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Friday, February 17, 2017

Mailvox: the Collapsing Parodist

Tor sent out an email with a big excerpt from McRapey's forthcoming attempt to take his inimitable skills at imitation to new heights and rip off both Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert AT THE SAME TIME:
Enter The Flow With Excerpts from John Scalzi’s The Collapsing Empire

The Collapsing Empire is available March 21, but in the meantime, you can transport yourself into Scalzi’s interstellar epic with excerpts on Tor.com. We’ll be posting chapters all week; you can get started right away with the prologue and Chapter One, and check back all this week for additional excerpts, collected below. Happy Reading!
Yesterday I received an email from an intrepid SF reader who boldly dared to go where few would bother. His conclusions:
I read the excerpt and postscript of it just yesterday. It is really bad - there's an entire chapter where strategy or politics is discussed by some lady who has been walked in on while fucking Wesley Crusher, and she just keeps going at it while continuing the conversation. Deeply pathetic.

Wait... it turns out I made a mistake. The Amazon Look Inside copy has missing pages during the Wesley Crusher episode, which is why I thought it consumed most of the chapter. After reading the Amazon sample, I looked at the Wesley Crusher chapter that Tor posted, and she only has her conversation while having sex for about two pages or so. It is nevertheless patently ridiculous, although much much funnier in the Look Inside version where she has her third party conversation for about 15 pages while getting plowed by a boy toy.

Sadly, the misunderstood version is a better yarn. The ironic thing about it is that end of the book gives away that the Flow or whatever it is called has been based on some convoluted lie the entire time. And now they finish by having to establish a new lie to keep the galaxy going, or something.

It is surprisingly devoid of snark. Or anything resembling emotion. It reads like a damned board meeting or something. It's like he plagiarized SFWA treasury meetings for inspiration.
Oh. My. I'm not surprised in the least. But I am amused. You know that later today, there will be an executive at Macmillan flipping through the book and saying, "wait, Patrick paid HOW much for this shit?" But then, I thought, surely the reviewer exaggerates!

No, as it turns out, no, he isn't.

Chapter Two

Kiva Lagos was busily fucking the brains out of the assistant purser she’d been after for the last six weeks of the Yes, Sir, That’s My Baby’s trip from Lankaran to End when Second Officer Waylov Brennir entered her stateroom, unannounced. “You’re needed,” he said.

“I’m a little busy at the moment,” Kiva said. She’d just finally gotten herself into a groove, so fuck Waylov (not literally, he was awful) if she was going to get out of the groove just because he walked into it. Grooves were hard to come by. People have sex, and he was unannounced. If this was what he walked into, it was his fault, not hers. The assistant purser seemed a little concerned, but Kiva applied a little pressure to make it clear festivities were to continue.

“It’s important.”

“Trust me, so is this.”

“We’ve got a customs official who won’t let us take any haverfruit off the ship,” Brennir said. If he was shocked or scandalized by Lagos’s activities he was doing a good job of hiding it. He mostly looked bored. “Offloading our haverfruit is why we came to End. If we don’t sell it, or develop licenses, we’re screwed. You’re the owner’s representative. You’re going to have to explain to your mother why this trip was the cause of the financial ruin of your family. So perhaps you might like to join Captain Blinnikka in talking with this customs official right now to see if you can resolve this problem. Or you can just go on fucking that junior crew member, ma’am. I’m sure those are equivalent activities as regards your future, and the future of this ship, and your family.”

“Well, shit,” Kiva said. Her groove was definitely gone, and the assistant purser, her little project, looked pretty miserable at the moment. “That was a pretty impressive jab you just gave to someone who can fire your ass, Brennir.”

“You can’t fire me, ma’am,” Brennir said. “I’ve got tenure with the guild. Now, are you coming or not?”

“I’m thinking.”

Well, it is sort of reminiscent of Asimovian naming conventions, I suppose. Awful as it is, I don't think it quite manages to top this legendary exchange from the Hugo Award-winning Redshirts, though.

“Man, I owe you a blowjob,” Duvall said.

“What?” Dahl said.

“What?” Hester said.

“Sorry,” Duvall said. “In ground forces, when someone does you a favor you tell them you owe them a sex act. If it’s a little thing, it’s a handjob. Medium, blowjob. Big favor, you owe them a fuck. Force of habit. It’s just an expression.”

“Got it,” Dahl said.

“No actual blowjob forthcoming,” Duvall said. “To be clear”

“It’s the thought that counts,” Dahl said, and turned to Hester. “What about you? You want to owe me a blowjob, too?”

“I’m thinking about it ,” Hester said.   

You can tell from that gritty, realistic dialogue that McRapey has spent a lot of time with manly, military men, doing manly, military things. But there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that McRapey has written that I find funnier than this absolute jewel of pure, unadulterated fiction.

[Vox] really has a thing for me, which is straight-up pure envy, as far as I can tell.

My dear, very dear, Mr. Scalzi, while there are certainly authors whose literary accomplishments and talents I envy, from Umberto Eco and Hermann Hesse to Tanith Lee and Edgar Allen Poe, I can assure you, with 100 percent honesty, that you are not, and have never been, among them.

Labels: , ,

209 Comments:

1 – 200 of 209 Newer› Newest»
Blogger Hauen Holzwanderer February 17, 2017 2:40 AM  

I can't decide if his writing is caused by or merely reflects his low T. It can be summed up in one word...limp.

Anonymous LurkingPuppy February 17, 2017 2:59 AM  

Um. They paid money for this? On purpose?

Your orcs are more likable than these people. Even Lugbol.

Blogger Trid February 17, 2017 3:07 AM  

I've read better on the seedy side of asstr. I cannot believe actual currency traded hands for this. I guess you're absolutely right about SJW convergence.

Anonymous Looking Glass February 17, 2017 3:09 AM  

Okay, let's compute this. Vox didn't write a mocking parody. Those are excerpts that are on Tor's website. And this really isn't just a freebie fanfiction eBook.

Wow. I'm not a heavy sci-fi reader, but I now see why we need to Make Sci-fi Great Again.

Blogger lowercaseb February 17, 2017 3:14 AM  

I can't wait for the SyFy miniseries world premiere. To be aired right after "Mansquito: The New Brood."

Anonymous SevenCrimes February 17, 2017 3:27 AM  

I cringed inside-out reading that new excerpt.

Anonymous Nicolai Zolnir February 17, 2017 3:28 AM  

It is 100% certain that Scalzi has never spent so much as a picosecond with manly, millitary men, doing manly, millitary things.

After reading the above excerpt, I also seriously doubt that he has spent so much as a picosecond on having actual sex with an actual woman. How his wife's daughter was conceived is one of life's great mysteries, but one thing is for sure: Scalzi was not part of the process.

Anonymous Steve February 17, 2017 3:33 AM  

I, for one, am intrigued by the intricacies of the interstellar fruit trade, and would like to know more.

Blogger Happy LP9 February 17, 2017 3:35 AM  

What is - Nevmind. I was sickened reading McRapetyRape.

"My dear, very dear, Mr. Scalzi, while there are certainly authors whose literary accomplishments and talents I envy, from Umberto Eco and Hermann Hesse to Tanith Lee and Edgar Allen Poe, I can assure you, with 100 percent honesty, that you are not, and have never been, among them."

Required Perfect Conclusion

Blogger Double E February 17, 2017 3:36 AM  

The art and/or science of writing (in general, but especially fiction) has always perplexed me, and I am continually in awe of people that can do it well. Not because it is particularly rare, but I;m just not sure I understand it. I don't know the first thing about the mechanics of what makes good for writing, but I am damn near 100% certain I could write something better than that mess.

Anonymous Steve February 17, 2017 3:41 AM  

Also it's pretty creative to reimagine Asimov's "Terminus" as a planet called "End".

Next up: we meet a mysterious character and conqueror of worlds called, uh, THE DONKEY. He can control minds and give blowjobs like nobody's business.

Blogger FrankNorman February 17, 2017 3:46 AM  

So basically, space bonobos?

Blogger Snidely Whiplash February 17, 2017 3:47 AM  

I have been assured by some people that Scalzi has genuine skill at writing dialogue.

Those people were obviously lying.

Anonymous beerme February 17, 2017 3:50 AM  

I have been assured by some people that Scalzi has genuine skill at writing dialogue.

Those people were obviously lying


SJWs always lie.

OpenID anonymos-coward February 17, 2017 3:58 AM  

I hope he wasn't masturbating while writing this, that would be pathetic. (Oh, who am I kidding...)

Blogger Stephen Burrows February 17, 2017 3:59 AM  

It reads like the comedy porno from American Werewolf in London

Blogger Brian Niemeier February 17, 2017 4:03 AM  

When Castalia House overtakes Tor Books, perhaps even before Tor is sold or shuttered, Scalzi will seek publication with CH.

His failed shot at Hollywood means he's stuck--from his point of view--writing books for life, and his status obsession will compel him to write for the biggest house on the block.

The question is: will you publish him, if only for the chance to exercise editorial mandate?

Anonymous beerme February 17, 2017 4:12 AM  

I suspected Scalzi was mailing it in when the book was initially delayed, but this must be a joke. Those opening chapters are worse than opening one of Steve's links.

Anonymous Icicle February 17, 2017 4:14 AM  

THIS POST IS RETARDED

*gets banned from Twitter*

Anonymous JAG February 17, 2017 4:19 AM  

McRapey must not have had much sex in his life. Talk about limp as mentioned above. What's worse is that this is bad, but not funny bad which can at least be entertaining.

Blogger L' Aristokrato February 17, 2017 4:21 AM  

Serious question:

Is it me, or are most professional writers today terrible?
I mean this in any medium; Be it books, comics, movies, television, and so on.
Terrible plotting, zero world-building, cringy dialogue and characters who don't act in any logical, reliable or even human manner all around.

Anonymous Fat Acceptance Advocate February 17, 2017 4:26 AM  

I just love some upper arm fat. So soft. Like a gentle pillow.

How it bulges out just above the elbow.

The sweat... just glistens. So slick.

You have them fold up their arm. Then get up in the triangle and start humping.

Blogger Jon Mollison February 17, 2017 4:29 AM  

It's not you. This is a dark age of media. But not for much longer.

Blogger Raziel Walker February 17, 2017 4:41 AM  

My taste in reading has definitely matured. Scalzi's writing less so.

Blogger Wolfman at Large February 17, 2017 4:45 AM  

John Scalzi is an inspiration to new writers everywhere because we damn well know we can do better.

Anonymous Strange Aeons February 17, 2017 4:51 AM  

Scalzi: "Hey dear, look, I just wrote some more. Look how empowered the female lead character is. Isn't she empowered? I think she really is. Very empowered. I can has sex now?"

Scalzi's husband: "No. Go write some more."

Scalzi: "...character wasn't empowered enough, I knew it. Dammit Scotty, we need more empowerment! ..ooh, that's a good one, I'm going to shoehorn that in somewhere."
*clackity clackity clackity*

Anonymous JAG February 17, 2017 4:53 AM  

OT - 2-16-17 was "Day without illegal invaders" day. We were supposed to be taught a lesson in how important they are, but zero fucks were given. We need a generation without illegal invaders to really judge their importance in my opinion.

Blogger Astalnar February 17, 2017 4:56 AM  

So I guess Tor is putting out those chapters in advance to warn people to stay away.

Anonymous roughcoat February 17, 2017 5:01 AM  

What the fuck did I just read?

Old Man's War wasn't amazing but it's hard to believe the same guy wrote the dreck quoted here. I guess 12 years of getting pegged every night takes a toll.

Blogger JP February 17, 2017 5:21 AM  

Geez, and they said you can't make money writing fanfic!

Anonymous jakob February 17, 2017 5:33 AM  

Asimov and his fiction deserve his modern fanboys and copycats. Fedora-tipping trash for fedora-tipping trash.

I very much doubt that Scalzi is able to even honestly enjoy Dune, let alone to even thing about trying to emulate it.

Blogger Nate February 17, 2017 5:41 AM  

I don't doubt that CH will one day be able to purchase Tor Books. I do doubt that it will be worth buying when that day comes.

Anonymous Alice De Goon February 17, 2017 5:47 AM  

Who is this aimed at? I can't think of a single woman who would read this passage and not think, "Ewww." Scalzi writes like a girl and writes as if he has a female audience, but has he ever read porn aimed at women? A lot of it features stronk female protagonists, sure, but they'll have some feminine traits, and they'll usually melt in the presence of a cocksure hunk. They don't talk like locker room longshoremen or treat their male underlings like a meat market. Unless they're in stories written by low-T manlets that are aimed at other low-T manlets who like to imagine that if they just give women enough power, said women will finally throw off the shackles of the Patriarchy and begin fucking random strangers in the street.

Gammas like Scalzi really believe that the only thing keeping women from raining poon down on low-SMV men like themselves, are the sexual constraints of a backward, sexist society. Little does Scalzi know that it was those very same constraints that once drove reasonably attractive women into the monogamous arms of beta pudlings (in exchange for security, resources, and a level of respect in society.) Now, thanks to the Matriarchy, the best a man like Scalzi can hope for is a sniff of the armpit hair of the feminists whose meeting he's jotting down the minutes for.

Anonymous John Scalzi Unfinished Asimov Project (read on kindle!) February 17, 2017 5:48 AM  

Hey Vox lozlzoz omg hey Vooxx!!

Can I get a Hugo nomination for my bokey book pleez? I wouldn't ask but one of my nonfake amazon revewiers put the idea into mine and everybody's head!

"Even being familiar with all of the personalities and events satirized, this story contains a host of references that blew right past me. Like all the best parodies, the jokes fly fast and furious, and even if only half of them land, you're still left with enough laughs to make the experience worthwhile. . . .

"This book . . . is utter vapid, contains numerous overt references to deviant sexual practices, and generally falls so far short of greatness that it barely even lands on pretentious. As such, it should be considered a clear contender for the 2017 Hugo Award Shortlist."

Or anyway feel free to read John Scalzi Unfinished Asimov Project on your kindle (free if you have the amazon kindle unlimitedness subscription thingie) and leave a scalzifying or scathing reviews as you fancy! omg I may treat myself to a jar of nescafe house blend DECAF to go wiff my regular WHY NOT BOTH Im a published author now I can afford to two tew!! lozlz

Anonymous LurkingPuppy February 17, 2017 5:52 AM  

Nate wrote:I don't doubt that CH will one day be able to purchase Tor Books. I do doubt that it will be worth buying when that day comes.
John C. Wright's back catalog, Jack Vance, A. E. van Vogt, Gene Wolfe, maybe some of the older works of other good authors. The rest has negative value.

Anonymous Millenium February 17, 2017 5:53 AM  

I can't believe Scalzi repeated that blowjob nonsense in Redshirts that he had in Old Man's War.

This excerpt reads like something from one of Heinlein's last books except the cringewortiness is not saved by the characters being somewhat likeable.

That description of sex sounds more like its a chore than a passionate coming together of two souls. The future of sex - mutual masturbation between two androgynous people.

Anonymous Fat Acceptance Advocate February 17, 2017 5:53 AM  

Humping that good elbow fat...

Sounds like sticking your fist in and out of an open mayonnaise jar.

Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.

Blogger J A Baker February 17, 2017 6:12 AM  

That reads like a desperate "it's so crazy it just might work" gimmick of a failing publishing company on it's death bed. Did Tor just jump the shark?

Blogger F.D. Stephens February 17, 2017 6:16 AM  

Keep in mind that he's leading off with his best idea; we've got another how many books if he sees out his contract? If...

Anonymous wroko February 17, 2017 6:17 AM  

Still gonna receive wider acclaim and sell better than most CH releases in that same period combined.

Blogger Mark Jeffery February 17, 2017 6:26 AM  

Scalzi is a bit of a plodder, but a readable plodder. There are a lot worse writers around, and the "McRapey" bullshit is just someone (I don;t know who started it) trying to make something real that never was.

Anonymous wroko February 17, 2017 6:33 AM  

True that. if you want hard SF steeped in staples of nerd culture, you cannot do much better than his nowadays. he's the top of his field, warts and all.
The way in which he is treated around here was funny for a while, but it is sad and silly now.

Blogger Ken Prescott February 17, 2017 6:40 AM  

Damn, Vox, you just remotivated me, because even my first (self)-published work is better than this! Back to the sequel!

Anonymous mike sawyer February 17, 2017 6:50 AM  

Eh...

He was always a flawed writer, but eminently readable one nonetheless. I will certainly be reading this book, but this constant barrage of "McRapey" is making me question if I will do the same for books published by your company.

Anonymous LurkingPuppy February 17, 2017 6:56 AM  

Oh look, someone's rolling out a layer of ‘grassroots’ support for Scalzi.

Green side up!

Blogger J A Baker February 17, 2017 6:56 AM  

How Scalzi Got His Groove Back...

Anonymous Alice De Goon February 17, 2017 6:59 AM  

Wroko and M. Jeffery: "Scalzi's work may be shit, but at least it's high quality shit. A little crusty around the edges, with just a hint of nutty flavor. "

If Scalzi's work is the best that Nerd Culture can do these days, then President Trump needs to sign an Executive Order creating a federal agency staffed with bullies who specialize in locker-stuffing. Clearly, the bullies of the recent past just haven't been pulling their weight. I know the bullies of MY youth would never have allowed a blousey frump like Scalzi free reign to write his pussyworshipping cringefests

Anonymous Post Alley Crackpot February 17, 2017 7:01 AM  

Turgid McTurgidson reporting for duty! *flomp*

:-)

Blogger Marsh 01701 February 17, 2017 7:04 AM  

I agree, it needs a Hugo...or two even. Showcase it everywhere. Rub it in good.

Anonymous JAG February 17, 2017 7:06 AM  

Clearly, the McRapey meme is stronger than ever.

Anonymous John Scalzi Unfinished Asimov Project February 17, 2017 7:07 AM  

Hey Scalzi! hey jan schrazi!!

u know dat scene in Peyton where the craze guy sezs "Hey Rambo, I read ur book!"? lozlz

omg hey scalzi I WROTE UR BOOK!!

I got there first, so that means I get to kiss ur purtdy doughder and collate ur advance check fee!!

u can lurn all about it by reading my sexy Dune Scalzi book JOHN SCALZI UNFINISHED ASIMOV PROJECT: DOOM

I even wrought a sonnet four da bromance u ship wit Vox Day! And your benchlifting doggtar's in it two!

Anonymous basementhomebrewer February 17, 2017 7:13 AM  

So, Do these people shill for Scalzi for free (what a sad existence theirs must be) or did TOR put part of their advertising budget towards message board shilling?

Love the McRapey taunt. It illustrates perfectly that the left will purposely take things out of context when it suits them but are perfectly capable of understanding context when the tactic is used against their own. They even offer the same dialectic arguments cucks have been trying to use to defend themselves for years.

Blogger Cataline Sergius February 17, 2017 7:13 AM  

I still love his ruler of the known universe; "The Emperox"

It sounds like a laundry detergent.

Get your underwear Scalzi White with Emperox!!!

Anonymous RC February 17, 2017 7:16 AM  

This is pathetic. I'd rather read the Obamacare website.

Blogger Benjamin Kraft February 17, 2017 7:18 AM  

@7. Parthenogenesis, or at least that's what he'd claim.

@18. I've opened links from Steve on several occasions that did not induce spontaneous chronic haemorrhaging from both eyes.

@40. No, you daft twit.

@41. Scalzi himself started it. This is why you are ignorant and should not be publishing comments.

@42. That's top quality material? My Immortal is better, and I mean the fanfic, not the song.

@43. So true. The depressing part is that this is so bad I could have been motivated by it when I was twelve.

@44. Scalzi himself started it. You cheap shill :3

@45. Exactly.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer February 17, 2017 7:20 AM  

Apparently Scalzi has no idea how actual human people act. However, I too find myself strangely fascinated by the details concerning the fruit trade in outer space.

Blogger Cataline Sergius February 17, 2017 7:22 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous 691 February 17, 2017 7:24 AM  

Actually, I think this novel is a gritty, realistic depiction of interstellar rape culture. When we first meet Scalzi's favorite character, she's raping her subordinate. Literally the first thing we learn about Kiva is that she abuses her authority to prey on her attractive subordinates.

"People [sexually assault their subordinates, who are incapable of freely giving affirmative consent because the superior/inferior dynamic is a priori coercive], and he was unannounced. If this was what he walked into, it was his fault, not hers. The assistant purser seemed a little concerned, but Kiva applied a little pressure to make it clear [she would ignore the fact that he was withdrawing his consent to sex and that the rape] were to continue."

Blogger pdwalker February 17, 2017 7:25 AM  

Dreck.

It sounds like a good word to use.

Pure, utter, dreck.

Blogger Benjamin Kraft February 17, 2017 7:26 AM  

"Trust me, so is this(important)" while having coitus uninterruptus while you ought to be doing your damn job. Those are not the words of a successful captain having sex with someone. Those are the words of a perverse creature sobbing into a handkerchief while it makes sweet love to its index finger and thumb.

Anonymous dj_ivocha February 17, 2017 7:27 AM  

Meh. I could point out silly, out of context passages from your own novels. Scalzi is alright at what he does, and I am of that old fashioned sort that wont let artist's attitude an public escapades affect their enjoyment of his art.

Anonymous dj_ivocha February 17, 2017 7:29 AM  

Mark Jeffery wrote:Scalzi is a bit of a plodder, but a readable plodder. There are a lot worse writers around, and the "McRapey" bullshit is just someone (I don;t know who started it) trying to make something real that never was.

Same here.

Blogger Benjamin Kraft February 17, 2017 7:29 AM  

@61. There's nothing remotely that bad. That's not out of context either, that's the frigging opening line of the second chapter, there's basically no context. Who are you kidding, you shill?

Blogger Benjamin Kraft February 17, 2017 7:30 AM  

A Mind Programmed is (way) better, and it's seriously stale.

Anonymous Basket of Deplorables February 17, 2017 7:31 AM  

Wow, Scalzi really is a degenerate sexual predator, just like he admitted.

Blogger Duke Norfolk February 17, 2017 7:31 AM  

They really are rabbits, aren't they. Does it get any more straight forward and obvious than this? Good grief.

Anonymous jakob February 17, 2017 7:32 AM  

FFS, this novels opens with a goddamn Scooby Doo reference, and the cringiest, most overused one at that.
You can't get any worse than that. "And Scalzi could have gotten away with it too, if not for those meddling readers without serious brain damage!"

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer February 17, 2017 7:32 AM  

I'm thinking dj_ivocha is Scalzi.

Anonymous Teapartydoc February 17, 2017 7:33 AM  

I don't read SF, but I think I know literature when I see it and this ain't it.

Blogger Franz Lyonheart February 17, 2017 7:33 AM  

Blimey, that's boring. And tedious.

Anonymous jakob February 17, 2017 7:35 AM  

@68
Not even Scalzi would use "art" and "artist" when talking about Scalzi and Scalzi's writing.

Blogger Ron February 17, 2017 7:36 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Ron February 17, 2017 7:38 AM  

@Alice D Goon

Yes exactly. His characters are inverted parodies of human sexuality. In this case, his female protagonist is acting like a psychotic version of a male, and the male characters are acting like extremely broken females.

Anonymous Nathan February 17, 2017 7:39 AM  

"In my opinion a very large portion of what is now being offered to the public as serious contemporary-scene fiction is stuff that should not be printed but told only privately - on a psychiatrist's couch." - Robert Heinlein

Anonymous Steveo February 17, 2017 7:40 AM  

Let's see, I'll write something great.

NeverScalzi.

Poignant & concise, with more character building & plot dynamic.

Blogger Lucas February 17, 2017 7:40 AM  

I refused to read that excerpt from his 'book'. Looks like I did the right thing.

Anonymous basementhomebrewer February 17, 2017 7:41 AM  

dj_ivocha wrote: I am of that old fashioned sort that wont let artist's attitude an public escapades affect their enjoyment of his art.

Unless, you know, they are one of those no good, wrongthink, right-wing, naziracisthomophobes. Then you won't touch their works.

Blogger Franz Lyonheart February 17, 2017 7:41 AM  

Vox, I love your takedowns of Scalzi. I wish you wrote more of them, usually I find them very funny. As I've remarked earlier in these pages, I'm an ex Scalzi reader, like many, I liked OMW, but nothing else from him, then via Scalzi, I found Vox Popoli, and then Castalia House, JCW, and the originals like Heinlein, Herbert, etc.

But....

This your post is also tedious. I cannot enjoy reading it. Not even this Scalzi takedown you're performing.... expertly, as usual, but unenjoyanle.

It's almost as if.... The tediousness of the underlying Fallen* Excerpt oozes out and lays itself over the rest of the post like lead.

(* or wait, was it Collapsing? oh well, I could care less, I'm soo bored!)

Blogger Hauen Holzwanderer February 17, 2017 7:42 AM  

What's your point? Chicken nuggets outsell fillet mignon too and your average 8 year old would say they taste better at that. Let me rephrase it in terms even a troll can comprehend: Mass market popularity usually has no correlation with quality.

Anonymous wroko February 17, 2017 7:44 AM  

Nathan wrote:"In my opinion a very large portion of what is now being offered to the public as serious contemporary-scene fiction is stuff that should not be printed but told only privately - on a psychiatrist's couch." - Robert Heinlein

Considering that Heinlein's fiction was filled with his questionable fetishes and issues, that comes off as some heavy duty projection.

Anonymous Bz February 17, 2017 7:45 AM  

Does anyone else get the feeling that his wife stays on the phone while it's sweet love making time in the Scalzi bedroom?

Anonymous Viidad February 17, 2017 7:47 AM  

mike sawyer wrote:Eh...

He was always a flawed writer, but eminently readable one nonetheless. I will certainly be reading this book, but this constant barrage of "McRapey" is making me question if I will do the same for books published by your company.


I'm sure Mike really would have been a loyal purchaser of Castalia House works if Vox wasn't so mean.

Anonymous Bz February 17, 2017 7:48 AM  

I will have to get a copy for quote mining, or future generations will never believe this was published.

Blogger Harsh February 17, 2017 7:49 AM  

the Yes, Sir, That’s My Baby’s trip from Lankaran to End

Now he's ripping off Banks, too.

Blogger Gaiseric February 17, 2017 7:50 AM  

Steve wrote:I, for one, am intrigued by the intricacies of the interstellar fruit trade, and would like to know more.
I know, right?

This probably only applies to me, but between the title and the theme, I've got a lot of Fad Gadget songs running through my head right now. "Coitus Interruptus" and "Collapsing New People" specifically. That might improve the writing to play that in the background, maybe.

Blogger Orville February 17, 2017 7:51 AM  

Oh come on, Scalzi is a dick, albeit a small one. The point here is the great unconvergence with real sci-fi forking off from SyFy. Mocking these female rape fantasies and stories about maintaining the Emperox' menstrual flow is a contrast and compare. I can't wait for the chapter with sadistic fat lesbian Harpoonen.

Blogger Eric Mueller February 17, 2017 7:51 AM  

That excerpt was awful. It's a good thing this guy already has an audience to buy his books. A friend loaned me Redshirts a couple years ago. It was amusing at least, but will never go down as a great book.

Anonymous Bz February 17, 2017 7:52 AM  

Who will save the day? Emperox Space Cruiser Yes Sir I Can Boogie with its crack crew of blowjob warriors.

Blogger Stephen Ward February 17, 2017 7:55 AM  

3 guesses for how she "convinces" the customs agent. First 2 don't count.

Blogger Ingot9455 February 17, 2017 7:56 AM  

Not only is he writing about the interstellar fruit trade, he also just stole the EU 'bendy bananas' scandal without chiseling off the serial numbers.

Blogger Midnight Avenue J February 17, 2017 7:57 AM  

Le Sigh.

You can say much with few words, or nothing with many words, or sound retarded using large words, or use small words to share profound ideas.

I recall a passage from QUANTUM MORTIS Gravity Kills: "It struck him that somewhere in the sector there was probably an artist or two who had made a fortune by judiciously applying excess gravitation to various creatures."

In fewer than 30 words, a rich image is created. I involuntarily paused here, imagining such a thing.

When Heinlein described Manny's night of love with the aged Matriarch of his clan's line marriage, there was no graphic depiction yet you knew what was happening, what all the characters felt, what they meant to each, why they did it, what was offered as part of their mutual binds and affection. It only took a few paragraphs.

Scalzis work reads like middle school journaling. Everything explained in painful detail, for the author doesn't trust in his reader's intelligence or emotional continence to pick up on subtlety. No. Far better to hammer the point home, bluntly, obviously, and repeatedly.

Anonymous Nathan February 17, 2017 7:58 AM  

@80,

"Considering that Heinlein's fiction was filled with his questionable fetishes and issues, that comes off as some heavy duty projection."

Despite Heinlein's turn into Ringo country, it isn't projection. This quote followed a Kornbluth lecture which could essentially be summed up as "I see genital, sex, and boob symbolism everywhere and if I don't, it's not serious literature."

Blogger Silly But True February 17, 2017 7:58 AM  

There seems to be a lot of repetition of words and conceits through Scalzi's text.

How many times is he going to use the "I'm thinking" bit in works?

He should do a novel on psionics/mentats so the who book can be that joke.

Anonymous Bz February 17, 2017 8:00 AM  

How many times is he going to use the "I'm thinking" bit in works?


SJWs always lie.

Blogger Orville February 17, 2017 8:05 AM  

Scalzi, so sad. Really Fake Fiction.

Anonymous basementhomebrewer February 17, 2017 8:05 AM  

Stephen Ward wrote:3 guesses for how she "convinces" the customs agent. First 2 don't count.

She seduces him of course but doesn't sleep with him. You see, strong woman never sleep with men who want to sleep with them. They only sleep with men who do not wish to sleep with them. That explains why no women sleep with Scalzi.

Blogger Cataline Sergius February 17, 2017 8:05 AM  

@57 Lets unpack this opening sentence.

Lets reverse the sexes in this sentence and lets see how McRapey this really is.

Make it the son of the ship's owner fucking the brains out the assistant purser that he had been pursuing for six weeks. How does that scan?

(1.) Rich kid wants to bang poor kid (if she is an assistant pursuer she is both poor and a kid maybe as young as fifteen depending on country of origin).

(2.) "been after for six weeks" If you haven't bagged a someone after three days of sexual pursuit they are either completely uninterested or holding out for a ring. Love is not an issue here this is clearly all about sex and six weeks aboard a ship is now seriously into stalker territory.

Bribes have clearly failed and the rich kid is now obviously using threats to this junior crew members career. The poor kid has given up in despair. The rich kid can ruin her and she knows it. Better to just get it over with and hope that a really bad performance in bed will put him off.

She might risk getting slapped around when she asks, "is it in yet?" But it's totally worth it for the look on that rich bastard's face.

Space is dangerous she thinks to herself afterwards. If he wants more after this I'll offer to meet him in one of the airlocks.

(3) I'm already coming up with a better story than Scalzi did without even trying.

Blogger Franz Lyonheart February 17, 2017 8:06 AM  

Does anyone else get the feeling that his wife stays on the phone while it's sweet love making time in the Scalzi bedroom?

Thread winner!

Hahaha, you put the funny back into this post! Thank you sir!

Blogger Cataline Sergius February 17, 2017 8:14 AM  

Kiva Lagos was busily fucking the brains out of the assistant purser she’d been after for the last six weeks of the Yes, Sir, That’s My Baby’s trip from Lankaran to End when Second Officer Waylov Brennir entered her stateroom, unannounced. “You’re needed,” he said.

Yeah, opening sentences are really important, every writer knows that.

Lets compare that one with another sentence.


I always get the shakes before a drop.

Blogger Esteban Serafini February 17, 2017 8:21 AM  

Another excerpt:

"And even that was a crap way of describing it, because human languages are crap at describing things more complex than assembling a tree house"

If he truly believe this is small wonder that his work turns out so bad.

Blogger Alexander February 17, 2017 8:28 AM  

@100

John Scalzi is such a low-energy writer; claims the language of Shakespeare is unsuitable for anything beyond basic instructions. Sad!

I for one would rather read instructions for assembling a tree-house written by John Wright than the hoverfruit dilemma of John Scalzi.

Anonymous Pope Cleophus I February 17, 2017 8:28 AM  

Somethings are not meant for human consumption by any means. After reading his tawdry tale, I feel compelled to pour bleach in my eyes and become a Benedictine monk. I have read better from FREE erotic novels on Amazon Kindle (and that writing is atrocious).

Now I am just blind (from the bleach) and having to learn how to use a braille keyboard.

Blogger DemonicProfessorEl February 17, 2017 8:44 AM  

Ooooph, that writing's bad.

That's...I've read better from Intro to Creative Writing students, who were not self-proclaimed "writers."

Blogger Jew613 February 17, 2017 8:45 AM  

This is really terrible. I am waiting for the announcement From Macmillian that Scalzi and Patrick Nielsen Hayden are being allowed to seek other opportunities.

Blogger DemonicProfessorEl February 17, 2017 8:48 AM  

Esteban Serafini wrote:Another excerpt:

"And even that was a crap way of describing it, because human languages are crap at describing things more complex than assembling a tree house"

If he truly believe this is small wonder that his work turns out so bad.


He's such a low-energy, beta writer. It's all passive. Even the lady doing the f-ing is going with the flow. There's no darkness/lightness to it - it's just...there.

My take is he's one of those flaccid writers who likes stories where nothing happens, but doesn't understand the "why" of nothing happening. He just chalks it up to "limitation." He tries to mix genres and doesn't know what those genres are or why they do what they do.

I reiterate my above point - I've read many an "amateur writer" who understand writing better than this guy. Scalzi should have stuck to poetry and pretending to be a French feminist stereotype.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan February 17, 2017 8:49 AM  

I see many Hugos, but I also see much arm fat jostling about at the awards ceremony.

Anonymous Faceless February 17, 2017 8:55 AM  

Reading that made me respect the empty canvas on the wall.

Blogger DemonicProfessorEl February 17, 2017 8:56 AM  

Silly But True wrote:There seems to be a lot of repetition of words and conceits through Scalzi's text.

How many times is he going to use the "I'm thinking" bit in works?

He should do a novel on psionics/mentats so the who book can be that joke.


I can write a Scalzi story better than he can, with my own twist. Here it is:

A human brain sits in a jar of fluid, inundated in a saline solution that nourishes and hydrates the nerve center. Tubes emanate from the jar so that the neuronic waves can transmit its thoughts to communicate with the world.

When asked about it's day, it replies, "I'm thinking."

Blogger Emmett Fitz-Hume February 17, 2017 8:57 AM  

Not sure if mentioned already but what I find most remarkable is that this is the end product:

This is what is left after the editorial turd polishing process.

Blogger GAHCindy February 17, 2017 8:57 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Faceless February 17, 2017 9:00 AM  

Dick Valentine handled the rape scene more gently and with greater modesty in Cheryl vs. Darryl.

Anonymous ZhukovG February 17, 2017 9:14 AM  

This looks like the same sort of sexually crude scene that George R. R. Martin would write....

...If he was a talentless hack.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer February 17, 2017 9:17 AM  

#109

Agreed. They even put it up on their website. As if it is something to be proud of.

I guess they know their audience.

And thus the contention that the average IQ of Western Civilization is declining is proved.

Anonymous Sheiko29 February 17, 2017 9:17 AM  

Sci-Fi needs diversity of servicemembers. Though as it requires writing, probably just the officers.

Blogger Wynn Lloyd February 17, 2017 9:19 AM  

Truly awful "prose."

Blogger Johnny February 17, 2017 9:25 AM  

Surely you have picked out some of the worst parts because the rest of it can't be that bad. Can it? Nah. Strains credibility.

Sex is to be had without emotion then the only problem is to keep the batterys fresh in the viabarator.

Anonymous old mans war was more epic than 50 shades of grey February 17, 2017 9:26 AM  

That was the most magnificent prose I have ever read. A true inspiration. When I create my own terminator fan fuction, I shall strive to emulate John Scalzi's tough military dialogue. Of course when I include my sexy shower scene like in that amazing black comedy, "Starship Troopers", I will be sure to mix the dicscussion of what true citizenship means while my characters are going at it in a co-ed shower.

He is so clever and witty and most of all REAL! Its like he knows how real people talk and act. I do have one concern though. I don't see enough of a message in those sample chapters. I'm not sure if I will know how to creat a work that shows real progress and social change in my terminator fan fucktions.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer February 17, 2017 9:30 AM  

I don't see enough of a message in those sample chapters


Your right! Not one mention of intersectionality.

Which this racist browser is saying isn't even a word!

Blogger Cail Corishev February 17, 2017 9:31 AM  

That first sentence is so awkward I had to back up and run at it three times before I'd made sense of it.

As for the rest, I could swear I've read a scene just like that, but I can't place it. Might have been in the GammaLAW series, but it could have been plenty of others. Could he possibly think that kind of thing is edgy, and not like an excerpt of the 1970s?

Blogger Miguel Bárbaro February 17, 2017 9:32 AM  

Well, I ended up reading the excerpts after all, and I must say this: Vox, dont br rude! Military, masculine men talk about giving each other BJs all the time!

Blogger S1AL February 17, 2017 9:43 AM  

I'm just gonna say this, cause it needs to be said. Reverse the genders of those involved, see how that reads, and then question why McRapey is so Rapey.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer February 17, 2017 9:45 AM  

@119

I remember seeing part of a movie, cannot remember the name of it, set in the 70s. But actually made in the 90s or later. I think one of the plots involved a young woman who was the daughter of a senator.

The part I saw was at a huge party and lots of drugs were being consumed, one woman was dancing with her top off, a couple was having sex in a pool while another guy was trying to do laps, and some 20 something woman was trying to pick up some 16 year old kid. So, yeah, Scalzi isn't exactly edgy.

Blogger praetorian February 17, 2017 9:47 AM  

How womanly men think manly women think about sex, womanly.

Blogger Ron Winkleheimer February 17, 2017 9:47 AM  

Also, if I read the tone of the movie correctly, it was being critical of all the free sex and drug use.

Anonymous Raptor disrespect from behind February 17, 2017 9:52 AM  

Ron Winkleheimer wrote:@119

I remember seeing part of a movie, cannot remember the name of it, set in the 70s. But actually made in the 90s or later. I think one of the plots involved a young woman who was the daughter of a senator.

The part I saw was at a huge party and lots of drugs were being consumed, one woman was dancing with her top off, a couple was having sex in a pool while another guy was trying to do laps, and some 20 something woman was trying to pick up some 16 year old kid. So, yeah, Scalzi isn't exactly edgy.



Simpsons did it!

Quite honestly, I wouldn't have put those sample chapters out there. Perhaps that sort of style is what Scalizi's fans really want, but it sure isn't what I want.

Anonymous LurkingPuppy February 17, 2017 9:56 AM  

Hauen Holzwanderer wrote:What's your point? Chicken nuggets outsell fillet mignon too and your average 8 year old would say they taste better at that. Let me rephrase it in terms even a troll can comprehend: Mass market popularity usually has no correlation with quality.
If Tor Books thought this would be popular on the mass market, they wouldn't have had to pre-order a spot on the Carlos Slim fake-news blog's bestseller list for it.

Anonymous WaterBoy February 17, 2017 9:56 AM  

wroko @40: "Still gonna receive wider acclaim and sell better than most CH releases in that same period combined."

A strong indictment of the SF gatekeepers and ironclad justification for the various Puppies campaigns if ever there was one.

OpenID gnososs February 17, 2017 10:21 AM  

@4

I checked the original too to make sure it wasn't parody. I honestly thought Vox had rewritten it sarcastically.

A professional writer started his sci-fi epic, the very first sentence, with a freaking Scooby-Doo reference? No wonder Vox is so confident he'll be taking over Tor's market.

Blogger Matthew February 17, 2017 10:27 AM  

The writing of Yama the Space Fish is significantly better and more entertaining than this.

Blogger Matthew February 17, 2017 10:27 AM  

The SJWs must have gotten even to poor Yama, as he has altered one of the most memorable phrases. It's now: "You face me, the greatest duelist in all of Carantania."

http://yamathespacefish.deviantart.com/art/Nocturne-chapter-3-105196396

Blogger GAHCindy February 17, 2017 10:28 AM  

Deleted my comment because it's not nice to talk about family members. Wish I wouldn't do things like that.

Blogger OGRE February 17, 2017 10:38 AM  

Wow.

Well if you like lots of cringe in your sci-fi, now you know where to find it.

Anonymous Red Cabbage February 17, 2017 10:41 AM  

Who knew that obscenity could be so boring?

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 February 17, 2017 10:43 AM  

Kiva Lagos was busily fucking the brains out of the assistant purser

Yeah, women don't "fuck the brains out" of men. That's a biological impossibility.

That's not science fiction, it's just low-grade fantasy fanfic.

Blogger eharmonica February 17, 2017 10:45 AM  

I going to guess that the haverfruit turn out to be tribbles.

Anonymous LurkingPuppy February 17, 2017 10:50 AM  

swiftfoxmark2 wrote:Yeah, women don't "fuck the brains out" of men. That's a biological impossibility.
Well, how else do you explain Scalzi's decline since ‘Old Man's War’?

Blogger Dwight House February 17, 2017 10:55 AM  

Ho-ly COW! I've read badly written My Little Pony fanfiction that's far better than this drivel.

Is this a joke? Does this stuff actually get published in physical books?

Blogger Phelps February 17, 2017 10:56 AM  

This wouldn't even get an upvote on Reddit.

Anonymous Blanche DuBois's younger sister February 17, 2017 10:57 AM  

Do you all know what I thank? I do believe that Mistah Scalzi has nevah gotten all that much seyax in his lahf. What seyax he has got has been due to the kahndness of straynguhz, do you know what ah mean? Sho' you do.

Ah do declare, the boys down on Bourbon Street who hustle change from tourists? They get moah seyax than little Johnnie evah did. But they do hayev the good mannahs not to wraht about it.

That li'l ol' book company, Toah? They could replace li'l Johnie with half a dozen fanfic churners off of th' Internayet and save a lot of money. Then they wouldn't have to rely on the kahndness of straynjuz.

I know what it's lahk to rely on the kahndness of straynjuz, it's not always as good as you expeyact.

Anonymous Jason February 17, 2017 10:58 AM  

Wow. I've never read a Scalzi book and so I'd assumed some of the snark here towards him was exaggerated - he is a reasonably successful author after all - but ... wow ... that's just plain awful.

And if that's the garbage they're using as the teaser, the rest of the book must be even worse. Words fail me.

Anonymous BBGKB February 17, 2017 11:01 AM  

It's pretty sad when skipping most of the book makes it better and more consistant

I, for one, am intrigued by the intricacies of the interstellar fruit trade, and would like to know more.

The haverfruit is like a mulberry tree but only fruits when there is only male trees.

Also it's pretty creative to reimagine Asimov's "Terminus" as a planet called "End".

He is writing for a lower IQ crowd than Asimov.

Does anyone else get the feeling that his wife stays on the phone while it's sweet love making time in the Scalzi bedroom?

Does it count as cheating is Scalzi is the one on the phone with her? "pick up some bread and milk while you are out"

Blogger lubertdas February 17, 2017 11:02 AM  

There are only two possible scenarios for this "series":

1) Tor drops his contract and he has to self-publish the remaining books.
2) Much like fellow SJW David Gerrold's "War Against the Chtorr" series, he gets bored, puts it down and walks away.

Unfortunately, he's too young and in relatively good health to take the George Rape Rape Martin route of dying before he finishes.

Blogger Harsh February 17, 2017 11:02 AM  

Blanche DuBois's younger sister wrote:Do you all know what I thank? I do believe that Mistah Scalzi has nevah gotten all that much seyax in his lahf.

My guess is Scalzi's number is <=2. Female partners that is.

Blogger Midnight Avenue J February 17, 2017 11:05 AM  

@ lubertdas, perhaps he will have an unfortunate bench pressing accident while trying to get chummy with his wife's daughter (after reading this drivel, we can no longer be sure he is the girl's father).

It's been known to happen, but usually only to Hillary's enemies.

Blogger John Wright February 17, 2017 11:10 AM  

@101

Here, things differ. It is not as on Earth. Approach the tree naked, carrying no ax, no saw. Explain in a clear voice your sorrow, but do not use words. Sing. Our trees know music as our universal language. Perhaps there is much which cannot be expressed in such a language, but these things, the important things, can.

Once the tree understands who you have lost, it will move. Roots will reach down to find your wife's body, no matter how deeply buried. The fruit of life will bloom, for we have no winter here. Once she is drawn to the surface, squeeze the juice into her mouth. One drop is enough. Two will make her a poet, and three, a prophet.
The branches will weave themselves into a bower in the crown of the tree. There you may dwell in peaceful happiness for all days.
I forgot to mention. To prepare the tree, hang a god from its branches, and let his blood go into the roots, the fruit, and all around, so that the power of infinite love...
What do you mean you already had a tree like this on Earth? Why did you come here? The house you will build in that tree is a mansion indeed, if your god is the carpenter's son as you say.
So you will see her again. You believed in stories of my strange garden enough to brave the journey here. Why not believe Him?

Anonymous fop February 17, 2017 11:13 AM  

Like modern art, people exchange exorbitant sums of money for complete garbage simply to be part of an in-group.

Blogger Heian-kyo Dreams February 17, 2017 11:13 AM  

Chapter Two is some awkward exposition. Add in the unlikeable characters, and you've got a modern hit.

Blogger Midnight Avenue J February 17, 2017 11:22 AM  

Lots of tell, zero show. It's lazy, and shows contempt for your audience.

The over-long sequence of the new Emperox reading history on the toilet...smh. Cue Side-eye Chloe: "Umm, could you NOT?"

Anonymous Jon Bromfield February 17, 2017 11:24 AM  

Notice that The Chinless Wonder is very careful to NOT indicate the sex of the captain's subordinate "conquest" (read rape victim). I suppose in Scalzi's PC addled mind this is considered somehow egalitarian though all it does is further "unperson" this character making him/her even more just a slab of meat for Kiva's emotionless rutting.

Of course this sort of abusive sexual dominance by a female is considered by arrested development manboobs to be "empowering."

Blogger Azimus February 17, 2017 11:24 AM  

From the article comment:
"...there's an entire chapter where strategy or politics is discussed by some lady who has been walked in on while fucking Wesley Crusher, and she just keeps going at it while continuing the conversation."


Oh so manboobs has watched "The Red Violin" - well done.

The ironic thing about it is that end of the book gives away that the Flow or whatever it is called has been based on some convoluted lie the entire time.

Yeah Timothy Zahn called and he wants his ending to "Conqueror's Pride" back. What, you're saying the Cersei weapon was never real in the first place? Oh-no's humanity is doomed! (No disrespect to Zahn it was a great book and a great twist at the end - the first time). Seriously what are the legal thresholds to establish plagiarism?

Blogger Natalie February 17, 2017 11:25 AM  

Is it terrible that I can imagine Bujold writing a version of this scene and making it work? The dynamics would absolutely be different (ie the guild member she can't fire would be the one saying "Tough times - I don't care who or what you're doing. You can listen to this.")

Scalzi's version is just some BS crazy woman being BS crazy.

Blogger MisesMat February 17, 2017 11:32 AM  

Brian Niemeier wrote:When Castalia House overtakes Tor Books, perhaps even before Tor is sold or shuttered, Scalzi will seek publication with CH.

His failed shot at Hollywood means he's stuck--from his point of view--writing books for life, and his status obsession will compel him to write for the biggest house on the block.


@17 Brian, sadly I doubt this will happen. A true Gamma male will try and make excuses for why he doesn't need a publisher. I will bet he'll try and go indie (and fail miserably) or he will find a micro-publisher and pretend that this is a triumphant victory!

I can hear the excuses now: "I used to need major publishers, but now the truth is, major publishers today are horrible, right-wing hate shops. Now, that I have a micro-pub I am writing better fiction. Americans are just too dumb to realize how incredible my work is. I am really, really talented. But the dudebros don't see it."

Scalzi will always be a secret king (no relation to your Soul Cycle!) in his own mind.

But getting back to Vox: The really sad part about all this, is that many, many people actually find this "ironic" humor funny. The sad reality is that Speculative Fiction has become a meeting place for broken souls. (Google about why pedophiles love Star Trek.) Most of the mentally ill folk are attracted to the "escape" our fiction provides.

It's tragic. I went to meetup group recently where the folks assembled were deeply pathetic. (I left when they spent half the meeting attacking Trump and gun owners. One of the old men in the group wrote a horror story where the main character passes by Trump tower. I wish I were making that up.)

If you really want to see Scalzi in his..."best" (I cringe using that word) read his horrible attempt at humor called "The Android's Dream." His main joke is that sheep fart. A lot.

Sad!

Blogger Feather Blade February 17, 2017 11:32 AM  

Benjamin Kraft wrote:@42. That's top quality material? My Immortal is better, and I mean the fanfic, not the song.

Ouch.

@145 Bravo! Those are indeed excellent tree-house building instructions.

Anonymous Holmwood February 17, 2017 11:39 AM  

I liked Scalzi's first two books much to Vox's one-time amusement somewhere on this blog. The shortcomings I saw as those of a beginner author. As others have said, though, the good bits were not original and the original bits were not good.

Mark Jeffery wrote:Scalzi is a bit of a plodder, but a readable plodder. There are a lot worse writers around,
And there are plenty of better ones.

Consider this Chapter One opening:
For the week leading up to his death, Cardenia Wu-Patrick stayed mostly at the bedside of her father, Batrin, who, when he was informed that his condition had reached the limits of medical competence and that palliative care was all that was left to him, decided to die at home, in his favorite bed. Cardenia, who had been aware for some time that the end was close, had cleared her schedule until further notice and had a comfortable chair installed near her father’s bed.

How about:
The first chance Cardenia got to know her father was as he lay dying. Fortunately it wouldn't be the last.

More punch, more impact, far less bureaucratic and dull ("cleared her schedule???") and it hints at one of the very few SF elements of the story right upfront: the memory room.

I'm not claiming my rewrite is very good, but it is certainly better and took all of ten seconds.

My work is that of a plodder. Scalzi's is simply verbiage.

and the "McRapey" bullshit is just someone (I don;t know who started it) trying to make something real that never was.
That's easy. John Scalzi started it. Here's roughly how (quotes are paraphrases):

VD: "I am not a white supremacist or a fascist or a nazi [explanation follows]"
JS: "White Supremacist! Fascist! Nazi! RSHD!"
VD: ???

JS: "I am a rapist"
VD: "OK, McRapey."

Sorry, you folks on the left don't get to point and shriek and then act all innocent when the same techniques are turned back on you in a considerably more accurate fashion.

Blogger Achilles February 17, 2017 11:39 AM  

It seems clear from the sample that the wife can't be bothered to put down her smart phone while pegging McRapey. Pathetic as that is Scalzi should be more ashamed of his writing.

Anonymous Bloody peasant! February 17, 2017 11:39 AM  

The Flow...the Flow....it must Flow.
So the entire story takes place in 28 days?
Tor's missing a commercial tie-in to Tampax.

Blogger horsewithnonick February 17, 2017 11:47 AM  

Hrrm.

Flashes of wit, cleverness, even a moment or two of poignancy...

Buried under thick curds of clumsily-written, tiresome exposition as Scalzi insists on downloading his entire created universe into the reader's brain prior to permitting them entrance.

I'd prefer not to get into the out-of-place cultural references that break immersion for no reason other than authorial archness.

I'm gonna have to pass on this one.

Anonymous Pax_Romana February 17, 2017 11:48 AM  

A friend of mine was in the army - combat infantry, not a mechanic or desk jockey - and he recommended "Old Man's War" to me. He said he really liked Scalzi. I laughed very, very hard at him.

Having read other books that he likes, he does otherwise have good taste and he does like manly fiction, but I guess that book was just a blind spot for him.

Blogger Midnight Avenue J February 17, 2017 11:50 AM  

@MisesMat, some of the cutesy teenage spec-fic, fan-fic, and ship-fic are rather enjoyable and readable. They get moody, as teens are wont, but I consider the source, and like the brief interludes they provide.

This Scalzi piece, it doesn't even approach the level of nascent fiction author that some of the Disney ship-fic I read.

Older fans who write spec &c. can be scary. They're usually damaged in some way, and the fic is their means of controlling circumstances. It's not self contained though, as the spec world becomes a reality of sorts, which they try to manifest in the real world. Pedophilia as normal, transgender as truth, gay marriage as law...

Anonymous Jon Bromfield February 17, 2017 11:54 AM  

As my high school English Honors teacher would dismiss my tyro efforts, "A constipation of ideas and a diarrhea of words."

Blogger Silly But True February 17, 2017 12:14 PM  

@DemonicProfessor,
Haha. Much better punch line in yours. Very nice.

RE: Scalzi's Flow
WTF is it with degenerate leftists to be so fixated on a woman's period? Grant Morrison did the same thing in DC comics' multiverse filling the space between alternate Earths with - get this: ultramenstruum or "the Bleed."

He literally took a pointless marketing ploy "red sky tie-ins" - of the original DC Comics' infinitely more famous Crisis on Infinite Earths, and made the DC multiverse have a woman's menstrual cycle which facilitates multiversal travel.

Blogger Hauen Holzwanderer February 17, 2017 12:22 PM  

I agree, but I have to resist my urge to sperg on these things. I'm just gonna leave this here:


https://infogalactic.com/info/Channel_stuffing

https://infogalactic.com/info/Pay_to_play

Anonymous Strigiformes February 17, 2017 12:34 PM  

The saddest part of this excerpt is that it's the excerpt in the first place. They were proud of this, as the best they could find for people to read without spoiling the story. It's what they want people to read for free before actually buying the book. The rest of it must be truly wretched if that's the case. The mind boggles trying to imagine it.

Blogger VD February 17, 2017 12:46 PM  

I will certainly be reading this book, but this constant barrage of "McRapey" is making me question if I will do the same for books published by your company.

If you genuinely believe John Scalzi's books are good, then you're not tall enough for the Castalia House ride. We don't recommend our books for kindergarteners or people who don't speak English either.

Blogger John February 17, 2017 1:06 PM  

What this shows clearly is how painful his sex life must be. This woman needs to get into a "groove" to enjoy sex with a man she is apparently desperate for.

1. Scalzi wife assureScalzi he is desirable.
2. Scalzi wife need to thread the needle to get in groove when sexing.
3. Ergo, Scalzi think desirable men need to get women in groove.

If she wants it, she's in the groove.

Anonymous A.B. Prosper February 17, 2017 1:10 PM  

Does Scalzi always write like that? I've avoided any judgement of his writing as I haven't read his work before but that's bloody awful.

I get the attempt at humor, he's trying to be degenerate Harry Harrison or something but just no.

I might have to take Redshirts off the book list


That's bloody awful

Blogger haus frau February 17, 2017 1:18 PM  

@13 I have been assured by some people that Scalzi has genuine skill at writing dialogue.

Those people were obviously lying.

hmm did those people talk like a scalzi dialogue? Maybe they weren't lying.

Anonymous Keeg February 17, 2017 1:20 PM  

When I first read the "Chapter Two" excerpt above, I thought for sure that Vox had gone over the top parodying Scalzi. It's so bad, it makes the "blowjob" passage from RED SHIRTS seem like Bradbury's "There Will Come Soft Rains."

Anonymous a deplorable rubberducky February 17, 2017 1:27 PM  

My God that's bad. I have been waiting for Scalzi to lay an egg here, and man has he outdone himself this time.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, Scalzi! HAHAHAHAHA

Blogger Jared Burrell February 17, 2017 1:49 PM  

Submit this for an award.

Blogger haus frau February 17, 2017 1:52 PM  

@170 Oh yes PLEASE do. How funny to read scalzi's sputtering when he's backed by the rabid puppies. This is every bit as worthy of a Hugo as gay space raptors.

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents February 17, 2017 2:09 PM  

Something about this article, makes me think of Scalzi for some reason or other, although Scalzi's wife isn't this fat it still makes me think of something.

I'm thinking about it. Well, now I'm done.

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable February 17, 2017 2:13 PM  

@145

May all our treehouses be built on instructions from John Wright.

Anonymous James Parliament February 17, 2017 2:37 PM  

Your alias made my day. Busted out laughing.

Blogger Geir Balderson February 17, 2017 2:40 PM  

Filth!
Scalzi writes dirty, decrepit prose.
Filth! That is the word that came to mind as I tried to read the excerpt. I wonder what else he can write in the future? His books have lost any sensibilities.
Flith!
Not science fiction I know and loved.
Filth!

Blogger horsewithnonick February 17, 2017 3:01 PM  

The interminable digression into the bureaucratic administration of mutinies reminded me of a Douglas Adams riff, except for it being drearily, relentlessly unfunny.

Blogger Were-Puppy February 17, 2017 3:27 PM  

@8 Steve
I, for one, am intrigued by the intricacies of the interstellar fruit trade, and would like to know more.
---

The best item tackling the interstellar fruit trade that I am aware of was a Dreamcast game called Bangai-O

Blogger Were-Puppy February 17, 2017 3:32 PM  

@27 JAG
OT - 2-16-17 was "Day without illegal invaders" day.
--

The funniest thing about the "day without immigrants" was that Trump appointed one at a yuuuge press conference to Labor. The guy didn't get the memo and showed up to work ROFLMAO!

Anonymous Avalanche February 17, 2017 3:37 PM  

@27 "We need a generation without illegal invaders to really judge their importance in my opinion."

Now, now, let's not decide too quickly. Let's try three generations, just to make sure. Don't you think? We don't want to rush to judgement.

Blogger Were-Puppy February 17, 2017 3:39 PM  

If he wanted to make it interesting, he could have made it a space muslim humping a goat when he was suppose to be doing something important.

Blogger Silly But True February 17, 2017 3:41 PM  

Compare a house made from:

Instructions written by Scalzi: https://cykjnamibia.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/himba-encounters/p1040102/

Vs.

Instructions written by Wright:
http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/peacetraveler22/49370105/417977/417977_900.jpg

Blogger Were-Puppy February 17, 2017 3:56 PM  

@118 Ron Winkleheimer

Your right! Not one mention of intersectionality.
--

He could have gone for the trifecta - white captain being boned by a black subordinate while the cuck white first officer observes the situation.

Anonymous LastRedoubt February 17, 2017 4:16 PM  

@87. Eric Mueller

That excerpt was awful. It's a good thing this guy already has an audience to buy his books. A friend loaned me Redshirts a couple years ago. It was amusing at least, but will never go down as a great book.

And he's still your friend?

Blogger Snidely Whiplash February 17, 2017 4:28 PM  

There was more story, character, emotion, complexity, history, imagination, life, love, beauty in JCW's throwaway "instructions to build a treehouse" than in Scalzi's entire oeuvre.

So the bad guy is the Emperox? Really?

That wouldn't be a contraction of Emperor Vox, now would it? Is that subconscious or did he actually think about it? "Hail Emperor Vox, we who are about to ignore our duty to plow subordinates salute you!!!"

Does anyone else get the impression that our 4 (so far) shills praising Scalzi as a middling Sci-Fi author are sock puppets of our favorite SF SJW?

BUT FOR GOD'S SAKE STOP CALLING ME, I MEAN HIM, MCRAPEY!!!!!

Blogger OGRE February 17, 2017 4:45 PM  

Emperox?? really? thats just pathetic...

I doubt it has anything to do with Vox. But its just lazy writing. I can see his thought process now: "Well I want it to be an 'emperor,' but I need to spruce up the word and make it unique and different...make it my own! I know..I'll change the last letter to an X like they did in Latin to make things female!" ta-da...a new scalzified word. Even Frank Herbert didn't make up a new word, he just found a less-widely known one from the Persians.

(Of course that was never done in Latin, although middle-english would add the suffix -trix to feminize certain masculine Latin nouns...executrix, dominatrix, etc.)

Its just so much cringe...the thought of him sitting there--thinking how clever he imagines himself to be-- makes me want to punch my own face to drown out the pain.

Anonymous Lawyer Guy February 17, 2017 5:12 PM  

I kind of liked Old Man's War, minus the 'peace hippy is the true hero, and Marines are yucky' BS.

This writing sucks ass. Terrible.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash February 17, 2017 5:14 PM  

OGRE wrote:Its just so much cringe...the thought of him sitting there--thinking how clever he imagines himself to be-- makes me want to punch my own face to drown out the pain.
That's not whose face needs punching.

Anonymous Jon Bromfield February 17, 2017 6:05 PM  

The whole thing reeks of exhaustion, lethargy and desperation - and this, remember, is the rewrite! I may try to catch him on his upcoming book tour, would love to hear him read the beginning of Chapter Two to a mixed audience.

Blogger Meanoldbasterd February 17, 2017 6:18 PM  

Real combat arms (19D) story involving sex/sexual innuendo. As told in 2009 by a former Ssg in combat arms in answer to the question "What is a cavtroop LIKE?" from an Intel weenie. Witnessed and corroborated by me, a former Sgt and 19D.

"Our Platoon sergeant had a huge field bag he would take out to each field problem. He kept all of his personal gear in it and after each return from a training OP, he would run over to his house on post, drop it off at home, then scurry back to the troop HQ to supervise the recovery.
One day, a trooper witnessed this due to the PSG giving him a ride. He noted that the PSGs wife would grab the bag and take it inside and begin cleaning the nasty uniforms etc. And the PSG never bothered to look inside once he finished packing it in the field.
Once the pvt returned and related this to the platoon, planning began immediately.
On the next field problem several items were inserted into the PSGs field bag after he sealed it, but before it made it back to his wife...
A love letter to him from an imaginary GF, written by the GF of one of the NCOS in 'girl handwriting'
Donated panties (used)
Used condom (contents also 'donated'
Plausible nudie pics (this was in the early 2000s)

Needless to say, the next day after recovery, the PSG comes fuming into the troop area, BURIES a tomahawk in the bulletin board and screams for third platoon to get the FUCK outside onto the parade ground. He proceeded to smoke the dogshit out of them all for several hours while demanding that someone own up to it...
No one broke ranks. They all took their smoking together and sucked it up.

Pause.

Intel weenie "that's it? Wtf was the point of all that?"

Cavsarge: the point is, a few weeks later after the next field problem as the PSG went to the parking lot to go home, several troops shadowed him, he lifted his bag up into the tail gate of his truck, then paused, looked around, unzipped it, and began tossing the contents... only THEN was the joke complete...

Intel weenie: Jaw meet floor...

Blogger Off The Wall February 17, 2017 6:52 PM  

John Wright wrote:@101

Here, things differ. It is not as on Earth. Approach the tree naked, carrying no ax, no saw. Explain in a clear voice your sorrow, but do not use words. Sing. Our trees know music as our universal language. Perhaps there is much which cannot be expressed in such a language, but these things, the important things, can.

Once the tree understands who you have lost, it will move. Roots will reach down to find your wife's body, no matter how deeply buried. The fruit of life will bloom, for we have no winter here. Once she is drawn to the surface, squeeze the juice into her mouth. One drop is enough. Two will make her a poet, and three, a prophet.

The branches will weave themselves into a bower in the crown of the tree. There you may dwell in peaceful happiness for all days.

I forgot to mention. To prepare the tree, hang a god from its branches, and let his blood go into the roots, the fruit, and all around, so that the power of infinite love...

What do you mean you already had a tree like this on Earth? Why did you come here? The house you will build in that tree is a mansion indeed, if your god is the carpenter's son as you say.

So you will see her again. You believed in stories of my strange garden enough to brave the journey here. Why not believe Him?


Thank you, thank you indeed, Mr. Wright.

Anonymous Viidad February 17, 2017 6:53 PM  

"Intel weenie "that's it? Wtf was the point of all that?"

Cavsarge: the point is, a few weeks later after the next field problem as the PSG went to the parking lot to go home, several troops shadowed him, he lifted his bag up into the tail gate of his truck, then paused, looked around, unzipped it, and began tossing the contents... only THEN was the joke complete...

Intel weenie: Jaw meet floor..."

I don't get what happened here.

Blogger Meanoldbasterd February 17, 2017 7:29 PM  

The point was, the difference between cavtroopers was that they were willing to get punished as a team simply to play a practical joke on their PSG who, has the power of life and death over you. Of you can permanently alter his behavior that's like finding kryptonite.
In an Intel platoon no one would ever consider a joke like that, and no one would ever smoke an entire platoon like that, it is more than your career is worth.

As a SSG, I smoked a whole platoon in the MI world and nearly got non judicial punishment for it. (one of the females complained that the phrase " your own personal buttfucking" was used during the punishment by another NCO.
The offense was failure to follow orders from a superior NCO despite more than one warning, potentially exposing the company to failing an inspection by the BN sergeant major.

Anonymous seikis February 17, 2017 8:05 PM  

Take into consideration that the sex scene might be conceived by his wife.

Anonymous A Most Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents February 17, 2017 8:18 PM  

@189

Intel weenie: Jaw meet floor...


kek

@193
Take into consideration that the sex scene might be conceived by his wife.

She probably just phoned it in.

Blogger Thucydides February 17, 2017 8:27 PM  

My daughters "Avatar, the Last Airbender" fanfic is better plotted and has more realistic dialogue than that.

@97, I'm already looking forward to the rest of your book

@101, Thank you sir, for providing inspiration to John Wright to write what was possibly the most amazing short story I have ever read, absolutely complete in just a few lines.

And thank you Mr Wright, for creating this for us.

OpenID peppermintfrosted February 17, 2017 10:25 PM  

...so they're delivering a boatload of[perishable agricultural goods] presumably for a voyage of several weeks, and they didn't have it pre-cleared with customs and have an importer lined up to hand the stuff off to?

Blogger Rez Zircon February 17, 2017 11:06 PM  

Got about two paragraphs in before I started skimming (well, I know what I won't be reading tonight), and my inner editor had two thoughts:

1) This is awfully infodumpy.
2) Old Man's War had a better editor.
2b) Was this edited at all? Where it's not awkward, it wanders.

Anonymous Shut up rabbit February 18, 2017 3:25 AM  

@40-42 low grade, low-T troll talking to itself - hilarious.

I love the Dunning-Kruger effect; as the left becomes less and less relevant those that still cling to the narrative become more and more of a self-parody. Excellent!

Anonymous Shut up rabbit February 18, 2017 4:03 AM  

haus frau wrote:@13 I have been assured by some people that Scalzi has genuine skill at writing dialogue.

Probably the same people that kept telling me Harry Potter wasn't just for kids.

Yes, yes it is.

Blogger wreckage February 18, 2017 6:11 AM  

Having nearly wept at Mr Wright's instructions for a treehouse, I can only imagine that if he DID start a book with a sex scene, everyone who read it would wind up pregnant with his baby.

Jokes aside, Wright takes a treehouse and turns it into longing, sorrow, transcendence and hope.

Scalzi takes a hot sex scene with a sudden and unexpected intrusion from a dire, high-stakes family disaster with dynastic fortunes on the line, in space, and turns it into boring shit.

Just think about that for a moment.

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