My new novel Failed State, the follow-on to last summer’s Rule of Capture, will be published three weeks from today on August 11. As you might imagine, it’s a challenging time to launch a book, with bookstores mostly closed, publishing staff and reviewers all working remotely, review copies and events all moving to exclusively digital and virtual formats, and all of us distracted by current events. In some ways, that suits the book, which takes place in the aftermath of a nation-breaking crisis, as lawyer Donny Kimoe finds himself trying to save his own skin by brokering a deal between two warring factions—one an autonomous community trying to beta-test a greener future in the drowned ruins of New Orleans, the other a cabal of Dallas-based biotech tycoons who want to feed a starving world from their patented seeds and get rich in the process. Here’s what some of the early reviews have said:
The novel is as tense and thrilling as any of Brown’s work, and as full of rage and hope. It’s a novel that truly reckons with the enormity of both our climate emergency and the system that produced it – a tale of human imperfection and redemption.” — Cory Doctorow, bestselling author of Walkaway
“[A] larger-than-life near-future legal thriller of environmental collapse and social rebuilding… Brown adds new layers to the wildly imaginative dystopian setting of his first two works, now with an emphasis on environmental law. The scenes of sunken New Orleans are vivid and will keep the pages turning.” — Publishers Weekly
Failed State is in continuity with my prior two novels, Tropic of Kansas and Rule of Capture, and ties together those storylines in a way that tries to germinate the hopeful seeds they planted and get closer to utopia. But while the books work together, each is a standalone, and can be read without the others, and/or be read in any order.
Two launch-related virtual events are coming up that I hope some of you will be able to join us at:
Second Life Book Club – July 22
Tomorrow, Wednesday, July 22, at 12 pm Pacific I will be on the Second Life Book Club with the amazing and prodigious British science fiction writer Paul McAuley and host Bernhard Drax. It should be a blast, assuming I can navigate my way around inside the Matrix okay. If you aren’t on Second Life, you can catch the event on YouTube here.
Virtual Book Launch – BookPeople Austin – with Cory Doctorow – August 12
On Wednesday, August 12, at 7 pm Central, Austin’s original indie bookstore BookPeople will be hosting a virtual launch for Failed State, and I am delighted to be joined at the event in conversation with my good friend Cory Doctorow. Cory has been a great supporter of all three books, and a big influence on them, especially through his championing of a less Hobbesian view of humanity and the possibility of more utopian futures. You can pre-register to join the event on Zoom here. And if you would like a signed copy of the book (or of any of my other books), BookPeople is taking preorders for me to sign before the event.
Thanks for your support and interest in my work, and I look forward to seeing many of you at one or both of these events.