So first, my apologies for the delay with this, which was supposed to have come out on Monday; my crappy home internet connection decided this weekend to suddenly and mysteriously black out on me once again, literally the fifth or sixth time this company has done so in just the few years I've belonged to their service. Anyway, the good news is that it finally motivated me to go sign up with another carrier, and now have that up and running just fine, so today I'm finally having a chance to release CCLaP's newest original book to the general public, the dark science-fiction anthology concerning 9/11 called American Wasteland. For those who still haven't heard what it's about, here's its official book jacket copy:
With all the talk of "hope" and "honor" that was bound to arise during the tenth anniversary of September 11th, the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography (CCLaP) thought it was important to also remind the future of what the last ten years have REALLY been like. That's why the center put together this latest anthology, which took a dark science-fiction conceit as its core and then invited a series of writers across the nation to pen stories set within that alternative universe. In this case, the stories (by Ray Charbonneau, Delphine Pontvieux, John Reed, Matthew Christman, Mark R. Brand and Lawrence Santoro) look back from a fictional twentieth anniversary of 9/11, but one where John McCain won the 2008 and '12 elections, then Sarah Palin in 2016 and '20; and with no government bailouts, no withdrawals from the Middle East, and no attempts to move away from an oil-based economy, the US has become a much bleaker and more terrible place, a nation that is now used to rolling electricity blackouts two or three days a week and that is just about to go to war with Mexico, where the permanently unemployed squat in half-finished McMansions out in crumbling suburbs that almost completely lack both gasoline and fresh fruit. A sobering reminder of what life under Tea Party rule would likely be like, "American Wasteland" is an antidote to the false cheeriness and optimism that has come with the tenth anniversary of 9/11, a more realistic look at all the mistakes this nation has made between then and now.
Anyway, as usual, the book is coming in PDF versions for both American and European (A4) laserprinters; an EPUB for most mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads; and a special MOBI edition just for Kindle owners, which they can transfer directly to their device with their USB cord. (There will also be a version directly at the Kindle Store soon for a flat five bucks, for those who would rather wait.) And if you want a paper version, you can order one of the special "Hypermodern Editions," which to remind you are limited-edition, handmade, hardbound paper editions of all our electronic books, designed for collectors but kept reasonably priced ($15 plus shipping for recycled paper, $20 for one with cotton sheets), featuring such creative little touches as fabric-bound covers with decorative interior sheets, a Colophon and provenance statements, and a color photo of the ebook's front cover glued to the hardbound frontispiece, all of it held together with hand-done external Coptic stitching.
For those playing at home, by the way, that now makes it six of CCLaP's seven Hypermodern Editions for 2011 that are now out and available to the public -- not just this newest anthology but the other anthology Amsterdamned If You Do, as well as the standalone books Life After Sleep by Mark R. Brand, Salt Creek Anthology by Jason Fisk, Too Young to Fall Asleep by Sally Weigel and 99 Problems by Ben Tanzer -- with one still to go Katherine Scott Nelson's coming-of-age tale Have You Seen Me, coming October 17th. (But more on this soon, including a web-exclusive sneak-preview PDF coming in just a few days. And these photos above, by the way, were taken at the historic Fenn House mansion in Chicago's Hyde Park, where I've gotten involved with a new group called S.H.o.P. [Southside Hub of Production] to convert the house into a thirteen-room working cultural and community center, and where I will be producing spoken-word events in the house's original Victorian library all winter long...but more on this soon too, I promise!) As regualr readers know, Amsterdamned was a surprise addition to the catalog this summer, mostly in an attempt to give our intern Traci Kim something to actually do, which means that soon I'll be readjusting the fee for CCLaP's 2011 Hypermodern subscription, in which you can purchase all of these books at once at a steep discount; but until I do, for a few days you'll still be able to purchase all seven in cotton versions and with free shipping for a ridiculously small $100, a $175 value when ordered individually. Like I said, I'm fixing this in just a few days, so act now if you want to take advantage of a sneaky little pricing loophole that currently exists! And in any case, I do hope you'll have a chance to download a copy of American Wasteland as well, or order an individual paper copy of it if you so wish.