John Scalzi just got paid. The celebrated scifi author just signed one of the biggest publishing deals the genre has ever seen, as Tor Books will pay him $3.4 million for his next 13 novels over the next 10 years.

The deal covers three YA novels and 10 “regular” books, including further installments of the fan-favorite Old Man’s War series, and a sequel to his 2014 medical thriller Lock In. And the first book of the 13 will actually begin an entirely new space opera series.

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Says Tor Book srepresentative Patrick Nielsen Hayden:

It’s an unusually large deal, but it makes tons of sense. As far as we can tell, one of the commonest responses to reading a John Scalzi novel is to go out and inhale all the other John Scalzi novels. We see this reflected in his backlist sales, thousands of copies month after month.

One of the biggest challenges faced by science fiction and fantasy storytellers is how to get the reader into a story about an imagined world not our own without resorting to ‘let-me-explain-everything’ exposition. Scalzi’s ability to do this is equaled, in my view, only by J. K. Rowling’s.

Which is why Tor was so happy to lock Scalzi down. Given Scalzi’s popularity — and the fact that many of his books tend to get optioned for films and TV adaptations (Redshirts, Lock In and Old Man’s War, just to name a few) — I imagine Tor is not going to regret this deal in the slightest.

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Photo: Jay Mac Bride.


Contact the author at rob@io9.com.