John Scalzi, a best-selling author of science fiction, has signed a $3.4 million, 10-year deal with the publisher Tor Books that will cover his next 13 books.
Mr. Scalziâ€™s works include a series known as the â€œOld Manâ€™s Warâ€ and the more recent â€œRedshirts,â€ a Hugo-award-winning sendup of the luckless lives of nonfeatured characters on shows like the original â€œStar Trek.â€ Three of his works are being developed for television, including â€œRedshirtsâ€ and â€œLock In,â€ a science-inflected medical thriller that evokes Michael Crichton. Mr. Scalziâ€™s hyper-caffeinated Internet presence through his blog, Whatever, has made him an online celebrity as well.
Mr. Scalzi approached Tor Books, his longtime publisher, with proposals for 10 adult novels and three young adult novels over 10 years. Some of the books will extend the popular â€œOld Manâ€™s Warâ€ series, building on an existing audience, and one will be a sequel to â€œLock In.â€ Mr. Scalzi said he hoped books like â€œLock Inâ€ could draw more readers toward science fiction, since many, he said, are still â€œgun-shyâ€ about the genre.
Patrick Nielsen Hayden, the executive editor for Tor, said the decision was an easy one. While Mr. Scalzi has never had a â€œNo. 1 best seller,â€ he said, â€œhe backlists like crazy.â€
Scalzi has alienated a significant portion of his readership with sanctimonious hoplophobic blog posts (example) and by lining up with the Social Justice Warriors in the fighting over the Hugo Awards. My guess is that his backlisting powers will be declining.