This is an ebook omnibus of some of John Scalzi’s work published by Subterranean Press, which was made available for a short period at a very good price as a promotional item. The contents included three very funny short stories, two short pieces from the Old Man’s War universe, a novella, and a non-fiction essay collection on writing. They’re all still available as individual titles, and I think all worth having, assuming you like Scalzi’s writing style.
Questions for a Soldier
Amazon UK, Amazon US
The Sagan Diary
Amazon UK, Amazon US
A short story and a novella set in the Old Man’s War universe. I think that reading the first book of the series gives enough background knowledge to follow and enjoy these, but The Sagan Diary in particular probably isn’t going to work for anyone who hasn’t read at least the first novel.
The God Engines
A blend of dark fantasy and science fiction, about exactly what the title says. Starship engines that are captured gods, and a universe in which this is reality. This examination of faith and power isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste, but if you do like it, you’ll like it a lot.
http://www.librarything.com/work/8343179, Amazon UK, Amazon US
You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop
Collection of essays, mainly from Scalzi’s blog, about writing as a business. I’d read many of these when they first appeared, but I’d have still been happy to pay full price for this ebook. Scalzi has selected and arranged the essays in a coherent order, often with notes updating the older essays and putting them in context. The essays span a decade, and some of the early information about writing as a career is now largely of historical interest, but that historical interest is useful in understanding what has happened to writing as a business during the rise of the internet.
Scalzi has spent his adult life earning his living through writing, intially non-fiction but latterly adding fiction. He’s a great believer in teaching other writers the financial knowledge they need to manage their writing as a self-employed small business, and this collection is very much focused on writing as a business, not an art. It’s entertaining in its own right as a species of memoir, but it’s also full of practical information for writers.