Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Small Protest

I will never buy a John Scalzi book.

You probably don't know why.  It's not that I don't like his writing.  Or that I'm protesting anything in particular that he did on his website.  It's just that he broke a promise to me.

A good long time ago.

Look, I've been reading Scalzi for, like, ever.  I've read him before Whatever.  I've read him before Athena.  Hell, I've read him before blogs (back when he ran a little secret area behind the AOL welcome screen).  I read Agent to the Stars back when it was "shareware" and I read Old Man's War before it was published (when he wanted beta-testers to read it).  And... that's pretty much the last John Scalzi book I've read.

Or will.
Because, see, Mr. Scalzi ran a contest on his website, years and years ago, for an autographed copy of his Rough Guide to Universe.  I won that contest.  I sent him my address.

The book never came.

About a year or so later, I wrote him, asking if he was going to send the book.

He admitted kind of sucking at the whole "sending books" thing and said I'd get the book.

No book.

Some time later, he even posted on his website -- asking people to whom he owed books to write an email with the subject line "You owe me a book."  I think he said something about giving Zoe's Tale to the folks to whom he owed books (as this was his then-upcoming release) -- although I wasn't entirely sure if that was in lieu of or in addition to.  In any event, I sent the requested "You owe me a book" email.

No Zoe's Tale.
No Rough Guide to the Universe.

No freakin' reply to my email.

I wrote once more -- again, no book, no reply.

Since Scalzi said I won his Rough Guide to the Universe, Pluto has been demoted.  I've moved twice, and changed email addresses twice.  Scalzi has become a Campbell- and Hugo-award winning author.  I should have -- on my pretty pretty bookshelf of autographed books -- a lovely autographed Rough Guide to the Universe, cheerfully attesting to the fact that I read him back when (and had the smart ass-iest entry in his contest).  I don't.  So there won't be any of his books on my shelf.  Ever.


Peg said...


Shall we bombard him with emails asking about your signed first edition of Rough Guide?

Wil said...

Understandable reaction. I forwarded this post to John with a not-so-gentle suggestion. We'll wait and see if he responds.

nzforme said...

Heh... clearly, my vast army of blog followers is not enough to show up on Scalzi Radar.

Wil said...

Yes indeed, it does appear that way. Oh well, his loss.

Lori said...

Well, I was going to email him too, but should I bother? That is a shame. I haven't read him much since he left AOL, but I was thinking of reading his latest book. Maybe I won't now.