Whatever Holiday Shopping Guide 2016, Day Five: Charities

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2016/12/02/whatever-holiday-shopping-guide-2016-day-five-charities/

http://whatever.scalzi.com/?p=28917

For the last four days, the Whatever Shopping Guide 2016 has been about helping you find the perfect gifts for friends and loved ones. But today I’d like to remind folks that the season is also about helping those in need. So this final day is for charities. If you’re looking for a place to make a donation — or know of a charitable organization that would gladly accept a donation — this is the place for it.

How to contribute to this thread:

1. Anyone can contribute. If you are associated with or work for a charity, tell us about the charity. If there’s a charity you regularly contribute to or like for philosophical reasons, share with the crowd. This is open to everyone.

2. Focus on non-political charities, please. Which is to say, charities whose primary mission is not political — so, for example, an advocacy group whose primary thrust is education but who also lobbies lawmakers would be fine, but a candidate or political party or political action committee is not. The idea here is charities that exist to help people and/or make the world a better place for all of us.

3. It’s okay to note personal fundraising (Indiegogo and GoFundMe campaigns, etc) for people in need. Also, other informal charities and fundraisers are fine, but please do your part to make sure you’re pointing people to a legitimate fundraiser and not a scam. I would suggest only suggesting campaigns that you can vouch for personally.

3. One post per person. In that post, you can list whatever charities you like, and more than one charity. Note also that the majority of Whatever’s readership is in the US/Canada, so I suggest focusing on charities available in North America.

4. Keep your description of the charity brief (there will be a lot of posts, I’m guessing) and entertaining. Imagine the person is in front of you as you tell them about the charity and is interested but easily distracted.

5. You may include a link to a charity site if you like by using standard HTML link scripting. Be warned that if you include too many links (typically three or more) your post may get sent to the moderating queue. If this happens, don’t panic: I’ll be going in through the day to release moderated posts. Note that posts will occasionally go into the moderation queue semi-randomly; Don’t panic about that either.

6. Comment posts that are not about people promoting charities they like will be deleted, in order to keep the comment thread useful for people looking to find charities to contribute to.

All right, then: It’s the season of giving. Tell us where to give to make this a better place.


Whatever Holiday Shopping Guide 2016, Day Four: Fan Favorites

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2016/12/01/whatever-holiday-shopping-guide-2016-day-four-fan-favorites/

http://whatever.scalzi.com/?p=28914

For the first three days of the Whatever Shopping Guide 2016, I’ve let authors and creators tell you about their work. Today is different: Today is Fan Favorites day, in which fans, admirers and satisfied customers share with you a few of their favorite things — and you can share some of your favorite things as well. This is a way to discover some cool stuff from folks like you, and to spread the word about some of the things you love.

Fans: Here’s how to post in this thread. Please follow these directions!

1. Fans only: That means that authors and creators may not post about their own work in this thread (they may post about other people’s work, if they are fans). There are already existing threads for traditionally-published authorsnon-traditionally published authors, and for other creators. Those are the places to post about your own work, not here.

2. Individually created and completed works only, please. Which is to say, don’t promote things like a piece of hardware you can find at Home Depot, shoes from Foot Locker, or a TV you got at Wal-Mart. Focus on things created by one person or a small group: Music CDs, books, crafts and such. Things that you’ve discovered and think other people should know about, basically. Do not post about works in progress, even if they’re posted publicly elsewhere. Remember that this is supposed to be a gift guide, and that these are things meant to be given to other people. So focus on things that are completed and able to be sold of shared.

3. One post per fan. In that post, you can list whatever creations you like, from more than one person if you like, but allow me to suggest you focus on newer stuff. Note also that the majority of Whatever’s readership is in the US/Canada, so I suggest focusing on things available in North America.

4. Keep your description of the work brief (there will be a lot of posts, I’m guessing) and entertaining. Imagine the person is in front of you as you tell them about the work and is interested but easily distracted.

5. You may include a link to a sales site if you like by using standard HTML link scripting. Be warned that if you include too many links (typically three or more) your post may get sent to the moderating queue. If this happens, don’t panic: I’ll be going in through the day to release moderated posts. Note that posts will occasionally go into the moderation queue semi-randomly; Don’t panic about that either.

6. Comment posts that are not about fans promoting work they like will be deleted, in order to keep the comment thread useful for people looking to find interesting gifts.

Got it? Excellent. Now: Geek out and tell us about cool stuff you love — and where we can get it too.


Hey, Looks Like It’s Time Once Again For Me to Talk About Writing On Politics

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2016/12/01/hey-looks-like-its-time-once-again-for-me-to-talk-about-writing-on-politics/

http://whatever.scalzi.com/?p=28912

Because of the election and all, I’ve gotten a few people griping to me about the fact I write about politics here and in other places. It’s been a while since I talked extensively about me writing about politics, and also, about the more general topic of entertainers and creative people who talk about politics, and the people who tell them to shut up about it. So let’s talk about these things, shall we.

For ease of discussion, I’ve broken this up into ten points. The first five are about me specifically, and are short. The second five are more general, and rather longer. Ready? Let’s get to it.

I. The Short Points About Me Writing On Politics

1. If you tell me you’re tired of me talking about politics, or tell me to shut up about them, I’ll tell you to kiss my ass. I’ll write about what I want, when I want, where I want, which in this case happens to be about politics, now, here.

2. If you don’t want to read me opining on politics, you are presumably a grown human being with free will and the ability not to read things. Skip over the piece or stop reading the site entirely.

3. If you complain to me about my expressing political opinions in areas under my own control that you are not actually being forced to read, there’s a very good chance I’m going to be rude to you. This is actually covered in the site disclaimer, which has been up for years, on every page of the blog.

4. I don’t give a shit if you become unhappy with me for being rude to you.

5. Likewise, I don’t care if your dislike of my writing about politics and/or your being upset that I was rude to you when you complained about it means you no longer choose to read my books. Stop reading my books, then.

II. The Longer Points About Creators and Entertainers, Including Me, Opining On Politics

6. For the occasional jackass who opines that entertainers like myself should stick to entertaining and not write about politics or anything else that might possibly offend someone, a) fuck you, b) you’re wrong, c) independent of either of those points, long before I was an author I got paid to write about politics, and still do from time to time (as recently as last month, in fact, in one of the largest newspapers in the nation). So, yeah, actually, writing about politics is a thing I do professionally, thanks so much for asking.

Now, here’s a hot take for you: “Entertainers” are fully-dimensional human beings who don’t exist solely to entertain you, writers in particular write professionally and/or critically about many things over the course of their career, and you suggesting that people not express themselves about politics (or anything else) because they are an “entertainer” makes you the asshole in that scenario, not them. So maybe don’t be shocked when they tell you to sod off.

7. Likewise, this blog existed before I was a published author, and before I was a published novelist. I’ve been writing about politics here literally since the very first week it was up (that week I also wrote about baseball, journalism, my pets, tech stuff and sending out invoices. The site lived up to its name even then). The blog isn’t here to sell my books, although it’s done that incidentally, which makes me happy. It’s here for me to write about whatever I want to write about, when I feel like writing about it, and has been since 1998. Sometimes I will write about politics! And sometimes I won’t — there are entire years (see: 2014) where I pretty much didn’t, because I didn’t want to.

Which again is the point of the blog: It’s about me, writing about what interests me, when it interests me. It’s not about you, or what you want me to write about, or to not write about. Likewise, my Twitter feed, or anything else I control that I put my words out on. If you’re confused about the vector of impetus and control regarding these outlets, for any reason, you’re likely to have a bad time. Especially if you complain to me about it. Other entertainers and creative people may feel similarly about their own spaces, which is a thing you should consider as well.

8. With that said, if my politics make you itchy, then actually, you should probably consider skipping out on the next four years here. I can’t imagine I’m not going to write about politics on a regular basis. I mean, come on: whatever one thinks about Trump, that asshole isn’t boring. Nor are American politics or social issues going to be anything but a bumpy ride the next few years. I’m not going to say it’s going to be fun. But it’s not going to be something I’m likely to take a pass on as a writing topic. If you want a spoiler alert on the matter, this is it. Don’t expect me not to go off on politics, folks. And don’t expect other creative/entertaining folks to be quiet about politics either, the next four years. That’s just not gonna happen.

9. Why, yes, I’m cranky on the subject of people trying to tell me — or other writers, creators and entertainers — to stop expressing opinions on politics and other social issues. People have been trying to do this for my entire professional writing life, which is 26 years now, and much of which has consisted of me being paid to have a goddamned opinion on things. I imagine it will continue, as people with fragile worldviews and/or monstrous senses of entitlement and/or a wildly misplaced sense of my desire for their input and/or simple, virulent passive-aggressiveness decide they need to tell me what and how and when to write, or not write.

And, folks. One: Are you my spouse or my editor? No? Then feel free to fuck right off. Two: You may have noticed I’m doing pretty well for myself with this whole writing thing. One secret to that is not listening to various randos telling me what to do, or what not to do, with my writing career. Three: Do you understand how boring and exasperating it is for me — or any writer, creator or entertainer — to have to deal with various randos telling us what to do or not to do? It’s really goddamn boring and exasperating! And maybe other folks who have to deal with this bullshit choose to be patient or quiet about this because they’re earlier along in their career, or they’re still under the impression that their career can be hurt by some rando telling them to shut up or else, or because they’re nicer than me, or because they’re not, like me, a well-off straight white dude so they actually have to worry about their randos being terrifying stalkery bigot assholes, especially now, when actual fucking Nazis are cracking off salutes like it’s 1933. All of those are fine reasons for them to be quiet about this shit.

But I am not them, so I’m pretty comfortable saying the following: Piss off, rando yutz, you’re boring me. After 26 years, you’re not going to find a way to tell me to shut up that I haven’t heard before and haven’t already offered a middle finger to. And after 26 years, I’ve run out of fucks to give on the matter. Tell me to stop writing about politics? Fuck you. Suggest that I shouldn’t write about politics? Fuck you again. Whine to me that you’re tired about me writing about politics? Fuck you a third time. There’s the door. Go.

10. Seriously, people, what do you think you’re doing when you tell a writer (or musician, or actor, or whomever) that they shouldn’t talk about politics, or social issues, or whatever? Do you believe they will genuinely think, “My god, this random person I don’t know has entirely changed my mind about expressing an opinion in public! I am so grateful”? I can’t speak for all creators everywhere, but anecdotally speaking, I can tell you that most of the creators I know do not think oh wow, this random person is so right. They think, what an asshole.

And maybe you are an asshole! Certainly there are any number of people who send me notes along the line lol shut up dude no one cares what you think, which aren’t meant to persuade, but just to try to insult or belittle me, and, well. That’s adorable. But if you didn’t intend to be an asshole, maybe consider a different strategy.

For example, a couple of years ago there was a Scottish entertainer I admired, so I followed their Twitter account, which turned out to be nothing but blathering about Scottish independence. Did I tell this entertainer to oh my God will you just stop talking about Scottish independence I don’t even care? No, I just stopped following their Twitter account. Because you can do that! There are whole swaths of creators and entertainers whose work I admire who I don’t follow on social media, or read their blogs, or otherwise track their lives because I know they care about things I don’t, or that I disagree with. There are other swaths of entertainers who I do follow, but when they get a bug up their ass about something I don’t care about, I skip over those topics. A writer I admire has gone on for years about vaping. I couldn’t give a shit about vaping; I think it’s a dumb thing to invest any brain cycles on. But they disagree! Good for them. I skip over the vaping rants. It’s really just that simple.

It’s okay to disagree, sometimes vehemently, with people whose work you admire. It’s all right to think they spend too much time on things you don’t care about. It’s fine to think to yourself or to tell others ugh why can’t they just get over that dumb thing I don’t care about. But the minute you go out of your way to tell them to shut up, no matter how “politely” you put it, you’re the asshole. Yes you are. And some of the people you’ve told to shut up will treat you like the asshole you’ve become.

I will, in any event. Fair warning.


Whatever Holiday Shopping Guide 2016, Day Three: Arts, Crafts, Music and More

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2016/11/30/whatever-holiday-shopping-guide-2016-day-three-arts-crafts-music-and-more/

http://whatever.scalzi.com/?p=28906

The Whatever Holiday Shopping Guide 2016 continues, and today we move away from books and focus on other gifts and crafts — which you can take to mean just about any other sort of thing a creative person might make: Music, art, knitting, jewelry, artisan foodstuffs and so on. These can be great, unique gifts for special folks in your life, and things you can’t just get down at the mall. I hope you see some cool stuff here.

Please note that the comment thread today is only for creators to post about their gifts for sale; please do not leave other comments, as they will be snipped out to keep the thread from getting cluttered. Thanks!

Creators: Here’s how to post in this thread. Please follow these directions!

1. Creators (of things other than books) only. This is an intentionally expansive category, so if you’ve made something and have it available for the public to try or buy, you can probably post about in this thread. The exception to this is books (including comics and graphic novels), which have two previously existing threads, one for traditionally-published works and one for non-traditionally published works (Note: if you are an author and also create other stuff, you may promote that other stuff today). Don’t post if you are not the creator of the thing you want to promote, please.

2. Personally-created and completed works only. This thread is specifically for artists and creators who are making their own unique works. Mass-producible things like CDs, buttons or T-shirts are acceptable if you’ve personally created what’s on it. But please don’t use this thread for things that were created by others, which you happen to sell. Likewise, do not post about works in progress, even if you’re posting them publicly elsewhere. Remember that this is supposed to be a gift guide, and that these are things meant to be given to other people. Also, don’t just promote yourself unless you have something to sell or provide, that others may give as a gift.

3. One post per creator. In that post, you can list whatever creations of yours you like, but allow me to suggest you focus on your most recent creation. Note also that the majority of Whatever’s readership is in the US/Canada, so I suggest focusing on things available in North America.

4. Keep your description of your work brief (there will be a lot of posts, I’m guessing) and entertaining. Imagine the person is in front of you as you tell them about your work and is interested but easily distracted.

5. You may include a link to a sales site if you like by using standard HTML link scripting. Be warned that if you include too many links (typically three or more) your post may get sent to the moderating queue. If this happens, don’t panic: I’ll be going in through the day to release moderated posts. Note that posts will occasionally go into the moderation queue semi-randomly; Don’t panic about that either.

6. As noted above, comment posts that are not from creators promoting their work as specified above will be deleted, in order to keep the comment thread useful for people looking to find interesting work.

Now: Tell us about your stuff!


Three Weeks In

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2016/11/29/three-weeks-in/

http://whatever.scalzi.com/?p=28910

Original photo by Marc Nozell, used via Creative Commons license. Click on photo for original.

Once again presented in Q&A format, as it will contain actual questions that people have asked me. Let’s get to it:

Ugh. I can’t even anymore.

And yet again we start with a comment, not a question. Also, sorry, you have to even, just like the rest of us, and get this: He’s not even president yet. We still have two months of transition to go.

Did you see he’s tweeting again?

I did, in fact.

Why the hell don’t they pry his phone from his hands? 

Who is “they”? And why would they? He won the presidency. They don’t need to worry about him losing votes anymore. There’s no downside to letting him rant his ass off, and certainly Trump doesn’t want to stop doing what’s worked for him so far. I mean, look at the shit he tweeted while he was running. And yet he’s president. There is essentially no risk for him tweeting at this point.

But he lies in every goddamn tweet!

Yes, and? At this point everyone should simply assume, to paraphrase a famous snark, that every word Trump tweets is a lie, including “and” and “the.” This is part and parcel with assuming basically everything Trump says is a lie, since Politifact and every other fact-checking group out there notes that he lied more than any other candidate in the 2016 campaign.

Again, why should he change? It’s worked out so far for him. You should have it as a baseline assumption that Trump will lie as much as he possibly can, when it suits him, which is always. Trump lies. It’s who he is. It’s who he will be. It’s what his administration will be, too.

Did I mention that I can’t even anymore?

Yes you did. I sympathize. Even so.

What do you think about the idea that Trump tweets stupid and/or outrageous things to distract from the other horrible things he’s doing? 

Aside from the point that anytime I see someone yelling at me on Twitter about how Trump is trying to distract us from this other thing over here, I immediate think fuck you, pal, my brain has the ability to follow more than one thing at a fucking time, I think it gives him too much credit, since there is nothing that we’ve seen of him to suggest that he’s anything other than a wailing id with poor impulse control. I think he tweets what he wants to tweet when he wants to tweet it, and simultaneously, his incoming administration is so horrifyingly bad and has such awful plans that it gives the appearance that Trump must be blathering nonsense to hide the horribleness that those things represent. The thing is, that horribleness isn’t actually hidden; it’s being industriously reported on. All that horribleness is out there, standing straight and tall. These aren’t actually sneaky people. They are openly and unapologetically horrible. And why wouldn’t they be? Trump won the election.

But he lost the popular vote! He has no mandate!

Oh, my sweet summer child. I think it’s adorable that you think this fact will in any way impede Trump, his horrible lackeys, or the GOP majority in congress in any way. “No mandate” means shit when you have clear paths to legislative and executive power. And no, to repeat from last week, the recounts and audits probably won’t change that; indeed, when they’re done and Trump is still president-elect, he and his party pals will take it as even more confirmation that they should do whatever the hell they want.

What do you think of the idea that when Trump tweeted about having won the popular vote if you discount illegal voting, he was signalling that he intends to ratchet up voting restrictions?

I think that’s a stretch, and also I fully expect voting restrictions to ratchet up.

Follow: Trump is a thin-skinned narcissist and sexist who can’t possibly conceive of having lost the popular vote to a girl, and he lives in the GOP bubble where vote fraud is happening every day and is largely defined as “brown people voting,” and considers Alex Jones a credible purveyor of facts, because he’s a fucking ignoramus. So that tweet just came barreling out of him. With that said, given that the GOP’s modus operandi is to suppress voting by making it difficult for minorities to vote, and the fact that Trump is a racist whose racist chief adviser thinks not letting black people vote isn’t a bad idea (except for the ones he knows personally, that’s different, they’re family, so good news, minorities! You just have to have a white man vouch for you to vote!), if you don’t think more voting restrictions aren’t about to come down the pike, you’re a fool. Not for me, mind you; I’m a white male landowner. But for everyone not like me.

The tweets weren’t a signal, or more accurately, are only a signal if you weren’t already paying attention. Trump is racist, sexist, selfish, tauntable and deluded, all of which was already known. His tweets certainly reflect that, but they’re not really revealing anything we didn’t already know. Trump has been in the media eye for decades now. We know who he is. None of this is surprising. And he’s a 70 year old man who hasn’t ever been penalized for being exactly who he is. Anyone still expecting him to change — to “pivot” — is delusional.

Basically: If you’re tea-reading his tweets for policy hints, you know, maybe read the decades of available journalism on him instead.

Any thoughts on his cabinet picks? Besides “horrible”?

No, not really. Trump appears to be picking people for positions primarily with three criteria in mind: That they’re rich, loyal and that they fundamentally disagree with the mission of the governmental department they will soon be in charge of. They’re basically your standard modern-day GOP cabinet picks with the knob twisted all the way over to 11. To be clear, I don’t think many of Trump’s cabinet picks should be confirmed — I’m particularly thinking of the proposed Secretary of Education, who appears to despise the concept of public education, and also appears to be entirely on board with the concept of “pay to play” when it comes to public officials — but I also expect them to be confirmed, as again, these choices are in line with current GOP thinking about government, which is that it exists to give tax cuts to rich people and not much else.

I should also be clear that I expect this to be the most overtly and unapologetically incompetent and corrupt administration in modern history because a) Trump doesn’t seem to know anyone who doesn’t appear to be corrupt and incompetent, b) the GOP at this point doesn’t appear to have much interest in stopping the Trump administration from being corrupt and incompetent, I suspect because fundamentally it being so will aid in the modern GOP vision of government as noted above. I also expect it to pursue unabashedly racist, sexist and homophobic policies, which the GOP will also support because it works for that vision of government, and also caters to the GOP base of both latently and actively racist and homophobic voters. So, you know. Buckle in, kids, it’s gonna be a long four years.

You don’t like the GOP much, do you, Scalzi?

Nope. I should note that I am grateful that at least some Republicans and/or conservatives appear to have drawn a line in the ethical and philosophical sand with regard to the Trump administration, regardless of how I might disagree with them politically; John Kasich, Evan McMullin and Ana Navarro are three notable examples, although there are more out there. The question is whether there are any of these philosophical line-drawers in congress, or, if there are, if there are enough of them to counter a Trump administration’s worst excesses. At this point, I doubt it.

And again, make no mistake that the GOP wants the ACA thrown out, would be happy to dismantle or “privatize” (i.e., render into a cash cow for pals) Medicare and Social Security, and generally turn women, minorities and queer and poor folks back second-class citizens who have fewer rights than well-off straight white men. Why? Well, because fuck you is why; any rigorous (although still in my opinion incorrect) philosophical rationale for any of this was tossed overboard years ago. I can’t even say I disagree with the tenets of the modern Republican party anymore because it doesn’t have any. What it has now is Trump, his passel of grifters and bigots, and its own lack of moral center. That’s it. What’s to like?

Give us hope, man!

Ugh, fine: One, the filibuster may survive, giving Democrats in the senate the ability to check some of the worst of the Trump administration/GOP’s excesses; Two, 2018 is coming and it’s possible the Trump administration will be so awful so fast that the mid-terms will give the Democrats control of at least one of the chambers (note however, that the 2018 senate map is challenging for the Dems); Three, the courts may overturn some of the worst of any new laws.

Hey, think Obama will appoint Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court because the senate refused to advise and consent?

No.

But he totally could!

And monkeys might fly out of my butt, but that’s also extremely unlikely to happen. You know, folks, Obama’s a reasonably smart dude. I do think he understands that the power of the Supreme Court vests entirely in the fact that everyone agrees that it has any power at all, going back to when John Marshall pulled Marbury v. Madison out of his ass and everyone went yeah, okay, fine.

So, question for you: Do you think Donald Trump, a fatuous ignoramus of a man who clearly has no interest in the actual democratic structures of the United States government, will feel obliged to give any credence to a Supreme Court that he, not to mention the entire GOP, which I will remind you currently holds the senate, believes has a philosophical majority that was achieved through underhanded means? Go ahead, take your time here, there’s no rush.

Obama may yet surprise me and place Garland on the Supreme Court. But I think it’s more likely that Trump will appoint the next justice, the GOP-led senate will confirm whoever that is, and having done so, both will at least theoretically be more resistant to ignoring the court entirely if they do not get their way, thus avoiding an actual collapse of a functioning “checks and balances” government, plunging us headlong into possible, actual autocracy.

Uh, I didn’t think of that.

I think a lot of anti-Trump folks are still in the “bargaining” stage, and are still casting about for the magic bullet that will stop Trump from being Trump. And again, while I sympathize, I cannot recommend doing anything other than working from the assumption that Trump will be president come January 20th, and that a lot of what has to be done at this point is fucking child-proofing the government so that the damage is minimized. I suspect Obama is doing a lot of that at the moment, within the scope of his abilities.

Do you think we’re actually heading into an autocracy?

Honestly, no. Our system of government has survived 240 years and some crises rather more substantial than Trump (see: Civil War). And remember that Trump is still riding his victory wave, as much as someone who is as unpopular as he is has one; he hasn’t had to do anything, and he’s had no repercussions for his policies or actions. He’s won the presidency, but being president is another thing entirely. No matter how much of the actual governance he farms out to Mike Pence, it’s still his administration. I think if and when he begins to fail, he’s going to find himself constrained, especially if the GOP, as feckless as it is in its current iteration, no longer sees an advantage in hanging with him.

This is not to suggest complacency, mind you. Trump can do (and one may suggest already has done) a lot of damage to the system simply by being Trump, and remember that he has no particular love or respect for the democratic processes. Nor can his top advisers be relied upon to remind him of constraints, nor in the very short run, at least, will the GOP rein in his most autocratic tendencies. I don’t think we’re heading into an autocracy, but then I didn’t think Trump would be president, so, you know. Maybe don’t be reassured by me on this matter.

Also, be aware that our enemies have been given a huge gift to enable Trump’s autocratic drive, and that Trump’s party pals will be happy to exploit the shit out of it when the time comes.

Wait, what?

Let me put it this way: If I were a person or business who owned or leased space in a Trump owned/operated/branded building? Yeah, I would get out of that lease, like, yesterday, because those things are huge fucking targets now. Shit, I wouldn’t even book a room at Trump hotel (not that I would anyway at this point, and no, rebranding them as “Scion” won’t matter a bit). There isn’t a terrorist organization out there that doesn’t realize that Trump, being Trump, would consider an attack on a building bearing his name the same as someone coming up and punching him directly in the dick. If you wanted to goad our future president into doing something stupid, and/or manufacture an excuse to curtail civil rights here in this country down to a nub, well, there you are.

Jesus, don’t tell them that!

Guys, I don’t know how to break this to you, but both the terrorists and the “I am so ready to introduce actual fascism!” cadre of Trump lieutenants are already waaaaaay ahead of all of the rest of us on this one.

But even if we don’t get there — even if by some miracle a Trump property isn’t reduced to a pile of girders or shot up like Swiss cheese, and to be very clear, I hope neither ever happens — the Trump administration and its enablers are going to make a mad gallop out of the gate to do a whole bunch of awful things, to overwhelm you with sheer volume right at the outset. You need to prepare, and plan, and (among many other things) tell your elected representatives to grow a spine. Remember that Trump was not the choice of most people who voted. It doesn’t mean he’s not president, and it doesn’t mean he cares about “mandates.” But it’s not chopped liver, either, and you should remind your elected officials of that.

Well, this wasn’t a very cheerful entry, was it?

Sorry. But I hope I’ve made the point that we don’t have to go all the way to actual autocracy for things to get very bad. And that “at least some kind of awful” is the best we can expect out of Trump and his party pals at this point.

He could get impeached, maybe?

Dude, time to get out of the “bargaining” phase.

But I already told you that I can’t even.

You have to even. We need you to even, out there with all the rest of us.


Whatever Holiday Shopping Guide 2016, Day Two: Non-Traditionally Published Books

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2016/11/29/whatever-holiday-shopping-guide-2016-day-two-non-traditionally-published-books/

http://whatever.scalzi.com/?p=28904

Today is Day Two of the Whatever Shopping Guide 2016, and today the focus is on Non-Traditionally Published Books: Self-published works, electronically-exclusive books, books from micro presses, books released outside the usual environs of the publishing world, and so on. Hey, I put my first novel up on this very Web site years ago and told people to send me a dollar if they liked it. Look where it got me. I hope you find some good stuff today.

Please note that the comment thread today is only for non-traditional authors and editors to post about their books; please do not leave other comments, as they will be snipped out to keep the thread from getting cluttered. Thanks!

Authors/editors: Here’s how to post in this thread. Please follow these directions!

1. Authors and editors of non-traditionally published books only. This includes comics and graphic novels, as well as non-fiction books and audiobooks. If your book has been traditionally published — available in bookstores on a returnable basis — post about your book in the thread that went up yesterday (if you are in doubt, assume you are non-traditionally published and post here). If you are a creator in another form or medium, your thread is coming tomorrow. Don’t post if you are not the author or editor, please.

2. Completed works only. Do not post about works in progress, even if you’re posting them publicly. Remember that this is supposed to be a gift guide, and that these are things meant to be given to other people. Likewise, don’t just promote yourself unless you have something to sell or provide, that others may give as a gift.

3. One post per author. In that post, you can list whatever books of yours you like, but allow me to suggest you focus on your most recent book. Note also that the majority of Whatever’s readership is in the US/Canada, so I suggest focusing on books available in North America.

4. Keep your description of your book brief (there will be a lot of posts, I’m guessing) and entertaining. Imagine the person is in front of you as you tell them about your book and is interested but easily distracted.

5. You may include a link to a bookseller if you like by using standard HTML link scripting. Be warned that if you include too many links (typically three or more) your post may get sent to the moderating queue. If this happens, don’t panic: I’ll be going in through the day to release moderated posts. Note that posts will occasionally go into the moderation queue semi-randomly; Don’t panic about that either.

6. As noted above, comment posts that are not from authors/editors promoting their books as specified above will be deleted, in order to keep the comment thread useful for people looking to find interesting books.

Now: Tell us about your book!


Whatever Holiday Shopping Guide 2016, Day One: Traditionally Published Books

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2016/11/28/whatever-holiday-shopping-guide-2016-day-one-traditionally-published-books/

http://whatever.scalzi.com/?p=28902

Welcome to the first day of the Whatever Shopping Guide 2016 — My way of helping you folks learn about cool creative gifts for the holidays, straight from the folks who have created them.

Today’s featured products are traditionally published books (including graphic novels and audiobooks); that is, books put out by publishers who ship books to stores on a returnable basis. In the comment thread below, authors and editors of these books will tell you a little bit about their latest and/or greatest books so that you will be enticed to get that book for yourself or loved ones this holiday season. Because, hey: Books are spectacular gifts, if I do say so myself. Enjoy your browsing, and I hope you find the perfect book!

Please note that the comment thread today is only for authors and editors to post about their books; please do not leave other comments, as they will be snipped out to keep the thread from getting cluttered. Thanks!

Authors/editors: Here’s how to post in this thread. Please follow these directions!

1. Authors and editors only, books only (including audiobooks). There will be other threads for other stuff, later in the week. Any type of book is fine: Fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, etc. If you are not the author/editor of the book you’re posting about, don’t post. This is for authors and editors only.

2. For printed books, they must be currently in print (i.e., published before 12/31/16) and available on a returnable basis at bookstores and at the following three online bookstores: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s. This is so people can find your book when they go looking for it. For audiobooks, they must be professionally published (no self-produced, self-published audiobooks) and at least available through Amazon/Audible. If your book isn’t available as described, or if you’re not sure, wait for the shopping guide for non-traditional books, which will go up tomorrow. 

3. One post per author. In that post, you can list whatever books of yours you like (as long as it meets the criteria in point 2), but allow me to suggest you focus on your most recent book. Note also that the majority of Whatever’s readership is in the US/Canada, so I suggest focusing on books currently available in North America.

4. Keep your description of your book brief (there will be a lot of posts, I’m guessing) and entertaining. Imagine the person is in front of you as you tell them about your book and is interested but easily distracted.

5. You may include a link to a bookseller if you like by using standard HTML link scripting. Be warned that if you include too many links (typically three or more) your post may get sent to the moderating queue. If this happens, don’t panic: I’ll be going in through the day to release moderated posts. Note that posts will occasionally go into the moderation queue semi-randomly; Don’t panic about that either.

6. As noted above, comment posts that are not from authors/editors promoting their books as specified above will be deleted, in order to keep the comment thread useful for people looking to find interesting books.

Got it? Excellent. Then tell the folks about your book! And tell your author friends about this thread so they can come around as well.