Thursday, May 27, 2010

When I don't blog for a while... may assume that I am writing. Most recently, I have been deeply immersed in a SF/time travel trilogy with a back story so freaking complicated that I sometimes fear I’m about to pop a vessel. I should have known better—the last time travel book I wrote (Mr. Was) just about did me in. I swore I would never mess with time travel again. But then I got this idea, and I found myself thinking, Okay, just a leetle beet, just a taste, just a peek…

Next thing I know I’m at 100,000 words and counting, and the strangeness of the book is spilling into my “real” life, like, for example, I find myself at Costco hanging onto a shopping cart full of pineapples, and I can’t remember why I am there, and where did all the pineapples come from?. So I say, channeling Dr. McCoy, “What planet is this?”

I hadn’t meant to say it out loud, but this woman turns her head and looked at me.

“You have my cart,” she says.

I take my hands off her cart.

“Oh, good,” I say. “I was afraid it was mine. I don’t even really like pineapples.” I look around confusedly. “I wonder where my cart went.”

“Probably where you left it,” she says, quoting my mother.

She starts pushing her cart full of pineapples away, then turns back to me and says, “By the way, this is Earth.”

“Thank you,” I say, thinking that if she had one eye sewn shut, a metal leg, and futuristic marital arts skills, I could use her on the Cydonian Pyramid of the Lah Sept. And that if this were Costco in the year 2162, I could maybe buy a flying car. And how odd it seems that until recently cigarette smoking was permitted in nearly every compartment of a nuclear submarine, and how you can get a really good deal on athletic socks at Costco if you want to own twenty-four pair, and what did I come here for, anyway?

I never did find my cart, or remember why I had gone to Costco, but I bought a giant package of toilet paper because I knew it was something we would use eventually, then I drove home and traveled to the year 2560, when the Boggsians will develop a non-digital technology that permits post-corporeal consciousness, and the Lah Sept dynasty will finally collapse under the insupportable weight of its own tenets.

The working title of the trilogy is The Klathu Diskos. The first volume will be published by Candlewick in 2012. If you had a time machine you could read it right now.


Little Messy Missy said...

I have to say I have read everything you have written that is available to me at my library and my book swaping site (, and I LOVED Mr.Was. Well really I loved all of them. Your books hook me from the first chapter...

Pete Hautman said...

Thanks, Missy!

Unknown said...

Hi Pete!

You are by far my favorite writer and the reason for that is Mr. Was. I read it like seven years ago for the first time and haven't stop thinking about it since i did! In fact i read it in two languages(Dutch and English). Everytime i think about it or read it again i think, WOW best story ever, they should really make a movie out of this! But on the other hand i dont want anyone to ruin it for me. I did see The Butterfly Effect though(the first one, with Ashton Kutcher) and it reminded me a bit of the book.

Ok sorry for the whole storytime, but i'm looking forward to your new 'time travel' story. Is it the same formula like Mr.Was? Is it timetravel with realism? Or different and more futuristic? Because i think the realism in Mr. Was is what made it so good, you just forgot about 'time-travel' and accepted it as something thats real because its set in such a real world.

Anyway! Hahah, i loved Mr. Was, by far my favorite book! It's truly amazing. If your new trilogy is even 5% of what Mr.Was is, then i'm sure it's a hit! Looking forward to it!

With kind regards,

Pete Hautman said...

Thank you, that is very nice to hear. My new time travel story will be similar to Mr. Was in some ways, and quite different in other ways. The character "Mr. Boggs" makes an appearance, but all the other characters are new. I am hoping it is 100% of Mr. Was and then some, but knowing that only 5% meets your requirements is a comfort!