The Power of Vulnerability
For the uninitiated, my novels are about unraveling deeper and deeper mysteries under increasingly extreme duress until what you learn changes who you are.
And now, a book I love that you might too:
The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown is one of my favorite audiobooks in part because it plays with the form: instead of narrated text, it’s a recording of the author running a live workshop with an audience. Each session is a chapter, and each chapter is full of hilarious stories and compelling research. With her signature blend of tender awkwardness and generous wisdom, Brené invites you inside her mind and heart to show how the walls we build around ourselves hold back more love than pain.
Things worth sharing:
To my surprise and delight, Reap3r was selected as a semi-finalist for the Self-Published Science Fiction Competition.
Make art that inspires others to make art.
Kevin Barrett Kane is running a special workshop on book design over at the Letterform Archive. In addition to winning a bunch of awards for his many and varied accomplishments, Kevin designed the covers and interiors of every single one of my novels—yes, all 10. Needless to say, he's AMAZING.
Speaking of AMAZING designers. Peter Nowell designed True Blue and my website and created concept art for Veil and Reap3r’s covers. Peter just launched a font proofing tool for type designers. I’m not a type designer, but I’ve worked with type designers on various editorial projects, and if you happen to be a type designer, you really, really, really need this tool—it will transform your process.
The Carnegie Council on International Affairs interviewed me about how fiction can help people understand geoengineering and imagine new climate futures.
- , Where Good Ideas Come From: “This is how slow hunches often mature: by stealth, in small steps. They fade into view.”
Over on the Keep Going podcast, I talked to John Biggs about failure, creative struggle, and writing Reap3r.
When I write a novel, I try to maximize internal complexity, connecting events, feelings, settings, themes, and characters in a symbolic web so dense that I can't begin to understand it, but keep grasping at threads to weave into yet more patterns.
From my interview with Ray Nayler about The Mountain in the Sea: “I see fiction as an architecture for asking complex questions, not a place for providing answers.”
Blockchain’s killer app: assassination markets.
The cartographers labored with such ingenuity and dedication that the map displaced the world, and travelers referred to the latter in order to navigate the former.
Gabrielle Zevin, Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow: “What is a game? It's tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. It's the possibility of infinite rebirth, infinite redemption. The idea that if you keep playing, you could win. No loss is permanent, because nothing is permanent, ever.”
I just handed in the final version of a new short story. Details to come. In the meantime, here’s a hint.
Thanks for reading. We all find our next favorite book because someone we trust recommends it. So when you fall in love with a story, tell your friends. Culture is a collective project in which we all have a stake and a voice.
Eliot Peper is the author of Reap3r, Veil, Breach, Borderless, Bandwidth, Neon Fever Dream, Cumulus, Exit Strategy, Power Play, and Version 1.0. He also works on special projects crafting stories that move people, that they might move the world.
“Death, despair, and plenty of hope. This sci-fi thriller has it all, plus plenty of scientific grounding to contemplate how solar geoengineering might play out on a planet struggling to bring global warming under control.”
-Gernot Wagner, author of Climate Shock and Geoengineering: The Gamble, on Veil