Cover of John Scalzi's The Kaiju Preservation Society over a jungle background

On Giant Monsters and Having Fun, A Letter from John Scalzi

Cover of The Kaiju Preservation Society by John ScalziRenowned Burrito Expert and New York Times bestselling author John Scalzi has written a really cool book about escaping from your old life to start a new job while also caring for giant monsters, and it’s called The Kaiju Preservation Society.

But! That’s not all. In addition to an awesome book, he’s also written a letter about his inspiration to write it. So check it out, and when you’re done, here’s an excerpt and a fun quiz to determine whether you have what it takes to professionally preserve Kaiju.

By John Scalzi


The Kaiju Preservation is not only my latest novel, and a book I’m really proud of, but the book, of all of my books, that I am the happiest to have written. 

Now, I understand that this statement requires some explanation, so let me tell you a quick story. 

In 2020, I was trying to write a book. That book is not the book that you are looking at right now. That book was supposed to be a dark and moody political thriller, cynical and maybe a little downbeat. 

Turns out, 2020 was a really bad year to be trying to write one of those books. 

I literally couldn’t finish it. I tried for all of 2020 to write that book and just couldn’t do it. I finally had to admit defeat. I told my editor, look, I can’t finish this book. That’s never happened to me before, and I felt genuinely awful about it. But, again, welcome to 2020. It messed with a lot of creative folks.

He let me off the hook, and I went to take a shower. And during the shower, my brain said, well you’re not working on that book that really depressed you anymore so why don’t you try this story idea I worked on while you weren’t looking it’s got big damn monsters in it, and it downloaded all of Kaiju directly into my consciousness, start to finish. Seriously, the whole darn thing. 

I immediately got out of the shower, toweled off, and sent a email to my editor saying hey you remember how I wasn’t able to finish that book well I have a whole new book and it’s awesome and I’ll have it to you real soon now, and spent the next several weeks having the best and most fun experience I’ve had writing a book, possibly ever. 

Kaiju was a gift to me. The book I didn’t expect, and the book that I really needed at that point. It’s fun. It’s got great characters who enjoy each others’ company and are a delight to be with. It’s an amazing world with incredible creatures of all sizes. It’s fast and a blast to read. It’s meant to be nothing but fun. If the book I was trying to write in 2020 was a dark, Wagnerian opera, this book is a three-minute pop song. A really catchy three-minute pop song.

I hope that’s what Kaiju can be for you, too. A power pop novel, something that is immense fun for you to read, and equally to share and sell to people who are looking for a book-shaped escape, something to just plain enjoy after a long hard slog of recent times.

Plus, you know: Big damn monsters. They’re just the best. 


John Scalzi

JOHN SCALZI is one of the most popular SF authors of his generation. His debut Old Man’s War won him the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. His New York Times bestsellers include The Last Colony, Fuzzy Nation, and Redshirts (which won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel), and 2020’s The Last Emperox. Material from his blog, Whatever, has also earned him two other Hugo Awards. Scalzi also serves as critic-at-large for the Los Angeles Times. He lives in Ohio with his wife and daughter.

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