I’ve been talking for a while about a Central Station novel coming out – well, the word’s officially out, and Central Station will be published in the US by Tachyon Publications in march 2016!
I began CS in 2010 while living in Tel Aviv, and continued it over the next few years. The first CS story was published in 2011, and the stories were published in a variety of places, with several appearing consecutively in Interzone. They have also kept cropping up in the various Year’s Bests anthologies. I finished the last one at the end of 2014. In a way, CS both represents everything I have to say about the shape of science fiction – and a large part of it is a sort of dialogue with older (mostly, admittedly, quite obscure) SF – and a way of talking about the present. It is set in the old central bus station area in south Tel Aviv, currently home to a quarter of a million poor economic migrants from Asia, and African refugees, and I wanted to explore that area through the lens of science fiction (one of the weird things I found recently is that the fictional sort of “federal” political vision of Israel/Palestine I have in the book is now being touted as a real solution by a group of political activists). My other ambition was to write a book which was mostly about character interaction: about extended families, about relationships, in which the “shiny” science fiction future serves as a sort of background rather than taking centre stage. My other inspiration was that I always wanted to write a novel in short stories. Science fiction has a long tradition of doing this – from The Martian Chronicles to Lord of Light – but my inspiration was also partly V.S. Naipaul’s Miguel Street.
Tachyon have been amazing to work with so far. I’ve got to spend this month on some heavy editing, but the result of this will be that Central Station will be, essentially, an actual novel, I think – the way I intended it from the start.
Press release follows…
“If you want to know what SF is going to look like in the next decade, this is it.”
—Gardner Dozois, editor of the bestselling Year’s Best Science Fiction series
A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Cultures collide in real life and virtual reality. The city is literally a weed, its growth left unchecked. Life is cheap and data is cheaper.
But at Central Station, people and machines still adapt, thrive, love . . . and even evolve.
When Boris Chong returns to Tel Aviv from Mars, much has changed. But his vast, extended family continues to pull him back home.
Boris’s ex-lover Miriam is raising a strangely familiar child who can tap into the datastream of a mind with the touch of a finger. His cousin Isobel is infatuated with a robotnik—a cyborg ex-Israeli soldier who might well be begging for parts. Even his old flame, Carmel—a hunted data-vampire—has followed him back to a planet where she is forbidden to return.
Rising above all is Central Station, the interplanetary hub between all things: the constantly shifting Tel Aviv; a powerful virtual arena, and the space colonies where humanity has gone to escape the ravages of poverty and war. Everything is connected by the Others, powerful entities who, through the Conversation—a shifting, flowing stream of consciousness— are just the beginning of irrevocable change.
Publication Date: March 15, 2016
Science Fiction / $15.95 Trade Paperback / $9.99 e-book
978-1-61696-214-2 / 5.5 x 8.5 / 288 pp.
Distributed by the trade by Legato via PGW/Perseus