Scott Phillips is a very good writer. He did The Ice Harvest (2000), an amazing noir novel that all takes place over one night in Wichita on Christmas Eve in 1979. The Walkaway (2002) was connected, but different, it was a prequel and a sequel, longer and expansive. Then Cottonwood (2003) was very different: a noir, horror western with a family of serial killers.
On 22 October, Rut is coming out from Concord Free Press. The blurb says:
[It] takes readers to the Rocky Mountains circa 2050, where the once thriving burg of Gower is about to become a 21st-century ghost town. Thanks to extreme weather and plenty of toxic waste, the skiers and celebrities are gone, along with the money and the veneer of civilization. What’s left? Old-time religion and brand-new pharmaceuticals, bad food and warm beer, mutated animals and small-town gossip. Can the town survive? We’ll see.
I’d never heard of Concord Free Press before. It’s free as in speech, but also free as in beer: they give their novels away for free, but you can donate money to them. Surprising! I’ve never heard of a publisher working like this.
Scott Phillips is one of those writers that the fiction publishing industry doesn’t support any more. I don’t know why it’s been seven years since his last novel, but I’m glad he has another one coming out. I’ll order it the day it’s available, and I’ll donate a fair amount to Concord. I hope he and they do well.
I know nothing about this book beyond what’s on Concord’s web site, but based on his last three books, if you like noir, and if you like SF, this one is worth investigating. I’ll report back after I’ve read it.