If you think dating is hard now, I hate to tell you this, but it’s only going to get worse. Based on the Hugo-winning story, Bridesicle, LOVE MINUS EIGHTY (US | UK | AUS) is a cold and yet stirring look at the search for true love in the future. What is already a difficult task for us now becomes even more complicated in this twisted and poignant story penned by Will McIntosh.
Praise for LOVE MINUS EIGHTY:
“This is speculative fiction at its most personal and powerful, extrapolating current social and technological trends and exploring how they would affect future people simply trying to live their lives and make their existence matter to someone.” – Kirkus (Starred Review)
This month Orbit UK digitally released two titles from an award-winning author. I can honestly say that these two novels have affected me so deeply, stayed with me so long, that I just want everyone to read them. EVERYONE. So it’s just darn lucky I work in publishing, meaning I can actually help bring these books to you . . . (And yes, this is the best job in the world).
HITCHERS is a hard book to define. Part horror story, part contemporary supernatural tale, part post-apocalyptic adventure, part touching tale of grief and redemption. But ALL compulsively readable. Chilling, amusing, sad, creepy, gripping, and deeply, deeply affecting.
To start with, the book has just about my favourite prologue ever. Read it here, and see a brief excerpt below:
“You don’t think she’ll get fired, do you?” Lorena had asked drowsily as we drifted. “I didn’t mean to get her in trouble, even though she was incredibly rude to me.” She was still ruminating about the argument she’d had with our waitress at the Blue Boy Diner. I was ruminating about the argument I’d had with my grandfather that morning, which had far greater implications for our future.
What I didn’t know at the time was that we had no future. We had about twenty-five minutes.
Someone is about to die . . . and this opening sets up one of the most fantastically-crafted and creepy tales you’ll read. In fact, in not too long, a terrorist attack is about to wipe out half the population of Finn Darby’s home city.
With all this destruction around, it’s expected that everyone would be pretty upset. But what isn’t expected is the mass phenomenon that starts to occur after the attack. People start to blurt out voices beyond their control. They appear to be taken over by a sinister unknown force, and can do very little about it. What’s so disturbing is that these voices sound freakishly similar to the voices of the recently deceased, that somehow the dead seem to be “hitching” onto the living . . .
If I say much more then I’ll be giving away too much, but what I really want to get across is how addictive this book is, how intelligent and multi-layered the writing, how intriguingly unsettling Will McIntosh’s view of the afterlife, how heart-wrenchingly attached you’ll become to his characters.
So the moral of the story is – you need to read this (and that’s not even with my publishing hat on).
You also need to look out for LOVE MINUS EIGHTY, which will be a big worldwide release from Orbit next summer.
And you also need to put pressure on Film4 to make sure that they actually make a film out of the rights they optioned for ‘Bridesicle’, the Hugo award-winning short story that LOVE MINUS EIGHTY is based on, because it would make the best, most wonderfully weird, chilling and entertaining movie ever.
Will McIntsosh is the Hugo Award-winning science fiction author of SOFT APOCALYPSE and HITCHERS (both released as digital editions this Thursday in UK and ANZ), as well as the up-and-coming LOVE MINUS EIGHTY (released worldwide in June 2013). Will tells us below about exactly what kind of apocalypse he envisages . . .
I’ve had a longstanding interest in the end of the world. I’m not a True Believer – I don’t have a six month supply of freeze-dried food and a ten year supply of ammo stored in a bunker under my house – but I do believe the likelihood of an apocalypse is greater than most people think.
In most apocalyptic literature, the apocalypses are caused by sudden, surprising, cataclysmic events, like nuclear weapons, meteors, or killer viruses. I wrote a novel about a “soft apocalypse”, where things unravel slowly, over the course of decades. Rather than one event, a series of events cause a long, slow decline, and the world population dies off gradually. If there is an apocalypse, I think this is how it will happen. Here’s why.
A social psychologist named Dan Gilbert pointed out that the human mind has evolved to react primarily to immediate threats, especially if those threats have a clearly identifiable cause, and especially if that cause is an identifiable person or group of people. In other words, we’ve evolved to react to immediate threats perpetrated by human villains. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 were exactly that kind of threat. During the cold war, the threat was nuclear annihilation, and the villains were the leaders of the Soviet Union or the United States, depending on where you lived. These sorts of threats scare the hell out of us. We sit up, pay attention, and take action if we can. Read the rest of this entry »
In 2010, Will McIntosh astonished us with his Hugo Award-winning short story, “Bridesicle,” so we signed him up to write a couple novels for Orbit. But we never lost sight of the fact that McIntosh is a consummate short story writer, and we are thrilled to publish his new one on our Orbit Short Fiction program.
The Perimeter” is set in a human colony on a distant planet; beyond the colony’s borders, strange fauna with sinister agendas lurk. All this creepy tale needs is Rod Serling standing in the foreground, saying “Picture if you will …”