Activity from jscalzi
Displaying comments 1 to 50 of 849
"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
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
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
'Am I being catfished?' An author confronts her number one online critic
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
This is where we turned it up to 11
A Rant Against The Quantification Of Aesthetics
OH GOD SUCH MUCH OVERTHINKING WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY
(beats head with desk)
DOES THIS PERSON REALLY THINK WE DO NOT KNOW ALL SUCH LISTS ARE CONTINGENT AND COMPROMISED WE'RE NOT MORONS JUST TELL US WHAT YOU FUCKING LIKE ALREADY
(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"
Though I suspect that title is incorrect in this context
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