Let’s not bury the lede, shall we?
Disemboweled by the razor scythes of a six-foot mantis, lobotomized by hungry larvae, or roasted on an exoskeletal skewer: these are only a few of the disgusting ways to die in humanity’s hopeless war against giant space insects. Deployed on a brutal bug planet without a chaplain, a depleted infantry unit has entrusted its eulogy duties to the soldier standing closest at time of death. Somehow this rotten privilege keeps falling to Pvt. Timothy Archon.
Archon’s speeches explore the strange obsessions the men have developed since the war began—from archiving killbug death psalms to trying to seduce the enemy. Did these manias somehow redeem them, or only bring them quicker to their messy ends?
But more importantly: Why does Archon keep having such terrible luck?
I’m very excited to announce the launch of this book. It’s been a long time coming: my draft notebooks say I scribbled down the first words on February 1, 2011. I intended this to be a pleasant diversion from more “serious” writing, but at some point, I became invested in this universe. The more absurd I made it, the more real and tragic it felt to me.
For every chapter, I took the same approach: start with the death of a twisted personality and write until something beautiful emerged. With everyone’s fate set from the outset—killed by giant space insect!—I unraveled the stories with a cool indifference that simulated the cruelty of life. I lay the bodies in the ground with a prayer offered by someone who didn’t know how to pray.
Along the way, I invented names for exotic creatures and weapons and worlds and fungi and space vegetables. I imagined a sport even more incomprehensible than Quidditch. I created perpetrators of inhuman violence and asked you to empathize with them. I told a few poop jokes.
Look, I talked about poop a lot.
(On a planet swarming with billions of man-sized insects, all I could think about was the mess.)
I shared sections of this book with dozens of people. I hired a talented editor and cover artist and proofer. I learned about cascading style sheets, how to manage document sections without crying, I considered all the places you can stick a page number (and why you should double check them a thousand times), and, oh my God, did I delve into the mysteries of .pdf conversion.
I didn’t just write a story, I made a book.
And here it is! The ebook is available for pre-order now. (Cliiiiiick it!)
(Get it? “Bury” the lede? Eulogy? Sigh.)