The Blue Light Project: A Novel

Taylor, Timothy

Published by Soft Skull Press
ISBN 10: 1593764022 / ISBN 13: 9781593764029
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Synopsis: Spanning a four-day hostage situation in the not-too-distant future, The Blue Light Project looks on as a city unravels and three lives intersect in unlikely ways.

When an armed man seizes a television studio in the center of town, Thom Pegg, a former investigative journalist turned tabloid reporter, is as surprised as anyone to learn that he is the only person to whom the hostage taker will speak, bringing him inside the studio and in contact with the frightening truth.

From outside, meanwhile, the drama of the enthralled and horrified city is revealed through the eyes of two very different people thrown together by the crisis. Eve is an Olympic gold medalist and local hero. Rabbit is a renegade street artist who has just completed a massive and mysterious installation on the tops of hundreds of buildings throughout the city.

As events churn to chaos, Taylor paints a powerful picture of the sinister side of our interconnected world, taking us on a dizzying journey through black sites, 24/7 media cycles, cults of celebrity, gang stalking, underground art, societal paranoia, and dangerous cynicism. The result is a gripping work of dark brilliance, from which Taylor ultimately surprises us with grounds for hope.

About the Author:

Now recognized by both reviewers and readers as one of Canada’s prose masters, Timothy Taylor took a somewhat unexpected route in establishing his writing career. After completing an economics degree at the University of Alberta and an MBA at the Queen’s School of Business, Taylor worked for four years in commercial banking, during which time he arranged to transfer from Toronto to his childhood home of Vancouver, where he still lives. However, Taylor had long known that he wanted to write, so he made the decision to leave his job and try to make a go of it, establishing his own Pacific fisheries consulting practice in order to give his new freelance writing career some stability.

As Taylor mentioned in one interview, it was all part of the slow process of developing himself as an author: “It’s difficult to have serious writing ambitions and run your own business at the same time. Both pursuits deserve your full attention, but writing won’t return a living wage at the beginning, so there are some hard realities.” Yet Taylor also feels that his writing has benefited immensely from his work in other areas: “I needed exposure to people in different fields with problems and issues and objectives outside the world of writing. If I had tried to start a novel in my mid-twenties after studying creative writing, I can’t imagine what I would have written about. I admire people who succeed this way and, recently, I’ve met quite a few.”

During this time, Taylor began writing his first novel, Stanley Park, and also worked on his short fiction, which began to be accepted by literary magazines. This turned out to be a valuable step for Taylor, as he began to feel a part of the literary community. As he said in one interview, “For me, literary magazines were really important to how I ended up making contact with anybody whatsoever. Because, I think, for beginning writers the only dialogue you have going on about your writing – where anybody will actually talk to you – is the letter exchange you have with lit mags.... And that conversation – you writing and submitting, and them writing you back this letter – represents this small dialogue, and it’s the only one you’re having.” The time spent perfecting his short stories came to fruition when Taylor’s “Doves of Townsend” was awarded the Journey Prize (Canada’s equivalent to the O. Henry Award) in 2000. Remarkably, he had two other stories on the competition’s final shortlist that year, and was the first Canadian writer ever to have three short stories up for the prize and included in the Journey Prize Anthology.

The following year, Stanley Park was published as part of Knopf Canada’s New Face of Fiction program, to outstanding reviews. (It was at this point that Taylor was finally able to wrap up his consultancy business and write full time.) The novel follows a food artiste named Jeremy Papier into the inner sanctums of Vancouver’s culinary scene, and Jeremy’s father, an anthropologist who camps out in Stanley Park to study homelessness, into the city’s underbelly. Stanley Park was shortlisted for the Giller Prize, the City of Vancouver Book Award, the Ethel Wilson Award and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.

That novel was followed by Silent Cruise, a collection of short fiction, in 2002, and Story House, a novel, in 2006. Both books received broad critical acclaim. The Blue Light Project followed in 2011, and has been lauded for not only its thriller-like intensity but the important questions it raises about how we live in our world, and what our future might hold. Taylor has also been widely published and recognized for his non-fiction magazine work, and has been a finalist for or winner of a dozen separate magazine awards. Today, Timothy Taylor continues to publish stories in Canada’s leading literary magazines, in addition to writing travel, humour, arts and business pieces for various periodicals, and writing for film.

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Title: The Blue Light Project: A Novel
Publisher: Soft Skull Press
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Good

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