Books read (all or part of) this week:
Robogenesis by Daniel H. Wilson
Eyrie by Tim Winton
I started reading Tim Winton’s forthcoming novel, Eyrie over the weekend (Winton wrote a favorite of mine, Breath a few years ago – the Catapult review from back in the day) but I deemed it too serious for this particular week, so I swapped it for a book about robots that kill people instead.
Daniel Wilson has thankfully returned to the world he created for Robopocalypse – a Catapult Notable from 2011, if you recall – although, this particular world is decidedly unfriendly to the human race. Robogenesis is set in the immediate aftermath of Robopocalypse – and you probably should read the first book before you get into this one. (C’mon, people, branch out! Embrace the robots! I continue to be amazed at how well-crafted and intelligent Wilson’s books are.) Spoiler alert! –pocalypse ended with the free-minded robot hero Arbiter 902 destroying the wicked AI Archos-14 to free his fellow ro-bros and keep the human race from extinction. Well, maybe he destroyed Archos… Or maybe there’s something even worse than Archos out there… The appeal to the first book, to me, was seeing this near-future world of ours overrun with suddenly sentient machinery. Toasters attack! Cars drive themselves off bridges! Toys spout robot propaganda! So far, halfway through, Robogenesis lacks that playfulness – simply because the endgame to Robopocalypse resulted in a post-Armageddon wasteland where most people were dead. Good times! But Wilson is a creative fellow, I’ll give him that – and where I thought the first book was a finale, he’s managed to rope me back in and make his world darker and scarier in the aftermath of the horrific robot war.
Honestly, this week – and many other previous weeks – my world has been all about California Bookstore Day. This approaching Saturday, May 3rd – if you live in San Diego or really, anywhere in CA where there’s an independent bookstore, you should really check things out. (We got a great mention in San Diego CityBeat this week, featuring words from my own mouth.) Almost 100 indie stores in the state are throwing literary parties to beat the band. I know I’ve mentioned all this before, but just as a reminder, since I KNOW you’re coming: at the UC San Diego Bookstore, we are hosting performance artist and novelist, Scotch Wichmann at 12:30. Scotch had the misfortune (or fortune, depending on how you look at it) to have hack-actor Shia Laboeuf plagiarize his performance art manifesto in a series of Twitter posts back in January. Shia then staged a bullshit, mock apology/performance piece called #iamsorry in an LA gallery wearing a paper bag over his head that read “I am not famous anymore” on it. Scotch staged his own protest outside said gallery on the street:
Scotch will be discussing performance art and reading a bit from his debut novel, fresh out from Freakshow Books, called Two Performance Artists Kidnap Their Boss and Do Things With Him. I’m pretty sure that this will be unlike any author reading you’ve seen of late.
Then at 2:00, the hilarious Jincy Willett will discuss and sign her latest novel, Amy Falls Down. Jincy is a San Diego res and is currently teaching a novel writing class at UCSD Extension – she’s also going to talk a little about the writing process. Did I mention she’s really funny?
Plus, Killer Street Tacos for the lunch rush, live music all over the place, an open mic session for you to read your own performance art manifestos, a special Coffee & Book Chat with yours truly where I will introduce you to all the ridiculously amazing CBD-only items we’ll have for sale, a California-themed storytime & craft session for kids, and all general books (except the CBD merchandise) will be 25% off all day. See you Saturday!