25 Years of Whatever
September 15, 2023 10:24 AM   Subscribe

Writer John Scalzi celebrates the 25th anniversary of his blog, Whatever, with some cromulent retrospection and a great big surprise party.

Scalzi reflects on doing a thing for 25 years, and how that thing finds a life of its own.
posted by kristi (12 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Metafilter's Own John Scalzi, of course.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 10:39 AM on September 15 [16 favorites]

Happy blog birthday John!

I’ve been reading Whatever on and off almost since its inception. I was one of those who sent a donation to show my appreciation for Agent to the Stars before he became a traditionally published novelist. I met him once at a book signing and he was as gracious and interesting in person as he is online.

Here’s to another 25 years!
posted by tdismukes at 10:54 AM on September 15 [2 favorites]

Happy Birthday John! I have been enjoying the Old Man's War series this year :)
posted by supermedusa at 11:20 AM on September 15

i "met" him at a reading/book signing in west philadelphia in the late 00s or early 10s. he was gracious, and signed my copy of old man's war in the ridiculous manner i asked. my agoraphobia was too bad to go, but he went with the sci-fi group who hosted the signing out to a diner down the road and apparently they all hung out for a while. i regret missing that to this day.

he also did a reading another time at our local b&n. they put him way in the back and had like 10 audience chairs and >50 people in this tiny little nook. i asked a worker for more chairs and they didn't have any because "they didn't expect he would draw such a crowd." it was the day after bradbury died and he (scalzi) read "there will come soft rains" and so many people were in tears, including, i think, scalzi.

i still read all his books, but don't follow his blog anymore. when i do pop in from time to time, he still seems like a cool guy.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 11:51 AM on September 15 [8 favorites]

I haven’t read any of his books yet, but I baked his schadenfreude pie on Black Friday during 2020 lockdown, and it was a very fun experience. (I swear I’m going to read his books—they sound great. And I really enjoy his presence on Mastodon and his blog. But for whatever reason when I think of Scalzi, I think pie first.)
posted by Suedeltica at 12:13 PM on September 15 [3 favorites]

I love so many of his sci-fi stories, but his essay about being poor is phenomenal: https://whatever.scalzi.com/2005/09/03/being-poor/ (And the one ten years later: https://whatever.scalzi.com/2015/09/03/being-poor-ten-years-on/ )
posted by wenestvedt at 1:22 PM on September 15 [8 favorites]

My copy of Old Man's, signed as "mefi's own John Scalzi, " was lost with the majority of my books a few years ago. I'll get him to sign another copy the same way if I catch one of his tours again.

This is all to say, I fully expect him to be writing for anther 25 years.
posted by Hactar at 1:26 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]

I’d been ‘off’ SF (sci-fi to you newbies:-) for a good stretch, work/life/finished all Asimov and Heinlein…. Scalzi’s blog brought me back into the fold. Thanks John!
posted by sammyo at 2:33 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]

I'd also quietly note that Whatever -- which is I believe slightly older than Athena -- has been a pretty good running illustration of Scalzi as a parent, and in particular as a very online parent of a daughter.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:32 PM on September 15

I've read a book or three of yours, never until 30-45 minutes ago been to your site. Ridiculously, what has struck me hardest, or hard anyway, is how happy you clearly are, based upon the photos there. I had in my mind a man with a face wound tight, smart as can be but tight, but what comes through clear is ease, happiness. Unless these photos are big fat liars -- and I don't at all think that they are -- your life has taken you to smart and happy, a good combination.

79 is young, and younger every day. When we were kids 79 was close to 111, now it's scarce past 63. I look forward to seeing those photos -- I intend to be here and I'd bet on you showing up, too.
posted by dancestoblue at 8:13 PM on September 15 [2 favorites]

Jesus. 25 years?! God, I'm feeling old.
posted by brundlefly at 12:50 AM on September 16

I think my favourite book of Scalzi's is Agent to the Stars, which given it's one of his first, is not meant to be an indictment on his other works (at least up to about Zoe's Tale; his latter books have been not entirely to my taste). But Whatever has been the site for some very fine writing, and honestly any blog going for 25 years is worthy of a salute.
posted by Merus at 6:42 AM on September 17

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