John Scalzi

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For the baseball player, see Johnny Scalzi. John Scalzi_sentence_0

John Scalzi_table_infobox_0

John ScalziJohn Scalzi_header_cell_0_0_0
BornJohn Scalzi_header_cell_0_1_0 (1969-05-10) May 10, 1969 (age 51)

Fairfield, California, U.S.John Scalzi_cell_0_1_1

OccupationJohn Scalzi_header_cell_0_2_0 WriterJohn Scalzi_cell_0_2_1
Alma materJohn Scalzi_header_cell_0_3_0 University of Chicago (BA)John Scalzi_cell_0_3_1
GenreJohn Scalzi_header_cell_0_4_0 John Scalzi_cell_0_4_1
WebsiteJohn Scalzi_header_cell_0_5_0

John Michael Scalzi II (born May 10, 1969) is an American science fiction author and former president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. John Scalzi_sentence_1

He is best known for his Old Man's War series, three novels of which have been nominated for the Hugo Award, and for his blog Whatever, where he has written on a number of topics since 1998. John Scalzi_sentence_2

He won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 2008 based predominantly on that blog, which he has also used for several charity drives. John Scalzi_sentence_3

His novel Redshirts won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel. John Scalzi_sentence_4

He has written non-fiction books and columns on diverse topics such as finance, video games, films, astronomy, writing and politics, and served as a creative consultant for the TV series Stargate Universe. John Scalzi_sentence_5

Early life, education, and early career John Scalzi_section_0

Scalzi was born in Fairfield, California, on May 10, 1969. John Scalzi_sentence_6

One of three children to a single mother, he grew up in the Los Angeles suburbs of Covina, Glendora, Azusa, and San Dimas. John Scalzi_sentence_7

He is of Italian descent; his grandfather immigrated from Italy to the United States as a young child. John Scalzi_sentence_8

Scalzi grew up reading science fiction and mystery, which inspired him to become a science fiction writer—a decision made randomly. John Scalzi_sentence_9

As he recalled in an interview with the Dayton Daily News: John Scalzi_sentence_10

Scalzi's childhood was spent in poverty, an experience that inspired him to write his most famous essay, "Being Poor." John Scalzi_sentence_11

He attended the Webb School of California, a boarding school in Claremont, on a scholarship. John Scalzi_sentence_12

One of his classmates was blogger and journalist Josh Marshall. John Scalzi_sentence_13

Scalzi earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy at the University of Chicago, graduating in 1991. John Scalzi_sentence_14

Scalzi's thesis advisor, for a brief time, was Saul Bellow. John Scalzi_sentence_15

Scalzi abandoned his course of study with Bellow after he was elected Student Ombudsman of the University. John Scalzi_sentence_16

Ted Cohen, a philosophy professor, became his next thesis advisor, but Scalzi graduated without completing his thesis project. John Scalzi_sentence_17

During his 1989–1990 school year, Scalzi was the editor-in-chief of The Chicago Maroon. John Scalzi_sentence_18

He began writing professionally in 1990, while a college student, working freelance for the Chicago Sun-Times. John Scalzi_sentence_19

After graduating, Scalzi became a corporate consultant and wrote opinion columns and film reviews for the Fresno Bee. John Scalzi_sentence_20

His experience as a film critic influenced his writing, particularly his humorous works, as films were meant to be an accessible form of storytelling. John Scalzi_sentence_21

In 1996, he and his family moved to the Washington, D.C. area after he was hired as the in-house writer and editor at AOL. John Scalzi_sentence_22

He was laid off in 1998, and since then he has been a full-time freelance writer and author. John Scalzi_sentence_23

Scalzi was first elected president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2010. John Scalzi_sentence_24

He was the only nominee on the ballot. John Scalzi_sentence_25

He had previously run as a write-in candidate in 2007, challenging the sole ballot nominee that year, but was not successful. John Scalzi_sentence_26

He left office when his third term expired on June 30, 2013, having not sought reelection to a fourth term. John Scalzi_sentence_27

He garnered significant media attention by taping raw bacon to his cat "Ghlaghghee" in September 2006. John Scalzi_sentence_28

As a result of the coverage, Scalzi began maintaining a web repository for links to "All Things Bacon" on the Whatever site. John Scalzi_sentence_29

Career John Scalzi_section_1

Fiction John Scalzi_section_2

Scalzi's books are known for their humor. John Scalzi_sentence_30

His style of writing has been influenced by Robert Heinlein, Orson Scott Card, and Joe Haldeman. John Scalzi_sentence_31

Scalzi's first novel, Agent to the Stars, was written in 1997 and published free to read on his website in 1999. John Scalzi_sentence_32

He asked readers to donate money to him if they enjoyed the novel, and earned around $4,000 over a period of five years. John Scalzi_sentence_33

Subterranean Press released a limited-edition hardcover version in July 2005, featuring cover art from Penny Arcade artist Mike Krahulik; the novel was later released in trade and mass-market paperback by Tor and audiobook by Audible. John Scalzi_sentence_34

A first-contact story, it is about a young Hollywood agent hired by a space alien to make their species more appealing to humans. John Scalzi_sentence_35

It received mixed reviews; Booklist called it "absurd, funny, and satirically perceptive," while Publishers Weekly criticized the plot as predictable. John Scalzi_sentence_36

Scalzi's first traditionally-published novel was Old Man's War, a military science fiction novel about a 75-year-old man who is recruited to fight a centuries-long war for human colonization of space. John Scalzi_sentence_37

It was inspired by the works of Robert Heinlein, especially Starship Troopers. John Scalzi_sentence_38

Scalzi intended to sell the book commercially, so he chose the genre of military science fiction because he felt it would be the most marketable. John Scalzi_sentence_39

Like Agent to the Stars, it was first published on Whatever; Scalzi serialized a chapter a day in December 2002. John Scalzi_sentence_40

Tor Books executive editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden offered to buy the novel, and it was published by Tor in January 2005. John Scalzi_sentence_41

In 2006, Scalzi won a nomination for the Hugo Award for Best Novel for Old Man's War. John Scalzi_sentence_42

The Ghost Brigades was released in 2006. John Scalzi_sentence_43

While a direct sequel to Old Man's War, it focuses not on John Perry, the protagonist of Old Man's War, but on the special forces units. John Scalzi_sentence_44

The Ghost Brigades television rights was purchased by Syfy in 2014. John Scalzi_sentence_45

2006 also saw the release of The Android's Dream. John Scalzi_sentence_46

A satire, it was well received by Publishers Weekly, which called it an "effervescent but intelligent romp"; it was criticized by Dave Itzkoff of The New York Times, who said it was "merely sarcastic when it should be satirical." John Scalzi_sentence_47

In August 2006, Scalzi was awarded the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer for best new science fiction writer of 2005. John Scalzi_sentence_48

In February 2007, a novelette set in the Old Man's War universe, called "The Sagan Diary", was published as a hardcover by Subterranean Press. John Scalzi_sentence_49

Scalzi has commented that he originally wrote the book as free verse poetry, then converted it into prose format. John Scalzi_sentence_50

An audio reading of "The Sagan Diary" was offered through Scalzi's website in February 2007, featuring the voices of fellow science fiction authors Elizabeth Bear, Mary Robinette Kowal, Ellen Kushner, Cherie Priest, Karen Meisner and Helen Smith. John Scalzi_sentence_51

In November of the same year, Subterranean Press also made "The Sagan Diary" text freely available online. John Scalzi_sentence_52

In April 2008 Audible Frontiers produced an audiobook of the novelette, read by Stephanie Wolfe. John Scalzi_sentence_53

The third novel set in the same universe, The Last Colony, was released in April 2007. John Scalzi_sentence_54

It was nominated for the 2008 Hugo Award for Best Novel. John Scalzi_sentence_55

Zoe's Tale, the fourth Old Man's War novel, presenting a different view of the events covered in The Last Colony, was published in August 2008. John Scalzi_sentence_56

Zoe's Tale was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2009. John Scalzi_sentence_57

Also in 2008, released the audiobook anthology METAtropolis, edited by Scalzi and featuring short fiction in a shared world created by Scalzi, Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Jay Lake, and Karl Schroeder. John Scalzi_sentence_58

METAtropolis was planned from the beginning to be released as an audio anthology prior to any print edition. John Scalzi_sentence_59

The audiobook featured the voices of Battlestar Galactica actors Michael Hogan, Alessandro Juliani and Kandyse McClure and was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form in 2009. John Scalzi_sentence_60

A sequel audiobook, METAtropolis: Cascadia, edited by Jay Lake, came out in 2010. John Scalzi_sentence_61

In 2009 Subterranean Press released a limited edition print run of METAtropolis, which was subsequently published by Tor in a standard hardcover edition, in 2010. John Scalzi_sentence_62

Fuzzy Nation, Scalzi's ninth novel, began as a writing exercise. John Scalzi_sentence_63

Scalzi explained that it had been "basically written just for the fun of it and for sort of getting into the habit of actually enjoying writing science fiction again." John Scalzi_sentence_64

It was an adaptation of Little Fuzzy, published by H. John Scalzi_sentence_65 Beam Piper in 1962, and was authorized by the Piper estate. John Scalzi_sentence_66

Scalzi announced the release on his blog on April 7, 2010, and the novel was published on May 10, 2011. John Scalzi_sentence_67

Scalzi has not written many short stories: one of them, "After the Coup", featured as the first short story published originally on, was a finalist for the 2009 Locus Award for best short story. John Scalzi_sentence_68

Tor released it as an e-book in 2009. John Scalzi_sentence_69

His 2012 book Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel. John Scalzi_sentence_70

Scalzi decided to write Redshirts after noticing that while many short satirical works dealt with the idea of "'redshirts'—the unnamed, low-ranking characters of Star Trek who always died on away missions," there was a dearth of novels exploring the concept. John Scalzi_sentence_71

On May 24, 2015, Tor announced that it had agreed to a $3.4 million deal with Scalzi spanning 10 years and 13 books: 10 adult books and three young adult books. John Scalzi_sentence_72

Among the books included in this deal is another book within his Old Man's War universe, the sequel to Lock In (a near-future thriller published by Scalzi in 2014) titled Head On, a new space opera series and several standalone books. John Scalzi_sentence_73

The deal was finalized on November 25, 2015. John Scalzi_sentence_74

The first book produced in this contract was the space opera The Collapsing Empire in March 2017. John Scalzi_sentence_75

In 2019, three of his short stories were adapted for episodes of the first season of the Netflix anthology series Love, Death & Robots: "Three Robots", "When the Yogurt Took Over", and "Missives From Possible Futures #1: Alternate History Search Results". John Scalzi_sentence_76

Non-fiction John Scalzi_section_3

Though best known for his science fiction works, Scalzi has written several non-fiction books as well, including a trio for London publisher Rough Guides' reference line of books. John Scalzi_sentence_77

The first of these was The Rough Guide to Money Online, released in late October 2000. John Scalzi_sentence_78

This reference book featured tips on using online financial tools. John Scalzi_sentence_79

According to Scalzi, it did less-than-expected business, possibly due to the collapse of the Internet bubble at about the same time the book was released. John Scalzi_sentence_80

Scalzi's next non-fiction book was The Rough Guide to the Universe, an astronomy book designed for novice-to-intermediate stargazers, released in May 2003. John Scalzi_sentence_81

Scalzi's third book for Rough Guides, The Rough Guide to Sci-Fi Movies, was released in October 2005. John Scalzi_sentence_82

This book covered the history of science fiction and science fiction film and listed a "canon" of 50 significant science fiction films. John Scalzi_sentence_83

Scalzi is also the author of the "Book of the Dumb" series of books from Portable Press. John Scalzi_sentence_84

These books chronicle people doing stupid things. John Scalzi_sentence_85

The first book in the series was released in October 2003 with a second following a year later. John Scalzi_sentence_86

In November 2005, Scalzi announced that entries from the run of the Whatever, his blog, would be compiled into a book from Subterranean Press. John Scalzi_sentence_87

The book, You're Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing; was released by Subterranean Press in February 2007. John Scalzi_sentence_88

Another collection of entries from Whatever, entitled Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded: A Decade of Whatever 1998–2008 was released in September 2008. John Scalzi_sentence_89

It subsequently won the Hugo Award for Best Related Book in 2009. John Scalzi_sentence_90

A third collection, The Mallet of Loving Correction, was released in 2013 and named after his nickname for moderating activities on his blog. John Scalzi_sentence_91

A fourth collection, Don't Live For Your Obituary, was released in December 2017. John Scalzi_sentence_92

Online and other writing John Scalzi_section_4

Scalzi began writing for his personal blog Whatever in September 1998. John Scalzi_sentence_93

He started it because he wanted to practice writing in a newspaper- or column-like format, which he had done prior to his novel-writing career. John Scalzi_sentence_94

The name suggests the wide range of topics Scalzi writes about there, although many of Scalzi's postings center on the topics of politics and writing. John Scalzi_sentence_95

A number of writings originally posted there have gone on to be published in traditional media, including his "I Hate Your Politics" and "Being Poor" entries, the latter of which was published in the op-ed pages of the Chicago Tribune in September 2005. John Scalzi_sentence_96

His essay "Being Poor" was based on his own experiences growing up in poverty. John Scalzi_sentence_97

Scalzi also used the Whatever as a way to solicit fiction and non-fiction submissions on the theme of Science Fiction Clichés in 2005 for issue No. John Scalzi_sentence_98

4 of Subterranean Magazine, which he guest edited (published in 2006 by Subterranean Press). John Scalzi_sentence_99

The original solicitation was posted in March 2005 with the unique requirements that submissions would only be accepted electronically in plain text, and ONLY during the period between 10/1/05 and 11/1/05 instead of before a traditional deadline. John Scalzi_sentence_100

After the print run sold out, the issue was made available online as a free download. John Scalzi_sentence_101

Scalzi's own short story, How I Proposed to My Wife: An Alien Sex Story, was not printed in the magazine itself but only in a separated chapbook reserved to the people who bought the hardcover limited edition. John Scalzi_sentence_102

In April 2008 Scalzi released the story as a "shareware short story" on his website. John Scalzi_sentence_103

On March 29, 2007, it was announced that Scalzi had again been nominated for a Hugo Award, this time in the category "Best Fan Writer", for his online writing about the science fiction field. John Scalzi_sentence_104

He was the first Campbell Award winner to receive a nomination in this category. John Scalzi_sentence_105

In 2008, he was again nominated for the Best Fan Writer Hugo, this time winning the award, becoming the first person to be nominated for that category and the Best Novel Hugo award at the same time since 1970. John Scalzi_sentence_106

Scalzi also uses the Whatever to help raise money for organizations and causes he supports. John Scalzi_sentence_107

Notably, in June 2007 he raised over $5000 in 6 days for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State after fellow writer Joe Hill challenged him to go visit the Creation Museum that had just opened near Cincinnati, not far from Scalzi's Ohio home, if Hill paid for the ticket, offering to match the cost with a donation to the charity of Scalzi's choice after he filed a comprehensive report on the trip online. John Scalzi_sentence_108

Scalzi extended the deal to all Whatever readers, raised 256 times the admission price, and posted his critical report on the Creation Museum on November 12, 2007. John Scalzi_sentence_109

In September 2010 he joined with Subterranean Press and authors Wil Wheaton, Patrick Rothfuss, Catherynne M. Valente, Rachel Swirsky and others to create a chapbook story collection called Clash of the Geeks, offered online in exchange for donations to the Michigan/Indiana affiliate of the Lupus Alliance of America. John Scalzi_sentence_110

Some of the stories were selected from a competition run on Whatever to write a story to explain a painting Scalzi had commissioned from Jeff Zugale, that featured Scalzi as an orc and Wheaton riding a unicorn pegasus kitten. John Scalzi_sentence_111

Scalzi's notable online presence and support for feminist causes have often led to harassment and trolling. John Scalzi_sentence_112

After writing a satirical blog post in October 2012 criticizing some conservative politicians for their positions on abortion, Scalzi was targeted by writer Vox Day and his supporters. John Scalzi_sentence_113

Scalzi pledged to donate $5 to RAINN, Emily's List, the Human Rights Campaign, and the NAACP every time Day mentioned him on his website. John Scalzi_sentence_114

While he capped his donation at $1,000, Scalzi raised over $50,000 after others, including actor Wil Wheaton, promised to match this pledge. John Scalzi_sentence_115

In addition to his personal site, Scalzi was a professional blogger for America Online's AOL Journals and AIM Blogs service from August 2003 through December 2007. John Scalzi_sentence_116

In this role he created participatory entries (most notably the Weekend Assignment and Monday Photo Shoot), answered questions about blogging from AOL members, and posted interesting links for readers. John Scalzi_sentence_117

Readers of both Scalzi's personal site and his AOL Journal "By the Way" noted distinct differences in tone at each site. John Scalzi_sentence_118

Scalzi has acknowledged this tonal difference, based on the different missions of each site. John Scalzi_sentence_119

Scalzi also blogged professionally for AOL's Ficlets site beginning in March 2007, writing about literature and other related topics. John Scalzi_sentence_120

On December 7, 2007, Scalzi announced that by mutual agreement, his contract with AOL would not be renewed at the end of the year, in part so that he would have more time to devote to writing books. John Scalzi_sentence_121

In 2008, Scalzi began writing a weekly column on science fiction/fantasy films for, the Web site of cable television network AMC. John Scalzi_sentence_122

For traditional media, Scalzi wrote a DVD review column and an opinion column for the Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine from 2000 through 2006, wrote an additional DVD review column for the Dayton Daily News through 2006, and writes for other magazines and newspapers on an occasional basis. John Scalzi_sentence_123

He also works as a consultant for businesses, primarily in the online and financial fields. John Scalzi_sentence_124

In 2009, Scalzi was a creative consultant on science-fiction television show Stargate Universe. John Scalzi_sentence_125

He was credited as such for 39 episodes. John Scalzi_sentence_126

On April 1, 2011, Tor Books collaborated with Scalzi on an April Fool's prank, with Tor claiming "Tor Books is proud to announce the launch of John Scalzi's new fantasy trilogy, The Shadow War of the Night Dragons, which kicks off with book one: The Dead City." John Scalzi_sentence_127

This excerpt from an imaginary novel took on a life of its own, being nominated for, and winning, the 2011 Readers' Choice Awards for short fiction. John Scalzi_sentence_128

It was also nominated for the 2012 Hugo awards in the Best Short Story category. John Scalzi_sentence_129

This was followed up on April 1, 2013 by an "announcement" about a musical production based on the series. John Scalzi_sentence_130

Scalzi was the writer for the 2015 mobile device video game by Industrial Toys, called Midnight Star. John Scalzi_sentence_131

Scalzi wrote the story for the prequel to the game, in a graphic novel called Midnight Rises. John Scalzi_sentence_132

On March 30, 2016, the Los Angeles Times announced that Scalzi was one of ten "Critics-at-Large" who would contribute to the newspaper as a columnist writing on literature and culture. John Scalzi_sentence_133

Personal life John Scalzi_section_5

He met his wife Kristine Ann Blauser when he was living in Fresno, and they married in 1995. John Scalzi_sentence_134

His only child, a daughter named Athena, was born in 1998. John Scalzi_sentence_135

He and his family live in Bradford, Ohio, where they moved to be closer to his wife's family. John Scalzi_sentence_136

Scalzi has declared himself a feminist and Rockefeller Republican. John Scalzi_sentence_137

He supports same-sex marriage. John Scalzi_sentence_138

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Scalzi.