So, for months and months – probably over a year – I’ve been referring to my second novel as just, er, “Novel 2.” Finally, though, I unveiled the title, cover and a brief synopsis… as well as the all-important pre-order links. The book is called ANYONE.
Here’s the cover:
That thumbprint will be in shiny silver foil, and the cover itself will have spot-gloss and matte elements, much like the cover for my first novel, THE ORACLE YEAR. It’s gorgeous, I think – we went through a number of design rounds on it, because I really wanted it to feel of a piece aesthetically with Oracle Year, but obviously its own thing. I’m hoping that I’ll get to write a bunch of novels over the years, and I think that when you come to the shop and you see a cover for one, you should be able to immediately know it’s one of mine. Reactions on social media and such have been strong so far, so I’m hopeful we pulled it off.
So, what’s this thing about? Here’s the blurb:
“Charles Soule brings his signature knowledge—and wariness—of technology to his sophomore novel, about a brilliant female scientist who creates a technology allowing the transfer of human consciousness between bodies. This process, called the “flash,” will drastically alter the world - and all of humanity.
Inside a barn in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a scientist searching for an Alzheimer’s cure throws a switch—and finds herself mysteriously transported into her husband’s body. What begins as a botched experiment will change her life—and everyone’s life—forever…
Over two decades later, all across the planet, flash technology allows individuals the ability to transfer their consciousness into other bodies for specified periods, paid, registered and legal. Society has been utterly transformed by the process, from travel to warfare to entertainment; ‘Be anyone with Anyone’ the tagline of the company offering this ultimate out-of-body experience. But beyond the reach of the law and government regulators is a sordid black market called the darkshare, where desperate “vessels” anonymously rent out their bodies, no questions asked for any purpose - sex, drugs, crime... or worse.
Anyone masterfully interweaves the present-day story of the discovery and development of the flash with the gritty tale of one woman’s crusade to put an end to the darkness it has brought to the world twenty-five years after its creation. Like Blade Runner crossed with Get Out, Charles Soule’s thought-provoking work of speculative fiction takes us to a world where identity, morality, and technology collide.”
Sounds pretty cool, right? I think so. I want to ask a question with every novel I write – every story, really, but especially the novels. Oracle Year was “What if you knew the future?” Anyone is “What if you could be anyone you wanted to be?”
I think that’s a pretty good question to ask right now. I feel like this is a period of enormous division within humanity. We’re never great about it – people are tribal – but it seems like it’s getting worse. It’s harder to see other people as ourselves unless they share exactly the same beliefs. Anyone presents a world where people regularly put their minds in other physical bodies, for all sorts of purposes. In a world like that, identity becomes very different than it is now, and the novel dives into as many implications and ramifications of that idea as I could think up.
It feels like a pretty rich world to me, the sort of place that could generate a ton of storytelling beyond just the ideas in this novel – but that’s for down the road. First, it has to come out, and second, you guys have to buy it and like it.
As always, it’s enormously helpful if you pre-order the book, which you can do here, with any retailer or e-tailer you want, from Amazon to your local indie bookstore. The pre-orders “stack,” and so every order placed in the next eight months hits at the same time on release week. That helps the possibility of it hitting the bestseller lists to a huge degree. I’ll be doing a very cool pre-order incentive for Anyone, kind of like the future-predicting postcards I did for Oracle Year, but different, and cooler. There should also be another huge thing I’m excited about doing related to pre-ordering, sort of like a “grand prize,” but I have to nail down the details a little on it. Anyway, I know ordering blind is a big deal, and I want to make it worth your while.
So that’s it for now – ANYONE, my second novel, is out December 3, 2019. I can’t wait to see what you think.