MT Adams. I took this through a telescope. I was told this is the driest the mountain has been for over thirty years. High-res

MT Adams. I took this through a telescope. I was told this is the driest the mountain has been for over thirty years.

Name your Nation Contest / Audible version of Sherwood Nation

The audiobook version of Sherwood Nation is now live! It was performed by the incredible Andi Arndt. I just listened to the first few minutes and it sounds really great.

Here’s the thing, I have  8 copies of the audiobook version to give away. 16 and a half hours of entertainment each. 

All you have to do is secede your neighborhood from the city around you and run it as your own priva—- just joking! 


- Name your new enclave* nation and say what it’s an enclave in.  

- Create the new nation’s tagline [or/and]  name one statistic

eg: Nation of Allied Alberta Blocks — Highest concentration of Thai restaurants per-capita in the world!

Respond here, or here on Twitter, or here on Facebook

I’ll give away the 8 copies to my favorite new nations on Monday, October 6th.

* Enclave - as a reminder and for simplicity sake, an enclave is a territory that is entirely surrounded by the territory of another country. eg: Vatican city, Lesotho.

Read more about Sherwood Nation here

Yikes: Watch California Dry Up Right Before Your Eyes In 6 GIFs

“This is a big deal,” California Governor Jerry Brown said at a ceremony Tuesday as he signed into law a trio of bills regulating, for the first time, the state’s groundwater use. As of Thursday, almost 60 percent of the state is facing “exceptional drought,” the most severe level of dryness measured by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

But if you’re not living in a community dependent on bottled water rations, farming land that’s projected to lose $800 million in crop revenue or watching raging wildfires ravage your drought-parched town, the historic California drought may still feel like little more than a headline.

Here’s the last GIF:

10 Lessons From Real-Life Revolutions That Fictional Dystopias Ignore

Great article. I thought I’d give my novel Sherwood Nation a run-through to see how many of these real-life rebellion items I’d taken into consideration. Given, these are my own opinions about my work, so take them with a grain of salt. 

1. Afterwards There Will Be Mythology for the Losing Side

A+. Afterwards, the mythology of the fallen nation seeds the explosion of new micro-nations, re-starting the revolution anew.

2. Fear Alone Can Precipitate the Explosion

D. I like this idea, essentially that revolutions are a pre-emptive strike against worse times. Certainly there’s fear within the populace, and an expectation of worse-times coming. However, the story hews closer to #8, below. 

3. Violent Conflicts Keep Cropping Up From Within

B+. There’s lots of dissent within Sherwood, and a section of neighborhoods attempt to re-secede back to the city around it (though to be fair, they were influenced to do so). At one time, there’s even a suspected coup d’etat within the new nation.

4. Revolutions Take Place on a World Stage

B+. The entire book takes place in an isolated city-state, where the struggle is primarily between the two powers. And yet near the middle of the book we come to understand there’s another coup bubbling up from a third, somewhat-nascent power, who has secretly taken sides to push its own agenda. 

5. New Regimes Come With Crazy Ideology

A. Re-start the calendar at Year One. Required volunteerism. Water ceremonies. Etc.

6. Never Neglect the Practicalities

A. This one was easy, since it’s the scarcity of water in the first place that leads to crumbling municipal services and infrastructure. Idealism follows necessity here. But the riots that spurred the revolution really began because a heroine (made famous by thieving water from the rich) was thought to have been captured by police. 

7. Two Downtrodden Groups Will Usually Be Fighting Each Other

B. The city that the nation of Sherwood fights against is certainly no superpower. They have superior forces, and potentially the support of the National guard (depending upon the hour), but the citizens of the city are just as, if not more destitute than the citizens of Sherwood.

8. Sometimes Making Concessions Leads To Rebellion

A. I absolutely believe this is true. Revolutions happen not when society hits its nadir, but when it’s bouncing back from it. When either the situation begins to improve or the establishment that’s being rebelled against begins to give a leeway. I’m giving myself a few points here though for creating a ‘bad guy’ (the mayor of Portland), who reacts out of fear and anxiety, and sometimes idealism — not an iron-fisted dictator. And many more points for having the revolution not be based around the worst of times, but instead when the object of their hope (Maid Marian) is potentially captured.

9. The Top Guy Isn’t Always the Problem

A+. My mayor of Portland, Brandon Bartlett, AKA Heartless Bartlett, is actually a fair(ish) leader, doing his best to throw himself into civic politics. But he’s fighting incredible levels of bi-partisanship, and he’s hindered by a government that’s slow, clumsy, tone-deaf, and unable to steer the ship decisively. Because of this, he also wallows in his own despair, which compounds his problems. In any other era, Brandon Bartlett would make a decent-enough mayor. 

10. The Enemy of Your Enemy Is Not Your Friend

A+. We see this in numerous instances within the book. Martin and his illegal operations are no friends of the city, but the changes being made in Sherwood  make him an enemy there too. The National Guard cooperates with Sherwood just long enough to de-stabalize the city, and then they turn against Sherwood too. 

Hey! I’m pretty happy with Sherwood Nation's results.  If you've read it and want to argue these points, I'd love to hear it. 

via Munrovia

September is Sherwood Nation month…

he said, self-consciously. But for the meantime, he will continue to keep a tally of SN news. And there’s some great stuff out today. 

Paul Di Filippo reviewed Sherwood Nation for Locus. Paul Di Filippo is a master-reviewer, and I don’t just say that because I nearly wept while reading his review of SN.

The Sherwood Nation playlist - I created a playlist for the Largehearted Boy site, and it was with particular pleasure that I got to give a shout out to a few of my favorite Portland, Oregon bands, including The Upsidedown, Marisa Anderson, Typhoon, The Golden Bears, and Hungry Ghost.

David Naimon interviewed me for KBOO radio. His podcast contains the whole interview, plus a reading (that got pulled for time-reasons from the broadcast). 

The awesome Sue Zalokar interviewed me for Street Roots, read the interview here.

October is start-a-new-novel, think-deep-thoughts, retreat-into-the-swirling-fantasies-of-the-subconsciousness month. Oh, and an Elliot Bay Bookstore reading…!