Scalzi's Sci-fi Novel ("Old Man's War" a.k.a. "Vin Diesel Naked and Green")

Pshaw. He sold his novel, is what he sold. He made it available online when that was the only way for him to distribute it, and then when he got an actual publishing deal, he distributed it that way instead. Scalzi has never made bones about the fact that he rather enjoys making money from his writing.

Besides, the relative goodness or badness of the novel is certainly not affected by the price tag on the spine (or the digital download). I thought it was a great read, personally.

Not acceptable. I want dick, dammit!

He didn’t sell out, he sold his novel for a price he thought the market could bear. What makes you think his decision to sell the novel at $1 was a philosophical, rather than an economic, decision?

I posted originally the way I did because I thought you might be being sarcastic in some way I didn’t get. Now it appears you’re seriously criticizing him for earning a living from his writing. That’s really, really weird. He is under no obligation to sell a novel at a price that won’t allow him to write full-time; he has also never, to the best of my knowledge, claimed any sort of moral grounds for having sold his novel cheaply in the beginning. You’re way off base, attacking him unfairly for abandoning a position he never held.


He got rid of the download page on his site (It was archived until recently) where he waxed philosophic about how the internet and this style of on your honor, and on your own publishing, over the internet was such a great thing and the future of publishing. Apparently that philosophy was just so much bullshit, as soon as he got a whiff of success.

Can you provide any link whatsoever, even to a third party page, that demonstrates what you’re talking about? That does not sound remotely like the Scalzi I’ve read from his blogs, and I suspect that you are not representing his views accurately. Scalzi, from all the blogs that I’ve read, comes across as cheerfully and unapologetically mercenary.


Agreed. He’s always been very upfront about wanting to make money from what he writes.

A few years ago, that was with a “shareware” novel he published on his website. Today, it’s with a publishing contract and a ridiculous shelf full of awards.

I can’t believe people are actually faulting a great writer for finding a wider audience. John Perry would have something to say about this, and it would probably involve creative use of the word “asshole.”

I never faulted him for wanting to make a living, that’s fine. But if your going to write a screed about the advantages of shareware publishing and then abandon that creed because of money, well then I have no problem calling him hippocritiical and opportunistic.


Only if the advantages of shareware publishing aren’t for the benefit of the writer. Really, I think you must be wildly misunderstanding what he sees as the advantages of shareware: nothing, but nothing, in his blog suggests that he’d choose a less effective means of making a living through his writing when a more effective means exists. It’s bizarre to suggest someone is a hypocrite for changing the venue through which they earn a living, when a more successful venue becomes available.