Peter Watts is a Canadian marine mammal biologist and science fiction author, and according the American Department of Homeland Security a convicted terrorist/felon. Watts got his BSC and MSC from the University of Guelph Ontario in 1980 and 1983 respectively. He would study for his PhD in the Resource Ecology and Department of Zoology of the University of British Columbia in 1991. Watts has won many awards for his science fiction work as well as several in video documentary and marine mammal research. According to his official autobiography, Watts spent a decade learning about marine mammal Eco physiology and another decade practicing what he had learned, before selling out to special interest groups. During the nineties, he went from defending marine mammals on the behalf of the animal welfare movement, and then moved to supporting the US fishing industry. He would eventually decide that since he was selling a lot of fictional science, maybe he would be better off making a career out of it, rather than just selling to the Journal of Theoretical Biology. Given his wide experience in the scientific field, he could throw up characters and plot lines and write scientific novels. Most of his novels contain extensive technical biographies that are a remnant of his days in academia. He wrote the first work “Starfish”, a short story that was the first of the highly successful Rifters Trilogy. He is married to Caitlin Sweet, a fellow Canadian writer.
Peter Watts wrote his debut “Starfish” in 1999, a novel that went on to become highly successful. Lenie Clarke from one of his earliest works the 1990 published “A Niche” makes a comeback in this novel. The lead character is a man who after working for underwater deep ocean power stations has become physically altered. Clarke is the lead in all the novels in the Rifters series including “Behemoth: Seppuku”, “Behemoth: B-Max”, and “Maelstrom”. The Rifters series is all about the life and times of modified humans who live and work in subterranean settings. In 2006, Watts published “Blindsight” one of his best critically acclaimed novels that went on to make the shortlist for the Hugo Award. Peter Watts in writing the novel has been described as a Greg Egan with an obsession with neurobiology that writes about alien first contact. The lead character is a zombie like character riding in a starship crewed by an immortal post humans. In 2014, Peter Watts followed “Blindsight” with “Echpraxia” a sidequel written about concurrent events in the world of “Blindsight” and elsewhere on Earth.
Watt’s first novel “Starfish” won several awards the most notable of which was the New York Times Notable Book. The sixth novel “Blindsight” that is arguably the most popular of his works is a paranormal text that focuses on vampires and the nature of consciousness through philosophical ruminations. The novel, which deals with a range of themes from neuropsychology to philosophy, has also made it into Real Neuro Lab. The novel has won many awards over the years both in the United States and on the international scene. Nonetheless, it is important to note that Watts works tend to divide opinion with some proselytizing while others deem them crass. Publishers Weekly described Behemoth as an adrenaline charged combination of Neuromancer by Gibson and The Deep Range by Clarke. Meanwhile, Kirkus found the novel horrific porn and utterly repellent. For Watts, both perspectives are welcome even though he has tended to mellow on his extreme views as he ages. However, the general perception of the novels is a positive one.
Watts is a very active in the marketing of his works something that he believes saved his career. He has made his short fiction and novels available on his website free under a Creative Commons license that at one time rescued the novel “Blindsight” from obscurity. When the novel was made freely available on his website, the sales numbers tripled almost overnight, bringing the author into science fiction consciousness once again. In addition to his short stories and novels, Peter Watts has been involved in other media. His most significant involvement has been in the production of “Strange Frame” an animated TV project that was later made into an animated science fiction film. He has also worked on the script of “Homeworld” the Relic Entertainment game, and been a consultant and writer for the Crytek game “Crysis”. Some of the elements from the novel “Blindsight” have been incorporated into “Nanosuit Brochure”, “Bioshock 2”, and “Crysis 2” Games.
“Blindsight” the first novel of the Firefall series is a Hugo Award nominated novel that is among one of Peter Watts best works. The novel opens two months after a range of alien beings had landed on Earth screaming from the strange air that burned their skin. The screams have since gone silent, until a space probe launched from Earth hears what the scientists believe are whispers from an interstellar comet. Something is talking to someone out in deep space, and it is now paramount to send out someone to meet the shy and elusive alien. The people chosen are a motley crew of a man who is half-insane, a vampire brought back to life through a strange concoction of palaeogenetic voodoo, a pacifist warrior, a cybernetic biologist, and a linguist who is afflicted with MPD. The team is sent to the outer reaches of the solar system with the hope that they are the best placed to communicate with the aliens and save the world. With such monsters and deranged persons on the team, maybe the Earth is the one that is more alien than what they are looking for.
“Echopraxia” is the excellent follow up to “Blindsight” the first novel of the Firefall series. The novel is set at the dawn of the twenty second century, where the dead send back postcards from Heaven; genetically engineered vampires provide highly advanced solutions to human problems; and evangelicals use the power of speaking in tongues to make scientific discoveries that advance human knowledge. The lead character in the series is Daniel Bruks, a field biologist and living fossil who has left behind the modern world to go live in the Oregon desert. He wakes up one day to find himself entangled in a storm that is sure to alter the course of history forever. He is on a ship that is heading for the sun, with no clue as to how he got there. With him are a grief stricken soldier who hears whispers from his dead son, and a pilot obsessed with killing a man whom she has a vendetta with. Heading towards them is a group of zombie bodyguards to rapture stricken monks determined to stop their journey. The journey will see Dan Bruks confront one of the most significant evolutionary breakpoints in human history.
Books in order of publication:
Crysis 2 Books
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