Sci-Fi writer vs. U.S. government … hmm ….


A not so fun little story to keep an eye on. Carolyn Kellogg explains that earlier this month,

Peter Watts; photo by Dan BrooksHugo Award-nominated Canadian author Peter Watts was returning home from a trip to Nebraska when he encountered U.S. customs agents at the border between Michigan and Ontario. His rental car was stopped, and then something happened — Watts says he was pepper-sprayed and attacked, while agents say he became aggressive. Watts was arrested and charged with assault.

Turns out that even a former marine biologist turned science fiction writer can have friends in the right places. Cory Doctorow, who writes science fiction in addition to contributing to BoingBoing, and science fiction writer John Scalzi, who maintains the popular blog Whatever, blogged about Watts’ troubles, encouraging people to contribute to Watts’ legal defense fund.

Canadian publishing magazine Quill & Quire notes that Doctorow is not the only one in Watts’ corner. Toronto bookstore Bakka-Phoenix is not only accepting contributions on the author’s behalf, it’s selling out of his books. And author David Nickle was integral to spreading the word and bailing Watts out of jail.

Certainly there is more to come of this sad tale.

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