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A Very Scalzi Christmas

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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  94 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Deck the halls with boughs of holly! ’Tis the season…for Santa’s lawyer to talk about the legal status of the workshop elves, for Christmas to arrive in an unexpected month, and for the innkeeper at the nativity to spill the beans about whatreallywent down on that one night in Bethlehem.

It’s not just Christmas. It’sA Very Scalzi Christmas.

New York Timesbestselling and
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Kindle Edition, 126 pages
Published November 30th 2019 by Subterranean Press
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Kathryn Speckels (Metaphors and Miscellanea)
If you want a stocking-stuffer guaranteed to produce roughly an hour or two of amusement and giggles for any of your family members, this book is for you. At just 144 pages, this is a quick read that will feel even quicker because you’re just enjoying it so much. Because this is a mini book, I think it’s fitting to give it just a mini-review, so here’s what you need to know:

John Scalzi has written a lot of humorous pieces about Christmas, and here, he has decided to gather them all in one place.
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Lou Jacobs
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whoa!! What a fun ride. John Scalzi, highly acclaimed science-fiction writer, best known for his marvelous "Old Man's War" series ... treats us to a potpourri of 15 irreverent shorts ... all dessert, no vegetables. Nothing is sacrosanct as he pokes fun at the commercialization and religious tone to this beloved holiday. It's fair game to interview numerous characters of local color ... Santa's lawyer, Santa's Reindeer wrangler, the Christmas bunny, an elf, and even the Nativity Innkeeper who ...more
Kirby
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
This book is positively delightful! As a long time fan of Scalzi, I knew it would be charming but this little themed work is just next-level fun. Every chapter is stand alone and entirely different - poems, short stories, interviews with the reindeer manager - but they are all chock full of satire and playful twists on classic Christmas themes. I'm not even Christian and it brought a smile my face. Thanks for giving me a little holiday cheer!
The Kawaii Slartibartfast
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This is a collection of 15 short writings by John Scalzi, some touching and some laugh out loud funny, but always delightfully fantastical.
Daniel
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 3.75 of 5

There are only a handful of authors whose work I will go out and buy as soon as I am aware of a new published work. John Scalzi has become one of those authors for me.

If you're familiar with Scalzi you can probably already imagine that a book titled A Very Scalzi Christmas is going to be irreverent and sarcastic and full of humor. And you'd be right. Scalzi's wit is in full force here.

One of the main features of this
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Annie
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Originally published on my blog Nonstop Reader.

A Very Scalzi Christmas is a collection of 15 short pieces by John Scalzi. Due out 30th Nov 2019 from Subterranean Press, it's 144 pages and will be available in a signed limited hardback format. According to the author's website, there -will- be ebook and audio versions for sale at some point.

This is a mixed box. There are 3 short stories, a number of conversational blog type entries (some collected here from his online blog or other outlet),
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Harrison Schweiloch
Small, mostly enjoyable morsels for the die hard Scalzi fan

I love John Scalzi’s writing. I have read all of his novels. I read Whatever religiously. I am eagerly awaiting the third novel in his Interdependency series and hope that he writes more in the Lock-In universe. So I am sad to say that this collection of holiday stories is basically just okay.

Now, I’ve read most of them before. Many of them are not “stories” per se, but imagined interviews with characters like Santa’s attorney or the
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Rachel Noel
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*Free ebook received via NetGalley for an honest review.

This book is a collection of Scalzi's writing. They have several formats including interviews, prayer, Top Ten lists and script notes. Each chapter is delightfully different from the others. All of the chapters show off Scalzi's talent.

I'm always drawn to Scalzi's books because of his strong sense of humor, but I get invested in them because of his ability with the full range of emotions. This book is no exception. The cover, the title,
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Z
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As John Scalzi states in the introduction, “Christmas (and the holidays on either side of it) gives me something to write about and have fun with on an annual basis”, and for some years he’s done so on his author website and other places. If you’re a fan of his fast-paced science fiction novels, this may -- or may not -- be for you. I don’t know. All I know is that sometimes the need for escapism manifests as a need to laugh, and this collection, which includes three previously unpublished ...more
Michael Frasca
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the past few years, John Scalzi has wrapped and delivered a special present to his fans who follow his blog Whatever. Many of these holiday-themed short-short stories and others appearing elsewhere are published here by Subterranean Press. This volume also includes three stories that are new to the world.

The entries include short-short stories, interviews, interesting lists, and longer stories. They are mostly humorous, although one has ominous overtones.

All are quick and enjoyable reads. If
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Ron
John Scalzi has gathered his short fiction that is related to the Christmas season and folded, spindled, and mutilated them to fit between the covers of one book. Of course they are going to try to escape and spread the message that John Scalzi is a crazy dude! I mean Bitter November will really jazz it up with Santa's lawyer and the Christmas Bunny. A SF Thanksgiving blessing leads directly into a list of the least successful holiday specials, and things you did not know about his favorite ...more
Myarn
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Very Scalzi Christmas by John Scalzi. 5 stars

I have been a fan of John Scalzi since Agent to the Stars. When this book of short stories became available for review, I jumped right in and requested a copy. Some of the stories were familiar since I read Mr. Scalzi' blog regularly. Some were brand new to me,; in his intro he explains that three of the short stores were exclusive to this collection. What can I say that would not be repetitive. I laughed and I cried and generally enjoyed every
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Keith  Blodgett
I struggled with this one. I read the first interview segment, skimmed the second and just paged forward through the third. There was some rambling New Year's resolutions piece that I just didn't find funny. But there were two short stories, one about an early Christmas and the foreboding possibilities why we might need it. Well written and chilling in an open ended way. Another story about learning the joy in giving instead of getting. Those showed Scalzi's skill in writing.
All in all, too much
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Jennie Seaman
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was funny and heart-warming and a great start to the holiday season! It was so adorable and fun. I loved it so much. I laughed and I cried!

A Very Scalzi Christmas is a collection of holiday-themed short stories, interviews, and poems. From the comical interview with the Christmas Bunny to the heart-warming story about a Christmas Eve baby, this book is such a fun addition to the holiday repertoire of yearly fun.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end! (Also the audiobook
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Dave Wallace
I dislike racing some story compilations and they usually are a mixed bag as is this one and it seems unfair to the better parts. There are a couple of 5 stars here: The 10 Least Successful Christmas Specials of All time pays homage to Old Time Radio and TV with a true understanding of history but twisted beyond normal imagination and Sarah's Sister is a truly fine Christmas story, both over the top and subtle. It's worth the price for these two and a couple of others but some did not fully hold ...more
Shawn
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e, owned, giveaways, sci-fi
I have read many of Scalzi's books over the years. I also enjoy short stories. This set of stories was one of the best I have read. My only problem with it it's that it was over too soon.
It is trite to say, "I laughed, I cried', but the truth is that I frequently laughed and Scalzi wrote a story intended to make gore mother-in-law tear-up that works on others too.
My favorites were the interview style stories, particularly the one with Santa's reindeer wrangler. I enjoyed it so much I insisted
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Sandy
Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this book, in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I always enjoy John Scalzi's books, and this was no exception, although it was very different from his usual science fiction novels. This is a collection of short stories/a little poetry, basically centered around Christmas - although we do have a story with November having a bit of a pity party!

The stories are mostly funny, with a couple thrown in that are touching. They are all enjoyable to read, and the book
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Pedro L. Fragoso
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are a few gems in this little collection, namely "Science FictionalThanksgiving Grace" (so much fun), and the 4 last pieces, of which "Script Notes on the Birth of Jesus" is the standout. "Sarah's Sister" is a tour de force, Scalzi proving categorically that he definetely can write a canonical Christmas tale, a true classic in the most hallowed tradition. The rest was basically passable. Both Subterranean Press and Audible did amazingly polished jobs, John Scalzi is truly blessed on that ...more
Jacquelyn
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*Thanks to NetGalley and Subterranean Press for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review*

Anyone familiar with Scalzi’s endearing snark will be happy to find more of it, unironically sweetened, in “A Very Scalzi Christmas,” a small collection of about a dozen Christmas-themed essays, short fiction, interviews, and lists. A lot of hilarity, a dash of sadness, steadily clever, this collection is like a Christmas variety special in a stocking-stuffer sized book. It made my heart
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Konstantinos Georgokitsos
What an uplifting little book! From extremely short 10-things-style lists, to complete short stories, it is utterly entertaining and uplifting (except for one more serious in tone short story). Classic Scalzi humor meets X-mas. Now that can't end well, right? While most of the pieces are from Scalzi's blog, I urge you to listen to the audiobook, which is produced with a complete cast and is a breeze to get through (Yes, I know it's short, still). Also, I just loved the interviews.
Janet
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will admit that I wasnt expecting to get emotional while listening to this, but I was mistaken.

I was driving and heard this part from the reindeer wrangler and literally snorted.

"Where do you get the reindeer from?"
"Craigslist"

The one that got me sniffling was the baby sister story. I knew how it was going to go, but it still got me.

I have to advise people to get the audible version of this book, the full cast made the stories and interviews so much better.
Andre Simonsen
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the intro Scalzi promises that the stories will cheer us up, make us laugh and that there's one that will make his mother-in-law cry.

Well, I got cheered up, laughed and ugly cried on the damn story.

This is short, sweet and fulfilling, much like a Christmas dinner at our grandparents house. I highly recommend both.

(ps Being Brazilian, there were some references that got way over my head and I had to look up online, but American folks will laugh a lot.)
Meredith
Dec 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, shorts, fantasy
Cute set of stories with some laughs. Some repetition with the exploration of legal ramifications of various aspects of the Christmas season, but humorous still. I am pretty sure I accurately identified the story Scalzi says he wrote to make his mother-in-law tear up. Also, I love Natalie Metzger's illustrations, they are so cute and work very well with the stories.
Victoria
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is a Jurassic Park/Armageddon (Bruce Willis) Thanksgiving Grace, An interview with the month of November, Funny reviews on Christmas music, some Scalzi goes Dr. Suess, reviews for Christmas movies and so much more. Scalzi pretty much covers everything seasonal in his unique way and I loved it.

Thank you Netgalley for the ARC
Jjkean2
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this on audible over the last two days, having to keep myself from an all day binge.

If I could give the collection more than 5 stars I would.

One piece of advice... don't read/listen to "Sarah's Sister" if you have to be somewhere and don't want to look like you've been crying!
Ryan H
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This will definitely be added into my yearly Christmas-time rotation. Though some of the stories you can find elsewhere for free, having them all compiled together with the art really makes this compendium worth it. From laughter to crying, you'll feel it all with this book.

Highly recommend!
Arbys Mom
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful collection of stories related in some way to Christmas, and is Very Scalzi. The humor, the cleverness, the tear-jerking of one story in particular, is definitely Scalzi, and very enjoyable.
Sercalunna Pautasso
I smiled, laughed and fully appreciated Mr Scalzi style of writing.
I read and loved some of his work and I loved this one.
It's great Christmas read, strongly recommended.
I received this ARC by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.
Berni Phillips
This is a lot of fun. Some of the items work better than others, as you would expect in a collection. It certainly will provide material for reading aloud at our book group's December annual Reading and Eating Meeting.
Margaret Schoen
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a review of an ARC from NetGalley.

A collection of Christmas-themed short stories, listicles, and other humorous pieces, most of which have already been published elsewhere. If Scalzi is your sort of thing, you'll definitely enjoy. I especially liked the interview with Santa's lawyer.
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John Scalzi, having declared his absolute boredom with biographies, disappeared in a puff of glitter and lilac scent.

(If you want to contact John, using the mail function here is a really bad way to do it. Go to his site and use the contact information you find there.)