Award-Winning Editor of Clarkesworld Magazine, Forever Magazine, The Best Science Fiction of the Year, and More

What’s up with the USPS?

Is it just me or has the US Postal Service been sub-par lately? I’ve had dozens of boxes take 30+ days to get to their destinations and yes, I know media mail can be bumped, but boxes mailed two days later to someone shouldn’t arrive 3 weeks before the first one. In 6 years of business, I’ve never seen it get this bad this frequently. My post office is denying that there is a problem. I’m going there on Saturday with a stack of their own tracking records to show them how often it takes two-three weeks to travel from my post office to the Jersey City distribution center less than 30 miles away.

Almost two months ago, I sent a box of the Ghost Brigades to John Scalzi for signing. He received, signed, and shipped them back via Parcel Post on March 14th. They arrived here today. The address label was typed, correct and intact. The postage was correct and the box looks like it has been stored on a shelf all this time. I wish this had tracking information on this one. I really want to know where it’s been.

Maybe all those letters to the Easter Bunny were gumming up the mail… maybe they just don’t like my business… or maybe they don’t like John Scalzi. The world will never know… but I should probably check with John, just in case.



Clarkesworld Bestsellers for the Week Ending April 16, 2006


Clarkesworld Bestsellers for the Week Ending April 23, 2006


  1. Generally I have no problem with the mail around here — the local mail people know I’m an author and they get excitied about getting my stuff out to folks, so I don’t suspect the problem was on this end. But I’m glad they finally *did* arrive; I was worried I did some sort of flake thing and caused the books to get delivered to Alaska or something.

    • I was pretty sure they didn’t have it in for you. 🙂 I’m just getting a bit frustrated by all the problems we’ve had with them lately and your books were the final straw. The box, label and contents are in perfect condition, so I don’t have any idea what their excuse could be. All my gripes aside, I’m *very* happy that everything arrived in one piece. Thanks!


  2. I’ve been having lots of problems out here, which is especially worrying since I’m waiting for grad school funding info to arrive. However, I mailed a box of books from NJ to here from Madison back in August. The box never arrived. I’m wondering if NJ is getting overwhelmed by the massive amounts of people 😉

  3. Anonymous

    You bet!

    Scott Curtis here-

    You know I’ve had problems with shipments from you; I’ve also had three packages never arrive from used bookstore orders in the last 2 months.

    It’s a plot, I say! Trying to get us to use the more expensive (read: profitable) first class or Priority.

    • Re: You bet!

      Hi Scott,

      Times like this make me glad I use delivery confirmation on all the orders. Having a paper trail on all these problems is very handy.

      Good luck with those other missing packages.


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