Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded: A Decade of Whatever, 1998-2008

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Overview

On September 13, 1998, John Scalzi sat down in front of his computer to write the first entry in his blog Whatever—and changed the history of the Internet as we know it today.

What, you're not swallowing that one? Okay, fine: He started writing Whatever and amused about 15 people that first day. If that many. But he kept at it, for ten years and running. Now 40,000 people drop by on a daily basis to see what he's got to say.

About what? Well, ...

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Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded: A Decade of Whatever, 1998-2008

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Overview

On September 13, 1998, John Scalzi sat down in front of his computer to write the first entry in his blog Whatever—and changed the history of the Internet as we know it today.

What, you're not swallowing that one? Okay, fine: He started writing Whatever and amused about 15 people that first day. If that many. But he kept at it, for ten years and running. Now 40,000 people drop by on a daily basis to see what he's got to say.

About what? Well, about whatever: Politics, writing, family, war, popular culture and cats (especially with bacon on them). Sometimes he's funny. Sometimes he's serious (mostly he's sarcastic). Sometimes people agree with him. Sometimes they send him hate mail, which he grades on originality and sends back. Along the way, Scalzi's become a best-selling, award-winning author, a father, and a geek celebrity. But no matter what, there's always another Whatever post to amuse and/or enrage his readers.

Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded collects some of the best and most popular Whatever entries from the first ten years of the blog – a decade of Whatever, presented in delightfully random form, just as it should be.

* Winner of the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Non-Fiction Book

* Introduction by Star Trek actor Wil Wheaton

2009 Hugo Award Winner for Best Related Book

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765327116
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 1/5/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 633,189
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.34 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

John Scalzi

John Scalzi won the 2006 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and his debut novel Old Man’s War was a finalist for science fiction’s Hugo Award. His other books include The Ghost Brigades, The Android’s Dream and The Last Colony. He has won the Hugo Award, the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for science-fiction, the Seiun, The Kurd Lasswitz and the Geffen awards. His weblog, Whatever, is one of the most widely-read web sites in modern SF. Born and raised in California, Scalzi studied at the University of Chicago. He lives in southern Ohio with his wife and daughter.

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Read an Excerpt

JESUS’ DICKHEADS

Jul 13 2007

A Hindu chaplain was called to offer a prayer at the US Senate yesterday; the response of some Christian nutbags was to slip in and disrupt the prayer because the Hindu chaplain wasn’t giving his shoutout to Jesus. They were trundled out, the prayer was given, and yet, somehow, the Republic did not fall. I think we can all thank Vishnu for that.

Look, this one is simple: Some people really and truly believe that what Jesus wants is for them to be dicks to everyone who isn’t their particular, mushy-headed stripe of Christian. And if it’s what Jesus wants, then it can’t be wrong. Now, I’m entirely sure that in their minds they can come up with a better explanation for their activities than "Jesus wants me to be a dick"—they may actually be able to find some internal calculus that has them being a dick out of love for us godless idolaters and saving our worthless heathen souls, even—but the rest of us can call it for what it is. And also, of course, when these Dicks for Jesus try to offer up some alternate explanation for their behavior, I think it’s fair to remind them of a number of things:

1. Whatever the rationale, they’re being dicks.

2. At no point in the Bible does Jesus say "be a dick in My name."

3. Lots of other Christians seem to get through life without feeling called upon to be a dick in the service of Christ.

4. Indeed, when many of these Christians discover to their dismay that they’ve been a dick about something, they will frequently fall to their knees and say, "Forgive me, Lord, for I have been a total dick."

5. And He does.

6. That’s a hint.

Now, the chances of any of this penetrating the mental shield of righteousness is pretty low, so you shouldn’t expect anything more than a slightly befuddled look that shades into the growing suspicion that they’re jeopardizing their very souls conversing with one such as you, you and your heathen logic. But it’s worth a try, and if it doesn’t work, at least they know what you think of their somewhat less-than-Christlike behavior. Because nothing digs at the heart of a Christdick more than the knowledge that someone thinks they’re doing their Christianity wrong. Gets ‘em all defensive and huffy, which is better than them being smug and self-righteous, in my book.

Excerpted from Your Hate Mail Will be Graded: A Decade of Whatever by John Scalzi.

Copyright 2008 by John Scalzi.

Published in 2008 by A Tom Doherty Associates Book.

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

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Customer Reviews

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( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 13, 2011

    Scalzi's Excellent Business Decision...

    Well, you've sure got to hand it to Scalzi for monetizing his blog... A book of old blog posts is a dream that every blogger must have.

    But believe it or not, the book is quite readable. Essentially, it's a collection of short essays. And while the entries here read pretty much the same as they read on his blog, the time *I* carve out for reading a book is both longer and less chaotic than the time I carve out for blog reading. So the essays become easier to reflect upon and somehow more enjoyable. It's an interesting switch.

    The entries themselves cover a multitude of topics: current events & politics, the business of writing, Scalzi's take on religion, and all the random bits that Scalzi's blog has touched on over the years. Some are better than others (of course), and every once in a while I found myself wishing I could see the other comments of readers.

    I was very happy to have picked this one up for a moment when I just didn't want more fiction. 4 of 5 stars.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2012

    fun & witty - an easy read

    Its an interesting excerpt from his blog. A little heavy on the social messages, but mostly it is amusing and is broken into easy blog entries making it really easy to read piecewise. It is good, but I would recommend his sci-fi much more.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Opinionated musings from a talented author

    As I began reading this book, my first thought was that deceased author, Robert A. Heinlein, was channeling his thoughts through John Scalzi. Somewhat to the political and cultural right of center, these extracts from Scalzi's blog are will provide much ammunition for lively discussions with people of left, right or center persuasions. Also a great bathroom book.

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