Here it is, our first publication, award-winning author C. J. Hopkins’ debut novel, ZONE 23, published under our venerable imprint, Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant Paperbacks …
ZONE 23 … a darkly comic dystopian satire about being human, all-too-human, featuring two of the most endearing and emotionally messed-up Anti-Social anti-heroes that have ever rebelled against the forces of Normality. Set in the post-catastrophic future, in a peaceful, prosperous, corporate-controlled society where virtually everything has been privatized and commodified, all dissent and non-conformity has been pathologized, and the human race is being genetically corrected in order to establish everlasting peace on Earth, ZONE 23 is a hilarious, heartbreaking affirmation of the anarchic human spirit, and a defiant departure from the norms of both the genre sci-fi and literary novel.
It’s available online from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, Dussmann, Hugendubel, Indiebound, this Dutch outfit, this one in Norway, Indigo in Canada, this suspicious-looking bookseller in Russia, Angus & Robertson Bookworld in Australia, and assorted other online booksellers … or you can physically order it at your local bookstore, assuming you still have a local bookstore.
Here are some of the reviews it’s been getting …
“Hopkins’ ferociously funny yarn is not just a satire on our ever-worsening techno-dystopia. In imagining a genetic basis to the difficulties many of us experience adjusting to hyperconformist “technologically-enhanced” lifestyles, and in portraying individuals struggling and flailing against the uber-civilization around them like flies caught a spider web, Zone 23 resonates with the great critiques of technological civilization.” — Kevin Barrett, The Unz Review
“A piercing satire that cuts right to the genetically modified heart of our corporate-controlled world … the millennials’ 1984.” — Amazon Reader Review
“I loved this book. It had a real interesting story to it and I enjoyed the satirical approach to the dystopian genre. I cannot wait to see more works from this author.” — Destiny, TDC Book Reviews
“Zone 23 skewers the world so incisively that it is almost hallucinatory. Everything you know deep down inside but don’t want to see and certainly can’t talk about. Thank god that it is funny.” — Amazon Reader Review
“I devoured this book straight through. I would recommend it to fans of Atwood’s After the Flood series. Intense, crude, funny and incredibly smart.” — Goodreads
“Deeply engrossing … Zone 23 delivers a frightening look into a post-catastrophic future.” — Amazon Reader Review
“If Henry Miller lived in our time and chose to tell an Orwellian tale, this would be it … a must read for true conoisseurs of superb dialogue and literature.” — Amazon Reader Review
“… a head-on train crash between comedian/linguist George Carlin and science fiction writer Philip K. Dick.” — Goodreads
” C.J. Hopkins is about the best deadly serious humorist around.” — Amazon Reader Review
And here’s a taste of what the critics have said about C. J. Hopkins’ previous work …
“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 blistering revelation … Hopkins’ 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
“Sharp, brilliant, intense, fast-moving, made for the moment we live in.” — The Scotsman
“America’s relationship with consumerism and the media is unerringly skewered.” — The Times
“Hilariously at odds with the mainstream.” — The Herald
“A hyperreal, tragicomedy, laced with wicked wit and spiked with horror.” — Metro
A gripping satire, which spills into sinister weirdness.” — Die Tageszeitung, Berlin
There’s much more on his official website, so we’re not going to duplicate it all here. We’re just trying to get you to purchase this book so that maybe Hopkins will stop calling our offices twelve to fourteen times a day demanding to know how the marketing is going.
Oh, and speaking of marketing, we’re adopting a somewhat unorthodox strategy to try to sell this novel, which is just over 500 pages long (i.e., twice as long as a debut novel is supposed to be according to “the rules”), and which doesn’t quite conform to the genre formulas of either a sci-fi or a literary novel, or any other formulas or rules for that matter. In addition to which, if you’re at all familiar with Hopkins’ plays or his political satire, you can probably imagine the challenge we’re facing in releasing this book into a literary market almost completely dominated by a small cartel of extremely powerful corporate publishers. These enormous corporations (and the people who serve them) are who mostly determine which books we get to read, which is why so much of contemporary literature is so formulaic and instantly forgettable. It’s not a question of censorship or anything; it’s just that the corporate literary establishment (and the MFA factory system that feeds it) tends to produce, publish, and promote books which reflect the tastes of its members, many of whom come from very wealthy families, which is how they can afford those expensive MFA programs, and unpaid internships at prestigious publishers, and … all right, we think you get the picture.
The point is, you won’t be seeing any adverts for ZONE 23 in The New York Times, or encountering any strategically positioned stacks of the book on the centrally-located display tables of whatever corporate behemoth has underpriced your local bookstore to death. Instead, we’re relying on you to help spread the word to other readers, and to post reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, or Facebook, and to ask your local bookstore to stock it, and otherwise generate a groundswell of interest, which is the only way we’re going to be able to continue to compete with those giant corporate publishers … which, by the way, thanks to readers like you, we’ve been doing a fairly good job at so far.
So please help us out with that if you can. If you would like to review or write about the book, or otherwise promote it, or carry it in your bookstore, or attempt to interview C. J. Hopkins (who, although notoriously camera-shy, will ramble on for hours in print), we’d love to hear from you. Just send us a message with our handy impersonal contact form.