TROPIC OF KANSAS e-book a Kindle monthly deal

This week brought the news that Tropic of Kansas is a Kindle Monthly Deal from now through November 5—$2.99 for the e-book. Thanks to all of the folks who have already checked it out.

This week’s memory feed also served a reminder of one of my favorite squibs on the book, from one year ago in Booklist:

Booklist on ToK 9-27-17

A nice boost as I crank on what’s next.

Recent and upcoming appearances

The fine folks at Malvern Books have posted this video of my recent reading at the store of a very short excerpt from my forthcoming novel RULE OF CAPTURE, currently slated for publication by Harper Voyager in 2019. Thanks to Malvern for hosting the group event of which this was a part. Also up at the Malvern YouTube page are the readings from my fellow Austin writers Patrice Sarath, who put the event together, Jessica Reisman, Stina Leicht, Marshall Ryan Maresca, Amanda Downum, and Robert Ashcroft.

This weekend I will be at Worldcon in San Jose, with a couple of panels and an autographing. Hope to see some of you there.

CB Worldcon 2018 programming

 

Book birthday

Preorder Tropic of Kansas from Amazon

Today is the one-year anniversary of my novel Tropic of Kansas. I have been very fortunate in the reception the book has had, and am deeply appreciative of the support of readers, reviewers, colleagues, and the team at Harper who made it possible. The book’s recognition last month as a finalist for the 2018 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel was the culmination of an amazing year.

If you read the sampling of what folks have said about the book, you’ll find many crediting the author’s prescience, or remarking on the way the book seems ripped from the headlines. The truth is that I worked hard to set the book in a very different version of reality from the one we live in. It was essential to do that, I thought, to take the book where I wanted it to go. I wanted to imagine an America facing the kind of revolutionary unrest I saw people enduring in other parts of the world when I began writing the book in 2012, often as the consequence of our own actions. At the same time, I tried to ground it in realism—a speculative realism that puts a fun house mirror up to the world. So I focused on the parts of America I see out there that we have allowed to degenerate into what we used to call third world, threw in ideas like CEO presidents, corporate mercenaries, flying killer robots, ecological exhaustion, direct democracy, network politics, insurrection, and the possibility of Anthropocene renewal, and played with the mixing board. That my dystopian experiment resulted in a book whose scenes echo in the daily train wreck that is our newsfeed just proves the well-established truism of the Gomi-no-Sensei.

 

 

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Tropic of Kansas is a dark book, as many remarked. It went to dark places in an effort to find its way to a more hopeful future. It didn’t get all the way to utopia, but you could see it from there, out there on the horizon. Tropic of Kansas did well enough that I get to write two more novels that explore similar territory, through the point of view of a lawyer in an America that is experiencing the end of the rule of law— “Better Call Saul meets Nineteen Eighty-Four.” I’m about to turn the first of those books in, which has been a lot of fun to work on. Part of the aspiration, in addition to telling an entertaining story, is to frame a window onto the possibility of American renewal, grounded in green thinking and emancipatory politics. I like to think that science fiction has a role to play in imagining better real tomorrows, especially if it works hard to tell the truth, and that if we do our jobs well we might even fashion a means to actually open a crack in that window.

I appreciate the opportunity, and the support of all of those who have given my work a shot.

TROPIC OF KANSAS a Campbell Award finalist

Campbell finalists 2018

I was honored to see Tropic of Kansas among the finalists for the 2018 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel of the year, especially among such remarkable company. Congratulations to all the nominees, who include many friends and colleagues, and particular congratulations to the winner announced at last Friday’s ceremony, David Walton.

KGB Fantastic Fiction—photos and audio

KGB by Kressel 12-20-17

Matt Kressel shared this great photo he took of me reading at KGB Fantastic Fiction in New York last month, together with the amazing N. K. Jemisin. We had an awesome turnout of folks on a cold night, and both ended up reading stories of revolution and resistance in a bar full of relics of the Russian revolution. Thanks to Matt and co-host Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel, to Nora for sharing the podium, and to everyone who joined us in the audience (including some of my New York friends and family).

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Here’s a photo I took of Matt and Ellen, with Henry Wessells just behind Matthew to the left.

Ellen’s photos from the night are now up at her Flickr, including this nice shot of me with my cousin the dancer and choreographer Katiti King.

katiti and chris kgb 12-20-17

And Matt just posted audio of my reading, from the opening of Tropic of Kansas. Thanks to Gordon Linzner for the great recording. It is also available through the KGB podcast at your preferred provider.

Lastly, a very nice photo Ellen took of me and my newly NYC-based son, Hugo Nakashima-Brown.

hugo and chris kgb 12-20-17

 

Talking heads

In the year 2017, science fiction writers will be invited to appear as commentators on Sunday morning public affairs shows.

I was deleted to have the opportunity to appear as a guest on “Story in the Public Square,” a great new program hosted by Jim Ludes of the Pell Center at Salve Regina University in Newport and G. Wayne Miller of the Providence Journal-Bulletin, broadcast on Rhode Island Public Television and the SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S. channel. We discussed Tropic of Kansas, dystopian realism, and the nexus of speculative fiction & American political life, in what I thought it was an engaging conversation. I very much appreciated the opportunity, and expect we will see more public dialogues like this as our daily reality becomes increasingly science fictional.

Story in the Public Square: Christopher Brown

News: new books

PW 11-24-17 full

I am delighted to share the news reported in this week’s Publishers Weekly that I am going to be working on two new books with Harper Voyager—speculative legal thrillers about a criminal defense lawyer working in the mirror America of Tropic of Kansas, pitched as “Better Call Saul” meets Nineteen Eighty-Four. The first book is slated for summer 2019 and the second for summer 2020. This is an exciting opportunity to try to weave together some of my disparate interests and explore some new territory. As currently conceived, the first book will deal with a dystopia in the making, while the second will explore more utopian territory. We will see if that’s where the characters, and the ideas, want to go as they come into being on the page.

Very happy to continue working with David Pomerico and the team at Harper Voyager, and big thanks to my agent Mark Gottlieb.

Details here at PW.

 

World Fantasy Convention and Texas Book Festival

TBF

This Thursday and Friday I will be at the World Fantasy Convention in San Antonio, moderating two panels:

And this weekend I will be at the Texas Book Festival, including a panel and signing on Sunday afternoon:

Hope to see some of you there!