The Mirage

by Matt Ruff on December 15, 2009

A holiday update on my novel-in-progress: I now have a contract with HarperCollins and a deadline. The finished manuscript is due at the end of next year, which means barring delays (and/or the collapse of the publishing industry) it will be published sometime in late 2011 or early 2012. Sorry to take so long, but as we all know by now, I write slowly. You should still have time to read it before the Mayan calendar runs out.

I’m still not ready to go into detail about the plot, but in essence, The Mirage is my attempt to tell a 9/11 story that isn’t like other 9/11 stories. It’s set in an alternate reality, primarily in Baghdad but with sidetrips to Cairo, Beirut, America, and Texas. The protagonists are a trio of Homeland Security agents who are investigating a bizarre claim made by a captured suicide bomber.

As I’ve mentioned previously, The Mirage started out as a TV-series pitch. Part of the challenge of writing it is taking the multi-season story arc I’d envisioned and fitting it into a single novel. While there are still some major issues I need to work out, at this point I have a pretty good sense of which of the many possible paths I want to take to get from the beginning to the end. I think it’s going to be a great book.

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