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evil SJWs schadenfreude vox day yeah that's the ticket

John Scalzi signs $3.4 million book deal; far-right rival Vox Day crushed under 442 tons of sour grapes

Vox Day (Artist's conception)
Vox Day (Artist’s conception)

So the noted science fiction author (and evil Social Justice Warrior) John Scalzi just signed a $3.4 million dollar, 13-book deal with Tor books, his publisher.

Scalzi’s longtime nemesis, far-right fantasy author and garbage human Vox Day, wants us to know that Scalzi’s grapes, all $3.4 million worth of them, are very sour indeed.

In a post today on his Vox Popoli blog, Vox sniffs that Scalzi’s book deal is “an interesting indication of his intrinsic insecurity.”

For you see, as Vox tries to convince his readers (and, presumably, himself), only timid souls sign $3.4 million deals with actual publishers; real men self-publish.

This isn’t a bad deal for Scalzi, it is merely a very conservative deal. What Johnny Con is attempting to do is to secure his retirement and look for any upside to come out of the various media deals he’s got going. It’s a perfectly reasonable strategy, particularly in these uncertain economic times. The bolder strategy would have been for him to go into self-publishing, where as I’ve demonstrated, there is considerably more upside to be had. But Scalzi is neither a self-confident man nor an entrepreneur, so it is entirely in character that he’d prefer to give up the equivalent of about five birds in the bush in favor of the one in Tor’s hand.

Yeah, those grapes are really, really sour.

After dismissing the $3.4 million deal as really no big deal, when you look at it, seriously, what can you buy for $3.4 million anyway these days, Vox goes on to mock what he sees as Scalzi’s inadequate blog traffic.

The fact that a mediocre and derivative hack without any discernible talent beyond self-promotion and petty snark could turn 300k monthly pageviews and a color-by-numbers Heinlein ripoff into a near-guaranteed $250k per year is borderline astonishing. If he’d somehow managed to do it without repeatedly lying his ample ass off and consistently misrepresenting himself, I’d consider him to be downright brilliant.

Vox is indeed mad jelly.

NOTE: I calculated the tonnage of grapes used in the headline using what I think was the most recent price of seedless red grapes, my favorite, at my local supermarket. At $3.49/pound, $3.4 million buys you roughly 442 metric tons of grapes, before taxes.

 

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John Strycharz
5 years ago

Analog was hard-right SF. I still remember the editorial about the 1968 Democratic Convention — the editor wrote that police were justified beating anti-war demonstrators because otherwise the hippies would have broken into the convention and raped female delegates. I kid you not! Many of the stories were profoundly conservative as well. A cover story told the tale of future welfare bums being transported to colony worlds, where the honest hard-working colonists were forced by law to support the shiftless takers. The cover was a painting of one of the clueless poor folk running in terror from a wild animal (which looked like an alien rhino or hippo) presumably to be deservedly trampled to death. Oh, and the story about winning the Vietnam war by dropping our nuclear waste on the Ho Chi Minh trail. I could go on, but you get the point.

Rabukurafuto
Rabukurafuto
5 years ago

Analog was hard-right SF. I still remember the editorial about the 1968 Democratic Convention — the editor wrote that police were justified beating anti-war demonstrators because otherwise the hippies would have broken into the convention and raped female delegates. I kid you not! Many of the stories were profoundly conservative as well. A cover story told the tale of future welfare bums being transported to colony worlds, where the honest hard-working colonists were forced by law to support the shiftless takers. The cover was a painting of one of the clueless poor folk running in terror from a wild animal (which looked like an alien rhino or hippo) presumably to be deservedly trampled to death. Oh, and the story about winning the Vietnam war by dropping our nuclear waste on the Ho Chi Minh trail. I could go on, but you get the point.

Oh barf. I’m glad to have never read this tripe before then. Analog really sounds like trash now.

Sadly your friend faces a horrid fate 🙂

Now that is is prime persecution complex. I love it, and I love when right-wringers claim George Orwell, a socialist, as one of their own. Also, I really need to read Ancillary Sword sometime. It sounds brilliant.

Shaenon
5 years ago

Science fiction literature has generally been pretty optimistic lately. You see a lot of post-scarcity or post-Singularity utopias, a lot of steampunk, a lot of stories where scientific advancements are celebrated rather than feared. The only major dystopian trend in SF right now is postapocalyptic/zombie survival fiction.

I don’t know what the Puppies are talking about when they complain about modern SF being too pessimistic. Well, no, I know exactly what they’re talking about: all those stories where the future doesn’t belong to people demographically like themselves. But they nominated tons of downer stories for the Hugos. So far I’ve read two where the main character commits suicide–not counting “A Single Samurai,” which ALSO ends in suicide, but wasn’t a Puppy pick. Good lord, this is a grim Hugo ballot.

misseb47
misseb47
5 years ago

friday jones and Tara the Antisocial Social Worker-LOLNESS XD

Miss Andry
5 years ago

Vox Day: Master of psychological projection and not much else.

katz
5 years ago

I self-publish … there probably is more money in it for the average author; but of course rockstar trad published authors are going to earn more. Most people still prefer paperbacks, and traditional publishers can help at that. But particularly in sci-fi/fantasy, the prospects for the *average* trad published author are dim. I’ve seen award winning authors out there who earn less than me and I am NO ONE.

We’re in very different segments of the market, so we might be talking past each other here, but I thought it was more the other way. If you traditionally publish, a lot of people have put time and effort into your work in order to ensure that it makes money, so it’s likely to do at least moderately well (and even if it doesn’t, you still get your advance). Obviously there are rockstar authors who make a huge amount of money, but the publisher has a vested interest in every author in the stable making money.

Whereas in self-publishing, it’s quite possible to literally sell 0 copies and make no money. From what I’ve read, it’s in self-pub where a few authors make huge amounts of money (namely, those with preexisting platforms) and most authors make a pittance, because there are so few ways to make your book stand out among the hundreds of thousands of other self-pubbed ebooks.

yamamanama
yamamanama
5 years ago

@John Strycharz

Now I’m morbidly curious.

misseb47
misseb47
5 years ago

I think Vox is jealous. XD

“I’ve never read any of Scalzi’s books before, but I might just go out and buy one just to spite Vox”

Me too! I tend not to read that many Sci Fi books, but because chicken Pox hates him, I feel like giving his books a try. I mean, if Pox hates Scalzi’s work and is so jealous of him, then his books MUST be good! 😀

Meredith
Meredith
5 years ago

I adored Scalzi’s novel Lock In and its accompanying novella Unlocked. Its really great seeing disability tackled in a major sf novel with no magical cripples or cures in sight! While the disability in question didn’t map onto my own perfectly, it was still a story I wanted to roll around in luxuriously, especially now that Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) is walking again, so I’m positively thrilled to see a sequel is part of this deal.

The schadenfreude of watching Mr Day who, along with his minions, has been trying very hard to convince the peeps over at File770 (excellent fanzine that’s been doing daily round-ups of the Puppy palava) that Scalzi barely sold any books (particularly of Lock In grrrr) and was about to be dropped by Tor any minute as a worthless writer… Gosh, its so delicious.

He may be trying to ruin the Hugos, and forcing conscientious voters to read truly terrible fiction in the process (seriously, if anyone thinks that stuff is the “best” conservative writers have to offer let alone best of the year their ability to assess writing is really not good), but at least we know he will always fail at his most dearly held desire: to beat John Scalzi in sf/f.

Now, praying the blockquote mammoth will be merciful and I haven’t ballsed up the html… 🙁

@Manisthe

” I don’t know how much he paid for that Finnish vanity press”

Bit OT, but as a finn i’m curious. What finnish vanity press?

Castalia House. I’m not surprised you haven’t heard of it, from what I can tell Finnish fandom has been doing its very best to disassociate itself from Mr Day, especially since there is currently a Helsinki bid for 2017s Worldcon and they don’t want his stink to rub off on them.

@Shaenon

So far I’ve read two where the main character commits suicide–not counting “A Single Samurai,” which ALSO ends in suicide, but wasn’t a Puppy pick. Good lord, this is a grim Hugo ballot.

Actually, A Single Samurai IS a Puppy pick, just not a Rabid Puppy pick. It was on the Sad Puppies slate.

A helpful guide to what is free of Puppy influence is here: http://deirdre.net/the-puppy-free-hugo-award-voters-guide/

Of course, there’s no guarantee that whatever remains is still worthy of a Hugo – and to be honest the film nominees would probably all have been on the ballot even without the Puppy leg up, so I’m making an exception to my anti-slate voting in that category.

John Hedtke
John Hedtke
5 years ago

Anon E. Mouse: Yes, this deal was a $3.4 million advance against royalties; IOW, Tor is betting that they’ll probably see at least twice that in actual royalties over the life of the books he’s doing. (I write nonfiction rather than fiction, but the broad rules for book contracts are about the same.)

Assuming that it’s a 2x deal, what’s going to happen is that John Scalzi (who I enjoy a lot as a writer and a speaker myself) will be getting payments of about 250K/book for the 13 books he’s slated to do for the next decade–that’s almost certainly where VD got the 250K per book figure–as an advance against royalties, which will then be matched by income from the royalty stream and he’ll have an add’l $3M or $4M on top of that coming in over the life of the books. This will be cumulative as his book list grows, of course, so while he’ll be making flipping great wodges of cash from books he’s doing in the next few years + his EXISTING royalty stream + his FILM/TV sales + all the other little things, he’ll start having a growing advance + royalty stream that could very easily hit close to $1M/year if not top it.

Sure, as an author, I’m envious but I’m in no wise jealous. Everything I’ve ever seen and my few personal interactions with him suggest that John Scalzi is a decent human being, better than a great many, and he has earned every shred of his success and more besides. I am very happy to see him get his due. He’s a fine man and I look forward to reading every one of his upcoming books over the next 10 years. 🙂

BTW, if you want a fun book of his to start with, let me suggest a title others haven’t mentioned: “Agent to the Stars.” That one’s a one-off book and it’s great fun. “Android’s Dream” is another good introduction. But I’ve liked all of them. 🙂 (Do read the Old Man’s War series in sequence, though, as it does matter.)

Trae Dorn
5 years ago

There are also like two or three tv series currently under development based off of Scalzi’s books too.

John Strycharz
5 years ago

@yamamanama

OK but I gave you fair warning! Maybe you’ll like the story set in a nightmarish liberal future America, wherein an innocent law-abiding farmer is killed while driving in the city on an errand , by crazed urban class rioters incensed by the sight of his antique car. Or perhaps the one about how all the God-fearing job-creators have emigrated to the moon, leaving the hippies to die at the hands of their blood-drinking, flesh-eating children? Enjoy!

Dave Creek
5 years ago

If you want to decide whether ANALOG is “trash,” maybe you’d better get an example of the magazine’s contents sometime after 1968. I say this as a “librul” author who gets published in ANALOG all the time.

Its main focus is hard SF, not politics, certainly not a particular brand of politics to the exclusion of others.

John Hedtke
John Hedtke
5 years ago
Reply to  John Strycharz

Say, I think I recognize that last plot! Isn’t that “Atlas Belched” or whatever the heck it was called?

Catherine Reed (@Radiojane1)
Catherine Reed (@Radiojane1)
5 years ago

[QUOTE]Analog was hard-right SF. I still remember the editorial about the 1968 Democratic Convention — the editor wrote that police were justified beating anti-war demonstrators because otherwise the hippies would have broken into the convention and raped female delegates. I kid you not! Many of the stories were profoundly conservative as well. A cover story told the tale of future welfare bums being transported to colony worlds, where the honest hard-working colonists were forced by law to support the shiftless takers. The cover was a painting of one of the clueless poor folk running in terror from a wild animal (which looked like an alien rhino or hippo) presumably to be deservedly trampled to death. Oh, and the story about winning the Vietnam war by dropping our nuclear waste on the Ho Chi Minh trail. I could go on, but you get the point.[/QUOTE]

The founder and long-time editor of ANALOG was John W. Campbell. He was a leading visionary and champion of the burgeoning field of science fiction. But he was also a deeply flawed human being, and strangely limited in his world-view. If any of you were ST:Deep Space 9 fans, you may remember an alternate-reality episode set in an 1950’s office of a pulp mag, with a stable of writers all pitching their tales to the head editor. And the new guy at the mag, as played by Avery Brooks aka Capt. Sisko, is pitching a story about a deep-space platform/spaceport, with all kinds of aliens rubbing up against humans, and all the conflicts that ensue. And the port is commanded by a black man. And that is where the editor balks, and refuses to print the story, and tries to convince the author to change him to a white man. Well, that was based on the real-life conflict between Cambell and a new author Samuel R. Delany. Who is black, and had written a story with a lead character who was black. Campbell refused to publish it unless the character was switched to white. ,

I have to say, since discovering Scalzi’s work because of his consultancy with Stargate:Universe, I’ve never failed to be entertained/provoked/enlightened/devastated(*) by his writing. He’s got a deft touch with words, which is an underrated skill. Looking forwards to new books from him for a long time to come.

(*)See FUZZY NATION. Bring tissues. Lots of tissues.

Kootiepatra
5 years ago

@katz – Without getting all tl;dr about it, I’m working on what is essentially a Christian theological primer on women. I’m aiming it at laypeople and focusing on what the Bible does (or sometimes, more crucially, doesn’t) say about women, trying to offer a relatable, scriptural rebuttal to some of the toxic anti-feminist stuff that’s entrenched in a lot of Christan subcultures.

It’s got a long way to go yet, but there are so. many. terrible self-published theological books floating around out there, that I really, really want to get a legit publisher to pick it up. Of course, that will be a little dicey considering the topic, but we’ll see.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@Kootiepatra: That sounds amazing. I really want to read it. Please keep us posted.

misseb47
misseb47
5 years ago

Trae Dorn-Awesome! I would like to watch those, too! 😀

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

@Kootie

Good luck, just remember what happened when somebody wrote a similar book about religious homophobia.

Falconer
5 years ago

Or perhaps the one about how all the God-fearing job-creators have emigrated to the moon, leaving the hippies to die at the hands of their blood-drinking, flesh-eating children? Enjoy!

Sounds like someone cut their Rand with some Heinlein before cooking it.

Also, RIP Tanith Lee. I’ve never read any of her work. It used to be too many books, too little time, but now it’s too many babies, too little time.

chronically lurking
chronically lurking
5 years ago

At least Orson Scott Card writ…er, wrote, actually good books while holding those toxic views and doesn…er, didn’t, complain that his views were keeping people from reading and liking his books.

…though it kind of sounds like he’s doing some of that now, while he’s also doing less writing and more politicking.

A good book is a good book, and whining that your politics are preventing your books from being enjoyed is not really something you can do in sci fi/fantasy, where flaming liberal GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire is a favorite of many conservatives and flaming conservative Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game is a favorite of many liberals.

That and, on the other side of the coin, blatant issue bludgeoning in a book of these genres is going to turn off a lot of people regardless of if they agree or not, so if you’re doing that and aren’t one of the top .01% of writers who can subtly pull it off…maybe that’s why.

For example (avoiding spoilers here), I totally agree with James Patterson, but when he suddenly made the Maximum Ride series about a certain issue almost out of nowhere and at least a couple books into the series, I dropped it. Mostly because it didn’t make any sense for kids to be given that type of power and then have their purpose revealed to be fighting that type of threat, but the writing around the reveal didn’t help.

It sounds like the subsequent books in the series weren’t nearly as fun to read, either.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

Orson Scott Card is a weird case. On the one hand, he’s an enormous racist of a sort which we seldom see in these times. On the other hand, he’s backed Scalzi during the whole thing over Theodore Beale and the Hugos. Every time I expect him to do something hateful he takes the reasonable position; and every time I get lulled into thinking he’s reasonable he goes and writes something hateful. An odd duck.

katz
5 years ago

Kootiepatra: Very cool!

John Hedtke
John Hedtke
5 years ago

Well, I’m absolutely certain that there are many people who won’t now read anything of OSC’s simply because his politics are so repulsive. I gave up reading him many years ago, but not because of his politics and not even because I think his writing is bad–I don’t; it’s exceptional. It’s because, as someone I admire greatly once said “He creates these wonderful characters you love and then he damages them horribly.” Sure, that’s part of fiction, but his characters never really recover–they’re wounded and bleeding emotionally forever. And it’s just painful.

OSC really is a great writer. He’s a greater person to listen to speak on the craft of writing, too: if you have a chance to read/listen to him, do! But, yeah, his politics are really awful, particularly when you have a gay daughter, and I won’t willingly give him a dime at this point.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

On the topic of authors doing cool stuff, apparently, JK Rowling just laid the smackdown on the WBC via twitter.

(I missed being able to link things properly, jfc mobile.)

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

@Paradoxical

I read it in Maggie Smith’s voice, just ‘cuz.

Beech
Beech
5 years ago

I don’t see the sour grapes in any of Vox Day’s comments.

katz
5 years ago

Meh, I never thought OSC was a particularly good writer. His characterization is so heavy-handed.

Ima Pseudonym
Ima Pseudonym
5 years ago

I think the Ender books require a certain level of “nobody-understands-me” teen angst to really click.

Shelley Adrienne Mimi Belsky

Vox Day says:
I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!

derangeddan
5 years ago

Speaking of Vox, he took another opportunity to display what an awful person a few days ago. Ken of Popehat wrote a pretty impressive blog post on his experiences with depression and being institutionalized.

Apparently he asked his co-bloggers if they thought any of the people he pisses off online would attack him over it, and particularly if Vox would. For reasons I can’t comprehend, one of them stuck up for Vox and promised to have Ken’s back if Vox did attack him.

Vox immediately attacked him, because of course he did, and the other guy at Popehat decided that, instead of having Ken’s back like he said, he would issue this pathetic nonpology instead, making sure we all know what a swell guy Vox is and that Ken probably started it anyway. The whole thing is bizarre and kind of sad, watching this guy stick up for Vox rather than his friend.

epitome of incomprehensibility

@Kootiepatra – through work, I know of William B. Eerdman’s and Westminster/John Knox (who publish academic books on Christianity) – not sure what their political slant is, if any.

Also, it’s *such* a relief to see that Westboro Baptist Church opposes Gandalf and Dumbledore getting married! It’s time somebody took a strong and principled stand against crossover fanfiction! Sure, the SJW liberrulz think it’s cool and all when characters from different fantasy series celebrate their “love,” but what’s next? What will all this LEAD to? What’s if someone from a book wants to marry someone from a (gasp) VIDEO GAME??? Wake up, sheeple!!!

wordgot
5 years ago

Tesformes: Another trick is just to use his initials, VD. Also, not being able to search his own name for egoboo and publicity purposes might make him feel ignored, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Thus, when discussing certain parties involved in the Hugo kerfuffle,, they become ‘VD and the Sad Ps.’

ColeYote
ColeYote
5 years ago

> The bolder strategy would have been for him to go into self-publishing, where as I’ve demonstrated, there is considerably more upside to be had.

Vox, I don’t know much about you, but I have serious doubts you’ve made more than 3.4 million through self publishing. Let alone considerably more.

And I’d be careful belittling Scalzi’s blog’s traffic, considering compete.com says you get even less.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
5 years ago

derangeddan:

and the other guy at Popehat decided that, instead of having Ken’s back like he said, he would issue this pathetic nonpology instead

And why did I know even before clicking over there that it would have been Clark to do that… Clark’s the same one that came out with Gamergater support articles months ago. And referring to it as a ‘slap fight’ is exactly the sort of trivializing tactics I would expect from him.

Kav P
5 years ago

Vox Day needs to count his sour grapes before they hatch.

Merus
Merus
5 years ago

Count me as one of the people who was totally not surprised that it’s Clark issuing that mealy-mouthed nonpology. He’s my least favourite of the Popehats by a fair margin.

bodycrimes
5 years ago

I’m late to this party, but I couldn’t resist looking up both authors on Amazon. Scalzi’s top book, Old Man’s War, has 1,552 reviews and is listed at 4,588 on the bestseller ranking. Vox Day’s Throne of Bones has a mere 161 reviews and is listed at 309,707.

Basically, he’s doing a tenth as well as Scalzi. So I wonder where Vox Day is getting the idea that self publishing is the courageous, lucrative thing to do, because it’s not working well for him at all.

Unless, of course, Vox Day is just a really crap writer who couldn’t get a big publishing deal.

Oh, wait…

cubist
5 years ago

Seconding Catherine Reed: John W. Campbell Jr. was one hell of an editor, and was very good for science fiction as a genre/field. Yes, JWC was also a hell of a racist, but seeing as how (a) his term as editor of Analog ended with extreme prejudice when the man died in 1971, and (b) Analog is on its third editor in the post-JWC era, it may not be just or accurate to tar today’s magazine with the sins of JWC.