I'm working on a new book, Tongues. The first chapter is available here for pre-order, and will ship out in early August.

The book is a mash-up of many things. It's an adventure story, set in the modern Middle East, it is based on Greek myth in part, but is also about human nature and origins, revenge and murder, politics and religion. And it brings back a character from the first real book I ever put out. 

Usually when I do a new book the idea comes from some little doodle in my sketchbooks that keeps tugging at my mental shirtsleeves, asking to be elaborated. This new book I'm working on is a little different. Rather than growing out of my sketchbooks, it grew out of two other books of mine. I'm stealing from myself.

Years ago I was asked to write a feature-length script for Dogs and Water for an ill-fated film project. That book is a little thin for a 90 minute film, so in adapting it I ended up inventing some new scenes and characters. The movie never worked out, but a couple of those new bits stuck with me, asking to be realized.

A few years after that I did Rage of Poseidon, adapting a little dialogue from a sketchbook into a story about Prometheus. Something about the relationship between this minor Greek god and his friend-and-persecutor the eagle stuck with me as well. What would they talk about for all those centuries? What kind of a weird relationship would that be? I did a little reading about the ancient Greek plays our story of Prometheus comes from – a trilogy by Aeschylus – and there's a lot of pretty great stuff there on the one hand... and then it turns out that two of the three plays are actually lost and only dimly reconstructed by historians. So the story is ripe for interpretation.

I'm having a lot of fun with the book so far, finding a path through this unlikely tangle, grown up from two very different handfuls of seeds. Like I said above the first chapter will be out this Summer. The first 100 or so pre-orders here will get sent out with a little zine of sketches and odds and ends. I'm hoping to have issue two out early next year.


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Anders NilsenTongues