Children of the New World by Alexander Weinstein comes out today!
It’s debut collection of slightly speculative fiction that shows, with uncanny precision, what might be in store for our society in the coming years. Alexander Weinstein’s visions–of social media implants, robots adopted as as children, and virtual worlds that surpass the real one–are creepy, exciting, and always grounded in the familiar humanity of the characters who experience them.
We asked the author one question.
How are you celebrating the publication of Children of the New World?
In these days of grievance, it seems anyone can be “anti-white,” even America’s most iconic, lily-white, emo, prep-school complainer, Holden Caulfield.
As Quartz reports, over the next month, in honor of Banned Books Week, the Washington, D.C. public library system is hiding banned books around the city as part of a scavenger hunt. The books will be distinctively marked. Like obscenity, you’ll know them when you see them:
Each book has a black cover, printed with quotes from people who have tried to have them banned or removed from US libraries and schools. John Knowles’ A Separate Peace will be labeled “filthy, trashy sex novel,” and J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye is labeled “anti-white.”
The “anti-white” quote on the Catcher cover comes from a 1963 effort to ban Catcher, Brave New World and To Kill a Mockingbird. Presumably, the anti-white complaint is more targeted at the book in which African-American characters are mistreated by whites. But hey, it’s a fun scavenger hunt, so just go with it.
While Salinger surely would have objected to this whole thing — since he objected to everything (including whites, I guess?) — he did once write a story that the kind of person who would label something as “anti-white” might consider anti-white. It was based on the life of Bessie Smith, including her death, which was alleged to be the result of being refused admittance into a whites-only hospital. The story was published in Cosmopolitan in 1948, and the editors changed Salinger’s title from “Needle on a Scratchy Phonograph Record” to “Blue Melody” without telling the author, which upset him deeply.
September 1, 1992
On his knees, the seven-year-old prayed for his family. For his mom and dad. The little dog next door pacing outside the doghouse. The red roosters with fat muscular legs tied to rusty rebar stakes in the ground. He prayed for the city of Savannah and all the barrier islands. He prayed they would survive this black, swirling mass.
Speaking over the eerily robotic intonations of the weather radio, he chanted the verse. It was his mantra during times like these. The air lit up around him, tiny pixels of strange light that only he could see. He swore to others they were there. He saw them plain as day. The visions, his mom called them. His body grew warm as if steaming bathwater were encircling him.
In his hands, the boy clutched a black Bible. His name glossed the cover: William H. Fordham in gold lettering. It was a Christmas gift from two years prior. Already, the pages showed wear. Highlighted verses and pencil scratches marred the smooth tissue paper. The yellow streaks and graphite marks had made his mother proud.
She hovered above him now, pacing. Turning up the weather radio. The cold, alien voice grew louder. The syllables didn’t connect as they should. The end of each word began promptly with the start of the next. No pause for breath in between. It was unnatural. It sounded like cold metal coming to life. Will imagined the rectangular furnace beside him awakening. Appendages, eyes, teeth, and consciousness as it belched the English language in loud, sober proclamations.
“Saturday-evening. Storm-warning-for-all-in-neighboring counties. Warning extends-to-all-on-the-Georgiacoast. First squall. Thosein-thefollowingcounties. Find shelter. Stayinyourhomes. Second-squall-forecasted-for7:30.”
That word. It terrified him. It sounded like the noise something makes before it kills you. “Mommy, what’s squall?” Continue reading
Friends! Fellow readers! Fellow writers!
We want to thank you for supporting Fiction Advocate and small press publishing by giving you a chance to read Eyes on the Island by Frank Reddy before it’s available anywhere else. This is our newest release from Fiction Advocate Books. You won’t find it on Amazon until October. But you can get it right here, right now, with a $5 discount.
Eyes on the Island is already making headlines in Georgia, where the novel is set—check out the cover of the Gainesville Times below—and we think it’ll be a breakout hit. You like literary thrillers, right? You like deadly storms, and conspiracy theories, and priests who question their faith, and remote islands where people speak Gullah? Well, that’s what Eyes on the Island is all about.
Pulitzer Prize nominee Charles McNair says, “Frank Reddy is a revelation—this debut novel foreshadows a tidal wave of a career.”
We’re so excited to share Eyes on the Island with you that we’ll give you another Fiction Advocate book—the e-book edition of The Black Cat by J.M. Geever—when you buy this one. Just our way of saying THANK YOU for being a supporter of indie publishing!
Eyes on the Island by Frank Reddy
$12.95 +$3 shipping
These guys are charming as hell. I can’t not love them.
Maybe you’ve heard of Lake Street Dive singing Jackson 5 on the streets of Boston, or maybe you caught them killing it with their Halloween version of Bohemian Rhapsody.
They’re original, catchy, positive, great performers, clearly great collaborators, and they make me wish like hell there was still such a thing as a “music industry” that would shower them with money so they could make more and more art!
Eve Out of Her Ruins by Ananda Devi: “With brutal honesty and poetic urgency, Ananda Devi relates the tale of four young Mauritians trapped in their country’s endless cycle of fear and violence. Eve out of Her Ruins is a heartbreaking look at the dark corners of the island nation of Mauritius that tourists never see, and a poignant exploration of the construction of personhood at the margins of society.”
The Fortunes by Peter Ho Davies: “Sly, funny, intelligent, and artfully structured, The Fortunes recasts American history through the lives of Chinese Americans and reimagines the multigenerational novel through the fractures of immigrant family experience.”
We Eat Our Own by Kea Wilson: “When a nameless, struggling actor in 1970s New York gets the call that an enigmatic director wants him for an art film set in the Amazon, he doesn’t hesitate: he flies to South America, no questions asked. Inspired by a true story from the annals of 1970s Italian horror film, and told in dazzlingly precise prose,We Eat Our Own is a resounding literary debut, a thrilling journey behind the scenes of a shocking film and a thoughtful commentary on violence and its repercussions.”
Also this month: We’ll interview Virgie Tovar and talk about The Art of Waiting by Belle Boggs, Reputations by Juan Gabriel Vásquez, and Children of the New World by Alexander Weinstein.
And we’ll announce the novel that Fiction Advocate will be releasing soon…