Next Author: Jeanette Winterson
Previous Author: Terri Windling

Ben H. Winters

Ben H. WintersBen H. Winters is the author of six novels, including The Last Policeman, an Amazon.com Best Book of July, 2012. His other books include Bedbugs, Android Karenina, the New York Times bestseller Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, and the middle-grade novels The Mystery of the Everything and The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman, a Bank Street Best Book of 2011 and an Edgar Award nominee. Ben is also the author of many plays and musicals for children and adults, and he has written for national and local publications including the Chicago Tribune, Slate, and the Huffington Post.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE BOOKS BY BEN H. WINTERS.

The Last Policeman

The Last Policeman — (2012-2014) Publisher: What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway? Detective Hank Palace has faced this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. There’s no chance left. No hope. Just six precious months until impact. The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job — but not Hank Palace. He’s investigating a death by hanging in a city that sees a dozen suicides every week — except this one feels suspicious, and Palace is the only cop who cares. The first in a trilogy, The Last Policeman offers a mystery set on the brink of an apocalypse. As Palace’s investigation plays out under the shadow of 2011GV1, we’re confronted by hard questions way beyond “whodunit.” What basis does civilization rest upon? What is life worth? What would any of us do, what would we really do, if our days were numbered?

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

The Last Policeman: This book does not go gentle into that good night

Readers’ average rating:

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

What if the world really would end in the next six months and there was nothing anyone could do to stop it? What would you do? Would you quit your job and start doing everything on your “bucket list?” Cash in all your savings and plan to party ‘til the end? Look up old friends and lost family members? Hunt down people who had done you wrong? Devote yourself to doing good works? Or would you stay in your home town and try to maintain a sense of normalcy?

This is the premise of Ben H. Winters’s novel The Last Policeman. The book is a police procedural, set in the present day, with one big difference. In the world of Hank Palace, the main character and first-person narrator, astrophysicists have identified a large asteroid on a collision course with earth. It will strike in early October. There is no error, there is no way to destroy it, there ... Read More

Countdown City: 77 days and counting

Readers’ average rating:

Countdown City by Ben H. Winters

Countdown City is Ben H. Winters’s second book in the pre-apocalyptic trilogy that began with The Last Policeman. Hank Palace is no longer a cop in Concord, New Hampshire; police functions have been nationalized, but he still wants to help people and try to maintain order in the two and a half months that remain before Maia, a fifteen-kilometer-wide asteroid, hits the earth.

Hank’s old babysitter asks him to find her husband who disappeared a few days earlier. Missing persons are almost impossible to locate; many people are “going Bucket List,” leaving their lives to do things they’ve always wanted to do before the end comes. Others are joining doomsday cults. There is no internet, phone service or e-mail and in fact most of New Hampshire is now without electricity. The enhanced federal police presence seems to do nothing ... Read More

World of Trouble: Science fiction for your friends who think SF is stupid

Readers’ average rating:

World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters

We all have that friend, family member or co-worker who thinks speculative fiction is stupid. To be fair, they have a lot of ammunition for this short-sighted view; the Star Wars prequels, vampire-boyfriend sagas and numerous homogenized series with trashy covers. Ben H. Winters, however, is the secret defensive weapon in our arsenal, and the LAST POLICEMAN  series is the smart, thinking-person’s SF you can offer as a rebuttal.

World of Trouble is the final book in the trilogy. In The Last Policeman, we met Hank Palace, the titular character. The world is going to be struck by a large asteroid, and all the projections show the results will be the end of life on earth. Bruce Willis is not going to blow it up with a nuclear warhead; there is no technological ... Read More

Underground Airlines: A chilling alternate history thriller

Readers’ average rating: 

Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters

“Time makes things worse; bad is faster than good; wickedness is a weed and does not wither on its own — it grows and spreads.”

Imagine that Abe Lincoln was assassinated before the Civil War started and that the North and South, instead of fighting, compromised, drawing up an agreement that allowed slavery to exist in perpetuity in four Southern states. Fast forward to the modern day and imagine that you were a black man in one of those states, that you had escaped your slavery in a cattle slaughterhouse, and had been living a free life in a Northern state for two years. Imagine that the U.S. Marshals Service finally caught you and gave you the choice of going back to the slaughterhouse or working for the Marshals, hunting down escaped slaves like yourself and turning them over to the government.

That is the disturbing ... Read More

The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination: For a dose of crazy genius

Readers’ average rating:

The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination edited by John Joseph Adams

The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination is the latest themed anthology edited by John Joseph Adams — and it’s another good one. This time, Adams has collected a set of short stories featuring the hero’s (or often superhero’s) traditional antagonist: the mad genius, the super-villain, the brilliant sociopath who wants to remold the world in his own image — or occasionally, maybe, just be left alone in his secret lair to conduct spine-tingling experiments that, as an unfortunate side-effect, may cause drastically rearranged geography, rampant mutation, or major extinction events.

Under the editorial direction of John Joseph Adams, this anthology offers an impressively varied view on this archetypical character. Some stories refer back to mad geniuses you’ll be familiar with (Fran... Read More