Peter Watts is An Angry Sentient Tumor

Peter Watts

In these unpredictable essays and revenge fantasies, Peter Watts — Hugo Award-winning author, former marine biologist, and angry sentient tumor — is the savage dystopian optimist whom you can’t look away from. Even when you probably should.


Peter Watts is An Angry Sentient Tumor

by Peter Watts

ISBN: Print: 978-1-61696-319-4; Digital: 978-1-61696-320-0

Published: November 2019

Available Format(s): Trade Paperback and Digital


“A brilliant bastard.” —Cory Doctorow
“Watts, undoubtedly, is a genius.” ―Medium
“Comfort, of course, is the last thing that Watts wants to give.” —New York Review of Science Fiction

Which of the following is true?

  • Peter Watts is banned from the U.S.
  • Watts almost died from flesh-eating bacteria.
  • A schizophrenic man living in Watts’s backyard almost set the house on fire.
  • Watts was raised by Baptists who really sucked at giving presents.
  • Peter Watts said to read this book. Or else.

In these unpredictable essays and revenge fantasies, Peter Watts — Hugo Award-winning author, former marine biologist, and angry sentient tumor — is the savage dystopian optimist whom you can’t look away from. Even when you probably should.


About the Author

Peter Watts is a former marine biologist and a current science-fiction author. His debut novel in the Rifters series, (Starfish) was a New York Times Notable Book, and his novel (Blindsight) has become a required text in undergraduate courses ranging from philosophy to neuroscience, and was a finalist for numerous North American genre awards. His shorter work, including Beyond the Rift, has received the Shirley Jackson, Hugo, and Aurora awards. Watts’s work is available in twenty languages and has been cited as inspirational to several popular video games. He lives in Toronto.

Praise for Peter Watts is an Angry Sentient Tumor

“Peter Watts will shatter your illusions, crush your dreams, and vaporize your defense mechanisms, because he cares. He cares deeply about our world, and he respects you enough not to coddle you with reassurances. These essays are proof of that—they are tough love for the mind.”
—Karl Schroeder, author of Ventus and Permanence

Praise for Peter Watts

“Watts, undoubtedly, is a genius.”

“Peter Watts is some precisely engineered hybrid of Lucius Shepard and Gregory Benford, lyrical yet hard-edged, purveyor of sleek surfaces and also the ethical and spiritual contents inside.”

“Known for his pitch-black views on human nature, and a breathtaking ability to explore the weird side of evolution and animal behavior, Watts is one of those writers who gets into your brain and remains lodged there like an angry, sentient tumor.”

“Peter Watts blows my mind every single time.”
—Kelly Robson, author of Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach

“Watts ranges from huge-scale ideas (“The Island,” with a living membrane surrounding a star) to the immediate (what if airport scanners grew sophisticated enough to detect even potential criminals, in “The Eyes of God”)? He asks the questions that the best science fiction writers ask, but that the rest of us may be afraid to answer.”
Chicago Tribune

“A sharp and incisive stylist with a rather tragic, if clear-eyed, view of human nature, and the capacity for some remarkable hard-SF inventions.”

“Watts continues to challenge readers with his imaginative plots and superb storytelling.”
Library Journal

“Possessing the stern moral acuity of James Tiptree, [Watts] also exhibits the intellectual zest of Arthur C. Clarke.”
—Paul Di Filippo, Barnes & Noble Review

“It seems clear that every second Peter Watts is not actually writing must be spent reading, out at the cutting edge of all the sciences and all the arts at once.”
—Spider Robinson, author of the Callahan Series

“Holding himself to a higher standard of storytelling, Watts uses the effects of mainstream sci-fi, yet continually aims at something deeper in humanity and society’s soul.”

Praise for The Freeze-Frame Revolution

2018 British Science Fiction Award nominee
A Publishers Weekly Staff Pick / Summer 2018 Read
A Goodreads Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy title of Jan-August 2018
Locus Recommended Reading List

“This—THIS—is the future of science fiction.” —Richard A. Morgan, author of Altered Carbon

The Freeze-Frame Revolution is a delicious morsel of hard science fiction . . . The setup of the book is irresistible, and the science is high-concept.”
Washington Post

The Freeze-Frame Revolution (Tachyon), the shortest and latest novel from Canadian Peter Watts, is as brilliant and enticingly acute as any of his earlier and longer work.”
Seattle Review of Books

The Freeze Frame Revolution is the purest driven high concept.”
—Richard Morgan, author of Altered Carbon

“This is definitely vintage Watts—outstanding, exciting, and terrifying.”
—Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother and Walkaway

“The latest from Watts (Blindsight, 2006) packs a significant punch into a small package.”

[STARRED REVIEW] “SF fans will love this tale of bizarre future employment and genuine wonder.”
Publishers Weekly

[STARRED REVIEW] “Entertaining and provocative, brilliant and ambitious, The Freeze-Frame Revolution is compelling science fiction with heart.”

“A gripping story of a deep human future—the dependent relationship between human and AI tangles and grows with the delicious creep of suspense to the very last page. Watts is a poet when it comes to science..”
—Justina Robson, author of Keeping it Real

“Watts takes familiar-seeming SF tropes and accelerates them towards lightspeed, until they become something chillingly other. A gripping tale where galactic timescales collide with biology and age-old human dilemmas.”
—Hannu Rajaniemi, author of The Quantum Thief

Visit the Peter Watts website.


Everything I Needed to Know About Christmas I Learned From My Grandma
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Dress Rehearsal
Extraordinary Claims
Why I Suck
The Black Knight. In Memoriam
Viva Zika!
Zounds, Gadzooks, and Fucking Sisyphus
10 Actually, You Can Keep a Good Man Down…
Shooting Back
HemiHive, in Hiding
The Dudette With the Clitoris, and Other Thoughts on Star Trek Beyond
The Life Sausage
No Brainer
The Yogurt Revolution
A Ray of Sunshine
The Least Unlucky Bastard
No pictures. Only Words
Prometheus: The Men Behind the Mask
Motherhood Issues
The Halting Problem
Chamber of Horrors
The Best-Case Apocalypse
Nazis and Skin Cream
Ass Backwards
Dr. Fox and the Borg Collective
And Another Thing (The Thing,2011)
Oprah’s X-Men: Thoughts on "Logan"
Cambridge Analytica and the Other Turing Test
Life in the FAST Lane
Smashing the Lid Off Pandora's Box
The Split-brain Universe
The Limits of Reason
Changing Our Minds: “Story of Your Life” in Print and on Screen
The God-Shaped Hole
Dumb Adult
In Praise of War Crimes
The Last of Us, The Weakest Link
Martin Luther King and the Vampire Rights League
Black & White
Gods and Gamma
“PyrE. Make them tell you what it is”
Understanding Sarah Palin: Or, God Is In The Wattles
The Overweening Overentitlement of the Happy-Enders
The Cylon Solution
The Physics of Hope
A Renaissance of Analog Antiquity
Pearls Before Cows: Thoughts on Blade Runner 2049
Lizards in the Sink with David

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