John Scalzi is auctioning off a special pre-publication bound manuscript version of his latest novel Redshirts: A Novel With Three Codas to benefit the Bradford, Ohio public library. Bidding is open through September 19.
Such a worthy, civic-minded venture deserves publicity in its own right — but in all honesty it’s Scalzi’s remarkable insight into fan psychology, evident in the way he’s designed this auction, that inspires my post.
He has created a series of incentives to spur the bidding which kick in as the price spirals upwards – copies of rare chapbooks, other pre-publication manuscripts, even a recording of him playing the ukulele. And if the auction nets five figures, here’s what else John promises to do:
$10,000: I will commission a large black velvet painting of the two of us, fighting space aliens WITH LASERS.
Baby, fire up that second mortgage! This is fannish nirvana. Imagine a portrait of me and John posing like Luke and Obi-Wan. Isn’t it frightening how perfectly Scalzi knows what I want?
Beyond that, for only ten grand my immortality will be assured. I see this as the future centerpiece of the Eaton Collection. A hundred years from now parents will bring their children to the library to look up on the wall and admire that classic painting of “John Scalzi dueling some fat guy with a beard.”
Unless you want to reserve that honor for yourself?
The high bid is $4700 at this time.