John Scalzi

(May 10, 1969 – )

A pro writer, film and literature critic, and blogger who is probably best known for his blog, Whatever, which he started in 1998 after he got laid off from his job as an in-house writer and editor for AOL. A long-time science-fiction fan who had written his first novel Agent to the Stars in 1997, he decided to publish it as a free read on his website in 1999, and he occasionally posted other short fiction works on his blog as well.

In 2002, he serialized on his blog his science fiction novel called Old Man’s War, which was subsequently purchased and published by Tor Books in 2005, receiving a nomination for the 2006 Hugo Award for Best Novel and winning him the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. In only a half-dozen years he became one of the best-known (and most award-winning) writers in SF, and a popular Guest of Honor at conventions.

In September 2006, he taped bacon to his cat and published the picture on his blog; the image went viral, became the subject of memes, was featured in articles on mainstream news sites, and has been cited as the genesis of the Internet’s obsession with bacon.

He was elected president of the SFWA in 2010 after losing as a write-in candidate in 2007, and served three one-year terms in that office until exiting in 2013.

Early on, he received criticism for using his enormously-popular blog to promote his work for fan awards, and for accepting Best Fan Writer Hugo nominations for work which seemed to be part of his professional output. (In defense, there is no question that what he was writing would, if done by an unpaid fan, be considered fan writing, and he would have been far from the first pro or fan to capitalize on popularity to win awards.) After winning Hugo Awards for Best Fan Writer in 2008 and Best Related Book in 2009 for a 10-year collection of his blog posts, he scaled back award promotion for his own works, and started hosting annual posts asking creators and readers to promote their own work or favorites during the run-up to award nomination periods. In addition, he has been running The Big Idea, a series of guest posts allowing other writers to promote their own new releases, since 2008, at the rate of about 80 such columns each year.

In 2016, he became one of ten "Critics-at-Large" for the Los Angeles Times, contributing columns on literature and culture.

Awards, Honors and GoHships:

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