Am I the only person who loathes the now ubiquitous expression, “going forward”? I heard on NPR last week a reporter use the phrase, “…going forward in the future.” Horrible as that is, I don’t believe it was a mistake on her part, but rather was recognition that “going forward” doesn’t even mean “in the future” anymore. It means something like “like.” So now a wretched phrase such as “What’s next for you, going forward?” is essentially the same as, “Like, what’s, like, next for you?”
Meanwhile, trying to work through The Magic Mountain. I confess it’s slow going. I think I’ll sneak a break, mid-novel, and read more Dostoyevsky. Or PKD.
I’m delighted that Nick Podehl will be reading Gods of Earth for the Brilliance Audio edition. Nick has been the reader for bestselling authors like Danielle Steel, Nora Roberts, and in fantasy, Patrick Rothfuss. His voice will be perfect for Chance Kyrien, and he has an astonishing range that’ll really bring alive characters like the Guardian and Sarah.
I do wonder how he’ll manage a stuttering coyote….
So, when you write a novel, you eventually have to create lots of these ancillary documents: descriptions, synopses, outlines, book jacket copy, and so on. So with delight I discover that all that hard work can be simplified with (I assume) the magic of Google translator. For someone is promoting my book (thanks!) with what appears to be a Google translation of a Google translation (my guess: from English to Chinese back to English, but that’s just a guess). And it’s so… distinctive.
In the pensive fatality, thousands of excitement some time ago a war versus worldly gods has grief-stricken the Come to rest, the waif witch child Turning Kyrien is adopted and raised by the Purimen, a request of stanch winemakers who hold renounced all machinery. Determined and violently devout, Turning dreams of zip but animation a good farmer and marrying the being he loves, the Puriman Ranger, Sarah Michaels. But Turning has been personal by the witches concerning the Purimen given that he has a power that may well unbalance the world, and bring again the age of the worldly gods.
Equally the crippled sprint god of the biting war attacks Chance’s lodge, the in the early hours Puriman learns that his completely long for is to travel to the pensive Numin Penalty, wherever he can covering the god of its powers and become threadbare it companion. Turning is helped in his examination by Sarah and a group of unmen that he would hold denounced as dirty balance weeks before: a vernacular coyote, an sharp machine, a witch of the nightclub that shaped the worldly gods, and the ancient anti-god known as the Guardian. Can Turning joist his good name and lie down a Puriman, as he uncovers the darkest secrets of worldly history, and fights a become threadbare that threatens to beat what association of the Earth?
All I can say is: I couldn’t have said it like that myself.
It came out when I was a kid and I didn’t see it but instead had to hear about it from all those kids who got into the R movies. But now I finally saw Cronenberg’s Videodrome. Coming on the heels of reading a lot of PKD, and then Skillingstead’s very fine Life on the Preservation, I conclude that the secondary mood of science fiction (the primary mood being wonder) is epistemic paranoia.
Only science fiction takes as a theme that we may be systematically, catastrophically in error. Descartes proposed radical doubt as a tool. Much science fiction proposes radical doubt as a terrifying state of being.
My novel Gods of Earth is coming out on 47North Press. Look for the ebook very soon, the trade paper late in the summer, and the audiobook shortly thereafter.
I spent a few years writing Gods of Earth, and it has a lot of me in it. I’m glad to see it find a nice home. It’s an adventure full of philosophy and history and rich characters. I think people will appreciate the detail, strangeness, and coherence of the world it portrays. Look for it!
Here’s a description of the book:
A boy must fight gods. And only one girl can save him.
In the distant future, thousands of years after a war against human gods has devastated the Earth, the orphan witch child Chance Kyrien is adopted and raised by the Purimen, a sect of religious winemakers who have renounced all technology. Ambitious and fiercely devout, Chance dreams of nothing but being a good farmer and marrying the woman he loves, the Puriman Ranger, Sarah Michaels. But Chance has been hidden by the witches among the Purimen because he has a power that could change the world, and bring again the age of the human gods. When the crippled last god of the great war attacks Chance’s family, the young Puriman learns that his only hope is to travel to the distant Numin Well, where he can strip the god of its powers and battle it alone. Chance is helped in his quest by Sarah and a group of unmen that he would have denounced as impure just weeks before: a talking coyote, an intelligent machine, a witch of the guild that created the human gods, and the ancient anti-god known as the Guardian.
Can Sarah keep Chance safe long enough to let him fight a god? And can Chance keep his faith and remain a Puriman, as he uncovers the darkest secrets of human history, and fights a battle that threatens to destroy what remains of the Earth?
Writers & Books is doing a reading of one of my plays — a new work, called NO CITY NEW YORK — this Saturday June 15. It’s a fundraiser, so the money goes to the good cause of supporting WAB and therefore literature (so I feel guilt-free plugging it here). The cast is fantastic, also. You can read more at W&B’s website.
I have a story out in the new SF magazine Emerald Sky. They do great layout, a beautiful job. This story, “Terminal Velocity,” is set in the Predator Space universe, and is a kind of sequel to “Asteroid Monte”:
Emerald Sky, Issue 2
I have a non-fiction piece in Clarkesworld this month also. Join the lively discussion where everyone tells me I’m wrong:
“The Singularity is Dead. Long Live the Singularity.”
So, I read Cory Doctorow’s Makers, and I decided that, if he is not the muse of the zeitgeist, he is a muse of a zeitgesit. This novel captures an ethos unique to our time, in which a kind of labor constitutes a kind of person, with its own virtues and its own aspirations. In a classical sense, in fact, it offers a new kind of heroism.
In the old days, the ethos embodied here was called “hacking,” but the popular media utterly annihilated that meaning for “hacking.” So, Doctorow rightly coins another label: makers. The ironies here are immense for an American (e.g., such as myself), since we just had an election in which one of the parties offered an Ayn-Randian vision of the makers and the takers — a vision which is mostly (though not entirely) antithetical to that of Doctorow’s makers. For this reason, I think Doctorow’s novel is an important alternative vision to that hoisted upon us by an inanely unreflective media.
And it’s a very human novel, one without easy answers. Even if you don’t like it, you’ll find it generates in you an empathy for a certain vision of the world, of our economy, and of our possibilities. And what could be better than that? I recommend it.