Peter Watts Is An Angry Sentient Tumor
Revenge Fantasies and Essays
by Peter Watts
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Pub Date 22 Nov 2019 | Archive Date 17 Dec 2019
“A brilliant bastard.” —Cory Doctorow
Which of the following is true?
Peter Watts was banned from the U.S.
Watts almost died from flesh-eating bacteria.
A schizophrenic man living in Watts's backyard almost set his house on fire.
Watts was raised by Baptists who really sucked at giving presents.
Peter Watts said to read this book. Or else.
“Watts, undoubtedly, is a genius.” —Medium
In more than fifty unpredictable essays and revenge fantasies, Peter Watts — Hugo Award-winning author, former marine biologist, and angry sentient tumor — is the savage dystopian optimist whom you can’t look away from. Even when you probably should.
A Note From the Publisher
Praise for Peter Watts is an Angry Sentient Tumor
[STARRED REVIEW] “Former marine biologist and Hugo Award–winning sf author Watts has collected over 50 essays from his blog, Crawl, and other sources from as far back as 2004. His writing is irreverent, self-depreciating, profane, and funny, showcasing a Hunter S. Thompson–esque studied rage and dissatisfaction with the status quo combined with the readability and humor of John Scalzi. These thought-provoking essays rail against hypocrisy, question the usefulness of consciousness, and explore counterrhetorical biases and how they impact our society. With intellectual rigor, clarity, and dark humor, Watts covers subjects as widely divergent as holidays, law enforcement and surveillance, homelessness, and the intersection of science and sf in the study of dolphin language. His film criticism covers J. J. Abrams' Star Trek movies, Blade Runner 2049, and the fallacy of oppression in the X-Men franchise. He shares personal stories, too: a life-threatening illness, the death of his brother. This collection of well-written essays has actual science backing up most of Watts' opinions about politics and humanity. Give it to readers looking for a deep dive into privacy, antirhetorical biases, and other sociological issues.
—Booklist, starred review
“Watts, a former marine biologist and Hugo Award-winning Canadian science fiction writer, rails against climate change one moment and movingly describes his relationship with a cat the next. You never know where his writing’s going to lead, and reading his essays is an exciting, energizing, and occasionally bewildering journey.”
“Peter Watts will shatter your illusions, crush your dreams, and vaporize your defense mechanisms, because he cares. He cares deeply about our world, and he respects you enough not to coddle you with reassurances. These essays are proof of that—they are tough love for the mind.”
—Karl Schroeder, author of Ventus and Permanence
“You may not agree with every opinion Watts has, but you will have to admit he is an excellent writer, presents his opinions and facts clearly and concisely, and he is passionate about what he thinks.”
—She Treads Softly
“There's an underlying feeling to the pieces presented in the book that Watts cares He cares about the planet, he cares about humanity, he cares about everything. He gets angry at things precisely because he cares so much. And it really does show.”
Praise for Peter Watts
“Known for his pitch-black views on human nature, and a breathtaking ability to explore the weird side of evolution and animal behavior, Watts is one of those writers who gets into your brain and remains lodged there like an angry, sentient tumor.” —Annalee Newitz, io9
“Peter Watts blows my mind every single time.” —Kelly Robson, author of Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach
“[Watts] asks the questions that the best science fiction writers ask, but that the rest of us may be afraid to answer.”—Chicago Tribune
“Watts is a poet when it comes to science.”—Justina Robson, author of Keeping it Real
“A sharp and incisive stylist with a rather tragic, if clear-eyed, view of human nature, and the capacity for some remarkable hard-SF inventions.”—Locus
“Watts continues to challenge readers with his imaginative plots and superb storytelling.”—Library Journal
“Possessing the stern moral acuity of James Tiptree, [Watts] also exhibits the intellectual zest of Arthur C. Clarke.”—Paul Di Filippo, Barnes & Noble Review
“Holding himself to a higher standard of storytelling, Watts uses the effects of mainstream sci-fi, yet continually aims at something deeper in humanity and society’s soul.”—Speculiction
• Promotion at trade shows and conventions, including BEA, ALA, and the World Science Fiction Convention
• Features, interviews, and reviews in tech and genre venues
• Author appearances to include Canada and international events TBD
• Planned galley distribution/giveaways to include NetGalley, Edelweiss, and additional outlets
• Advertising and promotion in national print and via online outlets and social media
Average rating from 15 members
This is a wide-ranging set of blog posts and essays from a whip-smart author. He writes VERY well, of course (and is rightfully a well-respected author). It was fun getting to know him (and his cats) a little (especially since I'm in the middle of one of his novels). Among other things, he is a self-described geek (a good thing). He also knows himself well, and has a good sense of humor. You don't have to be a fan of the author to enjoy this.
A big thank you to Tachyon and NetGalley for the ARC for review!!
I had a lot of fun reading this book and it was a good way of getting to know a new to me author.
I laughed a lot and loved his style of writing.
I don't know if this anthologies of blog posts reflects his book but I can say it's a good and entertaining read.
I will surely read the books by this author.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Peter Watts is an author that I haven't read from before this, but I will definitely be changing that soon. This was a great reading experience for me. A collection of blog posts ranging from his personal life and upbringing, movie reviews and current events, Watts presented things in ways that I, a person who isn't a big fan of blogs, really enjoyed. Also included were parts about science! Which was awesome! Watts is a former marine biologist, and I loved getting information and perspective on those topics by someone who both knows what he is talking about and has a great writing style.
There are times where this can feel a little disjointed, and sometimes going from one topic to another can be a little jarring, which make it obvious that what you are reading was meant for a blog, not for a book. Overall, though, I wouldn't say that took away from the reading experience a whole lot. A solid read!