Normal: Warren Ellis's story of futurists driven mad by staring into the abyss of tomorrow
Last summer, Warren Ellis serialized a novel, "Normal," as a series of four novellas; today, they're collected in a single, short book that mainlines a month's worth of terrifying futuristic fiction in one go.
The Normal Head center in rural Oregon is an off-grid sanatorium for futurists who are suffering from "abyss gaze" -- the madness that comes of thinking too hard about how absolutely fucked the future is. Adam Dearden is a "foresight strategist" who has been committed after a catastrophic breakdown that began in Namibia during a political uprising and came to a head in the Netherlands. He's been kidnapped/rescued from his own madness and brought to Normal, where he learns that the fabled secret hospital is divided into two camps: foresight strategists like him (working with civil society to make livable cities and solve geoengineering problems) and strategic forecasters, who work for spooks and armies to surveil and neutralize the world's teeming masses.
Before Dearden's meds have washed out his body, Normal suffers its first-ever murder, or possibly an escape -- whatever it is, someone is definitely missing and possibly dead, and that person -- a strategic forecaster -- was the newest patient at Normal, until Dearden arrives. As Normal goes into lockdown, Dearden becomes the person most equipped to solve the mystery, leading a motley crew of lunatic futurists whose madness has driven them cannibalism and worse (one is an alt-right neoreactionary who believes in the singularity!) to find out what's really wrong, before it's too late.
This is Warren Ellis at his most darkly hilarious and most acerbic. If you loved Transmetropolitan, laughed at Crooked Little Vein and were terrified by Gun Machine, this one will please and scare you.
Normal [Warren Ellis/FSG]
Liverpool, I'll see you tonight on the Walkaway tour! (then Birmingham, Hay-on-Wye, San Francisco...) (!)
Thanks to everyone who came out for last night’s final London event on the UK Walkaway tour, at Pages of Hackney with Olivia Sudjic; today I’m heading to Waterstones Liverpool One for an event with Dr Chris Pak, followed by a stop tomorrow at Waterstones in Birmingham and then wrapping up in the UK with […]
London! I'll be at Pages of Hackney tonight with Olivia Sudjic! (then Liverpool, Birmingham, Hay...) (!)
Last night’s sold-out Walkaway tour event with Laurie Penny at Waterstones Tottenham Court Road was spectacular (and not just because they had some really good whisky behind the bar), and the action continues today with a conversation with Olivia Sudjic tonight at Pages of Hackney, where we’ll be discussing her novel Sympathy as well as […]
The following is an excerpt from my new book, The PrEP Diaries: A Safe(r) Sex Memoir, now available from Lethe Press. The book chronicles the before-and-after of using Truvada PrEP, a recent breakthrough in HIV prevention that has prompted a new sexual revolution–except that most individuals have no idea it exists. Through sex positivity, explicit openness, and fun, I hope to make many more people aware that PrEP is an option for them in not just preventing HIV but having a better, braver sex life.
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
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Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]