OK, so we haven’t actually published any books yet, but we’re going to, beginning with one by very own in-house satirist and award-winning playwright CJ Hopkins, which we’re hoping to release in the Spring of 2017, in collaboration with the venerable publishers, Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant Paperbacks.
The name of the book is ZONE 23. According to the blurb we received from Hopkins (which our PR team is frantically rewriting), it’s “a darkly comic dystopian satire about two people struggling to maintain their humanity in a world where everything has been privatized and commodified, dissent and non-conformity has been pathologized, and the human race is being genetically corrected in order to establish everlasting peace on Earth.”
Here’s what he sent us when we asked for a synopsis …
Set in the distant post-catastrophic future, in a peaceful, prosperous, corporate-controlled society where the majority of people are preventively self-medicated (or, in the case of those under thirty, genetically “corrected” to render them non-aggressive), the story revolves around two desperate characters — Taylor Byrd, a selfish, oversexed, brutally violent but essentially good-hearted “Anti-Social Person” who has accidentally fathered an unauthorized Anti-Social baby in the Quarantine Zone he lives in, and Valentina Constance Briggs, an inappropriately inquisitive “Normal” who has just become pregnant with one of the genetically-modified “Clarion” babies the Normals are all having in order to rid humanity of “Human Anti-Social Disease.” While Taylor gets mixed up with the Anti-Social Underground (and perhaps an even more underground outfit), and tries to save his lover and their all-too-human baby, Valentina, after flipping out (or having some sort of spiritual awakening) and abruptly ceasing all her medications, abandons her life in her Residential Community and sets out to find and join the resistance and terminate her genetically-modified pregnancy. Unfortunately, the two of them are up against the Hadley Corporation of Menomonie Wisconsin, and the rest of this absurd, conformist society, so it all goes horribly wrong for them.
It goes without saying our marketing people are working, more or less around the clock, to boil all that down into 140 characters, or at least into shorter, more user-friendly sentences that potential readers can skim on their smartphones while watching TV, or having dinner with friends, and instantly recognize as being similar to some other literary content they liked (but can’t quite remember the actual plot of) and decide to impulsively purchase our book.
At the same time, our experienced editorial team is working with Hopkins to drastically streamline, sharpen, and otherwise completely rewrite this dazzlingly original debut novel, which just blew us away the first time we read it, and which all of us are terribly excited about publishing, assuming he can get the page count down, ditch his “neo-Dickensian” narrator, and the other pretentious literary stuff, and, well, basically, make it more like a movie, or an HBO series, or a graphic novel.
We’ll be posting updates on how that’s going as we proceed toward our official launch date. We’ll also be offering some sort of pre-order widget thing, and possibly a chapter or two from the book, and whatever else we can possibly think of to relentlessly promote and market it to death.
In the meantime, if you’re itching to purchase something, you could always purchase and read one of his other books (all of which are stage plays, conveniently, so we don’t feel like we’re helping out the competition by offering them here). You can click on the titles to buy them from the publishers, or visit the Amazon Corporation in whatever market you physically live in, or order them from your local bookstore … assuming they haven’t been forced out of business yet.
Horse Country, Bloomsbury Publishing (Methuen Drama), 2004
“A brilliant (and hilarious) critique of the emptiness of American life and the meaninglessness of the popular culture that attempts to fill the void.” – Toronto Globe & Mail
“A feral ferris-wheel of comedy, confusion, contradiction, obfuscation and bent-out-of-shape straight talking that leaps out of the room at you and harnesses you to its mischievous mindset.” – Metro
screwmachine/eyecandy, Broadway Play Publishing, Inc., 2007
“As a metaphor for the unaccountable, bullying, shape-changing and fear-mongering face of power in our increasingly media-driven consumer democracies, it could hardly be more potent.” – The Scotsman
“Hopkins’s body of work owes a huge debt to the absurdists and so manages to blast beyond the merely political or allegorical to the existential.” – Time Out New York
The Extremists, Broadway Play Publishing, Inc., 2010
“A dark satire that playfully mocks the essential absurdity of the talking-head culture … taking on big issues like the loss of individualism and the looming apocalypse.” – Atlanta Journal Constitution
“A gripping satire, which spills into sinister weirdness.” – Die Tageszeitung
“Dazzling … an unforgettable experience.” – British Theatre Guide