Fiction. The year is 2212, the weather is out of control, and Seattle is being rebuilt with electricity generated from negative human emotion. In a strange and turbulent world fueled by secrecy and voyeurism, a bored housewife named Helen vanishes, and Citizen Surveillant Maxwell Point, the man whose job it's been to watch her, must recount the years leading up to her disappearance. As Helen is drawn back to the city on an increasingly absurd errand to find a man she once loved, Maxwell begins to suspect foul play. But is he so dependent on the very thing he's trained to protect that it colors not only his judgment, but his grip on reality? In this novel inspired by the troubled relationship between an author and his craft, Shya Scanlon renders a surreal, dystopian world in which alternate motives are required and people must hide even from themselves—a world in which the only real freedom is powerlessness.
"Shya Scanlon's brilliant first novel inhabits the skin of science fiction while setting off fireworks more extravagantly imagined and coolly displayed than those ever fired into the night air by any conventional SF novel."—Peter Straub
"Tipping its hat to authors like Stacey Levine, China Miéville and Jonathan Lethem, Scanlon's novel is part Science Fiction, part noir, part road narrative and part love story."—Brian Evenson
|Publisher:||Civil Coping Mechanisms|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.73(d)|
About the Author
Shya Scanlon is the author of the poetry collection IN THIS ALONE IMPULSE (Noemi Press, 2009) and the novel FORECAST (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2012). Shya received his MFA from Brown University, where he was awarded the John Hawkes Prize in Fiction.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Scanlon definitely writes a gripping story through an imaginative dystopian world. He mixes a number of different things I wouldn't have imagined to mix well together, but he handles it all marvelously. There was never a moment I wasn't interested and never a moment I wasn't intrigued.
[This review was originally published at The Cult.] If you were paying attention in 2009 you may have seen the birthing of Forecast across the internet, from July to December, in forty-two installments. Billed as the Forecast 42 Project, this story is set in the year 2212, and is the bastard love-child of Kurt Vonnegut and Philip K. Dick, weaving elements of noir and science fiction into a humorous, touching love story, a narrative on what it means to see and be seen, to exist and yet be nothing more than a cog. Following this story across such esteemed online journals as Juked, Flatmancrooked, Keyhole, Redivider, Opium, Electric Literature, PANK, Word Riot, 3:AM Magazine, and Puerto Del Sol, it was a serial story that ended up landing Shya Scanlon a book deal at Flatmancrooked Publishing, giving hopes to many authors that the ways we publish, and get discovered, aren't static and predictable. Forecast is the story of Zara, a woman who evolves (or devolves) into Helen, changing from a spirited, independent girl, into a Stepford wife, her life a dull suburban waste, married to Jack, an oblivious idiot, undeserving of her spirit. Watching over this is Maxwell Point, a Citizen Surveillant, a man who loses himself in the process of watching her, both an essential, and irrelevant, part of her life. There is of course the talking dog, Rocket, who often provides comic relief. There is Asseem, her rebellious boyfriend, CEO of Street Cred, Inc. There is the split personality of Blain/Busy, who may be more than he seems, good cop, bad cop, all in one body. Or is it two? Her parents, the professor, Knuckle and his Dirty Dogs fast food chain, it's a full cast of miscreants and prophets, players and pawns. And this all takes place in Seattle, where in this possible future, electricity is gone, power created by negative energy, farmed by Emotional Transfer Machines (ETMs). The weather changes at the drop of a hat-rain, snow, fog and sleet, all within minutes, and feet, of each other, coining trademarked words like Slice, Slurm and Spindy. It's a strange world that Shya Scanlon creates, but it's easy to slip into it, the familiar opening the door for the unexpected. The opening of the book sets up this new society, quickly establishing a setting that is strange and different, but based on city and suburban life that we all should recognize: Wind was strong-arming a small group of saplings huddled together for protection at the end of the street, snow was immobilizing a car two houses down, and the sun was punishing Helen's front yard with an unremitting heat that reminded her of the drought they'd had that morning just before another monsoon had swept through the neighborhood, flooding a couple of storm drains and drowning all the iguanas. Helen was glad to be rid of the iguanas, frankly. They don't get along well with dogs. [For the rest of the review, go to The Cult.]