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Wednesday, March 08, 2017

The fall of the house of Tor

It begins....

Now, obviously I am not going to reveal my sources, but I believe I can safely observe that one result of last year's anti-PNH campaign is that I happened to make a few contacts in the publishing world aside from the obvious ones at Simon & Schuster and Random House. Some of you have probably noticed that we were among the first independent publishers to make use of Pronoun, which may have surprised those who were under the impression that we were anti-Macmillan, but that was never the case.

Anyhow, I understand that we can look forward to hearing that a number of Tor authors are going to suddenly develop newfound respect for the art of self-publishing. And, moreover, this harrowing of the authors is, at least in part, the result of the failure of a major new book from a top author upon whom the publisher was counting to produce significant revenue in a timely manner.

You see, when a Castalia author is late, it doesn't harm us in the slightest. But when a big book from Tor Books slips, or worse, doesn't produce, or even worse, slips and then doesn't produce, that inflicts serious harm on their financial flows. And, contrary to the impression created by their sizable revenues, the big publishing houses tend to get by on relatively small margins, so even a moderate financial shortfall often has to be addressed by slashing books and contracts and authors.

So, keep your eyes open. We should learn exactly where the cuts have been made in the relatively near future.

Tor delenda est.

Labels: ,

116 Comments:

Blogger Rabbi B March 08, 2017 7:12 PM  

It's always just a matter of time. The truth is a great leveler and nothing tastes as sweet as vindication.

Blogger Beau March 08, 2017 7:17 PM  

I feel a disturbance in the Force.

Blogger Sithicus March 08, 2017 7:17 PM  

Good.... good!

Blogger The Kurgan March 08, 2017 7:17 PM  

Surely it couldn't possibly be that The Barefoot Rapist has collapsed the Tor empire....
Bwahhahahahahha

Anonymous Obi Dobie Ore-Ore-Oh March 08, 2017 7:19 PM  

@2

No, padawan, it is rather a great disturbance in The Farce.

Blogger Azimus March 08, 2017 7:22 PM  

Don't know if it will ever come to this, but if Tor ever writes their Chapter 7, I think Castalia House should buy out the assets including TM's and Copyrights for pennies on the dollar and then assume the mantle of Tor, like some sort of a wholesome Hannibal Lecter or Dr Frankenstein... I'm curious who owns the rights to a book if a publisher folds?

Anonymous MawBTS March 08, 2017 7:25 PM  

And, moreover, this harrowing of the authors is, at least in part, the result of the failure of a major new book from a top author upon whom the publisher was counting to produce significant revenue in a timely manner.

One keeps these things close to their chest, but...would your readers be wrong to interpret this as a "collapse" of Tor, maybe?

Anonymous VFM #7916 March 08, 2017 7:26 PM  

One might also hope they cut staff, like that female SJW editor that made such inappropriate twitter comments a couple of years ago.

Does anyone know where she is now?

Anonymous Steve March 08, 2017 7:27 PM  

But how can this be?

Not only do they have the New York Times Best Selling interstellar fruit trade novel The Prolapsing Kumquat coming out, but also literal heavyweights such as Seanan McGuire.

(Fun fact: Thomas Edison once electrocuted Big Seanan's grandmother to prove AC current is dangerous.)

And I'm sure Binti 2: Quantum Boogaloo will be a hit among Nigerian sci fi readers.

Blogger Tatooine Sharpshooters' Club March 08, 2017 7:28 PM  

So what you're saying is, going all in with a pair of two's is not a long-term success strategy?

On the downside, Bezos could buy Tor and continue his unprecedented run as "the greatest business man whose companies never turn a profit".

And, OT, never count out Barca.

Anonymous MawBTS March 08, 2017 7:37 PM  

So what you're saying is, going all in with a pair of two's is not a long-term success strategy?


I'm not sure Scalzi has a pair of anything.

Blogger James Dixon March 08, 2017 7:38 PM  

> ...but if Tor ever writes their Chapter 7...

Tor is owned by Macmillan, so that's not going to happen. They may shut down, but Macmillan will probably keep the rights.

Blogger Durandel Almiras March 08, 2017 7:40 PM  

Vox, you tired of winning yet?

Muahahahahaha!

Blogger SouthRon March 08, 2017 7:42 PM  

I love God's divine sense of irony that "The Collapsing Empire" would, uh, in fact collapse The Empire.

Blogger praetorian March 08, 2017 7:42 PM  

Tor, pounded in the butt by a space raptor with their own convergence.

Perfect.

Blogger Jose March 08, 2017 7:42 PM  

Speaking of author slips and book timelines, any sense of when Riding the Red Horse zwei will be available? (Preferably before California flips republican.)

Blogger Tatooine Sharpshooters' Club March 08, 2017 7:43 PM  

I'm not sure Scalzi has a pair of anything.

A pair of cave trolls in his immediate family.

Blogger Silly But True March 08, 2017 7:43 PM  

Goddammit.

Take time out from all this winning to appreciate the bastards losing?

What an impossible choice.

Blogger Nick S March 08, 2017 7:44 PM  

I'm not sure Scalzi has a pair of anything.

I'm pretty sure he has a pair of manboobs.

Anonymous VFM #6306 March 08, 2017 7:48 PM  

Scalzi's book is about a benevolent communications Flow falling apart and turning out to be a complete lie.

I believe it is a combination autobiography and Tor exposé.

Blogger Ben Cohen March 08, 2017 7:48 PM  

Scalzi book fail?

Anonymous Longtime Lurker March 08, 2017 7:52 PM  

Make Tor Great Again.

Blogger Azimus March 08, 2017 7:52 PM  

12. James Dixon March 08, 2017 7:38 PM
> ...but if Tor ever writes their Chapter 7...

Tor is owned by Macmillan, so that's not going to happen. They may shut down, but Macmillan will probably keep the rights.


So sad.... What a glorious image: the SDL cutting Manboobs' paycheck... Rembrandt could not capture the ecstacy... there is no justice in the universe...

Anonymous Nathan March 08, 2017 7:54 PM  

So, Sanderson's potentially late, and Scalzi's sales are sagging. Wow, sucks to be Tor.

Should be interesting to see if PNH's attack dogs at io9 get cut from the roster.

Blogger Jack Ward March 08, 2017 7:56 PM  

Thus, the comparison of a lean and mean and vigorous new publishing house like Castalia that treats its authors like human beings and not slaves. And, actively seeks out the best and a great variety of the best at that.
It's been an honor to watch all this happen. And, extremely entertaining. Not to mention the excellent reading along the way.

Anonymous fop March 08, 2017 7:57 PM  

Meanwhile, John Scalzi, the privileged old white male, is enjoying cocktails and gourmet feasts aboard an all-expenses-paid cruise to the Mexican Riviera and tweeting every sumptuous detail to all the starving, drooling authors out there who are living on leftover cat food and will soon have to get a second job because of him.

As Johnny tweeted just this afternoon... "You're welcome!"



Anonymous A Most Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Deplorable Cents March 08, 2017 8:13 PM  


As Johnny tweeted just this afternoon... "You're welcome!"


That's a funny way to translate "Apres moi, le deluge!".

Blogger Badger Brigadon March 08, 2017 8:21 PM  

Companies, like humans, have a limited lifespan. Once they reach a certain age, they start getting more and more top heavy, more and more dependent on the tiny margin of productive systems to support an ever-growing top and middle management structure... a structure which becomes, like cancer, more unweildy and even more top-heavy as it is infested with social law.

Tor's decline is simply the natural result of a guy in old age, his systems failing and riddled with cancer, relying upon a productive structure which is simply incapable of supporting his diseased and infirm body anymore.

I expect Tor to dissolve, or to more likely 'reorganize' by killing the host and creating a new, young company with the same name.

Nothing lives forever... and nothing should.

Blogger Cataline Sergius March 08, 2017 8:25 PM  

Tor isn't dead yet by any manner or means but backing Scalzi's pony like that was a very bad wager.

It did briefly look like Red Shirts was going to be made into a series and that probably would have justified the advance money.

I mean look at the Dresden Files, it was on for one unwatched season at SciFi Channel and can now only be found on YouTube. But it made Larry Correia very respectful of Jim Butcher's income.

But then things changed at Paramount and they weren't willing to let a Star Trek parody go into production anymore. Red Shirts is dead as a property and nobody is interested in producing Old Man's War.

This is two flops in a row for Scalzi. Hollywood was sniffing him over for a while but his last credit on IMDB is for Fat Wesley's YouTube show TableTop, where he played himself. I think the Moguls have figured out that there is no talent to be mined there. The George R. R. Martin checks are not heading his way.

All things considered, PNH probably was just doubling down when he signed Scalzi to that three million dollar deal but it was justifiable to the home office...at the time.

Of course the real problem for Scalzi is simple enough, he was never the guy he was pretending to be ten years ago.

Blogger MrPaules March 08, 2017 8:27 PM  

I self-published in 2001 only to discover that such companies made money from writers rather than readers. Is there an editor at Castalia (Glass Bead reference?) interested in historical fiction based on the Maori Wars?

Blogger Snidely Whiplash March 08, 2017 8:29 PM  

Azimus wrote:I'm curious who owns the rights to a book if a publisher folds?`
The imprints are legally separate companies. They insulate the Big company from financial repercussions in the event of catastrophic failure, such as Tor is facing right now. This works, but it comes at a price. In the event of bankruptcy, the owner loses control of the company.
If Tor files for bankruptcy, a trustee will be appointed by the court. He will assess the situation and decide on a plan. The important thing to remember is that his only remit is to pay off the creditors. If he can find a way to do that without taking the company under, he will. If he can't, he will shut it down and get as much as he can for the assets.
The owner of the bankrupt company (in this case, MacMillan) has no say in the matter. Not only can't they direct who gets any publication rights, if the trustee finds self-dealing in decisions the company made they can reverse the action. So if PNH tells MacMillan that Tor going under, and MacMillan buys out a bunch of backlist titles, the trustee can and will "unsell" them if he thinks they're worth more than was paid.
Of course, usually when a company as large as Tor goes under, it's the lawyers who actually profit, often chewing up court time with worthless motions, all paid for out of the estate, to ensure there's nothing left for the creditors at all.
In any event, backlist titles that might sell a few hundred a year aren't worth much to a paper publisher like MacMillan. If they don't buy them at a fair price prior to bankruptcy, they'd likely be auctioned off or revert to the authors.

Blogger VD March 08, 2017 8:34 PM  

Of course the real problem for Scalzi is simple enough, he was never the guy he was pretending to be ten years ago.

Which, of course, I was pointing out from the moment I encountered him in 2005. He even lied about how many books he had published at the time. It is remarkable how many people he managed to snow as long as he did, though.

Blogger Aeoli Pera March 08, 2017 8:36 PM  

The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Blogger Jourdan March 08, 2017 8:38 PM  

This is great news. On the entire right, you can count on one hand the number of rightists who have caused the enemy real pain, and first on that list is Vox Day. Bravissimo!

Blogger Sevron March 08, 2017 8:48 PM  

Known many Scalzis in my life. Not as talented as they claim, never deliver the goods, but still the fucking MBAs love them. Wish I could do that.

Anonymous basementhomebrewer March 08, 2017 8:53 PM  

VFM #7916 wrote:One might also hope they cut staff, like that female SJW editor that made such inappropriate twitter comments a couple of years ago.

Does anyone know where she is now?


You are thinking of Irene Gallow and as far as I am aware she is still working for them.

fop wrote:Meanwhile, John Scalzi, the privileged old white male, is enjoying cocktails and gourmet feasts aboard an all-expenses-paid cruise to the Mexican Riviera and tweeting every sumptuous detail to all the starving, drooling authors out there who are living on leftover cat food and will soon have to get a second job because of him.

As Johnny tweeted just this afternoon... "You're welcome!"



So the funny thing about advances, you have to pay them back if your sales don't cover the nut. Wonder if Scalzi was wise enough not to blow too much of the money. It would be a shame if that beautiful lawn of his got caught up in a foreclosure sale.

Anonymous basementhomebrewer March 08, 2017 8:55 PM  

Unless you are talking about TNH. No one cares what she is doing.

Anonymous basementhomebrewer March 08, 2017 8:58 PM  

Snidely Whiplash wrote:Azimus wrote:I'm curious who owns the rights to a book if a publisher folds?`

The imprints are legally separate companies. They insulate the Big company from financial repercussions in the event of catastrophic failure, such as Tor is facing right now. This works, but it comes at a price. In the event of bankruptcy, the owner loses control of the company.

If Tor files for bankruptcy, a trustee will be appointed by the court. He will assess the situation and decide on a plan. The important thing to remember is that his only remit is to pay off the creditors. If he can find a way to do that without taking the company under, he will. If he can't, he will shut it down and get as much as he can for the assets.

The owner of the bankrupt company (in this case, MacMillan) has no say in the matter. Not only can't they direct who gets any publication rights, if the trustee finds self-dealing in decisions the company made they can reverse the action. So if PNH tells MacMillan that Tor going under, and MacMillan buys out a bunch of backlist titles, the trustee can and will "unsell" them if he thinks they're worth more than was paid.

Of course, usually when a company as large as Tor goes under, it's the lawyers who actually profit, often chewing up court time with worthless motions, all paid for out of the estate, to ensure there's nothing left for the creditors at all.

In any event, backlist titles that might sell a few hundred a year aren't worth much to a paper publisher like MacMillan. If they don't buy them at a fair price prior to bankruptcy, they'd likely be auctioned off or revert to the authors.


Based on their historical assets I am guessing McMillian might just shutdown TOR and pay their debts rather than go through the bankruptcy process. I would be surprised if they have large outstanding debts to begin with but then again who knows what PNH has been doing with the check book.

Anonymous Be Deplorable, Not Afraid March 08, 2017 8:59 PM  

But Vox, I just checked, and that upcoming Tor book is hot! It's in the top 50 in 2 categories, and... oh, nuts, I typed in CORRODING Empire. My bad.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan March 08, 2017 9:02 PM  

Tor needs more butt sex in the plots with fat women somewhere in attendance, that's the trick.

Anonymous trogs March 08, 2017 9:03 PM  

Sorry if I'm not up to speed, but is the non-deliverer GRRM, with his WoW?

Or is it Scalzi, somehow? I know so little about him that I don't even know if he's been late on a book recently.

Blogger Matthew March 08, 2017 9:04 PM  

Irene Gallo is/was the art director for Tor. As such, she did some great work back in the day, to the point where I actually used to read her blog. I discovered the work of Adam Rex that way.

She said some stupid things, then doubled down. And her hair is short.

Sad.

Blogger F.D. Stephens March 08, 2017 9:10 PM  

Yesterday at Tor: "Tor Books is very pleased to announce the appointment of Lucille Rettino as Vice President of Marketing and Publicity for Tom Doherty Associates..."

Warning: open the link at your peril.

Rettino was most recently VP Director of Marketing for the Children’s Division at Simon & Schuster.

Anonymous Eduardo March 08, 2017 9:16 PM  

@43

My stomach just got weird... her teeth...

It is like the joker with bad teeth!!!

*Wanna vomit? Think of kissing her...*


Anonymous #1037 March 08, 2017 9:24 PM  

@43;half joker, half hippopotamus.

Blogger Matthew March 08, 2017 9:28 PM  

Is physiognomy real?

Anonymous WinstonWebb March 08, 2017 9:34 PM  

@43

Separated at birth?

Blogger DeploraBard March 08, 2017 9:47 PM  

43) It should be kept as far as possible from anything having to do with children.
46) Damn right it is real. What was your first initial response to her photo? I cringed.

Anonymous Eduardo the Magnificent March 08, 2017 9:52 PM  

@43

I remember Randy Johnson throwing one at this guy's head in the '93 All-Star game

Anonymous aviendha March 08, 2017 9:53 PM  

I was at Sasquan last year and was 5 feet from Scalzi when he presented and though I tend to discount social media/twitter shit as posturing, he generally dripped I'm better than you smugness that only his mother could love. I mean really I tried to give him a chance. I read old mans war, which was passably a C- in scifi. Nothing else he wrote has come close. I dont wish any man ill, but really, this smug prick deserves whats coming.

All the hand written letters with tor book pictures and I didn't even get a response. Not even a form letter. Tor can burn for all I care at this point. I would have been neutral with a hand written reply.

Guess it is time to man up and really hope for destruction of my enemies, they wish it on me.

Blogger Felix Bellator March 08, 2017 9:53 PM  

I first thought: https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/24/58683008_2dc4c01d94_z.jpg?zz=1

Anonymous TD March 08, 2017 9:59 PM  

Is McGuire one of their heavyweight -er- major authors? *Spoiler alert, as if anyone cared.* If she is, then wow, the scene in Rosemary and Rue where the fae main character didn't realize that blood was a major component in magic killed it for me.

Blogger Unknown March 08, 2017 10:00 PM  

Vox, if they do fold, you should try and poach David Weber's Safehold series from them. David, like his fellow Baen stablemate Larry Corriea, sells buttloads of books. Including to me, I get everything he publishes. :)

Blogger bearspaw March 08, 2017 10:05 PM  

@47
The great Capt. Lou Albano had more creativity in his little finger than all the Scalzis of this life.

Anonymous Marvin Boggs March 08, 2017 10:09 PM  

@11: having, unfortunately, read one of his books, I am willing to bet that he has a pair of brain cells.

Blogger Silly But True March 08, 2017 10:18 PM  

I don't know what the hate is about. The Collapsing Empire is good. Really good.

At least that's what Scalzi thought: https://www.google.com/amp/whatever.scalzi.com/2016/10/17/further-thoughts-on-the-collapsing-empire/amp/

Blogger bob kek mando ( Death To The Boor-geois, Keks To The Lol-etariat ) March 08, 2017 10:20 PM  

7. MawBTS March 08, 2017 7:25 PM
but...would your readers be wrong to interpret this as a "collapse" of Tor, maybe?



say, rather, a ... corrosion ... since Tor will likely blunder on for a while.


you know, i bet if they re-hired the Toad of Tor, she could use her exquisite editorial expertise to 'right the ship' ( or at least ballast it ), as it were.



41. trogs March 08, 2017 9:03 PM
but is the non-deliverer GRRM, with his WoW?



1 - RapeRape is late on everything now.
2 - if RapeRape published through Tor, Tor wouldn't have any cash flow problems regardless of how late he was

Blogger Ken Prescott March 08, 2017 10:35 PM  

Amazon killed the Publishing Star (with apologies to The Buggles)

Anonymous trogs March 08, 2017 10:47 PM  

@56 So I guess it's Scalzi, or maybe Sanderson (?) whose lateness is causing the downfall of Tor?

Blogger Unknown March 08, 2017 10:50 PM  

So, who are the TOR authors that are likely to be on the bubble?

Blogger Orville March 08, 2017 10:55 PM  

Small margins? Are we talking grocery store small like 1 to 2%? If their margins are that small, then that small crater on Fifth Ave in Manhattan where Tor was, will be called Crater Scalzi forever more.

Blogger Happy LP9 March 08, 2017 11:32 PM  

Fully Expected! SO AWESOME!

Let us notate McRapeRapes damage control in the following days.

Castalia House to Gab to other alt righters or 16 pointers, to other alt tech'ers will overcome and quietly win over the Tor's, over facebook/tw-tar and beyond. Their days are going to be spent in BK court and dissolution of their corps.

Harming or insulting Ivan, Milo, Cerno, Vox to even Rogan, Paul J watson, Mark Dice, Stefan and DeFranco won't happen or be met with stats, facts and truth to combat the ever sick triggered alt left of violence, feminism, SJW insanity, snowflakers and incoherence.

The big babies at Tor LOST and so did the rest! They lost!

Today was a great, great day, the women exposed themselves as SJWs, shutting down shcoolz b/c they wont show up, hey stupid, homeschooling is the new norm, your schools are done for. These publishers are done for, they cannot earn the money anymore, people are tired of this tripe. ComcastNBC to other cable tv providers to left wing book stores are going to lose terribly as people are walking away from hypnotic states, trashy tv and the refusal of reading, reading to (common core issue) cursive handwriting to even freedom is the new norm.

OT: A huge HRC fan said that he is wagering that HRC will assume to power in weeks via the SCOTUS and evict POTUS Trump from power. Interesting to notate or document.

Anonymous Just another commenter March 08, 2017 11:38 PM  

@58 - Scalzi the Destroyer. Sounds like a bad sequel staring Arnold. Maybe involving really YUGE flaming lawn darts. And some and owing PJs, or something like that.

Go long IRONY on the NYSE :- )

Blogger Mr.MantraMan March 08, 2017 11:42 PM  

Put the D party in the same boat, read a Zerohedge article about the decline in its fortunes since the election.

The SJW are doing fine work

Blogger J Van Stry March 08, 2017 11:46 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Ezekiel Cassandros March 08, 2017 11:47 PM  

Silly But True wrote:I don't know what the hate is about. The Collapsing Empire is good. Really good.

At least that's what Scalzi thought: https://www.google.com/amp/whatever.scalzi.com/2016/10/17/further-thoughts-on-the-collapsing-empire/amp/


Oh god.

8. I’ve noted before that for The Collapsing Empire, I created one of my favorite characters ever, Kiva Lagos, who is also one of my wife’s favorite characters of mine ever

Kiva Lagos was busily fucking the brains out of the assistant purser she’d been after

Blogger J Van Stry March 08, 2017 11:47 PM  

So are you going to be a 'nice guy' and offer those authors new contracts? (Evil Grin)

Anonymous Jack Amok March 08, 2017 11:47 PM  

I am guessing McMillian might just shutdown TOR and pay their debts rather than go through the bankruptcy process. I would be surprised if they have large outstanding debts to begin with...

True, it's not like they're ESPN on the hook for $7.1 Billion per year to various sports leagues regardless of audience, while still losing ten thousand subscribers a day.

For the last several years.

Disney ain't gonna be able to just swallow that and walk away. If you're an NFL player in free agency, I'd suggest upfront cash at a steep discount.

Anonymous Alexandru March 08, 2017 11:56 PM  

Have you guys seen tor.com lately. It used to have a few good stories now and then but it's been a total borefest for months. Today it's all feminist screeching, "Neverless, She Persisted." Between all the posts on the front page they have less comments than my shitty blog about my dog and drinking whiskey in Japan.

Anonymous A Most Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents March 09, 2017 12:36 AM  

Oh, yeah, this was the "Day without a woman". All the usual places I go where women work, they were working. So it was more boring than the "day without a wetback".

Blogger en_forcer March 09, 2017 12:38 AM  

Your dog drinking whisky in Japan is a good opening scene for a novel.

Anonymous Shut up rabbit March 09, 2017 12:42 AM  

Matthew wrote:Is physiognomy real?

You know, I'm beginning to believe t might be. At least you can look at her and deduce:
A. She doesn't care about her appearance
B. She doesn't care about her health.
Maybe that's because she is too busy with charitable works and has a glandular disorder but I think the chances are she's just another a "empowered" (ie self-indulgent) harpy who never had to take responsibility for anything in their own lives..

Anonymous jOHN MOSBY March 09, 2017 12:51 AM  

C'mon, Captain Lou Albano is Mr. Universe compared to that woman.
That is one ugly dago broad .

Blogger Samuel Nock March 09, 2017 12:55 AM  

A publishing empire is collapsing.

Or, perhaps even more apt, corroding.

Anonymous a deplorable rubberducky March 09, 2017 1:07 AM  

Those excerpts from _The Collapsing Empire_ are so bad that it hurts. Tor had to know they had a turkey on their hands with this. I don't know the industry, but I would think that normally when a manuscript that horrific shows up from a contracted author then they'd send it back for reworking, or bring on a fixer to edit it. Carrie Fisher was apparently quietly such a fixer for scripts in Hwood, and highly prized for it I'm told.

Such a thing would take time and money. Putting out bad product just to put product out isn't a healthy sign. Tor must have been in a hard place already to wheel that smoking turd out.

Anonymous Nohn Jorman March 09, 2017 1:09 AM  

I see a story. An epic. A sweeping epic.

Lawnsmen of Tor.

Anonymous A Most Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents March 09, 2017 1:12 AM  

@67 Alexandru

Between all the posts on the front page they have less comments than my shitty blog about my dog and drinking whiskey in Japan.


Your dog drinks whiskey in Japan? Here's the first line of your next story.

My dog always gets the shakes before the first drop.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash March 09, 2017 1:24 AM  

a deplorable rubberducky wrote:but I would think that normally when a manuscript that horrific shows up from a contracted author then they'd send it back for reworking
They did, if I recall correctly. The MS was originally due last spring, and was "delayed" for unexplained reasons, likely because it was sent back with a nasty note and smelling of disinfectant.

Blogger Badger Brigadon March 09, 2017 1:53 AM  

I doubt it was smelling of disinfectant considering the original was probably sent in smelling of hand lotion.

Blogger bruce March 09, 2017 2:24 AM  

@Cataline Sergius- 'it did briefly look as if Redshirts was going to be made into a series and that would have justified the advance money.'

Redshirts is a burn-the-brand Star Trek knockoff: Bad Starfleet sacrifices innocent red shirts. Any success it had as a series would cost the whole Star Trek brand. Larry Niven's 'Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex' would burn the whole Superman franchise if it aired showing Superman crushing Lois in his arms like an ore crusher, gutting her like a trout with his Super boner, and blowing off the top of her head with his Super spooge. They bought the rights from Niven and they will make the video never.

Blogger Buybuydandavis March 09, 2017 3:13 AM  

Mongol General: What is best in life?
Conan: Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.
Mongol General: That is good!

Anonymous jOHN MOSBY March 09, 2017 4:10 AM  

79. Buybuydandavis
I truly hate to be the the one that tells you this, but it must be said :
Most everybody here knows those lines by heart.
We have all been down that road once or twice before,hoss.

Blogger Antony March 09, 2017 4:27 AM  

OT - but I know you're interested in facebook psychology ; https://richarddawkins.net/2017/03/how-facebook-fake-news-and-friends-are-warping-your-memory/

Blogger Silly But True March 09, 2017 6:31 AM  

Aaah, Irene Gallo. Lest anyone feign forgetting why Tor is in the shape it's in, or the kind of hateful shitbags it has as its creative directors:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jTqQDGd5pyM/VXMZNP9TFxI/AAAAAAAABSg/O6897FvCNw0/s1600/Tor_FB_Gallo.jpg

Blogger Markku March 09, 2017 6:46 AM  

...and great was its fall.

Blogger MisesMat March 09, 2017 7:49 AM  

Vox, would it be accurate to describe Tor as..."The Collapsing Empire"?

:-)

Blogger Silly But True March 09, 2017 8:12 AM  

Remembering some of Tor's greatest hits:
Toad gets fired: Jan. 21, 2015
Tor Pays $3.4m for Scalzified Manboobs: May 20, 2015
Irene Too Far To Reft: June 8, 2015

Blogger Silly But True March 09, 2017 8:38 AM  

Some people may not understand making fun of the downfall of a major genre fiction publisher. It's just Gallo's humor.

Anonymous Deplorable Winning March 09, 2017 8:42 AM  

F.D. Stephens wrote:Yesterday at Tor: "Tor Books is very pleased to announce the appointment of Lucille Rettino as Vice President of Marketing and Publicity for Tom Doherty Associates..."

Warning: open the link at your peril.


Thx for the warning. Why does this immediately recall Baron Vlad Harkonnen?

Someone please tell us why Scalzi picked such a perfect, yea inspired, title for the maggot-riddled book he hung around Emperor Tor's neck. ?

Anonymous Deplorable Winning March 09, 2017 8:59 AM  

A Most Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents wrote:Your dog drinks whiskey in Japan? Here's the first line of your next story.

My dog always gets the shakes before the first drop.


I wish I could write like that.

Anonymous Shut up rabbit March 09, 2017 9:14 AM  

A Most Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents wrote:My dog always gets the shakes before the first drop.

The unmistakable chink of tumbler against bottle in my hands as I walk towards the sofa is like Pavlov's bell to him.

Anonymous Deplorable Winning March 09, 2017 9:22 AM  

Shut up rabbit wrote:A Most Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents wrote:My dog always gets the shakes before the first drop.

The unmistakable chink of tumbler against bottle in my hands as I walk towards the sofa is like Pavlov's bell to him.


He rises again with a longing shiver from the embers of his life.

Blogger Gaiseric March 09, 2017 9:34 AM  

jOHN MOSBY wrote:Most everybody here knows those lines by heart.

We have all been down that road once or twice before,hoss.

Famous pop culture reference from the 80s that no fantasy fan can resist quoting? Yeah, I'd say it's pretty tired.

Blogger VD March 09, 2017 9:46 AM  

Famous pop culture reference from the 80s that no fantasy fan can resist quoting? Yeah, I'd say it's pretty tired.

That quote is pining for the fjords!

Anonymous LurkingPuppy March 09, 2017 9:56 AM  

Markku wrote:Update in the "check tomorrow" section. In of all books in Kindle store:

Johan Kalsi - The Corroding Empire
#4,264 Paid in Kindle Store

John Scalzi - The Collapsing Empire
#62,561 Paid in Kindle Store

That's odd. Amazon is telling me that ‘Collapsing’ is #3,447 Paid in Kindle Store.

I checked ‘Corroding’ too, and it was #4,264 Paid in Kindle Store when I looked (at :51), but just a few minutes later when I archived the page, it had been bumped down to #4,347 Paid in Kindle Store. Something strange is going on.

See https://archive.is/j1MWE (Collapsing) and https://archive.is/WUZqF (Corroding).

Blogger Mocheirge March 09, 2017 10:07 AM  

If Tor is looking for a cash infusion, maybe they can try appealing to a globalist billionaire looking for a new blog?

Blogger Markku March 09, 2017 10:08 AM  

Oh, I see. The American and European version is a different ISBN, so the sales don't reflect to the other edition. With this direct link, you MAY see the version I'm seeing.

https://www.amazon.com/Collapsing-Empire-John-Scalzi-ebook/dp/B01JLZZ3R4/

Blogger Markku March 09, 2017 10:11 AM  

So, when I search it and you search it with the title, Amazon directs us to different ISBNs because it knows I'm making the search from Europe.

Anonymous LurkingPuppy March 09, 2017 10:16 AM  

Markku wrote:Oh, I see. The American and European version is a different ISBN, so the sales don't reflect to the other edition. With this direct link, you MAY see the version I'm seeing.
Yes, that works. Currently the ugly UK-and-EU edition is #66,895 Paid in Kindle Store.

The US edition of Collapsing just went up to #3,355 Paid in Kindle Store. I wonder if that's a side effect of the NYT bestseller list placement that they pre-ordered.

Blogger Markku March 09, 2017 10:19 AM  

I deleted the message to avoid confusion.

Blogger Silly But True March 09, 2017 10:54 AM  

Are we tired of crushing our enemies, seeing them driven before us, and hearing the lamentations of their women yet?
[ ] Yes
[X] No

Anonymous RabidRatel March 09, 2017 11:24 AM  

Tatooine Sharpshooters' Club wrote:I'm not sure Scalzi has a pair of anything.

A pair of cave trolls in his immediate family.


You mean a pair of lawn trolls have him.

Anonymous malcolm March 09, 2017 11:45 AM  

I can definitely see the downside to this idea (namely that it would mean purchasing Scalzi's book and boosting his numbers), but would it be worth it to buy both books, so that when people go to Scalzi's amazon book page they will see "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought the Corroding Empire"?

Blogger Silly But True March 09, 2017 12:03 PM  

Some interesting points:
1. Never good to antagonize large portions of your audience;
2. Never good for your company's leadership to publicly berate your company's talent at an industry award function where said talent has been nominated for an award;
3. The Tor boycott: all the pointless photos of supporters showing their large backlog of Tor books from 70s and 80s did nothing to support Tor in 2015. The people who historically bought Tor books quit buying them. The ones who would have bought Tor books in 2015 and 2p16 were then shat upon by the publisher and its leadership.

The takeaway is if you're Tom Doherty and are looking for return on investment, then don't converge your investment to SJW.

Blogger Cluebat Vanexodar March 09, 2017 12:58 PM  

I just saw this and thought that it maybe belonged here. I am not able to access it from my current location, but I will be sure to check it out later.
http://nerdreactor.com/2017/03/08/interview-john-scalzi-on-his-new-novel-politics-and-the-winner-of-the-star-warsstar-trek-debate/

Blogger Snidely Whiplash March 09, 2017 1:06 PM  

Cluebat Vanexodar wrote:I just saw this and thought that it maybe belonged here. I am not able to access it from my current location, but I will be sure to check it out later.
[Link to Scalsi interview]


Sorry, John, no one cares.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash March 09, 2017 1:06 PM  

+2 for trying, though

Blogger Geir Balderson March 09, 2017 1:32 PM  

Tor, backwards and forwards spells ROT! And trash it is.
Perhaps, Scalzi, the itch, can be sued for non-performance! Heck, he may lose his many acre lawn!!

Blogger VD March 09, 2017 1:47 PM  

but would it be worth it to buy both books, so that when people go to Scalzi's amazon book page they will see "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought the Corroding Empire"?

No.

Blogger Fenris Wulf March 09, 2017 2:44 PM  

It already shows up under "Customers Who Viewed This Item." Bwa ha ha.

Blogger Declan Finn March 09, 2017 3:54 PM  

If / when Tor falls, you will be picking up JCW's Count to a Trillion series, yes? I want to be able to get into that without having to pester my local library and without giving Tor cash.

Blogger Silly But True March 09, 2017 5:13 PM  

@Fenris,
For that matter, you can soft troll using "Customers Also Viewed" by large enough critical mass of people clicking on other stupid shit like pedo novels or other unflattering books like Mein Kampf in Scalzi's case.

They've bet that function on lack of targeted kek.

Anonymous LurkingPuppy March 09, 2017 5:23 PM  

Silly But True wrote:For that matter, you can soft troll using "Customers Also Viewed" by large enough critical mass of people clicking on other stupid shit like pedo novels or other unflattering books like Mein Kampf in Scalzi's case.
Oh. Like ‘Hogg’. Ick.

Blogger Dave March 09, 2017 5:59 PM  

Deplorable Winning wrote:Shut up rabbit wrote:A Most Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents wrote:My dog always gets the shakes before the first drop.

The unmistakable chink of tumbler against bottle in my hands as I walk towards the sofa is like Pavlov's bell to him.


He rises again with a longing shiver from the embers of his life.


And then the murders began.

Blogger VD March 09, 2017 7:03 PM  

If / when Tor falls, you will be picking up JCW's Count to a Trillion series, yes?

Certainly, if Mr. Wright is amenable.

Blogger John Brown March 15, 2017 12:58 PM  

I wouldn't count Scalzi out yet.

He's still in pre-order status with Collapsing Empire, and the $12.99 ebook is ranked #986, which means it's selling 100-120 per day. The hardback at $17.10 is ranked #2,654 which means it's selling 40-45 per day. These are not Lee Child numbers. But they're very good numbers for a SFF from a traditional publisher during the pre-order time.

As a side note. As many of you probably already know, they did not pay him $3.5 million up front. No publisher would do that. They would have structured it so that it's doled out in many payments. Normally, it's a portion upon signing, then a portion for Scalzi's delivery of each book and then another portion for upon the publication of each book.

So Tor is not $3.5m in the hole, waiting for Scalzi to produce. His $3.5 million dollar deal for 13 books over 10 years comes out to $251k per book. Add to that the cost of the cover, formatting, editing, printing, etc. and you see what they have to make to break even for a single title. He might have also sold Tor foreign rights, so those may be contributing as well.

I'm not saying that isn't a high price per book and that it was a good investment. Just that it's still very early to determine whether he's making them the money they were hoping for.

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