by staff writer Laura Davis
As the crowd settles in for John Scalzi’s talk at the L.A. Times Festival of Books 2013, Richard Kadrey begins his introduction, “John Scalzi, [session number] 2064, Richard Kadrey…”
Scalzi interjects, “Isn’t there a video game, Robotron 2064, something like that?”
“Twenty EIGHTY four!” comes from the audience.
“Shut UP!” Scalzi retorts, laughing. “Forty seconds in and I’ve already been nerd corrected! Can’t take you kids anywhere!”
And so it begins.
John Scalzi is a Hugo award-winning Sci-Fi writer, journalist, business writer, script and game writer, and author of the blog, Whatever. His style of not pulling punches yet delivering them with a wicked sense of humor makes for very entertaining reading. Last fall, his satirical post, “A Fan Letter to Certain Conservative Politicians,” signed “Just Another Rapist” triggered a tidal wave of responses, both by fans and by those who do not understand the concept of satire.
Earlier this year, a troll began attacking Scalzi online, inciting his followers to flood Scalzi’s blog with hateful commentary. Scalzi’s response? In a post entitled, “Solving My Racist Sexist Homophobic Dip[$#!t] Problem,” Scalzi pledged to put $5 into a fund every time the troll mentioned Scalzi’s name (or a nickname for him) on his blog. Fans monitored the troll’s blog and kept account. The fund (Scalzi offered up to $1,000 of his own money) would be divided among charities serving women, people of color, and the LGBT community. As Scalzi’s fans asked to join in the fun, they raised over $50,000 for these charities, and succeeded in really infuriating said troll. That’s how Scalzi rolls.