Woke up the next morning, said, ‘Okay, you’d had a few beers last night, it’s probably not as good as you remember it.’ It was, and better.
Later that week, at the Baltimore B’con, I bumped into Scott Phillips twice. Both times he was walking around with THE BIG O tucked under his oxter. Nice guy.
A couple of months later, I read COTTONWOOD. Better than THE ICE HARVEST? Possibly, but we’re dealing in quarks here.
Anyway, the news that the Concord Free Press is publishing Scott Phillips’ new offering is all kinds of good news. To wit:
RUT, a wild and original novel from Scott Phillips, takes readers to the Rocky Mountains circa 2050, where the once thriving burg of Gower is about to become a 21st-century ghost town. Thanks to extreme weather and plenty of toxic waste, the skiers and celebrities are gone, along with the money and the veneer of civilization. What’s left? Old-time religion and brand-new pharmaceuticals, bad food and warm beer, mutated animals and small-town gossip. Can the town survive? We’ll see.A Phillips / Vonnegut / Pynchon mash-up? I WANT IT NOW!
“Part of me would love to live in the near-future world Scott Phillips has imagined in RUT, but only a little part. The rest of me is happy just to read about this, um, direction in which we humans might be headed. Another great novel from one of our best.”
—Tom Franklin, author of CROOKED LETTER, CROOKED LETTER
A dystopian novel with a difference, RUT is hilarious and horrifying. Phillips creates a richly imagined world that serves as a funhouse mirror for our own times. It’s filled with an unforgettable cast of spot on original characters who struggle, steal, lie, fight, drink, cheat, and scheme their way to better days. Or China. Or anywhere but Gower. Sly and cool, absurd and archly perceptive, RUT resonates with the best work of Kurt Vonnegut and Thomas Pynchon, all in a wonderfully weird tale unlike any other.
Incidentally, if you haven’t come across the Concord Free Press before, they’re well worth checking out. The slogan: ‘Free their books and their minds will follow.’ Their mission statement reads thusly:
We publish great books and give them away. All we ask is that you make a voluntary donation to a charity or someone in need. Tell us about it. Then pass your book along so others can give. It’s a new kind of publishing, one based purely on generosity, and it’s changing the way people think about books.For the rest, clickety-click here …