Cover to Cover #262: John Scalzi

The Last Colony by John ScalziMichael, Brian, Tim and Michael do a quick intro to a fun in-studio interview with SF author John Scalzi. Seriously, it's a hit-and-run hi/bye.

Listener Feedback: What books changed your life, and what books are your A+ books? Keep letting us know what your personal essential books are!

Interview: Michael and Summer welcome John Scalzi into the studio, since he's stopped in Phoenix during his whirlwind book tour to promote "The Last Colony", following the protagonists, John and his wife Jane, after they're asked by the Colonial Union to lead the establishment of a brand new colony, and the ulterior motives they uncover along the way.

John also tells us about how the stories in this trilogy evolved and grew despite the fact that a trilogy was never the intended direction, and how this final installment of the "Old Man's War" trilogy is not exactly the last story set in that universe.

We hear about International Pixel-stained Technopeasant Day, and the story behind why so many authors stood up for giving work away for free in order to promote the sales of more of their work. It's a good thing, and every example we've experienced has worked, in varying degrees to be certain, but it has worked.

A Twitter question pops up about Ficlets, and John tells us what ficlets are -- short stories that are 1024 characters long -- and community encouragement to expand on the story-telling in an organic and unpredictable way. It's a "Build Your Own Adventure" style writing exercise taken to fun extremes.

Also still on the shelves in hardcover is "The Android's Dream", which can be described as being a story about political machinations and assassinations, achieved through the use of farts. Now, you've got to go read it to see for yourself how that turns out.

The Library: New arrivals to the studio this time around: Death's Head by David Gunn, Titans of Chaos by John C. Wright, Goblin Hero by Jim C. Hines, River of the World by Chaz Brenchley, The Hunger by Scott Nicholson, Antagonist by Gordon R. Dickson and David W. Wixon, Midnight Tides by Steven Erickson, All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris.

Submitting Listener comments: If you have any suggestions or comments, please let us know!

Link: John Scalzi
Link: Ficlets
Promo: Chuck Chat Technorama
Promo: Variant Frequencies


  1. Damn good interview with John there. Having only had 'Old Mans War' make it out to NZ I am now looking forward to two more books to grab...

  2. Martin Glick says

    Awesome interview guys! It's a shame John didn't didn't hit up the NY area on his tour, I would have liked to meet him. Hopefully I can make it to Balticon!

  3. Lana Lang says

    Good interview. Shame you didn't discuss the whole SFWA Presidency issue, although I don't know when this interview was actually recorded.

  4. I'm eager to hear the interview with Scalzi. He is one of my favorite new sci-fi writers and his books just keep getting better.

    I finished Android's Dream a few weeks ago and it's one of the best SF/Fantasy novels I've read in a long, long time. I am waiting eagerly for the libary to get in The Last Colony so I can read it also.

    Thanks for the interview.

  5. Fantastic interview. So THIS is where Mr. Stackpole's been hiding. Silly me just hanging out over at . Looking forward to more fantastic interviews and shows.

  6. hey, great interview with this author. i read only the first book but really enjoyed it. I think the 'technopeasent' commentary by outgoing of SFWA is regretible, but i sometimes wonder if the issues of ebook piracy and 'free' comments are lost in junction in the advocation of free materials. As aspiring writers, we all dream of being discovered or recognized like a cory doctorow...but how mnay stories are 'lifted' from postings and redone by others? Its seems really complex to me to even get into the variations of benefits and damages without a serious look...and abstaining from fluffy warm 'webscabs' comments from a middling(at best) author with aires.

    Jim c Hines 'goblin' book you had in library is actually the second book in the series. Its actually a humor/adventure book (the first one) that also has alot of commentary on fantasy beneath the hood of the story. Very enjoyable read.

    Quick discussion topic i want to mention is this: why do fantasy novels get framed more into series and sci-fi novels more into single story novels. Its why i have a hard time suggesting fantasy written by authors recently to my friend that dont want to make a commitment to a series.

  7. Excellent interview. It's wonderful how he can put roaches in a positive light.

  8. I can't wait for David Moldawer's review of "Woken Angels," Richard Morgan's follow-up to "Broken Furies." 😉