PKD Award and Norwescon weekend

As mentioned in January, my novel Failed State is a nominee for this year’s Philip K. Dick Award. The awards ceremony will be at Norwescon again this year, but as suits our Dickian moment, it will be virtual, which means you can attend from wherever you happen to be (as long as you can jack in). The event will be Friday, April 2, at 7 p.m. Pacific Time, and will include a short reading from each of the nominees. Details here.

I’ll also be doing a longer reading from the book Friday at 6 p.m. Pacific, and joining a panel about the award Friday at 2 p.m. Pacific with Gordon Van Gelder and fellow nominees Alastair Reynolds, Christopher Brown, Adrian Tchaikovsky, and M.R. Carey.

Saturday, April 3, I will be participating in two panels: one about sentences, and one about “Beautiful Horror,” a topic of great interest to me lately.

I hope to see some of you there. Here’s the full schedule:

Friday, April 2
All About the Philip K. Dick Award
Mt. Rainier Stage
2–3 p.m.PT
Join award administrators and nominees for this year’s Philip K. Dick Award discuss the award and its legacy.
Gordon Van Gelder (M), Alastair Reynolds, Christopher Brown, Adrian Tchaikovsky, M.R. Carey
Reading: Christopher Brown
Seaports Stage
6–6:30 p.m.PT
Christopher Brown reads from his 2021 Philip K. Dick Award-nominated work Failed State, about a lawyer juggling two intertwined cases in the aftermath of a second American revolution
Philip K. Dick Awards
Grand Ballroom Stage or Twitch
7–8 p.m. PT
The Philip K. Dick Award is presented annually at Norwescon with the support of the Philip K. Dick Trust. The award, for distinguished science fiction published in paperback original form in the United States, is sponsored by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and the Philip K. Dick Trust. Come hear readings from the nominated works.
Saturday, April 3
Sentences: I Walk the Line
Seaports Stage
noon–1 p.m. PT
Sentences are to fiction as bricks are to architecture. But unlike your average brick, a single sentence can stick in readers’ memories for the rest of their lives. Panelists will discuss great first sentences, descriptive sentences, last lines, and why these examples resonate with them (and readers). What is meant by varying sentence structure and what goes in to writing a great sentence?
Carol Berg (M), Corry L. Lee, Charlotte Lewis Brown, Nancy Kress, Christopher Brown
Terrifying Flowers in Sunlit Fields: Beautiful Horror
Mt. Baker Stage
2–3 p.m.PT
Horror is known for the dark and grotesque. But Midsommar and Annihilation are two recent horror movies notable for being colorful, gorgeous, and well-lit. Our panelists discuss examples of beautiful horror, and when it works or doesn’t work to show us all the monsters clearly in broad daylight.
Glenn Dallas (M), Evan J. Peterson, Leigh Harlen, Eliza Gauger, Christopher Brown

FAILED STATE—upcoming virtual events

Failed State

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.