introducing readers to writers since 1995

July 22, 2005

And I Dream I Could Write Like Peter Watts

by Ron Hogan

I've been filling in on John Scalzi's blog for the last few Wednesdays, and following a link from Derryl Murphy's comments on my most recent post, I've discovered that Peter Watts has become the latest science fiction writer to offer his works to readers as a free download. Actually, it looks like he's been giving away his short stories for a while now, but he's just added his first novel to the inventory. As his bio describes it, "Starfish netted a 'Notable Book of the Year' nod from the New York Times, an honorable mention for John W. Campbell Memorial Award, and rejections from both German and Russian publishing houses on the grounds that it was 'too dark.' (Being considered too dark for the Russians remains one of Watts's proudest accomplishments...)" And word is that the sequel, Maelstrom, which "takes place almost entirely on land [and] therefore avoids the elements that readers most loved about the first book, replacing them with a sprawling entropic dystopia in which Sylvia Plath might have felt at home, if Sylvia Plath had had a graduate degree in evolutionary biology," will be ready for download next week. Hot diggity.

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