Quotations by Scalzi, John


There is (usually) no crime in performing a jerk maneuver, or acting like a jerk. Everyone can, and has, acted like a jerk from time to time. It’s a regrettable but natural part of the human experience. But most people have the good sense to understand that acting like a jerk should not be a lifestyle choice, and that if you make it one, people will respond to you based on your choices.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
“Being a Jerk About the Hugos: Not as Effective a Strategy as You Might Think”, Whatever (blog) (24 Aug 2015)
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Added on 14-Sep-15 | Last updated 14-Sep-15
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If your flirting strategy is indistinguishable from harassment, it’s not everyone else that’s the problem.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
“Convention Harassment Policy Follow-Up,” blog entry (5 Jul 2013)
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Added on 30-Jul-14 | Last updated 30-Jul-14
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I really don’t know what you do about the “taxes are theft” crowd, except possibly enter a gambling pool regarding just how long after their no-tax utopia comes true that their generally white, generally entitled, generally soft and pudgy asses are turned into thin strips of Objectivist Jerky by the sort of pitiless sociopath who is actually prepped and ready to live in the world that logically follows these people’s fondest desires. Sorry, guys. I know you all thought you were going to be one of those paying a nickel for your cigarettes in Galt Gulch. That’ll be a fine last thought for you as the starving remnants of the society of takers closes in with their flensing tools.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
“Tax Frenzies and How to Hose Them Down,” Whatever blog (26 Sep 2010)
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Added on 15-Oct-14 | Last updated 15-Oct-14
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Many people believe geekdom is defined by a love of a thing, but I think — and my experience of geekdom bears on this thinking — that the true sign of a geek is a delight in sharing a thing. It’s the major difference between a geek and a hipster, you know: When a hipster sees someone else grooving on the thing they love, their reaction is to say “Oh, crap, now the wrong people like the thing I love.” When a geek sees someone else grooving on the thing they love, their reaction is to say “ZOMG YOU LOVE WHAT I LOVE COME WITH ME AND LET US LOVE IT TOGETHER.”

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
“Who Gets To Be a Geek? Anyone Who Wants to Be,” blog entry (26 Jul 2012)
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Rich people show their appreciation through favors. When everyone you know has more money than they know what to do with, money stops being a useful transactional tool. So instead you offer favors. Deals. Quid pro quos. Things that involve personal involvement rather than money. Because when you’re that rich, your personal time is your limiting factor.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
Lock In (2014)
Added on 4-Oct-16 | Last updated 4-Oct-16
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My father deals with millionaires and billionaires on a daily basis, the sort of people who have egos just this side (and sometimes way over the edge) of sociopathy. The sort of person who thinks he’s the apex predator wading through a universe of sheep.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
Lock In (2014)
Added on 11-Oct-16 | Last updated 11-Oct-16
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“Rich people show their appreciation through favors,” I said. “When everyone you know has more money than they know what to do with, money stops being a useful transactional tool. So instead you offer favors. Deals. Quid pro quos. Things that involve personal involvement rather than money. Because when you’re that rich, your personal time is your limiting factor.”

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
Lock In (2014)
Added on 14-Mar-17 | Last updated 14-Mar-17
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My father deals with millionaires and billionaires on a daily basis, the sort of people who have egos just this side (and sometimes way over the edge) of sociopathy. The sort of person who thinks he’s the apex predator wading through a universe of sheep.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
Lock In (2014)
Added on 24-Mar-17 | Last updated 24-Mar-17
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I hate that I’ve become one of those old men who visits a cemetery to be with his dead wife. When I was (much) younger I used to ask Kathy what the point would be. A pile of rotting meat and bones that used to be a person isn’t a person anymore; it’s just a pile of rotting meat and bones. The person is gone — off to heaven or hell or wherever or nowhere. You might as well visit a side of beef.

When you get older you realize this is still the case. You just don’t care. It’s what you have.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
Old Man’s War (2005)
Added on 16-Aug-16 | Last updated 16-Aug-16
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For as much as I hate the cemetery, I’ve been grateful it’s here, too. I miss my wife. It’s easier to miss her at a cemetery, where she’s never been anything but dead, than to miss her in all the places where she was alive.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
Old Man’s War (2005)
Added on 23-Aug-16 | Last updated 23-Aug-16
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She shrugged. “I don’t mind getting old.”

“I didn’t mind getting old when I was young, either,” I said. “It’s the being old now that’s getting to me.”

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
Old Man’s War (2005)
Added on 30-Aug-16 | Last updated 30-Aug-16
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If the universe is bigger and stranger than I can imagine, it’s best to meet it with an empty bladder.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
Old Man’s War (2005)
Added on 6-Sep-16 | Last updated 6-Sep-16
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The problem with aging is not that it’s one damn thing after another — it’s every damn thing, all at once, all the time.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
Old Man’s War, ch. 1 (2005)
Added on 13-Aug-14 | Last updated 13-Aug-14
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What’s the point of being in charge if you can’t indulge in pointless favoritism?

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
Old Man’s War, ch. 7 (2005)
Added on 20-Aug-14 | Last updated 20-Aug-14
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Sorvalh smiled, and it was terrifying, and glorious. “And so we learn how simple it is to change the history of the universe,” Sorvalh said. “All you need is for every other thing to have gone so horribly wrong first.”

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
The End of All Things (2015)
Added on 3-Sep-15 | Last updated 3-Sep-15
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I knew he was done when he said “But I must be boring you” to me, which is narcissist-speak for “Now I’m bored.”

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
The End of All Things (2015)
Added on 18-Oct-16 | Last updated 18-Oct-16
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Captain, the problem is not that I’m paranoid. The problem is that the universe keeps justifying my paranoia.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
The End of All Things (2015)
Added on 25-Oct-16 | Last updated 25-Oct-16
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“It’s not fair,” Cloud said eventually. “It’s not fair you have to mourn this child.”

Jared gave a small laugh. “We’re in the wrong universe for fair,” he said, simply.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
The Ghost Brigades (2006)
Added on 13-Sep-16 | Last updated 13-Sep-16
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She was temptable — which, if you believe in an all-powerful God, means God intentionally put temptation into Eve. Which seems like a dirty trick, if you ask me.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
The Ghost Brigades, ch. 13 (2006)
Added on 10-Sep-14 | Last updated 10-Sep-14
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Those people you saw — the realborn — are born without a plan. They’re born because biology tells humans to make more humans; but it doesn’t consider what to do with them after that. Realborn go for years without the slightest clue what they’re going to do with themselves. From what I understand, some of them never actually figure it out. They just walk through life in a daze and then fall into their graves at the end of it. Sad. And inefficient.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
The Ghost Brigades, ch. 5 (2006)
Added on 26-Aug-14 | Last updated 26-Aug-14
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Rationality is not one of humanity’s strong points.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
The Ghost Brigades, ch. 5 (2006)
Added on 3-Sep-14 | Last updated 3-Sep-14
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Some people are just no good at not being in charge.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
The Last Colony, ch. 3 (2007)
Added on 1-Oct-14 | Last updated 1-Oct-14
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Teenagers can be idiotic and stupid, but teenagers also model their behavior from the signals they get from adults.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
The Last Colony, ch. 4 (2007)
Added on 17-Sep-14 | Last updated 17-Sep-14
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Sometimes I don’t know if my life is complicated, or if it’s that I just think too much about things.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
Zoe’s Tale (2008)
Added on 20-Sep-16 | Last updated 20-Sep-16
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If you ever want to feel like you’re on the verge of total, abject bowel-releasing terror, try making your way a klick or two out of a forest, at night, with the certain feeling you’re being hunted. It makes you feel alive, it really does, but not in a way you want to feel alive.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
Zoe’s Tale (2008)
Added on 27-Sep-16 | Last updated 27-Sep-16
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When you’re a kid, a rural, agriculturally-based colony town is a lot of fun to grow up in. It’s life on a farm, with goats and chickens and fields of wheat and sorghum, harvest celebrations and winter festivals. There’s not an eight- or nine-year-old kid who’s been invented who doesn’t find all of that unspeakably fun. But then you become a teenager and you start thinking about everything you might possibly want to do with your life, and you look at the options available to you. And then all farms, goats and chickens — and all the same people you’ve known all your life and will know all your life — begin to look a little less than optimal for a total life experience. It’s all the same, of course. That’s the point. It’s you who’s changed.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
Zoe’s Tale, ch. 1 (2008)
Added on 24-Sep-14 | Last updated 24-Sep-14
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Sometimes I don’t know if my life is complicated, or if it’s that I just think too much about things.

John Scalzi (b. 1969) American writer
Zoe’s Tale, ch. 7 (2008)
Added on 8-Oct-14 | Last updated 8-Oct-14
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