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John Crowley was born in the appropriately liminal town of Presque Isle, Maine, the son of an Army Air Corps doctor. He grew up in several states and has worked at several occupations (photographer, publicist, television writer, hack) and began publishing novels in 1975. He is a recipient of the American Academy and Institute of Letters Award for Literature and the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award. His critically acclaimed works include Little, Big; the Ægypt Cycle of magical history (The Solitudes, Love & Sleep, Dæmonomania, Endless Things); The Translator (winner of the Premio Flaiano, Italy); and Lord Byron’s Novel: The Evening Land. His most recent novel is Four Freedoms, about building a giant warplane in the 1940s; a new one, about Crows and death, will appear in Fall 2017. He teaches fiction writing and screenwriting at Yale University. He has twin daughters and lives in northwest Massachusetts.
Author: John Crowley
Publisher: PM Press/Outspoken Authors
Page count: 128 pages
John Crowley's all-new essay “Totalitopia” is a wry how-to guide for building utopias out of the leftovers of modern science fiction. “This Is Our Town,” written especially for this volume, is a warm, witty, and wonderfully moving story about angels, cousins, and natural disasters based on a parochial school third-grade reader. One of Crowley’s hard-to-find masterpieces, “Gone” is a Kafkaesque science fiction adventure about an alien invasion that includes door-to-door leafleting and yard work. Perhaps the most entertaining of Crowley's “Easy Chair” columns in Harper's, “Everything That Rises” explores the fractal interface between Russian spiritualism and quantum singularities—with a nod to both Columbus and Flannery O'Connor. “And Go Like This” creeps in from Datlow's Year's Best, the Wild Turkey of horror anthologies.
Plus: There's a bibliography, an author bio, and of course our Outspoken Interview, the usual cage fight between candor and common sense.
“One of the finest writers working today.”
“John Crowley is a virtuoso of metaphor, a peerless recreator of living moments, of small daily sublimities.”
—New York Times Book Review
“Crowley has enough imagination for ten ordinary writers.”
“A writer of unmistakable humanity and unparalleled style.”
“Like a magus, John Crowley shares his secrets generously, allowing us to believe that his book is revealing the true and glorious nature of the world, and the reader’s own place within it.”
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What Others are Saying
More about John...
Totalitopia: A Review
by Rich Horton
John Crowley is the latest author featured in PM Press’s Outspoken Authors chapbook series, with Totalitopia
. The original story here is ‘‘This is Our Town’’, told by a girl who grew up in Timber Town, which, she tells us, can be found in a book called This Is Our Town, part of the Faith and Freedom series of readers for 4th and 5th grade Catholic students. The story concerns faith, and loss of faith, and miracles, and guardian angels, and problematic family mem- bers – it’s a John Crowley story, which is really all the recommendation required.
Totalitopia: A Review
"John Crowley’s Totalitopia is the latest in PM Press’s ongoing series of wine-flight samplers of some of the most interesting political and speculative writers, and in Crowley’s case any new material is attention-getting: his ‘‘collected stories’’ in Novelties and Souvenirs back in 2004 amounted to only 15 stories, and there have prob- ably been fewer than a half-dozen stories since. Fortunately, Totalitopia does offer one previously unpublished story, ‘‘This Is Our Town’’, and, as we might expect, it’s a gorgeously written piece that negotiates with genre only obliquely.
The Next Future
By John Crowley
"The one scenario not conceived of as remotely likely by any faction of futurians—the reverse really of all their competing auguries—is the possibility, and then the final achievement, of a generous and benevolent One World government, solving humankind’s problems and adjudicating its disputes through the consent of the governed. The end of capitalism and its plutocrats and bought politicians. An antique among futures, that one, and impossible to envision on any grounds: political, economic, sociological, or simply the ground of basic human nature.
So that will be it. The future will consist of a new kind of universal anarcho-totalitarian system which is, on the whole, pretty successful at fostering human happiness and diversity as well as ensuring social justice and welfare. From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs: Karl Marx’s formulation has always applied very well to individual families—it’s how the best-run families function—but in the future it will define the Family of Man..."