Random Firings from My Brain

March 24, 2008

Hugo Nominee John Scalzi

Filed under: Uncategorized — Daniel @ 9:46 am

 I liked the world famous snarkiness of John Scalzi so much better when it was just on his blog.  Now, when I read his newer books, such as the Hugo Nominated The Last Colony, I feel like I am reading a very extended blog entry, Whatever in Space!  I’m almost scared to read The Sagan Diary, which is written from the point of view of Jane Sagan.  A Vaguely Feminine Whatever in Space!  I liked Old Man’s War a lot and The Ghost Brigades too.  But more and more it seems like, as a novelist, Scalzi is just a one trick pony.  I don’t begrudge the man making a living or winning awards, but I do think I can wait for the mass market paperback of Zoe’s Tale.


1 Comment »

  1. You might actually enjoy The Sagan Diary, then, since it takes all the things that are the hallmarks of my writing voice — the snarkiness, the funny quips, the snappy dialogue — and uses none of them. Mostly because I wanted to see if I could pull off writing something without them. Personally, I think the end result is one of the best things I’ve written, although the reaction of readers is wildly mixed; some love it, some think it’s absolutely the worst thing of mine they’ve ever read. This is what happens when you fiddle with the formula.

    As for being a one trick pony in the novels, well, you know. It’s a good trick. And in the case of the Old Man’s War novels, there’s a good reason to keep them consistent in voice. So in the short run, the overall tone/tenor of the novels isn’t going to change much, because it’s both critically and commercially successful, and I also enjoy writing the way I write. At the same time, I’m using some of the short fiction I do as a place to experiment with form and voice, to see what works and what doesn’t. If some of the things I try in short fiction works, then it will migrate into the longer work over time; if it doesn’t then at least it was worth a shot.

    But it does take time to see what works. Keep in mind that I’ve been published in SF for only three years now; trying a big swing in voice over so short a time (even if I could do it as a matter of writing skill) could confuse readers (NB: The Sagan Diary reaction) and would definitely freak out my publisher, who likes knowing what he gets when he gets something from me. These things get done bit by bit.

    Which is not an attempt to dissuade you from waiting until Zoe’s Tales goes into mass market; just a peek behind the scenes.

    Comment by John Scalzi — March 24, 2008 @ 11:40 am | Reply

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