Sep 052011


So fresh on the heels of CCLaP’s really successful quadruple book release party the other week, the center has yet another live event coming up soon — namely, the release party for our newest anthology, American Wasteland: Bleak Tales of the Future on the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11, our first chance to officially partner up with one of my favorite places in the city, Quimby’s Bookstore over in Wicker Park.

AMERICAN WASTELAND  is essentially CCLaP’s attempt to remind the future of what the ten years after September 11th really were like, worried as I am by the whitewashing of it all we’ve recently been seeing just even here approaching its tenth anniversary, cautionary tales about quasi-fascist governments but told here through the filter of alt-history science-fiction. Here, perhaps I should just quote from the event’s press release to give you a better idea of what the book is about…

“…In this case, the stories look back from a fictional twentieth anniversary of 9/11, but one where John McCain won the 2008 and ’12 elections, then Sarah Palin in 2016 and ’20; and with no government bailouts, no withdrawals from the Middle East, and no attempts to move away from an oil-based economy, the US has become a much bleaker and more terrible place, a nation that is now used to rolling electricity blackouts two or three days a week and that is just about to go to war with Mexico, where the permanently unemployed squat in half-finished McMansions out in crumbling suburbs that almost completely lack both gasoline and fresh fruit. A sobering reminder of what life under Tea Party rule would likely be like, American Wasteland is an antidote to the false cheeriness and optimism that has come with the tenth anniversary of 9/11, a more realistic look at all the mistakes this nation has made between then and now.”

Anyway, the party at Quimby’s on Friday, September 9th will feature a performance from CCLaP regular Mark R. Brand (he of sci-fi novella Life After Sleep), and also readings from two other local writers who have been great friends and supporters of the center now for years, and both of whom I’m glad to finally start getting involved more with official CCLaP activities, Delphine Pontvieux (author of the Basque-separatist political thriller ETA: Estimated Time of Arrest) and Lawrence Santoro, a well-respected genre author (mostly of fantasy and horror) who lives down in the Hyde Park area with all the other U of C intellectuals. We’re getting going about 7 pm that night, with performances starting around 7:15; here’s a link to the Facebook event, and one to its iCal file, for adding automatically to your own home calendar if you want. Hell yes there will be free beer! Hope to see you then!

We hope you can attend the event and listen to Delphine Pontvieux as she reads an excerpt of her work published in the AMERICAN WASTELAND ANTHOLOGY, a short story titled “AGUA BENDITA.”

The anthology’s release date is set for September 11, 2011.