What books would we be surprised to find on your shelf?
“The Fault in Our Stars,” by John Green; the “Mistborn” series, by Brandon Sanderson; and the “Red Rising” series, by Pierce Brown.
What does being one of Pepperdine’s 40 under 40 honorees mean to you?
It’s an honor, though I feel a bit silly. There are so many people in the Pepperdine community who make real, tangible differences in people’s lives. I just make up things for a living. But hey, maybe in the future I can help other Pepperdine students realize that life in the creative arts can have just as real an impact as other more tangible professions.
For a guy who has issues matching his socks, even Pierce Brown is a little amazed at how popular his color-coordinated sci-fi series has become. His new novel Morning Star, the final book in his Red Rising trilogy, lands at No. 1 on USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list this week, Brown’s first ever appearance in the top spot.
Bullies Are From Mars
Bullies Are From Mars: “Golden Son,” the second novel in Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy, enters the hardcover fiction list at No. 6. The plot of these books — in which a charismatic hero makes his way from Mars’s oppressed underclass into the ruling elite, where he plans a secret insurrection — has reminded some critics of the Hunger Games series, while putting others (O.K., me) in mind of Arthur Krystal’s observation about pulp fiction: “Skilled genre writers know that a certain level of artificiality must prevail, lest the reasons we turn to their books evaporate.”
Pierce Brown wrote a book last year called Red Rising — the first in a proposed trilogy. In the press, it got compared to The Hunger Games (as pretty much every book with a teenaged protagonist and some dying in it does these days), to Ender’s Game (as pretty much every science fiction book with a teenaged protagonist and some dying in it does) and Lord of the Flies (as pretty much every book with teenagers, dying and some artful turns of phrase does).
Twenty-something Pierce Brown has written six novels, but none has been published until now. Congratulate him today, 11 a.m.– noon at the Random House booth (2739), where he’s signing galleys of his science fiction debut, Red Rising (Del Rey, Feb. 2014). With its young-protagonists-fighting-repressive-government plot, it’s predicted to invite comparisons to The Hunger Games.