Christopher Brown

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This week we’re sitting down with Christopher Brown, author of the new novel, Tropic of Kansas (Harper Collins, July 11, 2017).

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Christopher Brown is the author of Tropic of Kansas (Harper Collins, July 11, 2017). Tropic of Kansas is his first novel.

Chris was nominated for a World Fantasy Award for the anthology Three Messages and a Warning: Contemporary Mexican Short Stories of the Fantastic (Small Beer Press, 2012). His short fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies, including MIT Technology Review’s Twelve Tomorrows, The Baffler, and Reckoning.

In addition to writing, Chris practices technology law in Austin, Texas. He holds a JD from the University of Iowa, a BA from Tulane University, and a PPE from the University of Oxford. 

He has also taken two companies public, restored a small prairie, worked on two Supreme Court confirmations, rehabilitated a brownfield, reported from Central American war zones, washed airplanes, co-hosted a punk rock radio show, built an eco-bunker, worked day labor, negotiated hundreds of technology deals, protected government whistleblowers, investigated fraud, raised venture capital, explored a lot of secret woodlands, raised an amazing kid, and trained a few good dogs.

Editorial Reviews —  Tropic of Kansas (Harper Collins, July 11, 2017)

“The brilliant feel-bad book of the summer.”—Book Riot

Tropic of Kansas is good at projecting pain and bitterness. Finding a cure isn’t so easy, even for sci-fi. But the first step is recognizing that something’s wrong.”—Wall Street Journal

Tropic of Kansas is like a modern dystopian buffet. …It is, in this particular moment in history, frighteningly prescient. It is the nightly news with the volume turned up to 11”—NPR

Tropic of Kansas is an entertaining and engrossing read — and it shows that contemporary dystopian literature need not forgo aspects of ‘resistance’ but can, in fact, be all about it.” — Los Angeles Review of Books

“Hang on and enjoy the dark but satisfying ride.” — Kirkus

“Debut novelist Brown brings a mordant sensibility to his depiction of a ‘flyover country’ that is no longer willing to have its patriotism exploited and its land degraded for other people’s profits. His characters do not easily triumph, because he respects them too much to cheapen the costs that they must bear to succeed.” —Publishers Weekly

“UHF-punk coolness…Tropic of Kansas is a fantasy not just of this country going bad but of how badass it would be to be the hero who sets out to save that country.”—Village Voice

“With a stark yet lyrical style, this tale carries the transgressive tradition of Huck Finn to a much, much darker place…” — Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Editors Picks for 2017

“A dark road trip through an oddly familiar America… This is science fiction doing the job science fiction does best.” — Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog


About Tropic of Kansas (Harper Collins, July 11, 2017)

Acclaimed short story writer and editor of the World Fantasy Award-nominee Three Messages and a Warning eerily envisions an American society unraveling and our borders closed off—from the other side—in this haunting and provocative novel that combines Max Barry’s Jennifer Government, Philip K. Dick’s classic Man in the High Castle, and China Mieville’s The City & the City.

The United States of America is no more. Broken into warring territories, its center has become a wasteland DMZ known as the “Tropic of Kansas.” Though this gaping geographic hole has no clear boundaries, everyone knows it’s out there—that once-bountiful part of the heartland, broken by greed and exploitation, where neglect now breeds unrest. Two travelers appear in this arid American wilderness: Sig, the fugitive orphan of political dissidents, and his foster sister Tania, a government investigator whose search for Sig leads her into her own past—and towards an unexpected future.

Sig promised those he loves that he would make it to the revolutionary redoubt of occupied New Orleans. But first he must survive the wild edgelands of a barren mid-America policed by citizen militias and autonomous drones, where one wrong move can mean capture . . . or death. One step behind, undercover in the underground, is Tania. Her infiltration of clandestine networks made of old technology and new politics soon transforms her into the hunted one, and gives her a shot at being the agent of real change—if she is willing to give up the explosive government secrets she has sworn to protect.

As brother and sister traverse these vast and dangerous badlands, their paths will eventually intersect on the front lines of a revolution whose fuse they are about to light. —Harper Collins 

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