A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world’s last hope. In the tradition of The Stand and Station Eleven comes a gripping saga that weaves an epic tapestry of humanity into an astonishing tale of survival.
Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and are sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.
For on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it. As the rest of society collapses all around them–and an ultraviolent militia threatens to exterminate them–the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart–or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.
* * *
This is it.
It’s out. (Well, it’s out tomorrow. Tonight if you come to the Bethlehem, PA pre-launch. And the 11th if you’re in BREXITLAND.) But this week, this big sprawly apocalyptic (not dystopian, not post-apocalyptic, but apocalyptic) book hits shelves. Er, hopefully it doesn’t hit them because it might break them? One hopes it gently lands upon shelves, like a graceful pelican.
I won’t go through all the blurbs or reviews or lists. You can go here and read all that.
(Though surely I can be forgiven for mentioning that it made USA Today, right?)
Let’s get some of your procurement options out of the way, though:
And you can add it on Goodreads.
Now, to answer some questions…
Is there a content warning?
There is. I’ve concealed it behind a ROT13 filter so that those who desire the warning can simply unscramble it by c/p’ing the encrypted text into the window at rot13.com.
Pbagrag jneavat: fhvpvqny vqrngvba, fhvpvqr, gbegher, enpvfz naq ovtbgel, qvfphffvbaf bs zragny urnygu naq zragny vyyarff, tha ivbyrapr, naq n tencuvpny qrfpevcgvba bs Z/Z encr (sbhaq ba cc 434-435 bs gur uneqonpx, ng gur raq bs puncgre 50).
Who will like this book?
YOU WILL, OF COURSE. You, specifically you. *stares unswervingly*
More seriously, this book is for fans of things like The Stand, Station Eleven, Lost, Swan Song, The Passage, The Strain, The Hot Zone.
Is this part of a series?
It is a standalone. (Though it’s big enough for 3-4 novels, I guess.) There could be a sequel if sales and attention warrants it — but it is a complete story.
What genre is it?
I don’t know. I mean, I guess technically it’s either “speculative fiction” or “science fiction,” but I also wrote what I feel is implicitly, if not explicitly, an epic horror novel. Thankfully, genres are just a thing people made up. So what narrative taxonomy works for you!
What if I can’t afford the book?
Then I slyly but pointedly direct my gaze at Your Local Library. Libraries are where the free books — and essential community services! — live. If they do not carry the book, you can always contact them and ask them to, or perhaps request it through ILL (inter-library loan).
What can I do to support the book?
The story goes that what is most likely to convince someone to read a book is not me telling you to, or advertisements, or a blog tour, or a tweet, or, or, or — but rather, word-of-mouth. Meaning, the best thing you can do is talk about it. Online, in meatspace, wherever, however. Reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. Tweets, blog posts, incoherent wails of joy. Tell friends and family and random strangers and cherished villains. If you read it, and you like it, and you’re feeling particularly enthusiastic, that’s the best way to help — just try to get other people to read the ding-dang thing. That’s the hardest part, and I really can’t do it. This part falls to you. If, of course, you like it (and me) enough to do so.
Can I come see you and get the book signed?
Heck yeah you can.
And that starts tonight, at the Bethlehem Public Library, 6:30PM. Books for sale. I’ll sign. Pre-launch party event featuring… I dunno what, actually, it’s a bit of a surprise for me. I’ve been kept in the dark. I assume food, drink, elves, various fires, a bag of possums, and a series of smaller and smaller robots.
Y’know. The usual.
What if I can’t be there but I want the book signed?
THEN TOO BAD
ha ha just kidding
A number of the print links above will take you to signed copies — probably the fastest route to that is to order from Let’s Play Books or Doylestown Bookshop, as I’ll be at both places over the next couple days and can sign/personalize accordingly, and they can ship directly.
Are there Easter Eggs?
There are, indeed. Lots of references to other books, other authors, my own books, and so forth. A hundred points to the Hogwarts House that finds them all.
Summer 2020, The Book of Accidents. It’s about… well, I don’t know how to talk about it yet. Creepy coal mines and alternate universes and a boy who can see other people’s pain and cycles of abuse and spirals and trauma and families maybe a serial killer. Still in edits.
Anyway, that’s it, I think. For now, at least.
I’ll add one last thing: this is a very spoilery book, with lots of twists and turns and switchbacks and oubliettes, so I’m sure I don’t need to tell you to preserve those, but just in case: please do.
Hope you check it out.
Hope you like it.
Hope you tell folks about it.
Black Swan says hi.