Activity from jscalzi
Displaying comments 1 to 50 of 870
You literally cannot pay me to speak without a Code of Conduct
How the ballpoint pen killed cursive
My handwriting has always been atrocious; my cursive even more so. I am content that these days my use for a pen is largely confined to signing books. I can't even imagine trying to write a book or even a short story by hand, using a pen of any sort; I would stab myself through the eye with that pen long before the story was written.
(That said, my preferred pen is a gel-ink ballpoint, 0.7mm tip -- ink comes out smoothly and is perfect for my writing… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 9:07 AM on August 30, 2015
“producing much fruit, or foliage, or many offspring”
I'm a fan of King, which I don't think would be surprising to anyone, although I think his best length is short -- his novellas and some of the shorter novels (although both IT and The Stand are exceptions to this general rule). But when all is said and done, Different Seasons and Four Past Midnight pack a very high ratio of awesome to pages.
I think it's difficult at times to really assess "profligacy." A few years ago I pointed out that George RR Martin and I… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 8:08 PM on August 28, 2015
The creative apocalypse that didn't happen
Slightly tangential, I think it's very positive that creators have more avenues and opportunities to connect with audiences; what I find a bit less positive is the tribalism that's popped up relating to the mechanics of that connection. It's always been there in music as far back as I can remember ("indie" vs. "major label" artists), but it's also happening in other creative fields now, including publishing, where I live and work. I find it less than positive because I think… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 8:07 AM on August 20, 2015
"But are these new avenues and opportunities translating into more (or even the same) money as before?"
Anecdotally, a lot of the musicians that I know in "nerd rock" (Paul & Storm, The Doubleclicks, Marian Call, etc) seem to be accessing money via Kickstarter/Patreon/etc that would have been difficult for them to get to in another era. And of course there are a number of self-pubbing writers, particularly in… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 9:12 AM on August 20, 2015
Do Ya Rock Hard or Rock Soft, That's What I Wanna Know
What happens when you talk about salaries at Google
As someone whose "salary" was made public recently, a couple of thoughts:
1. I think it makes sense for people to talk about how much they make, because the more information people have about what their peers make (for various versions of what "peer" might mean), the better equipped everyone is to ask for fair compensation for their work, and to be aware when their own compensation is out of line, either positively or negatively.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 8:19 AM on July 21, 2015
Chuck Not So Amuck
The Thunder From Down Under
Keep your day job, Ted. On second thought... DON'T.
I just assumed Harry Shearer leaving the show was a "work" that they planned to keep the series in the news.
PROVE ME WRONG, KIDS. PROVE ME WRONG.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 1:58 PM on July 7, 2015
“Don’t Worry About Money, Just Travel”
In my 20s I had very little desire to travel; I was busy building a career and I was having a hell of a lot of fun doing that. In my 30s my daughter was too young to understand or enjoy a lot of travel, so we didn't do a whole lot of it then, either. Here in my 40s people ask me to make appearances all over the world, my kid is old enough to enjoy it when we take her, and when I'm not traveling on someone else's dime, I have the means to afford the trip and enjoy the experience better.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 8:14 AM on July 4, 2015
New York Times? Get a rope!
"...and I realized that it was a really beautiful day."
Lotho Sackville-Baggins does not make the list
2015 Nebula Award Winners
"What? No John Scalzi? "
I CAN'T WIN EVERYTHING YOU KNOW.
It looks suspicious when I do.
(Moves eyes shiftily, hides cabal membership card)
Speaking as the former president of the organization which gives out the Nebulas, I'm deeply pleased with the outcome this year. Very good nominees, very good winners. 2014 was a high water mark in recent years for SF/F and I think the Nebula ballot reflected that, as do the Locus and Campbell/Sturgeon lists.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 11:45 AM on June 8, 2015
"The real rare bird is the writer who debuts after 40."
I had my first novel published when I was 36; I won an award for "Best New Writer" when I was 37; the year I got that "new writer" award I had been writing professionally for 17 years. I tell people, truthfully, that I needed every one of those 17 years to pick up that particular award.
I also tell people that if I had had the same sort of success at 25 that I had at 36, when my first novel came out and did well, that I almost certainly would have… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 9:06 AM on May 22, 2015
the most emotionally affecting music is what was popular when I was 13
Dan Wilson, the lead singer of Semisonic, has done all right for himself since; he co-wrote and produced "Somebody Like You," for Adele, winning an Album of the Year Grammy as a result. He also won a Song of the Year Grammy for "Not Ready to Make Nice" which he co-wrote with the Dixie Chicks. That's a pretty decent second act.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 9:32 PM on May 20, 2015
The Accidental Swami
"I'm not the greatest ambassador for the test... My favorite movie is Groundhog Day, which doesn't pass the Bechdel Test"
Actually it does, because it has the three women who get a flat tire talk about the flat tire very briefly before they realize Phil Connors is changing their tire (See scene beginning at 1:40 here).
Note that this is the very definition of barely squeaking over the finish line,… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 4:45 PM on May 10, 2015
The Hardee's-Carl's Jr. Line
Poor Ivy League Students
I resemble this article: I was the first person in my immediate family to graduate from high school, much less go to college, and I went to the University of Chicago (not an Ivy, but consistently ranked in the top ten universities). I was poor and there was a (very) brief time when I was in college where when I went home for Christmas I had no home to go to. I ended up crashing with friends for the entire holiday.
For all that I integrated pretty well. One reason for… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 7:43 PM on April 22, 2015
"We decided that our first record of the '90s ought to be different."
Because "101" holds the same place in the Depeche Mode discography that "Rattle and Hum" does in the U2 discography: The indulgent live album that signals when the band started believing its own press releases. U2 did manage to eke one more great album after that moment (Achtung Baby); Depeche Mode hasn't, although Ultra was pretty good. Some good singles since then, but, albums, no.
With that said, Violator is a magnificent album.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 3:03 PM on March 21, 2015
Damn it, 101 came out before Violator, completely invalidating my complaint.
(turns in Depeche Mode Fan Club badge)
(walks away, weeping)
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 3:43 PM on March 21, 2015
Oh, I think he's been doing just fine.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 6:31 PM on March 21, 2015
Fewer Women Run Big Companies Than Men Named John
“You see the words hit the paper. There’s no distractions.”
I started writing seriously as a Freshman in high school (for whatever value of "seriously" one wishes to ascribe to that particular age), which is the same year that the first Macintosh computer came out. My friend Eddie had one; I wrote my first short story on it. Whereas my only experience with a typewriter was to type just fast enough on it to be excused from a typing class, also in my freshman year.
As a result my writing experience is defined by how one… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 5:47 AM on February 22, 2015
An Answer to the Novel’s Detractors
How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life
Justine Sacco (and a number of others in a similar situation) appear to have fallen prey to the fact that the failure mode of "clever" is "asshole," and that it's very very easy on social media to fail at being clever.
If there's one advantage I have in being a person of note (at whatever level being a science fiction author conveys notability), it's the awareness that every tweet/facebook post/blog entry is public performance to a greater or lesser… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 7:07 PM on February 12, 2015
How To Tell If You Are In A Soft Science Fiction Novel
Money, privilege, luck, connections
"Also MeFi's Own scalzi has no problems detailing where his money comes from"
At the moment, it's majority from fiction writing, either directly (advances, royalties, foreign sales) or indirectly (film/TV options). I do also recognize that I'm an outlier as far as writing incomes go.
On the issue of spouses and their contribution to the writing life, I think it's worth noting that a supportive spouse is incredibly useful and important… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 5:25 PM on January 25, 2015
"Also, FWIW: when your 1099 says 'Royalties' on it, that's a flat 35% tax rate. It doesn't scale up like salary or wages."
You might want to get a second opinion on that from an accountant. If books are your primary source of income, you have to pay self-employment taxes (you'll also have to file quarterly), but otherwise "royalty income is considered ordinary income and not capital gains, except for musical works.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 6:24 PM on January 25, 2015
"I'll be honest: I don’t want to stay up until 4 AM any more at shows"
"A Terrible Scene With Lingering Bad Feelings"
B is for Bono
I liked this newsletter more than I liked the new album, and paid the same for both, so.
But, yeah, I'm with the folks upthread who have a fondness for Bono has that no filter guy who really does mean well. If he hadn't become BONO, I suspect he'd be the most garrulous guy down the pub, the one who never shuts up but always pays for the round when it's his turn. Which, you know. There are worse things to be.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 9:44 AM on January 2, 2015
Urge Overkill “Stalker” discusses her antics
Agree with um here. I stopped reading the interview half way through because it was clear this was mostly about someone not being mentally stable. It wasn't funny, just a little sad. The article makes it sounds like harassing this band really was the highlight of this woman's life, and that's a depressing thought.
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 4:12 AM on December 29, 2014
Young Frankenstein at 40: not so young, but still Brooks' finest film
Brooks on that:
"'Young Frankenstein,'" he said, is "by far the best movie I ever made. Not the funniest — 'Blazing Saddles' was the funniest, and hot on its heels would be 'The Producers.' But as a writer-director, it is by far my finest."
posted to MetaFilter by jscalzi at 4:50 PM on December 20, 2014
Writers can now afford butter with their Toast
Everyone is poised to attack anyone. But it's all a joke.
"I'm not the only one who could be blackmailed for this album"
The first rule of Art Club? Don’t talk about how you run Art Club
"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
"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
"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
"Trash has given us an appetite for art."
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
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