HEY LOOK A BOOK COVER.
That’s right, it’s the cover for my next thriller, INVASIVE.
Hannah Stander is a consultant for the FBI—a futurist who helps the Agency with cases that feature demonstrations of bleeding-edge technology. It’s her job to help them identify unforeseen threats: hackers, AIs, genetic modification, anything that in the wrong hands could harm the homeland.
Hannah is in an airport, waiting to board a flight home to see her family, when she receives a call from Agent Hollis Copper. “I’ve got a cabin full of over a thousand dead bodies,” he tells her. Whether those bodies are all human, he doesn’t say.
What Hannah finds is a horrifying murder that points to the impossible—someone weaponizing the natural world in a most unnatural way. Discovering who—and why—will take her on a terrifying chase from the Arizona deserts to the secret island laboratory of a billionaire inventor/philanthropist. Hannah knows there are a million ways the world can end, but she just might be facing one she could never have predicted—a new threat both ancient and cutting-edge that could wipe humanity off the earth.
I so dig Hannah as a character. She’s the daughter of doomsday preppers who now consults for the FBI as someone who predicts threats that are outside the scope of FBI’s own sphere. As a character she kind of pinballs wildly between optimism for the world we’re making and grave pessimism for the one we’re so close to destroying, she’s fun to write. And hopefully to read.
Oh, and spoiler warning, there might be ants.
I MEAN I DON’T SEE ANY ON THE COVER OR ANYTHING DO YOU.
*coughs into hand*
*coughs up ants*
*hurriedly shakes ants off hand as if you saw nothing*
Also, the interesting thing is, INVASIVE is set in the same universe as ZER0ES — and yet, it’s not a sequel, really. It assumes those events have happened, and references them loosely, and features a few crossover characters (Hollis Copper, for instance). IT IS ALL PART OF A GRANDER PLAN. Moo hoo ha ha. Ha ha. Ha. Ahem.
This used to be the book called MYRMIDON, by the way — and here I’ll tell one of those inside baseball publishing stories because this time I had my heels dug in with the title because I just loved the hell out of it. Had a mythological connection but also meant something inside the book and — it’s also just a cool fucking word. But marketing wasn’t sure about it, wasn’t sure it was a word people would get behind. When I talked about it on Facebook and asked who liked the title and who didn’t, enough people flinched at it and thought it sounded a bit weird that it gave me pause. The trick here was then to figure a title that covered all the bases: it worked for the book’s story, it it wasn’t a title used by other books, it sounded cool, and above all else, I just plain liked it. We literally bounced back dozens and dozens of titles until finally I came up with this one. I love it. The publisher loved it. It works. Hopefully you’ll dig it, too.
Let’s see, anything else going on?
OOH, yeah, I’m over at StoryForward talking to Steve Peters about everything Star Wars — I met Steve some years ago at a tiki bar just outside of LA, and back then I was just a ruddy-cheeked neophyte trying to break into TV, and it’s cool to reconnect with him on this podcast and actually get to talk about some awesome stuff.
At io9 you’ll find a post about 22 fantastic new Star Wars characters you don’t find in the movies — and AFTERMATH gets a considerable chunk of characters discussed.
And I think that’s all she wrote.
*ninja smoke bomb*
*I’m still standing there, awkwardly eating a taco*