Posts Tagged: John Scalzi


Via the New York Times, John Scalzi and Tor Books announced a new deal for thirteen novels worth a whopping $3.4 million. “Mr. Scalzi approached Tor Books, his longtime publisher, with proposals for 10 adult novels and three young adult novels over 10 years,” revealed John Schwartz of the New York Times.

Some of the included novels will be set in the same universe as Old Man’s War, and at least one will be a sequel to his most recent novel, Lock In. Scalzi’s editor at Tor, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, says that though Scalzi has never had a No. 1 bestseller, he “backlists like crazy.” Nielsen Hayden then revealed that Scalzi sells over 10,000 books a month, which is a very respectable number. “One of the reactions of people reading a John Scalzi novel is that people go out and buy all the other Scalzi novels,” Hayden said.

Scalzi’s Red Shirts, a satirical science fiction, won the Hugo Award for “Best Novel” in 2013.

“My celebration, personally, has just been standing around,” Scalzi told the New York Times. “And my wife saying, ‘Yes, now go take out the trash.’” It seems Scalzi’s trademark dry humour will remain intact, even under the weight of this mega deal.


A Chinese artist, known online as Shark’s Den, is producing some of today’s most incredible science fiction and fantasy book covers. Colourful and frenetic, hyper-detailed and lovingly bold, it’s as easy to get lost in the illustrations as it is in the novels themselves. From John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War to George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, The Legend of Korra and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, Shark’s Den has created incredible covers and artwork for some of SFF’s most beloved authors and series.

More of Shark’s Den’s work is available in his DeviantArt Gallery.

Lock In by John Scalzi

Say one thing for John Scalzi, he gets some damn fine covers from his publisher. Scalzi describes the book as ‘a near-future thriller involving a disease that causes people to be “locked in” inside their own bodies,’ and indicates that he feels the cover captures this essence. Irene Gallo, Art Director at Tor Books, describes the creation of the cover, ‘You can often describe an art director’s job as being a match-maker for author and designer and the John/Peter pairing has been a good for us. […] Peter [Lutjen] created a cover that expressed both their isolation and connectivity by painting tiny train model people.’ has the first official synopsis of the novel:

Fifteen years from now, a new virus sweeps the globe. 95% of those afflicted experience nothing worse than fever and headaches. Four per cent suffer acute meningitis, creating the largest medical crisis in history. And one percent find themselves “locked in”—fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to Stimulus.

One per cent doesn’t seem like a lot. But in the United States, that’s 1.7 million people “locked in” …including the President’s wife and daughter. Spurred by grief and the sheer magnitude of the suffering, America undertakes a massive scientific initiative. Nothing can restore to the “locked in” the ability to control their own bodies. But two new technologies emerge. One is a virtual reality environment, “The Agora,” in which the locked-in can interact with other humans, both locked-in and not. The other is the discovery that a few rare individuals have brains that are receptive to being controlled by others, meaning that from time to time, those who are locked in can “ride” these people and use their bodies as if they were their own.

This skill is quickly regulated, licensed, bonded, and controlled. Nothing can go wrong. Certainly nobody would be tempted to misuse it, for murder, for political power, or worse…

Lock In, which Scalzi is in the processing of completing at the time this cover was revealed, is due for publication on August 26th, 2014.

Redshirts by John Scalzi

Publisher: Tor Books - Pages: 320 - Buy: Book/eBook
REDSHIRTS by John Scalzi

Like many twenty-something Science Fiction fans, I grew up with a love of Star Trek and Star Wars (yeah, both of ’em. Come at me!) gifted to me by a family member. Star Trek, in particular, was a shared interest between me and my mom. I couldn’t match her, who read every novel published, and watched every episode of every series, in her enthusiasm, but I hold a fond spot in my heart for Geordi La Forge, Data and Quark, and even before-my-time Sulu and Kirk. That love in mind, Redshirts was of particular interest to me in its attempt to deconstruct the lazy narrative ambitions of network television and the Science Fiction genre as a whole.

The main narrative in Redshirts is told through a tight third-person voice, following Ensign Dahl, who, in very un-Scalzi-like fashion, is plain. Yeah, he’s also likable, like all of Scalzi’s other protagonists, but lacks the acidic tongue and wit that usually marks Scalzi’s other stars. This plain personality is even discussed at one point, when two characters examine his place in the overall narrative. They eventually peg as the everyman protagonist — which, of course, he is. The rest of the cast, however, more than makes up for this plainness, and Scalzi’s trademark humour and mile-a-minute dialogue hums along as expected. Read More »

Morningstar, developed by Industrial Toys

Set 120 years in the future, the premise revolves around a plausible future Earth, one that has developed near space flight, but nothing much faster. The story opens with Earth discovering a signal from an alien life. This discovery kicks off something called the Morning Star protocol, an agreement that outlines what to do if alien intelligence is discovered. The research vessel MSRV-Joplin is outfitted with military weapons and sent to Saturn, where the signal is coming from, to explore.

It’s not so much an announcement, as knowledge of Scalzi’s involvement with the creation of a videogame has been floating around for a while, but this is the first concrete information about the title. Scalzi reports on the project:

As most of you know, for the last year or so I’ve been working on a video game with Industrial Toys, the new video game studio formed by former Bungie founder Alex Seropian. We’ve been quietly chugging along in the background putting the game together; my job has been working with them to create an overall game concept as well as the narrative that fits into that concept. It’s been a hell of a lot of fun, in no small part because my co-workers at Industrial Toys are some of the smartest and most creative people in the video game business.


As the trailer notes, the video game is a first-person shooter, but with a bit of a twist: It’s designed specifically for mobile gaming on tablets, which means that everything — gameplay, controls, story — was put together incorporating both the physical layout of tablets and the gameplay dynamic of mobile gaming. It’s not a port from another video game medium, in other words: It’s at home in mobile. Which is also very exciting.

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