Cory Doctorow's new ''cli-fi'' novel "Walk Away" is set for a 2017 release from Tor Books. Not so long away, and not so long to wait. But wait we must. Cory describes the forthcoming book as a "utopian disaster novel" in which people are fundamentally good to each other after a series of economic and natural disasters. He says the challenge in the story hinges on the panic the rich people in the story arc have about the actions of the poor.
Movie rights to Hollywood? Foreign translations in 25 countries? Stay tuned. This is a big book!
With a renewed interest in a human trip to Mars, popularized by figures such as Elon Musk, or moon veteran Buzz Aldrin, not to mention the new movie ''The Martians" starring Interstellar's Matt Damon, everyone's talking about Mars, Mars, Mars. But not Cory, not now.
Cory sees the future of Earth's ecology, rather than Mars colonies, as the primary challenge of our times, of the day. Check out his first major cli-fi novel when it appears in 2017. He's gonna nail it.
"We don't need to go to Mars for that project. We have a big, romantic urgent project right here on our doorstep," Cory recently told a reporter Down Under at the Sydney Morning Herald, adding: "As long as we aren't swallowed up by the seas due to climate change."
Cory writes on his blog:
"My biggest (and, IMO, best) adult novel has [been] sold to Tor Books for a very pleasing sum of money; it will hit shelves in 2017.
Here’s my editor in Publishers Weekly:
The novel .. is set in the latter part of this century; Hayden described it as a “big, sprawling story” about what happens when advancements in technology make peace and abundance for all a possibility, allowing humans to “simply walk away from the systems of work and coercive authority that have run the world since agriculture began.”Here’s what I sent to my [PR] by way of a quote:
Of all the novels I’ve written, I’m most proud of [''Walk Away'']. In it, I
finally found a way to express all my fears about where we’re heading
and all my hopes for how we might head it off. Everyone I know feels
that incohate dread that Occupy shorthanded as ‘things are fucked up and
shit’, and that feeling’s given me the cold grue for most of a decade.
Finally, I’m managed to get that feeling and where it comes from into an
orderly narrative that — I hope — transfers it from my brain to yours.
I want to make a world that works even when it’s broken down, a world
where we see ourselves with a common destiny, where every person is owed
a debt to, and owes a debt to, every other person.
I want to make theAnd here’s an essay I wrote when I started work on the book:
world where our coming disasters are attended by outpourings of
cooperation and empathy. Not because I find this aesthetically pleasing:
because I want to live through those disasters, and I want my child to
live through them. I want you to live through them, too, and your children.
Lately, though, I’ve been thinking that writing books in which people act good while not facing much existential adversity is a kind of easy optimism. Much more interesting are stories about people who behave well when they are at risk for life and limb: the person who shares with his neighbor when doing so might mean his own starvation; the person who takes in an orphan when she can hardly feed her own children. In short, the most optimistic fiction you can write is fiction where people treat each other well under conditions of crisis.
This is a narrative we desperately need to hear. In crisis – in the horrible, slow-motion, global economic/environmental catastrophe that we inhabit – we form theories about how everyone else will react and plan accordingly. When Katrina hit, people nodded when soldiers and mercenaries shot ‘‘looters’’ in New Orleans, convinced that looting was the sort of thing that transpired after disasters. That was news. Hardly noticed, months after the fact, was the truth that there was practically no looting in post-Katrina New Orleans, and that those shot – particularly those shot by Blackwater mercenaries – were innocents who’d been killed in the service of a lie: the lie that human beings are bad, and that the first thing we do when the veneer of civilization falls away is kill, rape, and/or eat one another. This lie was a racist lie, and it was a speciest lie, too.[Walk Away] will have a 20-city promotional book tour -- [radio, TV, print, online] -- and will be attended by some rather exciting news that I will be revealing in good time.''
This is the worst kind of lie: the lie that makes itself true. When enough people believe the libel against the human race, the vile calumny that ‘‘human nature’’ would have us all at each others’ throats were it not for coercive force, it becomes a truth. If you are sure your neighbor will kill you when the lights go out, the natural thing to do is kill him at the first flicker – and even if you’re more reasonable than that, you still won’t want to let a potential killer into your shelter; you won’t want to share your food with him; you won’t want to take in his children when they need it.
Commentariat at BoingBoing and elsewhere:
''Everything is coming up Cory'' wrote one pundit.
Another posted: Congrats Cory! Does a "very pleasing sum" mean you're taking us all out for drinks?To which someone replied: It means he's moving back to London!
Congratulations Cory! A book with world changing potential. Thanks for seeing what others do not. The power of Hope.
May I suggest booking Todd Rundgren and friends to play for your release party?