Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Stalking the Wild Itzkoff

There's a thread currently running on rec.arts.sf.written about The New York Times's SF columnist, Dave Itzkoff. As someone who can't keep his mouth shut when Itzy is mentioned, I've stuck my head in a couple of times. And, since content has been a bit light here lately, I'll Frankenstein them together for your possible amusement.

First, Johan Larson asked how this fellow Itzkoff got the job, and I replied:
The "Up Front" column in the Book Review with Itzkoff's first column (March 5, 2006) talks about how geeky he thinks he is, but doesn't shed any light on how he got the job.

He was an editor at Spin before the Times gig; he's doing a lot of reporting for the Times, so I suspect he's on staff there (probably officially as a music guy).

"Man writing monthly column for the Book Review" is a job that pays, I expect, mostly in "glamour" -- book reviewing is not very remunerative.
There was the usual Usenet back-and-forth, and a personage with the quintessentially Internet monicker of "Pumpkin Escobar" asked if Itzkoff was on a more regular schedule than the last Times reviewer, Gerald Jonas. I replied:
I think Itzkoff gets a full page roughly once a month -- it's a larger space than Jonas got, more often than Jonas.

Let's see if I'm right:

Neil Gaiman, November 5.

Dune, September 24.

Stross/Robson, July 9.

Nebula Awards, June 11.

David Marusek, March 5.

Well, that's only five columns in nine months -- ten if you count his front-page review of Julie Phillips's James Tiptree, Jr. -- which is more like every six weeks.

That's about as often as Jonas was in the Book Review. And Jonas always reviewed at least three books, which Itzkoff doesn't do. Draw your own conclusions...
Since I'm link-happy today, here are the previous installments of "Pickin' on Itzkoff" -- the Holiday Books Issue, the Gaiman column, the Dune column, the Tiptree review, the Stross/Robson column, the Nebula column, the Itzkoff vigil, and the Marusek column.

Here at Antick Musings, if Itzkoff says anything about SFF, we'll be there to make fun of it -- that's our pledge to you.

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