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.

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.

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

LARB on Tropic of Kansas

LARB-ToK_screenshot

The Los Angeles Review of Books just posted a great long essay on Tropic of Kansas, with contributor Christopher Urban positioning the book as a rare example of a contemporary dystopia of resistance, and comparing it to both Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle and Richard Adams’s Watership Down.

Tropic of Kansas is an entertaining and engrossing read — and it shows that contemporary dystopian literature need not forgo aspects of ‘resistance’ but can, in fact, be all about it.”

LARB: “Dystopian Resistance: Christopher Brown’s ‘Tropic of Kansas'”

Upcoming appearances and “Book Trailer of the Day”

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Pic: Hometown crowd at BookPeople July 14 for the double header book launch of Tropic of Kansas and Nicky Drayden’s The Prey of Gods

Thanks to everyone who came out to our book launch at BookPeople in Austin last Friday, and to my readings and panels at Readercon last weekend. We had a standing room only crowd at the launch, and sold out of books at both events.

I will be in San Francisco this Sunday, July 23, 3pm at Borderlands Books in the Mission, reading from Tropic of Kansas and in conversation with my friend and colleague the brilliant writer and physician Michael Blumlein. Please come by if you are in the area and interested, and pass this information along to any friends you think might like to know about the event. More details here.

Tuesday, August 1, I will at Third Place Books in Seattle (Lake Forest Park), reading and in conversation my my friend and colleague Nisi Shawl, Tiptree Award-winning author of Everfair and Writing the Other.

After that I will be back in Texas for Armadillocon August 4-6 and Murder by the Book in Houston on August 24, with fellow Harper Voyager authors Marina J. Lostetter and Patrick Hemstreet. Full event calendar here.

In other news, The DIY minimalist trailer I made for Tropic of Kansas was yesterday’s Book Trailer of the Day at Shelf Awareness. Check it out:

NPR on TROPIC OF KANSAS

NPR on ToK

A frighteningly believable portrait of an American future that is closer than you want it to be.”

Nice new review of Tropic of Kansas up at NPR this morning, for those who like “modern dystopian buffet” with their Sunday brunch (and some nominal spoilers).

NPR: ‘Tropic Of Kansas’ Rips Dystopia From The Headlines

 

Kirkus on TROPIC OF KANSAS

Preorder Tropic of Kansas from AmazonDelighted to see Tropic of Kansas in the latest roundup of summer reading recommendations at Kirkus, written by SF Signal editor John DeNardo:

In Brown’s all-too-plausible near future, the United States as we know it is no more. Instead of being a group of states ruled by the government, Middle America is a collection of warring territories where civil unrest and revolution are the new normal. The so-called Tropic of Kansas – described as ‘the parts of the Midwest that had somehow turned third world’ – is a demilitarized zone where civilian militias impose their own brand of cowboy justice. Into this arid wasteland comes Sig, the abandoned son of political dissidents, and Tania, his foster sister, a government investigator blackmailed into helping a tyrannical government hunt down her foster brother. Brown’s story moves quickly and he packs quite a lot of ideas and world building into every sentence. My advice: hang on and enjoy the dark but satisfying ride.

Kirkus Reviews: “Your Best Bets for Fascinating SF/F/H Reads in July”