Hi everybody, my name is Francesco Verso and I am an Italian Science Fiction author and editor.
5 years ago I quit a job in IBM to pursue a writing carrier. So far, I’ve been very lucky.
I am the winner of 2008 Urania Mondadori Award for best SF novel with e-Doll, a thriller set in future Moscow, where the e-Dolls, sexual replicants, are used by the Ministry of Internal Affairs to limit the increase in sex abuse, group rapes, blackmailing and violent sexual acts. Imagine Pris, the “entertainment Nexus-6” of Blade Runner, as the main character. The novel was a very controversial success in Italy and it sold around 10,000 copies.
My third novel, Livid, has won the Odyssey Award by Delos Books for best SF novel and it will be published on May 2013. The story is about Peter Pains, a 15 year old disable “trashformer”, who sees his older brother Charlie, leader of a teenage gang called The Dead Bones, killing Alba, a nexhuman girl, who had her mind uploaded onto an artificial body. Peter was in love with her and decides to gather her electronic pieces to build her again with the help of Ion, a homeless tramp. It will take him more than 15 years to accomplish such mission. But will he succeed?
My fourth novel, BloodBusters – yet unpublished – has received interest from Fox SearchLight Italy and De Angelis Group Film Company. It deals with “blood & taxes” in a very peculiar way. What if taxes were paid by citizens through blood withdrawals? What if tax evasion was a crime punishable with imprisonment and enforced by the BloodBusters? What if donating blood was an illegal procedure? And what if Ematogen, a delicious snack derived from blood, was everyone’s favourite food?
In a grotesque Rome, Alan Costa, a BloodBuster operator, falls in love with Anissa Malesano, a compulsive donor for the Robin Blood underworld organisation, who gives her blood to anyone in need. In a crescendo of deceit and treachery, where he cannot even trust his colleagues or his own boss, Alan sees Anissa ending up in jail for tax evasion. Once he discovers the real reason why he was recruited as a BloodBuster, he decides to take an extreme step in order to rescue Anissa and her son Nicola.
My novels are genre: I call them “Future Fiction” – a term I borrowed from the preface of “The Wanting Seed” by Anthony Burgess to describe his futuristic novels. As such, I see them as a blend of speculative and contemporary science fiction in line with the works of Chuck Palahniuk, Ian McDonald, Nick Harkaway and Robert J. Sawyer.
Apart from writing, I am also editor of a small publishing house, Kipple Officina Libraria, where we publish SF ebooks in a series called Avatar (not the Hollywood one, but rather the Sanskrit one). We run a Kipple SF Award every year (one for novels and another for short stories) open to science fiction, new weird and other fantastic kind of narrative (but not YA urban fantasy nor vampire clones).
As an editor, I have been looking for European authors since I’ve started my job in Kipple. So far I have managed to publish the Greek author Michalis Manolios (winner of the 2010 Aeon SF Award) and Robert J. Sawyer (The Hand You’re Dealt) on the Italian market (WW Amazon + Italian portals).
My dream is indeed to create a wider network of SF professionals (authors, moviemakers, publishers and obviously fans) all aiming at proposing science fiction as the narrative genre of our present time. The only genre that, thru continuous hybridation, cannot die. We’ve seen the sense of wonder birth from the old fantastic genre and then taking – over the course of the centuries – the shape of mythology, romanticism, gothic and weird tales, to finally explode into fantasy adventure and science fiction and then… we don’t really know, but do we really care? My personal answer is no. Ward Shelley (nomen omen, as the Latins used to say for someone whose name contained a destiny) summarized this concept in a wonderful astonishing picture that you maybe already came across on Internet. It gave me the shivers to see in just one shot how deep and how far science fiction can be dated back.
It’s all there, if you look very closely.
Thus, it is a true honor to be part of such an amazing circle of friends and I look forward to work together