Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Peter Watts Is An Angry Sentient Tumor

Peter Watts Is An Angry Sentient Tumor by Peter Watts
Tachyon: 11/12/19
eBook review copy; 320 pages
ISBN-13: 9781616963194

Peter Watts Is An Angry Sentient Tumor: Revenge Fantasies and Essays by Peter Watts is a highly recommended collection of over fifty essays.

Peter Watts may be an angry sentient tumor, but he is also an opinionated one and in this collection of blog entries he shares his many opinions, along with his anger, on a wide variety of topics. He really does. They are not all angry, some of them are about his cats, or other cats, but all of them are thought provoking and are going to incite some kind of emotion. Many of the essays touch on some political or other topics he cares about. And we do learn the story behind important facts, like Watts is banned from the USA, he almost died from a flesh-eating bacteria, he was raised Baptist, and he had a schizophrenic man living in his backyard who almost set his house on fire.

He writes in the introduction that "...only an idiot would pretend that we don’t all come with bias preinstalled. Maybe the difference is, some of us are better than others at hiding that fact. Maybe this whole rigorously-objective argument is just an eloquent retcon to defend my own bias against preachy stories, and to deny that I’d ever let such cooties infest my own work even if appearances say otherwise. I expect my thinking on this subject will evolve over time. In the meantime, though, I’d implore you not to project too much ideology onto my writing, no matter how tempting it may seem. I have political opinions, for sure, but I don’t write to force them on you. Matter of fact, the stories I’ve written have actually challenged my own political opinions once or twice. I consider that a good sign."

You may not agree with every opinion Watts has, but you will have to admit he is an excellent writer, presents his opinions and facts clearly and concisely, and he is passionate about what he thinks.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Tachyon.

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