UPDATE - UNLOCKED 5/21
INTRO: This entry is Friends-locked because Barnes & Noble seems oblivious to the concept of "release dates", so I received my pre-ordered copy 2 days ago despite the release date being 5/22. As Seanan/Mira is rather OCD and had a total flipout when her last book 'Discount Armageddon' released early, I notified her webmaster but left it up to them when/whether to tell her. As far as I can tell she is still blissfully unaware, and I think that it is better that she remain so for now. She will find out eventually, but for now let's let her have at least a few less-stress days and good nights of sleep.
WHY DOES THIS MATTER? From reading her blog, I've learned that the book industry has become increasingly more like the movie industry. First-week sales really matter, especially when it comes to hitting numbers like the NYT lists. Since I really like her work, and want companies to give her more money to write more lovely books, I want to do my part and make my purchase count towards those numbers. Since this was The Year of Three E-Readers, I had lots of Barnes & Noble store credit left, so I pre-ordered both Discount Armageddon and BLACKOUT in January. (Ashes of Honor, the next Toby book, is coming out in September but wasn't available for pre-order at the time). Stores like pre-order figures, as they are a great measure of the "buzz" for an upcoming release. My copy of DA wasn't too early, but BLACKOUT was. Usually when books ship early like this, it ends up diluting those critical first week's sales numbers. So from now on I plan to actually go to physical stores and buy books whenever possible - especially for Seanan's work.
So this is why this is F-locked - because I don't want this to be cross-posted or found by her little electronic spiders yet.
Please respect this.
UPDATE: Seanan's lates blog entry says "If you somehow get an early copy, please don't tell me. There's nothing I can do about it, and it'll just raise my blood pressure. But feel free to post a review. Reviews are awesome." So we're still not telling her and I'll unlock this entry on 5/22
THE SETTING: For those unfamiliar with the Newsflesh books, they are a trilogy of works that take place after The Rising - that summer of 2014 when two genetically-modified viruses with the best of intentions combined in the wild and began bringing the dead back to life. 20% of the world's population died that summer, and while the world didn't end it was profoundly changed in a lot of ways. Some obvious and some less so. During the early days of the outbreak, while the government tried to cover up the story and the traditional media reported stories about student pranks in bad latex makeup, it was the blogoshpere that came into its own. Starting with a CDC researcher who violated security by posting the complete details of 'The Walking Plague' on the only unmonitored place he knew of - the blog of his young daughter Wendy. Bloggers shared the stories of "No shit - dead people are getting up and eating their relatives!". They posted survival tips culled from a score of Romero movies, and the ways that people were trying to protect themselves. Many of them died, but their last posts remain on The Wall, am online memorial to everyone who died trying to save the world.
The best science fiction has always been about people - it uses the tropes of spaceships or zombies to tell us important truths about ourselves. So while yes, there are zombies in these books. They are not the real monsters.
In FEED, a team of bloggers wins the chance to follow the presidential campaign. They encounter a lot more than they bargained for, and discover that there are truths that some people don't want to be told. Not all of them survive.
In DEADLINE, the surviving members of the team - very much 'walking wounded' - are handed what seems like the keys to unlocking the vast conspiracy. But not all is as it seems, and strings are being pulled on both sides.
Since it's impossible to discuss BLACKOUT without revealing some fairly important spoilers about the other two books, this is where the LJ cut comes in. No spoilers for book 3 here - just the other 2.
( Don't say I didn't warn you... )
Alive or dead, the truth won't rest.
Rise up while you can.