Anthropocene Rag Is Out!

O frabjous day! Anthropocene Rag is loose in the world! Thanks to everyone on the publishing team for making it all happen, and thanks in advance to everyone who will read it. I’m grateful to be able to do this for a living, and that gratitude and excitement is renewed every time a new book finds its way into the world.

Given world events, this is a hell of a time to launch a book, but I’m proud of Anthropocene Rag and I think it will reward your attention. Need some encouragement? Read on…

A “wondrous, playful, but still weighty science fiction odyssey.” –Publishers Weekly

“Somewhere between the hallucinatory worlds of Philip K. Dick and the alien exploration of human culture’s remains in Samuel R. Delany’s The Einstein Intersection.” Booklist (starred review)

“The notion of a self-replicating tech that is both fascinated by stories and utterly unable to discern between fact and fiction is so clever and cleverly realized; the stretches when the book really leans into that disparity are gleefully, gloriously, evocatively weird. Seriously – it’s just so cool.” The Maine Edge



We’re flying a bit under the radar with this book, so every reader can help. If you read the book and like it, please tell your friends! Leave a review at the outlet of your choice!

Buy from your local bookstore! — or Powell’sAmazon, Books-a-Million, or Barnes and Noble. And if you cannot be satisfied by anything less than a copy signed just for you, Print: A Bookstore has got you covered.

Would You Like a Signed Copy of Anthropocene Rag?

If you are the sort of person who likes signed books, and you want me to write something in a copy of Anthropocene Rag for you, here’s what you do:

Contact Print: A Bookstore and let them know. I’ll go over there and inscribe your book in a safe, socially-distanced manner. They will ship it to you. Everybody wins!


(PS this goes for all my other books too.)

Chicago Review of Books on Anthropocene Rag

chireviewlogoThe Chicago Review of Books features a monthly column on literature and climate change, called Burning Worlds. This month editor Amy Brady features Anthropocene Rag and asks me some thought-provoking questions about the book. Check it out, and if you don’t already read her column, definitely check out previous editions.


Anthropocene Rag is out in two weeks (actually 13 days!). Be the first on your block to get a copy by preordering now!

Anthropocene Rag Launch Shindig

printlogoMark your calendars! If you’re in or near Portland on March 31, the day Anthropocene Rag is unleashed into the world, please do swing by the launch party at Print: A Bookstore. There will be books. Maybe beer too!

Also keep an eye out for other events in the next couple of months…more as the dates get firmed up.

“Chisel and Chime” in F&SF, Jan/Feb 2020

Not gonna lie. I will never get tired of seeing my name on the cover of F&SF. I love this magazine.


If you read my earlier F&SF stories “Wizard’s Six” or “Dragon’s Teeth” — or the PS novella Mare Ultima, which is an expansion of both — you’ll recognize the milieu of “Chisel and Chime,” but the characters and the story’s setting are all new. Hope you enjoy it!

Also, subscribe!

Where Stories Come From: Sarge

There’s a scene in Anthropocene Rag where one of the characters is invited to play chess by a ragged wanderer in Kansas. The wanderer is unnamed, but he was based on a homeless guy I used to play chess with in Denver in the late 90s, at the outdoor tables on the 16th Street Mall. All I knew about him was he went by Sarge but his real name was Lester.

He was a much better player than I was, especially in the morning. If I showed up at the tables later in the afternoon, often he was tired or a little boozy. But man, did he tell stories. Not about Vietnam, but about everything else: homeless life in Denver, the ins and outs of riding the rails, places he’d stopped to work for a while on his journeys. One of my favorites was his story of working for a few weeks on a tobacco farm, after which he took part of his pay in tobacco, hopped a westbound long-haul train with a couple of other guys, rolled a cigarette…and discovered none of them had matches. I have no idea how many of the stories were true, and I don’t want to know. The flow of Sarge’s storytelling only stopped when he zeroed in on the board to take pitiless advantage of another player’s mistake–at which moments he always said, “I didn’t do that. You did that.” I liked him a lot.

Anyway, while I was reading through the page proofs of Anthropocene Rag, 20 years after the last time I tried to match wits with him, I wondered whatever happened to Sarge. I figured it was a long shot, but I Googled ‘Sarge Lester Denver,’ and up popped this Westword article from 2002.

Pre-Order Links for Anthropocene Rag

AnthropoceneRag_CoverWe’re about four months out from Anthropocene Rag appearing in the world on March 31, but you can save yourself the worry and hassle of having to remember that date. How, you ask? I’ll tell you: by pre-ordering now!

IndieBound will route you to your closest independent bookstore.

Macmillan lists a variety of ebook sources and bookstore links, including Amazon, Powell’s, B&N, etc.

And if you want a signed copy, order it through Print: A Bookstore here in Portland and let them know what inscription you’d like!