Talk:John Scalzi

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Article seems encyclopedia to me. Anyone mind if I remove the "not written in encyclopedic tone" tag? -- Metahacker 23:54, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree. The article does need citations to be inline style with a References section, and there should be more citations from publishers and reviewers (and interviewers if possible) as opposed to Scalzi's own sites. But that non-encyclopedic claim strikes me as someone's objection to the bacon cat and pie references rather than any actual deficiency in writing style. Still, I'd like to see what others think. Karen | Talk | contribs 03:24, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Oh, and the Trivia section needs to be dispersed or renamed or both. Karen | Talk | contribs 03:28, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Trvivia and non-notable detail[edit]

As fun as it is to reference Scalzi's cereal preferences and annoyance with headers on his article, these really are non-notable details about the author, and it is unencyclopedic to include them. The bacon cat item (and probably the invented pie) is notable because of the brief notoriety generated; it's quite possible that some people think of Scalzi as "that guy who taped bacon to his cat." But Scalzi is not notable by virtue of liking one cereal or another (everyone has food preferences, but unless we're chefs they're probably not central to our lives), or for being annoyed with a Wikipedia editor (that probably describes many thousands of people).

Beyond that, under WP:Trivia, trivia sections are generally considered unencyclopedic. Details about Scalzi's family (including Lincoln's assessin) and his college years should be in the biographical section. The pie and the bacon cat info belongs in the online writing section, and references to other writers in his work belong in the discussion of his writing. I'd tackle this myself, but I really don't have the time right now. Anyone else want to take it on? Karen | Talk | contribs 21:37, 13 February 2007 (UTC)


Scalzi said himself that everything here is accurate, and any of that information could easily be found in the Whatever archives. What kinds of sources do you want? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Trogdor077 (talkcontribs) 02:02, 16 February 2007 (UTC).

Please my discussion above and also in the Whatever comment thread. Basically the objection is that a Wikipedia article should not rely too heavily on one source, especially if the source is the subject of the article. Even if everything Scalzi says online is true and accurate, that doesn't overcome the general principle, especially because many other subjects of Wikipedia articles are not above fudging the truth online. If there's no reason to disbelieve the subject's claim, it can be used, up to a point, but it is better to use other sources too, even if it seems silly to you, to me, or to Scalzi himself. To make this article more suitable to Wikipedia policy it needs three, no, four improvements:
  1. Cite more sources other than Whatever and By the Way. This can include published interviews, the Tor website and promotional materials, Subterranian Press website and materials and so on. Scalzi has been around long enough now and is well enough known (especially since the Campbell Award) that this should not be too difficult.
  2. Citations should be in the inline format with <ref> tags, and a references section at the bottom. This way, people can see at a glance that multiple sources are cited, and can go to those sources for confirmation and additional info. See WP:REF and WP:CITET for details on how it's done.
  3. Under WP:Trivia, trivia sections in general are not considered encyclopedic. There is a lot of good info in the one here, but it needs to be dispersed into appropriate sections. For example, stuff about his college years should go together in one place, info about referring to other writers in his fiction should go in the discussion of his fiction, and stuff like the bacon cat incident should be in the online writing section. This makes the article as a whole much more coherent.
  4. This one is a quibble, but Wikipedia heading style is for section headers to be in sentence case instead of title case.
I hope that helps! Karen | Talk | contribs 02:53, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps I'm missing the point here, but isn't 4. something that you could have easily have taken care of yourself? Isn't that the point of wikipedia? In fact, in the time that it took you to write five paragraphs about why a publication by John Scalzi isn't a good enough source for information about John Scalzi, couldn't you have fixed your point 4., as well as your point 3. and some of your point 2.?
In fact, I'll take care of some of it now. I fixed all of the section headings to reflect your quibble that the heading style is supposed to be sentence case. However, I'm new at this, so I'm not sure how to use the <ref> tags to add inline citations or how to make the trivia section sound suitably "encyclopedic." However, I would welcome the suggestions of a knowledgeable wikipedia editor, whom I am sure would be willing to clean up the article until it meets their fussy standards. Thanks. Spherical Time 06:18, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
You're right; I should have done 4 myself. I was tying to avoid taking on the article as a project, while explaining the concerns to Scalzi's readers who might find their way here and wonder what the fuss was about. (The reason I don't want to take on the work is that I'm trying desperately to cut back on my Wiki time - sleep deprivation has been an issue for a while now.) Thanks for fixing the headers. On the trivia issue, the standard is not to have a trivia section at all, and to keep it short if there is one. The rationale is that if it's worth mentioning, it's not trivial, and that the info is more useful if it's integrated into the article instead of randomly listed at the end. For info on citations, see WP:REF and Wikipedia:Citation_templates. Basically you paste one inside the other, and add a references section at the end. Thanks! Karen | Talk | contribs 08:06, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
I really can'y think of a better source of information about John Scalzi than Scalzi himself. Feel free to use interviews if you must, but, heed this warning from Scalzi:
Maybe, just to confuse Wikipedia, I'll start lying to all my interviewers, while keeping perfectly accurate information here on my personal site. I suspect the heads of certain editors at Wikipedia would pop right off. How do you like your officious love of pointless bureaucracy now?!? Bwa ha ha ha hah ha![1]
Really, I think he's right when he says that his information in his article can be accredited to him.Trogdor077 03:23, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
This is another example of the pseudo-scholastic madness that will be the undoing of Wikipedia. Real research doesn't rely on the quantity of sources, but the quality of the sources. Often, this can be judged by looking at several sources and weighing them, but the bottom line is that one solid source is worth a dozen less-stellar sources, particularly when the one source is a primary source and the others are secondary sources. Similarly, an immediately or commonly observable fact shouldn't require a citation to avoid the "sin" of "original research"--if I can tell that the sky is blue by looking out the window, I shouldn't need to quote junior high science and art textbooks to describe "blueness" and the absorption spectra of nitrogen and oxygen.
Sure, many people will lie about themselves. The solution isn't to go out and see if their editor or publisher says the same thing, but rather to exercise critical thinking skills and cross-reference with other sources. If you have reason to be skeptical about Scalzi's alleged family relationship to John Wilkes Booth, cat-decorating habits, or whatever, by all means make a correction and cite the source. Let wikipedia be the clearinghouse for knowledge it can be, where some description of reality comes into being from aggregate contributions of thousands. But suggesting that it's somehow preferable to quote an interview where Scalzi says it, or Scalzi's publisher who presumably learned this from Scalzi (as opposed to directly referring to Scalzi's website, say), is, in fact, patently absurd. It's a farcical imitation of scholasticism. If this site wants to be more formally scholastic, I would suggest the solution is peer review, something Wikipedia has a reputation for rejecting, not cluttering entires with multiple citations like a high-schooler's term paper. 01:18, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
You're not completely wrong (in fact I substantially agree with you), but there are reasons for the Wikipolicies you find so absurd. Nor would citing an interview or two and other secondary sources do the article any harm. This is not about Scalzi's truthfulness (or Wikipedia's truthiness, for that matter). It is simply a reasonable request for additional sources. Even just formatting the existing ones so they show at the bottom of the article would probably go a long way toward overcoming objections. -- Karen | Talk | contribs 03:31, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Scalzidevil.jpg image[edit]

I just restored Image:Scalzidevil.jpg to the article, which was removed for the stated reason that it was a "joke image" and therefore unencyclopedic. The image itself was then promptly listed for deletion as orphaned. I think it should stay, because a) Scalzi himself took the trouble to upload it here (although he failed to do the dropdown and I had to redo it later) and write a caption for it, so it's not something the subject objects to; and b) it provides actual information about the article's subject, specifically that Scalzi likes uploading altered images of his own likeness and (based on the image's quality) is good at it. Indeed, Scalzi has posted many such images on his blogs; it's a minor but notable part of his online fame, and not really covered elsewhere in the article. If everyone disagrees with me, the image will be deleted, and that will be that; but I hope if other editors have an opinion on the subject, either way, they will participate on the discussion. Thank you. -- Karen | Talk | contribs 02:11, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

The image is rediculously unencyclopedic and should be removed. Which I will now do. IrishGuy talk 02:13, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
Irishguy - I'd rather you didn't as there's an IfD open for it & licensing is okay. It's also on ANI right now - Alison 02:52, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
It looks like someone else already removed it before I could. IrishGuy talk 03:16, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
I withdrew the IfD nom - the image seems fine where it is now, it was just wildly inappropriate in the infobox. Videmus Omnia 03:21, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for that. It makes perfect sense for it to be in the online writing section. Perhaps someone can come up with a more conventional free photo for the infobox. I have one, but I'm not sure it's right for this. -- Karen | Talk | contribs 05:05, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
This idiotic breaching experiment ends now. Wikipedia articles are not supposed to be laboratories for their subjects. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward) (talk) 00:36, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
"rediculously unencyclopedic"[is] in a place filled with such items, the John Scalzi devil hardly seems out of place and it was used on the cover of one of his books. — Preceding unsigned comment added by A305w (talkcontribs) 01:02, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

I don't think it's a "breaching experiment", nor do i see how this is a case of the article being "laboratories for their subjects." If you have a good reason for removing it stop obfuscating your explanation. Donaithnen (talk) 03:26, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

biblio issues[edit]

The Sagan Diary is listed twice; also, it's part of the "Old Man's War universe". Judge Sn Goes Golfing is part of the "The Android's Dream universe" Not making any changes myself because I'm not sure if the listings should be duplicated in the list by series/list by type of work, or if they should only be put in one or the other. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:53, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Protagonist in Android's Dream Named After Street[edit]

I notice the "Citation Needed" tag appended to the notation that the main character if The Android's Dream is named after the street on which I lived when I wrote the book. This piece of data is true: The character's full name is Horatio Harris Creek, and my house is on Horatio Harris Creek Road. I'm not aware of whether an article subject verifying an aspect of his article on its Talk page is considered enough of a citation, however. Scalzi (talk) 23:08, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Disambiguation needed?[edit]

The article might need a disambiguation at the beginning - here's a different John Scalzi: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:24, 16 May 2012 (UTC)


No mention of Phil Dick in this article? thats not possible, if 2 novels are "androids dream" and "high castle". just saying.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 01:05, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Hugo winner, Redshirts.[edit]

He's just won the Hugo for best science fiction novel, "RedShirts".

John Wilkes Booth relationship - exceptional claim, not sourced[edit]

I feel that the JWB reference is not well sourced enough to be part of Wikipedia. The reference is a link to a blog, which may be a reliable source when discussing oneself, but the claim made is exceptional, and when reading the source, the relationship is not clearly specified nor any real evidence given or suggested. Having a relationship to an assassin of a major US political figure is a claim that should have external citations. I think having the sentence remain is violation of WP:SELFPUB.

Kenneytrencove (talk) 06:24, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Cleanup of Online and other writing section?[edit]

The Online and other writing section is generally not well sourced, and some of the citations are broken links. I think there may be some notability and other content issues that could be improved and addressed. I might take a stab at in the next few weeks, and see what can be re-sourced, what can be updated, and what else needs to be done to bring this section up a notch in quality. Anyone interested in helping?

Kenneytrencove (talk) 06:43, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

→I am working on this rewrite, playing with some new wording. The online section is heavily unsourced and in my opinion not encyclopedic. Does anyone have any interest in assisting or help locate some sources to substantiate some of the online sections information?

Kennedy Trengove (talk) 04:45, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

25 October 2012[edit]

Regarding this post:

Now that this has recently been published as an E-Book should we make mention of it? Ranze (talk) 02:00, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Whatever is nice, but[edit]

We are not here to echo what Scalzi says on his blog. We are here to echo what RS say about Scalzi. If some blog post is popular on his blog, we as individuals may be interested, but we as Wikipedians could not possibly care whatsoever. If, however, some blog post is popular (or unpopular for that matter) but it attracts RS attention, then we can consider adding it to the article.

In particular, both blog comments and raw blog counts are meaningless to WP. Choor monster (talk) 19:12, 21 October 2015 (UTC)

Header image[edit]

I am temporarily deleting the use of the header image in Scalzi's infobox since it is potentially a copyright violation. See discussion here. I will restore the image if it obtains the correct license, or upload a new image that meets copyright guidelines if one can be found. Werónika (talk) 08:45, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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