One of the real joys of living where I do is the number of really first class authors who are in easy driving distance. For almost a decade, I was in a critique group that included (just to name the top sellers) Walter Jon Williams, S. M. Stirling, Melinda Snodgrass, Ian Tregillis. I’ve gotten to see books by each of them grow from an idea into a book, or sometimes series of books.
I was there when we planned out Walter Jon Williams’ new novel Deep State, and I was also around when the Green Revolution in Iran started lifting scenes out of it. When Walter says the news back then was uncomfortably word-for-word what he’d been writing, I can attest that it was pretty eerie for me. And I’d just been critiquing it.
But then a few of us got together and found ways to gin it up so it wouldn’t look like Walter had been cribbing from the events in Iran.
Now it looks like he was cribbing from Egypt.
I am, as I have stated elsewhere, a massive Walter Jon Williams fan, and was before I met him lo these many years ago. He has written some of the best space opera there is in the Dread Empire’s Fall series, which CALLS OUT LIKE THE SOULS OF THE DAMNED FOR MORE BOOKS. If someone out there who knows someone could politely ask our dear friends at HarperCollins to suggest he might drop them a proposal for a few more, I will personally buy you a drink. Or dinner. Or clean out your garage.
He wrote New Weird before New Weird existed, and a raft of pitch-perfect short stories, and a critically under-appreciated science-fiction mystery that you have to be from New Mexico to really grok.
I love the new project he’s pitching which I am thus far sworn not to speak of.
Deep State is out now, and as with all Walter’s books, it’s a damn fine read. I’m just hoping that the third one in the series comes true too…