I started writing on computers -- the first Mac came out my Freshman year of high school -- and the idea of writing anything longer than a short poem by hand fills me with existential terror. I just can't imagine how people do it.
But, to the point of Harlan Ellison, what works works, and you'd be foolish to do what doesn't work for you. So if longhand works, use longhand. If a typewriter works, use a typewriter. Right now, I use a computer and Word or Google Docs.... [more] posted to MetaFilter by jscalziat 7:22 AM on February 21, 2014
Ms. Crabapple is an average artist and an average writer who happens to also be a very attractive, free-spirited young woman. Remove the sex appeal from the package and all of a sudden the emperor has no clothes.
I don't think you've put quite enough dismissively sexist contempt into your comment, gertzedek. The asshole curator in her opening sentence still has you beat, although not by much.... [more] posted to MetaFilter by jscalziat 3:09 PM on January 27, 2014
My Song Got Played On Pandora 1 Million Times and All I Got Was $16.89, Less Than What I Make From a Single T-Shirt Sale! -- From David Lowery, formerly of Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker.
If you want to support a musician, actually buy their albums. Spotify and Pandora ain't gonna cut it.
My personal rule of thumb is that if I listen to an album (or a significant chunk of it) more than three times on a streaming service, then that means I like... [more] posted to MetaFilter by jscalziat 7:28 PM on January 26, 2014
Also an actual expert doesn't mind being challenged, because they actually have the answers, and can back them up.
Actual experts mind being challenged when they have the answers and can back them up, and the person they are having the discussion with ignore that points to plow ahead anyway, reasserting their points as if the expert had said nothing at all, certain in the knowledge that they just keep talking eventually they will... [more] posted to MetaFilter by jscalziat 8:57 AM on January 25, 2014
I sometimes speak to people as the characters do in the story, to amuse myself and for ironic purposes. I believe I started doing this after I first read this piece several years ago.
I should note that when I do this, people either roll their eyes at me or are irritated, because they think I think they are idiots.
I should really stop doing this. posted to MetaFilter by jscalziat 4:41 AM on November 29, 2013
"most sci-fi is awful."
IT IS TERRIBLE and all the people who write it should feel terrible. "Back to word school with you!" I'd say! "Come back when you can verbinate and nounify like a grownupian!" posted to MetaFilter by jscalziat 4:52 AM on November 29, 2013
"I continue to wonder how Boehner's district can be willing to return him to office."
Speaking as a constituent, because Boehner's district is comprised of counties that have been reliably conservative and Republican for decades (the last time the OH-8 had a Democrat as a representative FDR was in office) and in a general sense he's well-aligned with the politics of his constituency and popular with his voters.... [more] posted to MetaFilter by jscalziat 1:12 PM on November 7, 2013
The Simpsons makes a shitload of money for Fox and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Anyone who thinks that Fox is going to fiddle with the one series in its stable that is the closest television has ever come to a perpetual motion money machine is an idiot. They certainly not going to listen to some schmuck from Slate about it. posted to MetaFilter by jscalziat 6:29 AM on October 23, 2013
The Webb Schools (the high school Mr. Terris attends) happens to be my alma mater (class of '87); it's the only high school in the US, and possibly on the planet, with its own accredited paleontological museum on campus (the Alf Museum).
The paleontology trips are a feature of the school; they're called "peccary trips" (because an early trip led to discovery of an entire rare peccary skeleton) and many if not most of the students go on at least one during the... [more] posted to MetaFilter by jscalziat 5:45 PM on October 22, 2013
The shorter version of this is that King isn't a literary snob of any sort; he'll grab anything from anywhere and throw it into the pot just to see what it'll taste like. This is what makes him so accessible: No matter what he's doing there's some part of it you can relate to, and no matter what it's usually clear King is having fun. When you're aiming for entertainment (and King always is), that matters. posted to MetaFilter by jscalziat 8:06 AM on October 12, 2013
My writing routine is to fuck around until I realize I actually have to get paid sometime this year if I want to keep my house. Then the words flow. posted to MetaFilter by jscalziat 9:53 AM on October 6, 2013
I was a professional critic of film and music for a number of years and I didn't shy away from giving negative reviews when I felt negative about the work. But it's worth noting that when I was doing that work, I wasn't given the option of what work to review; particularly with film, my job was to review every film that came into town. With music, what I reviewed was mostly assigned, not chosen.
These days people are interested in knowing my reviews of books... [more] posted to MetaFilter by jscalziat 1:56 PM on September 26, 2013
Man, I GOT to stop huffing freon before awards ceremonies. posted to MetaFilter by jscalziat 5:21 AM on September 20, 2013
"Mr. Scalzi, how do you get your enemies?"
Oh, just lucky, I guess.
As noted on my own site, no matter who wins the Hugo, there are always people or groups who express discontent and point to the win as an example of How There's Something Wrong With The Hugo, etc. This year is my turn in the barrel. I suppose the only thing worse is not getting a turn in the barrel.... [more] posted to MetaFilter by jscalziat 6:55 AM on September 20, 2013
I remember when the same basic complaints/observations were given about Generation X, so to some extent this just feels like it's Gen Y's time in the barrel -- although it does seem it's coming later than it should; we should really be harping on those slacker Millennials by now.
Likewise, while it's fashionable to harp on Baby Boomers sucking up all the good things for themselves, I am filled with the memory of my Baby Boomer mother struggling as a single mother through... [more] posted to MetaFilter by jscalziat 9:28 AM on September 17, 2013
A couple of years ago my basement had basically become a firetrap, in no small part because I get sent anywhere from ten to forty books/ARCs a week from publishers (mostly science fiction and fantasy, as that's my line of work) and there was almost no room left to move down there.
The first thing I did was donate as many books as I could to the local library, for their shelves and for their book sales. Then I invited friends to come in and take any books they wanted.... [more] posted to MetaFilter by jscalziat 6:39 AM on September 10, 2013
As a writer, I consider it useful. It reminds me to have more women characters and to have them have lives, motivations and story arcs of their own outside the male characters of the story -- or to have a very good reason, narratively, why I don't. Not every story or novel I write passes the Bechdel test, but more do than before I was mindful of it, and when they don't it's... [more] posted to MetaFilter by jscalziat 4:08 PM on August 29, 2013
The "author submits famous book under his own name, it gets rejected, proof no one in publishing knows what they're doing" thing gets recycled every few years; it amuses those who like to say "HA! I KNEW IT!" and is otherwise harmless to everyone else. The last one I heard of was a couple of years ago with Pride and Prejudice, I think; it'll come around again at some soonish point.
The idea that even a book that's already been published can be... [more] posted to MetaFilter by jscalziat 11:40 AM on August 6, 2013
"The Tall Guy" is unironically one of my favorite films. Goofy and sweet and madly funny (it was one of the early film scripts of Richard Curtis). Just love it. So thanks for that, Mel. posted to MetaFilter by jscalziat 2:49 AM on July 21, 2013
I once figured out that George RR Martin and I write at more or less the same pace, in terms of total words of novel published, and no one ever seriously accuses me of being slow with the product. The only difference between the two of us is that he puts those same number of words into fewer novels.
In any event, everyone using this thread as another chance to reheat their grievances re: GRRM's writing pace should be aware he's going to write at the pace he wants to... [more] posted to MetaFilter by jscalziat 3:53 PM on July 19, 2013
"In other words, the author has an unspoken contractual agreement with those who've purchased his books thus far to finish the series."
No, that's entirely wrong. The author has an explicit contractual agreement with the publisher. Which, incidentally, does not guarantee a series will complete either -- a publisher may drop a series in the middle if it doesn't sell well, or may go into bankruptcy, locking up the rights to the... [more] posted to MetaFilter by jscalziat 9:13 AM on July 20, 2013