Scalzi enters a defense

After minimizing and denigrating the science fiction canon that he has, perhaps more than any other author, personally degraded and defiled, John Scalzi offers a feeble defense:

The dimwitted bigot brigade finally came across my piece about the Science Fiction canon from a couple of weeks ago and had a predictable spasm about it, asserting how it was evidence that (I’m paraphrasing from various sources, here) a) science fiction and fantasy was dying, b) traditional publishing (the sf/f parts of it anyway) is dying too, c) I’m responsible in some measure for a) and b), despite d) the fact that apparently I don’t actually sell and/or only sell through byzantine sleight of hand by the publishing industry for reasons and also e) I suck, f) which is why I don’t want people to read older works because then they would realize that, and while we’re at it g) modern sf/f is infested with terrible work from people who aren’t straight white dudes, h) which I, a straight white dude, am also somehow responsible for, and so in short, i) everything is my fault, and j) I am simultaneously a nobody and also history’s worst monster.

It’s a lot! I think it must be tiring to be a dimwitted bigot, thinking about me.

In fact it’s been a pretty solid year so far for traditionally-published science fiction and fantasy. in terms of sales.

For once, I don’t think McRapey is lying, I think he’s just ignorant and ill-informed. In publishing terms, “a solid year” means growth of 5 to 10 percent. For example, Publisher’s Weekly described general nonfiction as having had a solid year in 2019: “General nonfiction also had a solid year, with print units ahead 8.8{fb585635b9f6189e33442b25caac15ec2544d7054f182b4f92840c6cee65accd}.”

Science fiction, not so much.

Print unit sales in adult fiction fell again in 2019, though at a slower rate than in 2018, when units dropped 4.6{fb585635b9f6189e33442b25caac15ec2544d7054f182b4f92840c6cee65accd}…. Science fiction had the largest decline among the adult fiction genres, with units down 19.7{fb585635b9f6189e33442b25caac15ec2544d7054f182b4f92840c6cee65accd}.

A 20 percent decline is not “a solid year” for the genre, it is approaching catastrophe. Now, you might suggest that he’s referring to 2020, which would be an interesting trick considering the fact there are no substantive statistics reported on the various market segments yet. And while unit sales of print books in the first half of 2020 were up 2.8{fb585635b9f6189e33442b25caac15ec2544d7054f182b4f92840c6cee65accd} over the same period in 2019, most of that increase appears to be in the children’s nonfiction category since parents were having to school their children at home during the lockdown.

Anyhow, by this point it should be clear that while Scalzi is an expert at conning publishers and snowing SJWs, he’s not exactly a reliable source on the business of selling books or running a business.

The Left has cucks too

It’s amazing how these fake “free speech advocates” are afraid to tell the truth even when they are taking a public stand:

More than 150 academics and writers including the likes of JK Rowling, Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie have called for an end to ‘cancel culture,’ to defend their right to freedom of speech.

Journalist Anne Applebaum warned ‘Twitter mobs’ on the left and right sides of the political agenda, along with US President Donald Trump, were placing ‘very important restraints on freedom of speech’.

Ms Rowling and Ms Atwood, the author of The Handmaid’s Tale, have both signed the letter, despite being on opposing sides on trans issues recently.

The letter, published in Harper’s calls for: ‘The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted.’

The signatories go on to say they ‘uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter speech from all quarters.’

It later adds:  ‘It is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought.’

Neither Twitter mobs nor President Trump are the problem. And they know that perfectly well, they’re just afraid to go after the ADL, BLM, the social media giants, and the very concept of “hate speech” for fear that they’ll be targeted next. The ADL is ground zero for all the thought and speech policing in the USA and provides the impetus for a considerable amount of speech policing by the tech companies. So, if you’re not directly addressing that evil organization and its ongoing war against Americans and the First Amendment, you’re not serious about free speech.

And speaking of fear, Spacebunny had an amusing thought about the dilemma that now confronts one fourth-tier writer of mediocre science fiction.

You know Scalzi is losing sleep right this very minute trying to figure out which side is ultimately going to be his best bet……

The truth always comes out… eventually

This is, in retrospect for those familiar with the history, hilarious:

Looking above at my novel advances, I see four distinct eras in them:

Debut: The $6.5k and $2k advances, signed when I was brand new and no one knew what would happen;

Developing: The $13.5k, $25k, and $35k contracts, after Old Man’s War hit commercially and critically and Tor realized there was possible headroom to my career, but I was still building an audience;

Established: The $100k and $115k contracts, when I had hit the bestseller lists, won awards, and had a series (Old Man’s War) that was spinning off serious money;

Franchise: The $3.4M deal, when Tor decided to go all in and lock me up long-term, both to continue momentum in new releases and to extract value out of my profitable backlist.

Now, at this point, it’s almost uniformly recognized by anyone who has read both of our works that I am a much better novelist than old Johnny Con. Whereas I can credibly write everything from 4-panel comics to movie scripts to 900-page epics, he struggles to put together a 250-page novel without ripping off one or more better science fiction authors. If you don’t believe me, just read a few reviews of our works, then compare short story to short story or novel to novel.

But what is amusing in light of the long-running SF-SJW “envy” narrative, to say nothing of the ludicrous “awards” metric, is that this talent gap was obviously recognized by our mutual editors from the very start. As it happens, I was getting paid more to NOT write books than Scalzi was getting paid to write them at the same time that his fan club was insisting that I was envious of his “massive success”. But his literary success turns out to have been the same sort of manufactured charade that his “extraordinary amount” of blog traffic was.

My first two novel advances were $20k and $20k, or nearly five times more than Scalzi was paid for his first two novels. And here is the punchline: writing has never been anything more than a pasttime for me. I still don’t consider myself to be a writer; I am first and foremost a game designer. It’s also a bit amusing to see him labeling himself a franchise writer, especially when we’ve got multiple film studios inquiring about the availability of everything from Alt-Hero and Avalon to Vampire Lords (not the actual title).

The lesson of John Scalzi is this: ruthless self-promotion, shameless dishonesty, and genuine hard work can pay off, as long as you can find the proper victim for your con artistry. His literary career, to the extent that one can even call it that, is nothing more than a house of cards constructed on a color-by-numbers basis.

And speaking of writing, the new Hypergamouse is up. It’s a good one.

UPDATE: Comments are closed. Quelle surprise!

Science fiction is dead

The SJWs who killed science fiction and wore it as a skinsuit can’t even bother wearing the skinsuit anymore. An Analog professional writes of the latest SJW atrocity against science fiction history:

I got my start as a pro writer at Analog, and for a couple of years I was one of its most published writers.

That was past Campbell’s day – my editor was Stan Schmidt.

But it’s disheartening to see one of the giants of my field disenfranchised from the award named after him because of the shrinking SJW pussies currently dominating “formal” SF.

I quit SFWA thirty years ago, because even then it was obvious what it was becoming.  I hate to see this cancer continue to destroy a field I used to love.

What he’s referring to is the disappearing of one of science fiction’s most important figures, John W. Campbell, as signified by the renaming of the Campbell Award:

The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer began in 1973 as a way to honor exemplary science fiction and fantasy authors whose first work was published in the prior two calendar years.

Named for Campbell, whose writing and role as editor of Astounding Science Fiction (later renamed Analog Science Fiction and Fact) made him hugely influential in laying the groundwork for both the Golden Age of Science Fiction and beyond, the award has over the years recognized such nominees as George R.R. Martin, Bruce Sterling, Carl Sagan, and Lois McMaster Bujold, as well as award winners like Ted Chiang, Nalo Hopkinson, and John Scalzi.

However, Campbell’s provocative editorials and opinions on race, slavery, and other matters often reflected positions that went beyond just the mores of his time and are today at odds with modern values, including those held by the award’s many nominees, winners, and supporters.

As we move into Analog’s 90th anniversary year, our goal is to keep the award as vital and distinguished as ever, so after much consideration, we have decided to change the award’s name to The Astounding Award for Best New Writer.

It is debatable when science fiction officially died. Historians may date it to John Scalzi’s ill-fated Tor contract, to NK Jemisin’s unprecedented and unbelievably absurd three Best Novel awards in a row, or to the disappearing of one of the genre’s leading figures. But whatever the date of expiry, there can be no doubt that it has now expired.

Unsurprisingly, McRapey enthusiastically applauds the latest turn in the Narrative. He’s desperately hoping to be eaten last.

As a Campbell Award winner (and now, an Astounding Award winner!), I applaud the choice, and the decisiveness with which this change was made. Thank you!

Four years later

Four years ago, I published SJWs Always Lie. Mike Cernovich told me at the time that it would be what he called an “evergreen” book. It would appear that he was right, because the social justice Narrative hasn’t disappeared in the intervening period. To the contrary, it is now a much bigger problem affecting even more people across a far wider spectrum of activities and organizations than before.

If SJWAL is still on the bestseller list several hundred years from now, will that indicate that we failed or that we succeeded in defending Western civilization? The latter, I suppose, since the alternative is illiterate gay satanists living in filth and literally devouring each other whenever they take a break from molesting stolen animals and kidnapped children. It does amuse me, though, to know that John Scalzi’s lasting claim to fame in the long run is much more likely to be his brief appearance in SJWAL than any of the color-by-numbers works of fiction that he presented as his own over the years.

Just say no, Johnny

John Scalzi@scalzi
TFW something designed to antagonize me turns out to be a consistent and profound source of trouble for the person who made it. Karma is apparently real, y’all.

I wonder what this Karma is in response to?


Complainant: Scalzi, [REDACTED], [ADDRESS], Bradford, OH 45308
Incident Address: [ADDRESS], Bradford, OH 45308

DETAILS: Report of male subject unresponsive

Perhaps Mr. Scalzi should spend less time snarking and snorting things and more time working on his next literary failure. Anyhow, if you’d like to read the book that all the fuss was about yesterday, it’s called CORROSION and you can pick up the DRM-free ebook at the Arkhaven store.

RIP Whatever

John Scalzi’s decline into irrelevance continues apace:

Every year I post stats on traffic for Whatever, and every year it gets harder to see how it accurately reflects my actual readership, because of the way people read things I post here. Bluntly, relatively few people visit the site directly at this point in time — As of this moment, for 2018, Whatever has had 2.82 million direct visits in 2018, down from last year’s 4.1 million, and substantially down from the 2012 high of 8.16 million.

Strange, because I simply haven’t seen the same sort of decline here at Vox Popoli. As of this moment, for 2018, VP has had 31.85 million PAGEVIEWS, up slightly from last year’s 31.2 million, and substantially up from the 2012 figure of 6.10 million. And Whatever’s reported traffic of 2.82 million is about 25 percent worse than I expected; I had anticipated a decline to 3.75 million in 2018.

Note that Scalzi actually means “pageviews” when he writes “direct visits”. This is the sort of definitional bait-and-switch he has attempted to play in the past, but we know from his past reports that he’s actually talking about pageviews rather than hits or unique visits. Of course, he’s referring to WordPress pageviews, which tend to be a little more generous than Google pageviews, so an apples-to-apples comparison would be 31.85 to 2.69.

But wait, there’s more!

As an aside, there’s a fellow out there who loves when I post these pieces because he like to then say that his own (self-reported, as these are) blog numbers are higher, and this is evidence that he is truly more popular than I am, I am not all that popular, etc. It’s entirely possible at this point he has a larger number of direct visitors to his site than I do. I suspect I may have a larger overall social media footprint than he does, however. For example, I have 158K Twitter followers, and he has none whatsoever, as he was booted off the site for being a terrible person some time ago. I’m not sure he ever talks about the fact that his being a terrible person means his own site is one of the few remaining social media outlets where he is tolerated at all, so if you want his brand of petty shittiness, that’s where you have to go.

Zero. Fucks. Given. So brave. Thank you for this. Actually, Scalzi being willing to post his numbers even when they no longer flatter his self-inflating pretensions is one of the very few things I respect about him. As for my “self-reported” numbers, they are straight out of Blogger and I am reporting them with scrupulous accuracy, as even my worst enemies will usually admit is my wont.

I track my blog stats on an annual basis, so the final figure for VP will be north of 32 million. Thanks to all of you for making this possible, and thanks as well to the Scalzi fan-trolls, who encouraged me to start paying attention to my blog statistics, and from whom we never, ever hear lecturing us about the vital importance of such things anymore.

Do click on the link. Give the poor guy a little traffic for the sake of the good old days.

UPDATE: If you find it hard to grasp the concept of gamma, this should suffice to get it across to you.

lol, it didn’t take the sad little person in question very long to take that particular bait, did it. He’s awfully predictable, and easily manipulatable.

Secret King wins again! Anyhow, as far as relevance goes, the objective metrics are in line with the blog statistics. What is amusing is that if you look at the Google Trend statistics going back to 2004, you can see that he’s really made a meal of that brief period in 2012 when one viral post made him look somewhat more significant than he has ever actually been.

John Scalzi is actually a tragic figure. He could have been considerably more than he turned out to be, had he simply been willing to accept his limitations and work within them rather than focusing all of his energy on convincing the world that he was something he was not and could never be.

A belated discovery

John Scalzi finally realizes that the science fiction community has passed him by.

John Scalzi@scalzi
Just saw my WorldCon schedule.

Single panel and a kaffeeklatsch.


They don’t respect Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein anymore. They’re certainly not going to take long to forget about a mediocre, middle-aged white male.

UPDATE: If you can’t win, pretend not to have been playing the game.

John Scalzi@scalzi
It’s a trend. Also, after noting last night I’d be happy to give up my panel slot, this morning I went ahead and withdrew from programming entirely, to open up slots for folks previously excluded from programming, including other Hugo finalists.

Such magnanimity! It almost brings a single tear to my eye.

The jar ran out

He tries so hard to be relevant. To be significant. To matter. But not all the agent- and publisher-pumping in the world can disguise the fact that the grand decade-long attempt to transform a blogger turned midlist writer of color-by-number Heinlein pastiche into a leading author has failed.

John Scalzi@scalzi
Actual thing I just said as I was cleaning my office: “Damn it, *now* where am I going to put this special citation from the Ohio House of Representatives?!?”

(it was under a pile of books before)

Artie Fufkin, Polymer Records@FrmerJoe
Actual thing I thought while reading this tweet: “Scalzi needs everyone to know that he got citations from the Ohio House of Representatives and Senate? How pathetic is that?”

John Scalzi@scalzi
(pats head)

That’s because you’re an asshole, child.

Artie Fufkin, Polymer Records@FrmerJoe
Wow! Killer comeback! I can see why your cutting wit is feared throughout the land.

This naturally raises the question, how would a dumpy little guy like Scalzi pat anyone on the head in the first place? He’s 5’4″ and nearly 200 pounds; he’s little more than a gelatinous blob of SJW, snark, and insecurity. Anyhow, I preferred this response.

Spacebunny Day @Spacebunnyday
Actual thing I said when I was cleaning out my attic: “Damn it, *now* where am I going to put my fifth place ribbon from my jr. high track and field day?!”

The most amusing thing about this exchange is that it’s the consequence of Scalzi’s attempt to address the very uncomfortable fact that VP is now nearly ten times more popular than Whatever by his own chosen metric of importance. IT’S LIKE THE BOUNDLESS HELL OF ELEMENTARY SCHOOL ALL OVER AGAIN! IT WASN’T SUPPOSED TO BE THIS WAY! NETFLIX! PARAMOUNT! MOBILE GAMES! SPECIAL FREAKING CITATION!

Well, Scalzi certainly is special, to put it mildly. Whatever happened to that jar of ZFG? It must have run out.


The not-at-all-solipsistic John Scalzi is given cause to suspect that blogs are dead:

As I noted in early July, visitorship to Whatever — as in people actually clicking through to the front page of the site — has undergone a collapse this year. I speculated as to why at the link, so if you’re interested in that, check it out there, but the relevant bit now is that I estimated in July I would end up with about 4 million visits to the site in 2017. As of right this minute (6:18 am, 12/28/17), Whatever’s visitorship for the year is: 4,110,902. Right in line with my expectations.

Am I worried? Well, no. One, four million visits in a year to a personal site is still nothing to sneeze at.

I will note that there is a very high correlation between the most visited pieces on the site this year and my linking to it on other social media, most notably Twitter. Twitter and Facebook are also consistently the top non-search-related sites (by far) for referrals to my site. This strongly suggests something I’ve long suspected, which is that Twitter and Facebook have at this point largely consumed and digested the former blogosphere, enough so that at this point, I wonder if I should even call Whatever a “blog” anymore. The name is beginning to get a fusty smell to it.

Sure, that’s possible, I suppose. On the other hand, the decline from 8 million pageviews in 2012 to 4 million in 2017 – I’m sure we’re all shocked to discover Scalzi is being deceptive again, this time by substituting “visits” for “pageviews” – in addition to the 30,953,348 “visitorship for the year” that VP has as of right this minute tends to suggest that intelligent people who like to read commentary simply aren’t all that interested in Whatever anymore. It appears I am far from the only person who once read Whatever back in the day who no longer does so.

But the posturing is informative, as it demonstrates a classic Gamma perspective. You see, the Gamma doesn’t mind at all that he’s observably in deep decline, so long as the decline is right in line with his expectations.

Secret King wins again!

UPDATE: Scalzi realizes he got caught… again.

John Scalzi@scalzi
TFW someone mewls pathetically and at ridiculous length about a terminology error you made on your site, but he has a point, so you correct the error.

If it was anyone else, I would have assumed it was simply a mistake, but in this case, we’re dealing with someone who blatantly lied to both Lightspeed and The New York Times about his site traffic in the past. So, one can’t reasonably give him the benefit of the doubt.

That being said, good for him for correcting his error. Let’s hope this will lead him to correct his previous “errors”.