“Winters has written a 1984 for the 21st century…”

My new book, GOLDEN STATE, will be published by my good friends at Mulholland/Little, Brown on January 22.

You can preorder right here.

I am allowed to say this, because I’m the author: this book is bonkers. It’s a murder mystery about the dissolution of objective reality, set in what may or may not be an alternate-reality iteration of California.

Like UNDERGROUND AIRLINES, and like the books in my Last Policeman trilogy, this new one is sort of in the shape of a mystery novel, but it has elements that may make some readers consider it science-fiction. It’s also a little philosophical, a little political, a little poetic, a little sad, a little funny.

Whatever it is, I am VERY proud of it, and excited for you to read it.

This is the official description from the publisher, which is better than mine and should have gone first:

In a strange alternate society that values law and truth above all else, Laszlo Ratesic is a nineteen-year veteran of the Speculative Service. He lives in the Golden State, a nation standing where California once did, a place where like-minded Americans retreated after the erosion of truth and the spread of lies made public life and governance impossible.

In the Golden State, knowingly contradicting the truth is the greatest crime–and stopping those crimes is Laz’s job. In its service, he is one of the few individuals permitted to harbor untruths, to “speculate” on what might have happened. But the Golden State is less a paradise than its name might suggest. To monitor, verify, and enforce the truth requires a veritable panopticon of surveillance and recording. And when those in control of the facts twist them for nefarious means, the Speculators are the only ones with the power to fight back.

 

& here are some very nice quotes from early readers:

 

“A perfectly poised ontological-thriller-comedy-dystopian-allegorical-page-turner, yet with tenderly real characters in its chewy center, this turned out to be just the thing I was looking for.”—Jonathan Lethem, author of Fortress of Solitude

 

“Not many writers would take on Orwell, Ray Bradbury, the nature of truth, and the current administration all at a blow. Big shoes to fill–and they fit Ben H. Winters just fine. Golden Stategrabs notions of disinformation and literalism and brilliantly turns them on their head to see what falls from their pockets.”—James Sallis, author of Drive

“Golden State is a prescient, devastating commentary on humanity’s disintegrating attachment to reality and truth, expertly-told through the prism of a police-procedural, dystopian nightmare. Winters has written a 1984 for the 21st Century. Not just a thrilling book, but an important one.” —Blake Crouch, author of Dark Matter

“The author of the Last Policeman trilogy and the stand-alone Underground Airlines (2016) adds another thought-provoking, genre-bending SF thriller to his bibliography. . . . Another fine novel from a writer whose imagination knows no bounds.”—Booklist

“A skillful and swift-moving concoction . . . For those who like their dystopias with a dash of humor. No lie.”—Kirkus Reviews

You can preorder GOLDEN STATE here, or here — that link goes to Walmart.com, because I think it’s wild that you can buy my book there — or here, or just save up until January 22 and march into your favorite bookstore to buy a copy like an old-fashioned person.
Continue Reading

Want a signed book?

MYsteriousPressCom_mediumI’ve just put two boxes in the mail, full of signed copies of World of Trouble and The Last Policeman, bound for New York City’s famed Mysterious Bookshop. So if you’re in New York and wanting a signed copy of one of my books, head down to Warren Street and get one. (I bet if you call over there they’ll even reserve one for you.)

While I’m at it, here are the other stores that (probably) still have signed Ben Winters stuff on hand, for in-store or mail order purchase

Me being grilled at Poisoned Pen in Arizona.
Me being grilled at Poisoned Pen in Arizona. See if you can zoom in and find the stain on my shirt.

* Mystery One Bookstore, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

* Maclean and Eakin, Petoskey, Michigan (Ask those guys, when you call, about their remarkably affordable shipping rates).

* Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, San Diego, California.

* The Poisoned Pen, Scottsdale, Arizona. (If you’re there, eat at the taco place across the street. I did, and got guacamole on my shirt right before my appearance at the store—because I’m a professional.)

* Murder by the Book, Houston, Texas.

AND OF COURSE

* IndyReads Books, in my adopted hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana.  The great thing about IndyReads, of course, is that every purchase goes to support the IndyReads literacy charity, so you can catch up on my work AND help people learn to read.

me and Katz
Me and Richard Katz at his store, Mystery One.

I think it’s worth noting— in the midst of our current controversy about the future of publishing, and in particular about book retailing—what the specific value is of privately owned, community-based local bookstores. Like, for example, they will have special events where they invite hustling authors to come do readings and meet fans and earn new ones; and like how, for example,  they will then have signed editions of books available.

So here’s an opportunity to take advantage of that value: buy one of my books—or one of anyone’s books—from one of the stores listed above.

 

Continue Reading

Home again, home again

At some point I will post some sort of complete report on my World of Trouble book tour, which I kept forgetting to officially call the Trouble Man World Tour, and now it’s too late.

For now I’ll just say I met a lot of terrific people, including a lot of Detective Henry Palace fans, plus a lot of smart and enthusiastic booksellers (and librarians!), a healthy reminder of how important it is to have an active (and interactive) “book culture,” in which real humans recommend books to each other, drink wine together and talk about the books they loved, go see authors and ask them questions, and all of that great stuff.

I also had dinner with some librarians at a Ukrainian restaurant in Cleveland, and I just wanted to write that because originality is important to me, and I doubt anyone has ever written those words in that order before.

 

Continue Reading