Profile of John Scalzi

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A brief introduction to me: I was born in 1969 and by 1983 it became clear to me that I had better become a writer because everything else was actual work. Since I graduated from college in 1991, I've been a full-time professional writer, sometimes working for others and sometimes working for myself. For the last several years I've been working for myself. We'll see how long that lasts.

At the moment (November 2004), I primarily write books: by the end of 2004 I will have five books in the stores. These books are The Rough Guide to Money Online (2000), The Rough Guide to the Universe (2003), Book of the Dumb (2003), Book of the Dumb 2 (2004) and my first published novel, Old Man's War (2005 release date, but out late 2004). In addition to these books, I have three books currently in the pipeline: The Rough Guide to Science Fiction Film (mid-2005), The Ghost Brigades, which is a sequel to Old Man's War (late 2005/early 2006), and another novel, The Android's Dream (late 2006/early 2007).

In addition to these books under my own name, I am a frequent contributor to books in the Uncle John's Bathroom Reader series. Books in the series to which I have contributed include Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Plunges Into History, Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Plunges Into the Universe, Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Plunges Into the Great Lives, Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Plunges Into Texas and Uncle John Presents Mom's Bathtub Reader. In the near future I'll also contribute articles for their upcoming books on Michigan and New Jersey.

Aside from books, I am also the Chief Entertainment Media Critic for Official US Playstation Magazine, which means I write DVD and CD reviews for the magazine, as well as a column called "Watchdog," in which I discuss the social and legal issues surrounding video games. I am also frequent writer for my local newspaper, the Dayton Daily News, for which I also write a DVD review column. And if that's not enough I'm also a paid blogger, working for America Online. You can see my AOL blog at By The Way.

Aside from work, I live in the small rural town of Bradford, Ohio with my wife Kristine, my daughter Athena and our pets Kodi, Rex, Lopsided Cat and Ghlaghghee (pronounced "fluffy."). We all enjoy pie.


Novel, "Old Man's War." Tor Books. Jan 2005.

Featured selection, The Science Fiction Book Club (Winter 2005);
Featured selection, Barnes & Noble Explorations (December 2005);
A "Sci Fi Essential" book (January 2006)

Novel, "The Ghost Brigades." Tor Books. Feb 2006.

Featured Selection, the Science Fiction Book Club, March 2006;
A "Sci-Fi Essential" Book, January 2006


Paul Di Filippo, Washington Post
on "Old Man's War"

Scalzi's imagined interstellar arena is coherently and compellingly delineated... His speculative elements are top-notch. His combat scenes are blood-roiling. His dialogue is suitably snappy and profane. And the moral and philosophical issues he raises... insert useful ethical burrs under the military saddle of the story.

Michelle Sagara
Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine

This book made me laugh out loud several times; it made me smile, it made me wince in recognition, and in the end, I left it feeling happier for the experience. I wanted it to be longer. I really did.

Cleveland Plain-Dealer

Scalzi's execution is superb. His characters inhabit bodies that are barely human, but they talk, think and respond in familiar and appealing ways. His writing is graceful and clever, with descriptions of aliens, equipment and military encounters that are flat-out terrific. Smartly conceived and thoroughly entertaining, 'Old Man's War' is a splendid novel.

Publisher's Weekly (starred review)
on "Old Man's War"

Though a lot of SF writers are more or less efficiently continuing the tradition of Robert A. Heinlein, Scalzi's astonishingly proficient first novel reads like an original work by the late grand master... but Scalzi is not just recycling classic Heinlein. He's working out new twists, variations that startle even as they satisfy. This virtuoso debut pays tribute to SF's past while showing that well-worn tropes still can have real zip when they're approached with ingenuity.

Robert R. Chase (rated 10 out of 10)

This is the way I think it happened. Like most of us, John Scalzi read Heinlein's Starship Troopers and enjoyed it. Like some of us, though, he thought he could do it better. Like nobody else, he has actually done so.

T.M. Wagner

A tremendous, confident SF debut

T.M. Wagner,
on "The Ghost Brigades"

Like Old Man's War, The Ghost Brigades is thinking fans' space opera. And for all that Scalzi gives you to chew on intellectually, he doesn't skimp on the blow-shit-up factor. The book opens with a fantastic action scene that ends with a brilliant narrative bait-and-switch I didn't see coming, and climaxes with an even better one... The Ghost Brigades maintains Scalzi's standing as one of SF's most rewarding purveyors of thrilling, gut-wrenching, and thoughtful space opera.