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Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Cracking under pressure

Brian Niemeier is more than a little amused by John Scalzi cracking under the combined pressure of his big, beautiful book contract and the God-Emperor's presidency:
Scalzi's "the dog ate my homework" post is yet another indication that #1-selling indie author Nick Cole is about to be vindicated once more. To quote Nick:

Okay.  As I’ve talked about before this before… this is what happens next:
  • Big Pub reduces its Author List down to servicing Cadillac Clients.  Many authors who think they’re something are about to be shown the door in the form of un-returned emails, unanswered calls, and not talk of future projects.  Already happening.
  • Amazon Opens Book Stores.
  • Trad Pub Authors attempt to seamlessly bring themselves, and their mojo, into Amazon and fail badly because they’re not used to the volume of work.  Marketing, Formatting, Editing, Social Media, and most importantly now: a tight release schedule of every 30-90 days.  Also Amazon picks the winners and its more interested in New Talent.
A cataclysmic paradigm shift is underway that will soon overturn the publishing landscape as we know it. Indie has been overtaking tradpub for years, and now the Big Five New York publishers' sole advantage--their paper distribution monopoly--is about to collapse.

When B&N goes, it will take the tradpub midlist with it. You'll know the old era is over when current tradpub authors start trying to go indie. But as Nick forecasts and Scalzi confirms, former tradpub darlings are woefully unprepared to handle the increased workload.

And that's just on the writing front. Factor in the additional responsibilities of being your own publisher and marketing department, and consider how a guy who can't finish a novel in ten months with the backing of sci-fi's biggest publisher will fare in the new order.

Here's the truth: Scalzi's ongoing nosedive has nothing to do with who's president or the current weather. It has everything to do with the fact that Patrick Nielsen Hayden handed him a golden ticket. Scalzi has never had to work in this business without Tor propping up his career. Now he's losing favor to N.K. Jemisin, his last book underperformed, and he's falling behind on his contract--all in the looming shadow of B&N's failure.
I prefer to characterize my friend Nick Cole as a bestselling Castalia House author, but otherwise, Brian has described the situation rather well.

I'm sure you will understand that I found this comment to be particularly entertaining.

"The worst part of all this is that Vox called it when he was given the deal in the first place. And Scalzi, in his arrogance, set about to prove him right."

The thing is, I wasn't making the prediction out of any malice or SJW-style magical thinking. It was entirely obvious to me that an author whose primary skill was marketing himself to editors was not going to be successful once they stopped devoting excessive resources to propping him up and maintaining a false narrative about his skill and his success. Scalzi is, and has always been, a mediocre mid-list author with a penchant for juvenile vulgarity. If he submitted a manuscript to us under a different name, there is virtually no chance we would accept it for publication.

That being said, John Scalzi is very highly skilled and he is extraordinarily successful, just not at what he wants you to believe he is. The challenge facing him is that while those particular skills were integral to his success in a traditional publishing model that required currying favor with SJW editors and the pseudo-media of SF fandom, they are considerably less useful in the brave new world of publishing today.

Labels: , ,

68 Comments:

Blogger Resident Moron™ October 04, 2017 8:09 AM  

When you’re doing all those different tasks yourself you have to be at least competent in most or all of them. So being a specialist editor’s friend and so-so writer is not enough any more?

Consider also that when these guys get thrown out into the real Wild West of Amazon self publishing they will be competing against self publishers who were moderately or better successful WITH the trad publishing machine totally opposed to them. Without it’s opposition they’re going to become even fiercer competition?

Anonymous Looking Glass October 04, 2017 8:14 AM  

Nick Cole is a great email marketer. Seriously. I somehow got on his list and he makes some really good pitches. The man has some great hustle.

Blogger JACIII October 04, 2017 8:32 AM  

The thing about Niemeier (Does there exist a harder to spell name?) and Cole is they can write, they are getting better at writing, and they are indefatigable at the business part of being a writer.
Scalzi gets worse and more trite with time. But he's a tireless asslicker.
There are few good writers but endless ass lickers and the boss can always get a new ass licker. Poor Scalzi.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan October 04, 2017 8:41 AM  

Niemeier also wrote that he thinks Scalzi could land on his feet when all is said and done. I disagree, Scalzi is more likely to land on his stomach with the pillow between his teeth, he is obviously a bisexual who wants a hall pass from his wife and society in general.

Anonymous VFM #6306 October 04, 2017 8:44 AM  

At least Scalzi can say rape twice.

Blogger ZhukovG October 04, 2017 8:50 AM  

Just my uneducated opinion, but it appears that in the future, if you put in the work, it will be easier to 'make a living' as a writer but much harder to 'make it big'.

I also wonder if this will hit the movie industry hard. Funding a major motion picture is much less risky if it's based on a big bestselling novel. But if top authors in the future are people with tens of thousands of fans rather than millions, it'll be enough to give a studio exec a nervous breakdown.

Blogger Heian-kyo Dreams October 04, 2017 8:54 AM  

Scalzi's last book was bad due to lack of editing, or ignoring editing suggestions. In the scene where we meet his most favorite character ever, her rape victim was not even sexed. It didn't even rise to the level of cardboard.

Now he's whining and justifying other laziness. Scalzi is just lazy all the way down.

Blogger Sherwood family October 04, 2017 8:54 AM  

Ouch. This hurts to watch. Not that Scalzi hasn't earned a lot of this by being a genuinely unpleasant person but...man...watching someone's career implode like a slow motion train wreck is kinda awful. And I don't even like the guy. Makes me feel almost sympathetic. Almost.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan October 04, 2017 8:56 AM  

Well if you spend your time virtue signaling your PC cred it would seem there goes your creative time. I always thought the model for left wing white males was to make one or two statements on an issue stake that out, keep the left's female thought police off your back for awhile and cash in while the getting is good.

But it seems Scalzi to make it big has to play female gossip and there goes all his time and since he is insecure about his political/social cred with his cult he spends more time worrying about keeping them from turning on him.

Blogger MendoScot October 04, 2017 8:57 AM  

Come on guys, show some sympathy here.

That lawn ain't gonna mow itself.

Blogger Orthodox October 04, 2017 8:59 AM  

Factor in the additional responsibilities of being your own publisher and marketing department, and consider how a guy who can't finish a novel in ten months with the backing of sci-fi's biggest publisher will fare in the new order.

If he's writing books, not well. If he switches to marketing and promotion of indies....

Anonymous Steve October 04, 2017 9:05 AM  

Scalzi has never had to work in this business without Tor propping up his career. Now he's losing favor to N.K. Jemisin,

Sure. And it was inevitable he'd be displaced by someone blacker/femaler/trannier. He sold them the rhetorical rope with which to hang him.

I'd be surprised if his underwhelming books like LOCK IN and SPACE FRUIT TYCOON didn't outsell Jemisin's entire catalogue though.

Black people don't read books, as a rule, and white SJW's love to patronise diversifiction but don't seem to be that interested in paying money for it.

Say what you will about Johnny Midlist, there's still a reasonable market for the hack fraud's writing. Much less so for WE WUZ WITCHES: A BROKEN EARF NOVEL

However, it might not matter at this point. Is Tor still an actual, for-profit business? Or a social club for blue-haired genderfreaks, the morbidly obese, and people you should never let near your kids?

Blogger Student in Blue October 04, 2017 9:10 AM  

Or a social club for blue-haired genderfreaks, the morbidly obese, and people you should never let near your kids?

...but you repeat yourself.

Anonymous basementhomebrewer October 04, 2017 9:14 AM  

ZhukovG wrote:But if top authors in the future are people with tens of thousands of fans rather than millions, it'll be enough to give a studio exec a nervous breakdown.

I think the reaction will be interesting. I wouldn't be surprised if the studios start putting out talent scouts looking at those mildly successful writers. Then throw a nominal amount (to a big studio) of marketing cash their way in the range of 10-20K. If the marketing cash translates to noticeably increased sales they will throw a larger marketing budget at them to try and get word of mouth rolling. Once that happens the author could build a million or more fans, then make your movie. Will it cost the studios more? Yes, but it's marginal when you consider that they are spending 50-300 million on movie production.


As for Scalzi? I think this post relates very well to the failure post just below. Scalzi hasn't had a major rejection in his career, this will be to his detriment when he is thrown into the wild world of self-pub.

Anonymous basementhomebrewer October 04, 2017 9:20 AM  

Then throw a nominal amount (to a big studio) of marketing cash their way in the range of 10-20K.

Heck, they could even make deals with their actors on current movies to mention they are reading the prospects in interviews or publicized reading lists. Look at how many people Oprah's book club made successes out of.

Anonymous Looking Glass October 04, 2017 9:23 AM  

@15 basementhomebrewer

Considering the cost of optioning works as it is, you could fund an entire Book Marketing department who does nothing but build out the audience for an author. Spend 500k and promote 20 authors a year. See what sticks. Pushing their follow up book in a series to "New York Times Bestseller" will help a good chunk.

Blogger seeingsights October 04, 2017 9:29 AM  

I can't help but think that Scalzi is less motivated because he's less "hungry". Scalzi has some income streams already.
It's like the guy I know who has been unemployed thus far for almost 18 weeks. His wife has a good income and he doesn't have to worry about paying the mortgage. He tweets cat pictures during the day. He would be more motivated to find work if he was single living in an apartment.

Blogger wired216 October 04, 2017 9:31 AM  

The biggest smile of my day was all the losing going on in the comments on his blog and all the winning going on here. Still not tired.

Blogger B.J. October 04, 2017 9:33 AM  

He's blaming the president? Holy shit, grow the hell up. Who does this? I could never get by with blaming the president for my job performance.

Blogger Desdichado October 04, 2017 9:33 AM  

WE WUZ WITCHES: A BROKEN EARF NOVEL

Looks like the Chuck Tingle angle is not the only market for parodies. I'd totally read this. If it was written by a red-blooded white man with a sense of humor.

Anonymous Steve October 04, 2017 9:37 AM  

Student in Blue - Oh yeah.


seeingsights - It's like the guy I know who has been unemployed thus far for almost 18 weeks. His wife has a good income and he doesn't have to worry about paying the mortgage. He tweets cat pictures during the day.

How good are these cat pictures tho?

Blogger Rabbi B October 04, 2017 9:38 AM  

Losing is good for Mr. Scalzi, but he'll very likely never know it.

Blogger ZhukovG October 04, 2017 9:40 AM  

@basementhomebrewer: That would be a smart strategy for the studios. However, I wonder if it will take the Chinese kicking out the 'current management' to make that work. You'll need studio execs and talent scouts that are looking for talent, not political reliability.

Blogger Silly but True October 04, 2017 9:46 AM  

The irony is this author's entire career originated and was made manifest by his choice of indie self-publishing / online web shareware/PWYW in 2002 when tradpub rejected his work.

Everyone would be singing a different tune had he stuck to that. He could likely have made a go and been successful.

At the end of the last age, Scalzi came to slay the dragon then became it. His biggest, most immediate problem is dragons are quickly going extinct today.

Blogger Kallmunz October 04, 2017 9:47 AM  

Highly recommend that you look up the original post and read the comments, especially "Floored by Scalzi's awesomeness" (yes that is a real username). If it sounds like that name belongs to a drama queen..., the followups are even more hilarious.

Anonymous Nathan October 04, 2017 9:50 AM  

Perhaps if Scalzi attacked GamerGate and Sad Puppies even more, or worked for Gawker, then Tor would be pushing him more instead of their new most significant discovery ever: Charlie Jane Anders.

Blogger Longtime Lurker October 04, 2017 9:59 AM  

@25: The lamentations of crushed souls.

Anonymous kfg October 04, 2017 10:02 AM  

"I wouldn't be surprised if the studios start putting out talent scouts looking at those mildly successful writers."

The problem with that idea is that the big studios are just a few years behind in the same situation. I can't remember the last time I went to a first run movie, but I'm considering getting an Amazon Fire tablet, despite my extreme aversion to DRM and system lock in.

Anonymous Minion 0132 October 04, 2017 10:13 AM  

If you had any doubts that a sizable number of the current SF/Fantasy fandom is mentally unbalanced and even suicidal, check out the comments. My favorite is the Jewish woman who keeps "go bags" for herself and her kids, ready to run to Canada when Trump, whose daughter is married and has kids with a Jew, finally decides to begin a pogrom.

Blogger Brian Niemeier October 04, 2017 10:19 AM  

How will the old publishing paradigm's collapse affect Hollywood? What you've got there are two converged institutions coasting on the fumes of their depleted cultural capital. They have an incestuous relationship, and they're both hemorrhaging revenue.

Howard Tayler once told me that a property needs six million fans to justify a film adaptation. Sure, you get movies based on less popular IPs, but studio execs' job is to come up with reasons not to make movies. If your novel series has a fan base of six million, a film adaptation of the first book is pretty much guaranteed to turn a profit, so they pretty much have to option the rights.

It is indeed reasonable to expect that in the near future, a successful author will have a readership numbering in the tens, or possibly hundreds of thousands. His earnings will rival all but the current A list authors, in part because indies earn 5.6x higher royalties. However, he's unlikely to be a household name. There are already authors who anonymously make seven figures per year on Amazon.

But if you look at the quote I took from Nick's post, you'll see he's not predicting a total collapse of trad publishing. Instead, the Big Five publishers will turn into vanity presses for the A list. If you've played poker with Castle or are a prominent politician, you'll still get the red carpet treatment in NY and LA.

At least until the Chinese buy all the studios.

Anonymous VFM #6306 October 04, 2017 10:47 AM  

"SPACE FRUIT TYCOON."

Good one, Steve.

"Twelve years ago, when Hurricane Katrina hit and the US Government flubbed its response and hundreds died, I was so angry and upset that I almost vomited in sadness and anger. It’s not an exaggeration, by the way — I literally felt like throwing up for a couple days straight. I eventually had to write “Being Poor” because it was either do that or go crazy."

So...why not both?

The Sounds of Fake Vomit

Almost vomit, John's old friend
Couldn't wait to start or end
So he literally almost horks
Because God-E called him a dork.
He couldn't write so he blogged instead
Because Don Trump is in his head
Almost puking in sadness and anger,
John's sex life is a ZFG-banger.

And the books of the indies are written
And the writing bug has John unbitten
Just to kick his ass,
Because Finland's Marines have got more class

For the Servo god they made
And the Trumpy-style Algodecay,
Has halted Scalzi's book mid-touring
All because his rape scenes are boring
When Scalzi reflected upon it,
And why his career was no more a comet
The blog said, "It was either do that or go crazy
not because I'm fat and lazy."
And whispered...the almost...literal...vomit.

Blogger 4499 October 04, 2017 10:54 AM  

The other day I was going to wash my car, but then I didn't. Want to know why? Because Donald Trump, that's why.

Heck, this is easy.

Blogger Jeff aka Orville October 04, 2017 10:57 AM  

That being said, John Scalzi is very highly skilled and he is extraordinarily successful, just not at what he wants you to believe he is.

If he ever recovers from the atomic butt hurt he could still very effectively market and self-pub to his apparently large SJW following and keep his lawn in fine shape. But somehow I don't think a guy who is so crippled by Trump-rage that he can't even write a few hundred words a day is going to pull out of the death spiral.

BTW my first book hits Amazon on 11/7.

Anonymous Philalethes October 04, 2017 11:00 AM  

A cataclysmic paradigm shift is underway that will soon overturn the publishing landscape as we know it. Indie has been overtaking tradpub for years, and now the Big Five New York publishers' sole advantage--their paper distribution monopoly--is about to collapse.

Can't happen too soon for me. As part of a project of simplifying my life and lightening the load, I'd like to replace most of my physical book library with ebooks. However, I find that most of the ebook versions cost more than the paper versions – though production costs are certainly far less. (I note that Castalia's ebooks cost about 1/3 the price of the paperbacks, which seems about right – and is apparently adequate for them to make a good living.)

For instance, one book I'd like to replace costs $12 (new) in paper, $16 in ebook ("Price set by seller."). This is ridiculous. Unfortunately, for some reason not clear to me Steve Jobs let Big Publishing set the terms when Apple opened iBooks, rather than forcing them to face reality as he had done with music publishers and iTunes (which is doing fine, along with those producers who were willing to adapt).

Big Publishing is a racket, always has been. They deserve to die. That the whole publishing world is opening up so that anybody can try their hand – even if they aren't buddies with somebody in a NYC penthouse office – is a wonderful bonus.

Blogger Resident Moron™ October 04, 2017 11:04 AM  

That song “.... because I got high” was a lot more convincing

Blogger Gordon October 04, 2017 11:20 AM  

Scalzi had an existential crisis over the government's response to Katrina? This reminds me of myself, when I was about 16. I was late to baseball practice and someone called me out on it. I came back with, "Hey, my aunt just died." That was true, she had. But that evening my older brother (who had not been there) looked over his glasses at me and said, "You weren't that close to her." He didn't have to say anything else. I was busted and we both knew it. The thing is, I learned from that.

As odious as Sean Penn is, at least he went to New Orleans and did something. It probably wasn't really useful, but it might have been. Mostly, he was posing for his publicity crew in the other boat, but he at least went there.

Thank goodness we had hurricanes this year, or Scalzi would have had to invent another emotional crisis. Oh, wait....

Anonymous BBGKB October 04, 2017 11:20 AM  

Here's the truth: Scalzi's ongoing nosedive has nothing to do with who's president or the current weather.

Does the amount his daughter can bench press more than him matter?

Blogger Desdichado October 04, 2017 11:28 AM  

JACIII wrote:The thing about Niemeier (Does there exist a harder to spell name?)
You don't know very people of Polish descent, I see.

Blogger Desdichado October 04, 2017 11:29 AM  

Minion 0132 wrote:If you had any doubts that a sizable number of the current SF/Fantasy fandom is mentally unbalanced and even suicidal, check out the comments. My favorite is the Jewish woman who keeps "go bags" for herself and her kids, ready to run to Canada when Trump, whose daughter is married and has kids with a Jew, finally decides to begin a pogrom.
Women love drama so much that if there isn't any real drama in their lives, they will often tend to create it themselves ex nihilo.

Sigh.

Anonymous fop October 04, 2017 11:37 AM  

Out of curiosity I scanned through Scalzi's most recent book while visiting Borders.

7 or 8 random page flips. 80% were filled with F-bombs, vulgarity, rape, mechanical sex, and the most annoyingly smug prose.

Such a vulgar little man. All head and stomach, no chest.

Anonymous Avalanche October 04, 2017 11:50 AM  

@2 "Nick Cole is a great email marketer."

He writes great books too! The whole point of the marketing, eh?

Anonymous Avalanche October 04, 2017 11:51 AM  

@6 "it'll be enough to give a studio exec a nervous breakdown."

Great! An Alt Right goal without us having to arrange it ourselves!

Anonymous Avalanche October 04, 2017 11:53 AM  

@10 "Come on guys, show some sympathy here.
That lawn ain't gonna mow itself."

Well, no, but he'll soon have alllllll that free time!

Win-win?

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable October 04, 2017 11:58 AM  

That lawn ain't gonna mow itself.

Send that hulk of a daughter out to do it. She can probably lift his tractor with one hand.

Anonymous A Most Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents October 04, 2017 11:58 AM  

Scalzi is like a koi. A big, fat koi in a sheltered pond. Who thinks "Reeee, what a great big shark I am!" while eating food pellets. The pond is slowly drying up. There could be a haiku here.

Blogger Robert Pinkerton October 04, 2017 12:53 PM  

When I first read th name Scalzi two word associations occurred to me: Scalded an Skull. A skull scalded no longer contains a brain.

Blogger S1AL October 04, 2017 1:28 PM  

"When I first read the name Scalzi two word associations occurred to me: Scalded an Skull."

Not Skeezy?

Blogger Jack Aubrey October 04, 2017 1:55 PM  

5343 Kinds of Deplorable wrote:That lawn ain't gonna mow itself.

Send that hulk of a daughter out to do it. She can probably lift his tractor with one hand.


Scalzi has already told us that his wife does the lawn mowing. I don't remember if it's because he has allergies or because Donald Trump is president.

Anonymous 5343 Kinds of Deplorable October 04, 2017 2:03 PM  

Scalzi has already told us that his wife does the lawn mowing.

The daughter probably beats her into it.

Blogger Lovekraft October 04, 2017 2:51 PM  

We are only getting the odd glimpse of the extent of 'shadow money' that props up these dismal ventures.

Marvel Comics has Disney's big pockets. ESPN as well.

Soros and Obama have been funneling money into 'activist groups' that should by all rights be sued into oblivion.

There are entire rackets set up by the previous Obama regime that Sessions is trying to unravel.

This is one reason why a Scalzi and his kind keep receiving attention.

Anonymous VFM #6306 October 04, 2017 2:57 PM  

A Most Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents wrote:Scalzi is like a koi. A big, fat koi in a sheltered pond. Who thinks "Reeee, what a great big shark I am!" while eating food pellets. The pond is slowly drying up. There could be a haiku here.

Fish food disappears
Leaving dust that gathers mass
Forms a writer's block

Rape dreams die in books
Contract fail not Scalzi's fault
Blame God Emperor

Blogger Longtime Lurker October 04, 2017 3:07 PM  

The Secret King's fall will not be a small one.
For the pedestal he has built himself is but a narrow and tall one.

(with apologies to Frank Herbert)

Anonymous Man of the Atom October 04, 2017 3:11 PM  

VFM #6306 wrote:A Most Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents wrote:Scalzi is like a koi. A big, fat koi in a sheltered pond. Who thinks "Reeee, what a great big shark I am!" while eating food pellets. The pond is slowly drying up. There could be a haiku here.

Fish food disappears

Leaving dust that gathers mass

Forms a writer's block

Rape dreams die in books

Contract fail not Scalzi's fault

Blame God Emperor


Sublime.

Blogger borderwalker October 04, 2017 4:34 PM  

Still not tired!

Blogger Starboard October 04, 2017 5:27 PM  

Read the comments on the Scalzi original post. I am finding it hard to believe that these people are real. They have to be agree and amplify trolling.

Anonymous Clouseau October 04, 2017 5:35 PM  

If you think an administration sucks, why not just have a sucky administration as background in your story, maybe even helping the bad guy? As long as it fits the story, who cares?

Blogger Tatooine Sharpshooters' Club October 04, 2017 5:47 PM  

white SJW's love to patronise diversifiction but don't seem to be that interested in paying money for it

The only thing they like more than not paying for things they claim we all need to support is not creating things to solve the problems they claim we have, and the only thing they like even more than that is cannibalizing former "allies" that they perceive have stepped out of line.

Scalzi surely knows this, and is probably terrified by the realization that he's only one "problematical" tweet or "not OK" blog post from being freak-out fodder for the point-and-shriek hordes, and with no more hefty financial back-up.

Blogger borderwalker October 04, 2017 6:13 PM  

Holy smoke, I enjoyed reading the comments at Scalzi's original post. How much schadenfreude can one man take?

Tears (delicious), elevated blood pressure, binge eating, failing classes, creative blockage, the feels! the therapy! And the lying; ye gods, the lying-to-themselves these people do!

Anonymous A Deplorable Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Cents October 04, 2017 6:21 PM  

@58 borderwalker

All those feelz and lies, it's only September of the first year, too.

Trump 2016 for the LOLZ!

Anonymous Anonymous October 04, 2017 6:30 PM  

A horror writer / casino dealer mutual friend says Scalzi is very good legitimate businessman.

Anonymous VFM #6306 October 04, 2017 7:07 PM  

Scalzi is not stupid about business at all. That's how he leveraged the contract in the first place. He has done all right for himself with his limited scope as a writer.

Business, rape and wooing editors are all things he is better at than storywriting.

Blogger Meng Greenleaf October 04, 2017 7:15 PM  

I was thinking along similar lines.... :)

Blogger Rough Carrigan October 04, 2017 8:45 PM  

Holy shit what a bunch of obsequious drama queens on that Scalzi blog.

I'm so damned sensitive and high minded that the mere existence of Donald J. Trump has exacerbated my neurasthenia to the point of exhaustion. If only I wasn't so damned wonderful!

Blogger The Overgrown Hobbit October 04, 2017 9:37 PM  

@45

A fat golden koi
gloating: "I am immortal!"
Then the pond dries up.

Blogger Geir Balderson October 05, 2017 12:36 PM  

" Now he's losing favor to N.K. Jemisin,"

Well, N.K. is a bit cuter. Marginally. Although, John does has the end on her in the little black dress.
Still, fashion sense does not make a great author!
It will be a sad hour in Scalzi Town when the lawn goes brown and John shuffles off to obscurity.

Blogger Paul, Dammit! October 05, 2017 12:45 PM  

I read Scalzi's post. First thing that came to mind:

"It's just the war... and that lying son of a bitch Johnson!"

baahaaaahaaaa. Scalzi is Jenny's boyfriend.

Blogger James Dixon October 05, 2017 5:43 PM  

Only since I know that he will either read this himself or it will get back to him, here Scalzi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EqWN4fT79s

Blogger James Dixon October 05, 2017 5:54 PM  

> For instance, one book I'd like to replace costs $12 (new) in paper, $16 in ebook ("Price set by seller.").

Scan it in yourself if you have time. If not, there are, uhm, "alternative sources" for many ebooks. And you've already paid for it.

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