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Any Day Now: A Novel Hardcover – March 1, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An unsettling, funny, freaky reimagining of America, impeccably written, by one of our most consistently interesting transgressors of literary boundaries." — Michael Chabon

"He writes like a man who invented language . . . Treat yourself to this book." — Peter Coyote, author of Sleeping Where I Fall

"Someone once said everybody has a book inside them, but it takes a writer to get it out. The truth is, not many writers ever even manage it like this. Bisson just wrote his personal masterpiece, a book which will drop you through the floor of your assumptions about coming of age inside the politics and counterculture of the Vietnam era and into a fresh new-old world, in which you'll live, for the duration of this book, as your own." — Jonathan Lethem

"The author, a writer of (probably under-appreciated) sf and fantasy novels, here deftly resurrects Sixties America. As history is gradually subverted and chronology reshuffled, the reader is slightly jarred and then fascinated by the dramatic world presented. Highly recommended for its literary quality and creativity of vision." — Library Journal



"In this unsettling but always interesting alternate-history novel, which offers much subversive commentary on contemporary society, Bisson's jazz-like prose summons a utopia whose adherents seek personal freedom only to find that their basic civil liberties can vanish in an instant." — Booklist

"Bisson plays off the shared imagery of the bohemian underground, and the story has a thrumming momentum, a sense of slangy sass and jive, light-hearted yet soulful." — Washington Post

"Bisson's novel is less an alternate history than a kind of shadow history, explored in a way that only SF can explore it. On his website, Bisson modestly says the novel is 'not exactly science fiction; and not exactly not.' In fact, it's both – and neither aspect would be nearly as compelling without the other. What it is, I think it's fair to say, is the major work of one of our most talented and under-appreciated writers, in or out of the SF fold." — Locus Magazine

"Terry Bisson's new novel, Any Day Now, a blend of coming-of-age tropes and alternate history, sweeps us through the turbulent '60s and imagines a 1968 that both RFK and MLK survived. Bisson uses short scenes with minimal exposition and snappy dialogue. This leads to some crystallizing moments . . . It also lets Bisson capture the spirit of the times in single strokes." — The Rumpus

"Any Day Now is a fascinating examination of the struggle for self-definition and idealism against both the machinations of authority and the whimsical and cruel vagaries of fate. Clay's journey introduces him to plenty of iconic figures of the time, and even as Bisson deftly shifts history, these now-mythical figures cast as long a shadow as ever. That marvelous juxtaposition of how brutal the quest for peace can be is thoroughly enthralling, creating a truly unique reading experience." — Sacramento/San Francisco Book Review

About the Author

Terry Bisson is a Hugo and Nebula award writer. He has published seven novels and his short fiction has appeared in Playboy and Harper's magazine, among others. He previously worked as an auto mechanic and as a magazine and book editor. Bisson lives in Oakland, California.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The Overlook Press (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781590207093
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590207093
  • ASIN: 1590207092
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,765,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Formerly ('75-'02) a Kentuckian living in New York,
currently a New Yorker living in California.

Known mostly for SF short stories (Hugo, Nebula awards),
also writes novels, screenplays, comics and non-fiction.
Biographer of Mumia Abu Jamal. Former automechanic,
wrote CAR TALK with 'Click and Clack'. Produced and
edited NO FRILLS Books back in '80s. Completed ST
LEIBOWITZ AND THE WILD HORSE WOMAN for Walter M Miller
estate. Lives in Oakland. Rides a KLR650.

Hosts monthly author reading series in San Francisco (SFinSF).
Edits 'Outspoken Author' series for PM Books.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous VINE VOICE on June 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Terry Bisson's _Any Day Now_ is a surprisingly lovely novel of the '60s told in a spare, dialog-heavy, fast-moving style. It begins as a historical novel -- a richly rendered coming-of-age story set in a western Kentucky slowly and a bit unwillingly being dragged into the Fifties and Sixties -- and follows its protagonist from there to college, then to the tumult of early-60s New York, and from there to the communes and social upheaval of the late Sixties in the Western deserts. Each of these settings is rendered revealingly through a few beautiful little moments of observation (the way anyone with a beard and a jazz album in Kentucky is a suspicious "beatnik"; the difficulty of getting insulation to stick to the roof of a geodesic dome with improvised glue). And the book's spare, to-the-point, episodic narrative style keeps the plot hustling along, even if it occasionally leaves us wanting a bit more psychology and characterization than we're given.

The novel is worth reading for the observations and characters alone, and Bisson's eye for detail is often as impressive as his ear for dialogue -- but the realism of the novel's evocation of a vanished age isn't, as it turns out, its only point. There's a second game afoot. Though the book begins as a straightforward historical novel, it soon shades, sneakily, into alternate history; it's done so much on the sly and in the background, cleverly, that readers won't notice it happening right away, but the world of the novel slowly diverges from our own history, heading another direction entirely.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Peter Coyote on June 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Any Day Now" is one of the best books on the Sixties I've read (including my own.)Terry Bisson is one of the nation's celebrated Sci-Fi authors (he's won Hugo and Nebula Awards) and has been one of my favorite writers for four decades. (Disclaimer---also one of my closest friends.) He lived the truths he describes in his pages, and in some cases we lived them together. He's one of the most wry and funny minds around, and now he's moved into "reality", which in Terry's case means, "almost" real. I said once that he could snap a tooth out a comb and slide you through an opening no wider than that into another reality without your realizing it. The last third of his book, the "what if" Robert Kennedy has not died is wondrous. Why no national reviewers have deigned to review this book is an order of injustice like considering Newt Gingrich a spokesman for anything but self-interest. I urge you to read it.
Peter Coyote, author, "Sleeping Where I Fall."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rich alternate history since 1958 on December 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The novel asks the question, what if the USA, like the USSR in 1991, couldn't keep the center together.? The time of mortal danger for the USA was 1968. The anti- hero is drifting through his own life, so he doesn't play much heed to the societal unraveling around him. A person more alert to what conditions around them mean to them personally, should be growing very uneasy at the ever increasing disorder....

The novel is very well written, and Bisson is very good at creating atmosphere with an economy of words. However, unless a sequel is planned, the reader is left to ponder how it all will eventually work. Is this the foundation for the Robert Heinlein novel " Friday ", in which North America has long been Balkanized? Will the successor states wage wars to enlarge their territory? And, what will happen to personal freedom, in the various breakaway sections? The story ends well before the reader can see the end game, whatever it may finally turn out to be. The set-up turns out to be the entire story.
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