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Congrats to John Scalzi, former Fresnan and best-selling author, on his latest book

My longtime readers know the affection and esteem in which I hold John Scalzi, the noted science-fiction author and so-smart-you-can-hear-his-brain-crackle national blogger, whose musings on whatever — from politics and book tours to sci-fi physics to updates on his cats — are must reading. Seriously. His blog is titled “Whatever.”

Pictured above: John Scalzi was movie critic and columnist for the Fresno Bee. Photo: The Verge

The more mature among us will recall that John was a household name in the greater Fresno area a couple of decades ago, first as the Fresno Bee’s movie critic and then as a weekly columnist. (His column in which he proposed to his future wife, Krissy, was a  hit.) Since then, he’s made it big as author and thinker. He and Krissy live in Ohio now.

So it should come as no surprise that I’ve been anxiously awaiting his latest book, “The Last Emperox,” which is officially released Tuesday, April 14. This one is the third (and final) book in the trilogy “The Interdependency.” I’ve been looking forward to this installment greatly. One reason is because I have become fond of the interesting people who inhabit the books, especially the title character, Cardenia, aka Emperox Grayland II of the Interdependency — a no-nonsense-yet-dignified reluctant royal whose smarts, scrappiness and exquisitely tuned moral equilibrium make her a compelling sovereign.

John Scalzi, left, in a 2017 visit to Fresno. His newest book is ‘The Last Emperox.’

And what does she face in Book 3? Plots against her, scientific mysteries, the potential collapse of human civilization … the stuff that can make an emperox squirm.



I’m also quite taken with the author’s concept of The Flow, a clever interstellar transport literary device in which far-flung planets are connected by a naturally occuring portal-and-hub system in which you can zoom from one point to another halfway across the galaxy in an instant. If you’re a planet near a portal, it’s sort of life living next to a BART station; you can travel easily to distant locations by walking across the street, as opposed to the poor schmuck who lives dozens of miles away and has to take two buses just to start the journey.

Scalzi often comes up with clever concepts such as these in his novels that seem entirely plausible within the universes he creates. What I like most about them is that they expand my own imagination.

Plus, I won’t deny the simple fact that it’s fun to have a friend who is a best-selling author, because when I read a Scalzi book, I can “hear” his voice. It’s like having my own internal audio book.

So, here’s to you, John, on the release of “The Last Emperox.” My Kindle is downloading as I type.


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Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

donaldfresnoarts@gmail.com

Comments (1)

  • delveg

    I’m looking forward to tackling the conclusion to the series… soon! Kiva’s interesting, but she perseveres.

    reply

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