

Art certainly is a business -- or at the very least can be. There is also art that is made without any reference to commercial intent. The motivation for art is all over the board, as are its channels of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 2:10 PM on December 14, 2014
Potomac Avenue:

"So you agree with me entirely but your problem is you think I'm being mean to Amanda Palmer?"

Well, no. To recap, you made an eyeroll-worthy assertion, which I duly eyerolled. After I eyerolled it, you shifted or at least expanded your position and are now trying to assert that I've agreed with you all along. Which, you know, fine. From my point of view it would have been better had you simply not... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 7:40 AM on December 15, 2014

We are not animals, are we?
I don't use Oxford commas, unless I do. And when I do, I have a reason for using them. Either way, when a copy editor fucks with my comma placement, I usually STET that shit, unless they have a point, then I don't.

I trust this is sufficiently clear.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 7:28 AM on December 12, 2014

The Comic-Book Guys Quivering in Fear of Cosplay
These guys should really stop cosplaying as the courtiers of King Canute.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 9:44 AM on December 11, 2014

"Trash has given us an appetite for art."
That site reminds me that 1995's Web is gone for a reason.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 2:25 PM on December 7, 2014

Spoiler alert: U2 is number one
Unabashed fan of U2, and if you think Songs of Innocence was the number one album of the year, you need a bat to the head. It's better than No Line On The Horizon, but Bono gargling was better than that album. I don't see, in any realistic world, ranking the album higher than #47 or so, and honestly it shouldn't be in a top 50 list at all.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 8:22 PM on December 1, 2014

Look, It's Only One More Season...
Re Disney buying Lucasfilm:

I wrote about it a bit on my site when it happened, but in short, and in my professional opinion, Disney buying Lucasfilm meant the chance of any future Star Wars films actually being entertaining went up exponentially, particularly because it's clear that the company is applying the Marvel model to the universe. The Marvel movies are super-competent entertainments that apply excellent actors to better-than-they-have-to-be plots, which make... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 10:00 AM on November 28, 2014

If all he's involved in is story, it'll be fine. He was involved in the story for Empire, recall. And then Brackett and Kasdan wrote the script.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 10:11 AM on November 28, 2014

Now is the time to engage.
I think it's worth noting the difference between dealing with people you know, with whom you have credibility, and dealing with (for example) a pile-on of idjits on Twitter sent into your path via a hashtag or one of their "celebrities" trying to pick a fight with you. The former may be worth engaging; the latter generally may not be. I don't have any problem picking and choosing battles.

It's also worth noting that I will sometimes engage someone whose mind I... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 11:08 AM on November 27, 2014

Internet culture puts trolling on a pedestal

"This was prompted by thinking that jscalzi's blocklist would be worth subscribing to."

It's not; I block almost no one.

On the other hand, I mute quite a lot of people on Twitter.

It's a different dynamic. If I block you, you know it (because among other things Twitter won't let you send a tweet to me); if I mute you, you do not, unless I tell you. And... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 6:04 AM on November 25, 2014
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 6:08 AM on November 25, 2014

"If you mute someone from TweetDeck and check twitter from your iPhone, you're still going to see that user."

I use the Web instance of Tweetdeck across all my devices for this reason; it keeps my mute list consistent.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 1:00 PM on November 25, 2014

Ursula K. Le Guin on writing and freedom at the National Book Awards

"Interested in a comment from MeFi's Own jscalzi on this. Scalzi has been pretty upfront about writing in X style because that's where the money is."

Well, if I really wanted to write where the money was, I'd be doing epic fantasy rather than science fiction, since it sells substantially more than SF lit at this point. I write science fiction because I like it, and I write in a commercial fashion because... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 8:18 PM on November 22, 2014

None of us had any money, and all of us had time.
As soon as he wrote "margin account" I already knew where that was going to go.

Index funds, people. Seriously. If you're going to invest in the market, that's the best course of action for 98% of humans.

He's correct that poor people are poor in their own ways. He descended into poverty through a series of (in retrospect) poor decisions and still managed a relatively soft landing (inasmuch as anything involving poverty can be... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 8:50 AM on November 16, 2014

The Great Heinlein Juveniles Plus The Other Two Reread
I wrote about the Heinlein juveniles recently, as in, I have a teenage daughter and a couple of years ago I gave her Starman Jones to read to see what she thought of it. She politely read a couple of chapters, determined it wasn't for her, and hasn't been back to check out any of the rest of them.

Which didn't really surprise me. Heinlein's juveniles were already dated when I first read them more than 30 years ago, and the social changes in the last... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 8:59 AM on November 15, 2014

"It's okay for SF to let them and Asimov and some of the other mid-century writers age into historical canon and out of active reading."

That's already happening. No amount of pounding on the table and demanding that Heinlein or any other golden age sf author is still relevant will keep them so if people don't buy the books. Heinlein will always be part of the background radiation of the genre, and I don't think that's a bad... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 9:50 AM on November 15, 2014

"Bartleby the Scrivener."

And yes, I did that off the top of my head.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 8:03 PM on November 15, 2014

"Scalzi said that Heinlein made his characters human."

Well, I said that two of the lessons are to make characters speak like people speak, and act like people act. But implicit in this -- and something that, were I to write the piece now, i would probably note more directly -- is that characters aren't real people, and dialogue isn't real speech. Both are signifiers. I think Heinlein did a pretty good job in making those... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 8:24 AM on November 16, 2014

not to be too Lindsay Lohan
I had a brother I didn't know I had for the first twelve years of my life. Not twins though (he's older). And looks nothing like me. And acts nothing like me! Hmmmm.

That said, it is very weird to go through a significant portion of your life and suddenly learn you have a sibling you were never told about. Seems like a thing someone should have mentioned somewhere along the way. There's definitely an adjustment period.

(The short version: Mom... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 7:20 AM on November 14, 2014

With a Little Help From My Fwends
Three tracks in. Seems more interested in being peculiar than in being listenable, but, eh.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 10:16 AM on October 20, 2014

'Am I being catfished?' An author confronts her number one online critic
Yeah, don't do this.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 9:40 AM on October 18, 2014
You're supposed to say my name three times in a mirror. Then I show up AND THEN TALK AT YOU IN ALL CAPS. You might think it would be difficult to talking all caps. IT IS NOT.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 9:52 AM on October 18, 2014
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 11:12 AM on October 18, 2014

This is where we turned it up to 11
I inputted "Madness" by Muse and got the following response:

"That track is way too dramatic for me. Try another."
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 7:11 AM on September 27, 2014

A Rant Against The Quantification Of Aesthetics

(beats head with desk)


(collapses into a pile of unnnnnnnnngh)
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 11:49 AM on September 25, 2014

Has science fiction lost the plot?
I'm wary of when a writer employs "Once upon a time" as a rhetorical trope, as Mr. Sales has done in this essay, because it often means you're about to be fed a fairy tale, which is what I think Mr. Sales is doing here -- he's offering a highly edited version of the past and current state of science fiction to argue against a particular brand of science fiction he's not happy with.

His position elides, for example, the fact that apocalyptic and dystopic themes... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 6:19 AM on September 1, 2014

"It's hard to imagine any of this stuff ever encroaching on territory that Kafka or Dostoyevsky have got scent-marked."

It's hard to imagine a science fiction/fantasy writer might encroach on territory held by a writer who had a protagonist wake up as a large bug in one book, and featured a different protagonist trapped in the maw of a dystopian bureaucracy in another? I'm not 100% behind your police work here.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 6:42 AM on September 1, 2014

So long, "Big X"
I always thought of him as a director first, actor second. He did, after all, win his Oscar for direction (for Gandhi in 1982), and directed several other notable films. But either way, someone to be missed.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 6:20 PM on August 24, 2014

Though I suspect that title is incorrect in this context
I suspect Metafilter is not the intended audience for this particular list.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 4:26 AM on August 23, 2014

You go!

To be clear, the "stupid" in my comment in no way references Gene Wolfe, who is a wonderful writer (and to whom I, as president of SFWA, was pleased to give the organization's Grand Master award).
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 10:35 AM on August 18, 2014
Re: withdrawing from awards consideration:

It happens with reasonable frequency. After I won the Fan Writer Hugo in 2008, as part of my acceptance speech I explicitly asked people to not to nominate the next year (as context, the previous winner of the award had won it 19 years in a row). The person who won it the year after me did the same, as did Jim C. Hines when he won it in 2012. David Hartwell withdrew himself for consideration for Best Long Form Editor after three... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 11:50 AM on August 18, 2014

Dialect isn’t just people talking funny
Ladies and gentlemen, MeFi's own maryrobinette.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 6:24 AM on August 7, 2014

"the sound of a man whose deepest wish is to erase himself"
Sounds kinda Blue Nile to me, personally.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 7:18 PM on August 2, 2014

DUDE, You have got to stop listening to your mom.
If I remember correctly (and I might not), "Run, Forrest! Run!" took off because of Fight Club, and Brad Pitt yelling it at Raymond K. Hessel.

At least, I don't remember hearing it a lot before Fight Club, and then after Fight Club, I heard it all the time.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 10:34 AM on July 9, 2014

Hollywood Magic: impossibly young mothers, ageism against women
On the topic of Marvel movies, Rene Russo is 30 years older than Chris Hemsworth, and thus entirely credible as his mother.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 5:52 AM on July 8, 2014

"Everybody gets it. This is a singular voice."
"mefi's own and sci fi author Dan Scalzi"

Dan's here?!? That bastard owes me money!
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 9:14 AM on June 28, 2014

...and then I *tried* to have a shit.
Give each other days off for a little solo time and develop a network of sitters (or couples in a similar situation) so the two parents can see a movie, or sit in a library or a coffee shop or whatever together.

After our daughter was born our friends assumed that they would never see us again, but we did the "one stays home, one goes out thing," so that each of us would still have adult human contact. Our friends were honestly amazed that... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 1:40 PM on June 22, 2014

Service with a Swipe
I don't see this being of much benefit for picky eaters. I don't like jalapenos on my nachos, or onions on my cheeseburgers, for example. Unless there's a way to note that on the tablet -- or to ask for substitutions, etc -- then my customer satisfaction is going to go way down.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 7:52 AM on June 21, 2014

Following your heart is another tolerable option
I let her pick me. Worked pretty well.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 7:48 AM on June 21, 2014

Give it 30 years and the overstuffed chair becomes hip and high brow...
Honestly, I have no idea what kind of bowl the servants use to make the salad. I wonder what class that makes me.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 10:19 AM on June 14, 2014

"If you can read this, I have cancer again."

"Now we won't have a follow up from METAtropolis and METAtropolis:Cascadia..."

Actually, there's METAtropolis: Green Space.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 7:10 AM on June 2, 2014

Ginger Baker is quite the interviewee
I did a phone interview once with Barry Levinson that was that sort of monosyllabic unhelpfulness; I cut it short after a few minutes and then called the publicist and told her I wouldn't be running the interview. She wasn't happy about it but didn't blame me; apparently Levinson had been cranky to interviewers all day. To be fair, he was doing interviews for Jimmy Hollywood, which was terrible, so I guess he had reason to be cranky.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 9:32 AM on May 15, 2014

Surrender to The Void in style!
Chris and I went to the same high school. I knew him when!
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 11:32 PM on May 11, 2014

Reclaiming Heinlein
The "Heinlein couldn't win a Hugo today" argument is predicated on the idea that Robert Heinlein, a man who rather famously and successfully tuned his career to escape the poorly-paid ghetto of pulps by tuning his works to "the slicks" -- magazines like Collier's and The Saturday Evening Post -- would be writing the same books today as he did in the 40s, 50s and 60s. Which is, in my not uninformed... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 10:49 AM on May 9, 2014

Typewriters v. Computers: the argument revisited (again).

"I think computers kill writing careers"

Yeah, no. I've written exclusively on computers since I was fourteen. I can't imagine not writing on a computer; indeed, the idea of writing on a typewriter fills me with dread. There are so many things about my process that are native to writing on a computer that writing on a typewriter would be excessively detrimental. I mean, shit. The idea of... [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 7:07 PM on May 8, 2014

The novel is dead!

Then more the fool he.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 1:33 PM on May 4, 2014

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