A conversation on Twitter:

John Scalzi ‏@scalzi 7 Nov
If you spend all your time trying to convince people you’re just as important as somebody else, you’re really probably not.

John Scalzi ‏@scalzi 7 Nov
Conversely, if you spend all your time trying to convince people that somone else isn’t important, they may be.

Marko Kloos ‏@markokloos 7 Nov
@scalzi This is of course APROPOS OF NOTHING and doesn’t refer to ANY PARTICULAR INDIVIDUAL we may know.

To which one can only resort to the cruel tactic of quoting Mr. Scalzi:

“All the dudebros who adamantly maintain I don’t get 50K visitors a day are totally right. #HaHaHa”


As it happens, Mr. Scalzi’s Whatever has averaged just under 20,000 Google pageviews per day in 2013, which figure includes the occasional spike derived from external sources. That’s not bad; I leave the question of whether it indicates a degree of importance or not up to the reader. But since we’re discussing comparisons, there is also this from Alexa this morning:

111,031 Global rank
46,471 USA rank

107,993 Global rank
23,066 USA rank

It should be amusing when my number two blog also passes up what used to be such an important science fiction site next year. What is ironic about these comparisons is that it was not my intention to target Scalzi himself when I first began comparing VP to Whatever last year. The comparison was a direct response to a few rabbits from his warren who were asserting, falsely, that this blog was irrelevant and insignificant because so few people read it. Scalzi himself had always indicated that he was aware that the blog readership here was considerable, if not necessarily of a size comparable to his own.

However, in the process of setting the facts straight, Mr. Scalzi’s own dishonesty was inadvertently uncovered – 50,000 DAILY READERS – and months later he is still trying to spin the situation and salvage the illusion of his self-importance. Apparently the Participation Hugo is not enough and the mere fact of my citing verifiable statistics in correcting the false claims of others is somehow proof of his continued significance. But adding to the degree of difficulty he faces here, he is trying to do this while simultaneously pretending to not care about how the truth undermines the entire foundation of his career as a novelist.

It’s not remarkable that he’s willing to shoot for such an ambitious reinterpretation of objective reality. He is a gamma male, after all, and spin, exaggeration, and deceit are his idiom. What is remarkable is that people like Marko Kloos repeatedly fall for it. Or at least pretend to fall for it. Then again, I suppose one must keep in mind that Bernie Madoff managed to fool a lot more people a lot longer to considerably more profit than John Scalzi has.

That being said, I don’t mind coming right out and saying that I don’t think I am more important than Mr. Scalzi. In fact, in the world of SF/F, it is patently obvious that I am considerably less important than its biggest con man since L. Ron Hubbard. It will do no one any good to curry favor with me and it could even do them an amount of professional harm given the way that petty little world works. I merely believe I am a better, smarter, more substantial writer than Mr. Scalzi, and a writer with more interesting ideas…. ideas that happen to be my own.