Scalzi, John 1969-
Scalzi, John 1969-
(John Michael Scalzi)
PERSONAL: Born May 10, 1969, in CA; married; wife’s name Kristine; children: Athena. Education: University of Chicago, graduated, 1991.
ADDRESSES: Home— Bradford, OH. E-mail— [email protected]om.
CAREER: Freelance writer. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine, chief entertainment media critic, 2000-06. Worked previously as a film critic for the Fresno Bee.
AWARDS, HONORS: Hugo Award nominee, 2006, for Old Man’s War; Campbell Award for best new science fiction author, 2006, for Old Man’s War; SCI FI Essential book, from SciFi.com, 2006, for The Ghost Brigades.
Agent to the Stars, Subterranean Press (Burton, MI), 2005.
Old Man’s War, Tom Doherty Associates (New York, NY), 2005.
Questions for a Soldier, Subterranean Press (Burton, MI), 2005.
The Android’s Dream, Tor (New York, NY), 2006.
The Ghost Brigades, Tor (New York, NY), 2006.
The Last Colony, Tor (New York, NY), 2007.
The Sagan Diary, illustrated by Bob Eggleton, Subterranean Press (Burton, MI), 2007.
The Rough Guide to Money Online, Rough Guides (New York, NY), 2000.
The Rough Guide to the Universe, Rough Guides (New York, NY), 2003.
Uncle John’s Presents Book of the Dumb, Portable Press (San Diego, CA), 2003.
Uncle John’s Presents Book of the Dumb 2, Portable Press (San Diego, CA), 2004.
The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies, Rough Guides (New York, NY), 2005.
You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing, Subterranean Press (Burton, MI), 2007.
Contributor to the “Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader” series, Portable Press (San Diego, CA). Regular contributor to Dayton Daily News. Author of the blogs Whatever and By the Way.
SIDELIGHTS: A prolific nonfiction author, John Scalzi has lent his wide-ranging expertise to countless magazine articles, newspaper columns, online web logs, corporate brochures, and books. He began his writing career as a film critic for the Fresno Bee in his native California. In the late 1990s Scalzi transitioned to full-time freelance writing and started a daily blog titled Whatever that gained a wide readership. He also began work on his first novel, Agent to the Stars, with no real intention of ever professionally publishing it. Instead he posted the story on his Web site and welcomed readers to send him a dollar if they enjoyed it.
Scalzi subsequently debuted a second novel online with an unexpected result: He was contacted by an editor who wished to see the military science fiction story published. Old Man’s War earned Scalzi a 2006 Hugo Award nomination, critical acclaim, and a solid fan base. In a review for the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Michelle West shared her opinion of the novel: “There’s definitely Scalzi humor laced throughout it, which is to be expected; less expected, a genuine sense of regret, loss, and almost veneration for things that are taken for granted in our daily lives.” Another Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction reviewer, Robert K.J. Killheffer, remarked: “Scalzi’s straightforward, muscular prose and tightly focused pacing yield an undeniable page-turner.” Noting similarities in prose to the works of science fiction great Robert A. Heinlein, a Publishers Weekly contributor described Old Man’s War as a “virtuoso debut [that] pays tribute to SF’s past while showing that well-worn tropes still can have real zip when they’re approached with ingenuity.”
The sequel to Old Man’s War, titled The Ghost Brigades, is set in the same universe but picks up the story of a secondary character. The novel was selected by SciFi.com as a SCI FI Essential book for 2006. “Scalzi skillfully weaves together action, memorable characterizations, and a touch of philosophy,” remarked Carl Hays in a Booklist review. Bookslut reviewer Stephen Granade noted that the book “delivers on its promise of solid science fiction entertainment with a leavening of serious issues.”The Android’s Dream is Scalzi’s third novel of military science fiction that also incorporates political suspense and social commentary. Granade also reviewed the book and called it “a galloping caper that is very funny and very satisfying.” He further commented: “By combining a tight ending with sympathetic characters and sharp, funny writing, The Android’s Dream delivers top-notch entertainment.”
Scalzi has written or contributed to a number of nonfiction books, including several in the “Rough Guide” and “Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader” series. In 2007 selections from his popular blog were compiled into You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES
Booklist, March 1, 2006, Carl Hays, review of The Ghost Brigades, p. 77.
Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, June, 2005, Michelle West, review of Old Man’s War, p. 33; September, 2005, Robert K.J. Killheffer, review of Old Man’s War, p. 25.
Publishers Weekly, December 6, 2004, review of Old Man’s War, 47.
Bookslut, http://www.bookslut.com/ (January 18, 2007), Stephen Granade, reviews of The Ghost Brigades and The Android’s Dream.
John Scalzi Home Page, http://www.johnscalzi.com (January 11, 2007).*