Dystopian future Portland novel rereleased
A long unavailable novel that eerily predicted the current multiple crises in Portland will be rereleased on Nov. 4.
"The Forever Man" was written by Lake Oswego author Pierre Ouellette and originally released only online in 2014. Set in Portland, it predicted the worst of the city today, including rampant homelessness, gang violence overwhelming the police, and out-of-control drug use. But the publisher went out of business and has been unavailable since 2019.
Now Portland-based Jorvik Press is publishing an only lightly revised print and Kindle version. It will be available on Nov. 4.
"When I finished the original manuscript several decades back, its portrait of Portland sinking into political, social and criminal chaos struck mainstream publishers as extremely far-fetched. It took several rewrites and over 15 years to finally get it published, and then, only as an ebook. My, how times have changed," Ouellette said the rerelease.
This was not the first — or last — time Ouellette had foreseen a future that came true. His first novel, "The Deus Machine," published in 1993, was about artificial intelligence threatening humanity. "The Third Pandemic," published in 1996, centered on a globe-sweeping virus that followed the Black Plague and the Spanish Flu. "Origin Unknown," published in 2011, involves a mysterious figure heading an oxycodone drug ring.
Switching from techno-thrillers to crime, in 2019, Ouellette published "Bakersfield," the first of a trilogy that followed a disgraced Los Angeles Police Department vice cop seeking redemption and new life from the 1950s to the 1970s through a series of encounters with such pop culture figures and events as country music legend Merle Haggard, the Summer of Love, the ill-fated Altamont concert, the radical Weather Underground, and Charles Manson and his followers. They were launched before the release of "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," the Quentin Tarantino film that tracks the similar trajectory of a fading actor played by Leonardo DiCaprio through a similar pop culture-littered landscape, climaxing with a confrontation with a fictionalized version of the Manson Family.
A previous Portland Tribune story about Ouellette can be found here.
Pierre Ouellette books
"The Deus Machine," Villard Books (Random House), 1993, hardcover and paperback
"The Third Pandemic," Atria (Simon & Schuster), 1996, hardcover and paperback, republished as an e-book by Jorvik Press in 2021
"A Breed Apart," Bantam Dell, 2009, paperback (writing as Pierre Davis)
"Origin Unknown," Bantam Dell, 2011, paperback (writing as Pierre Davis)
"The Forever Man," Alibi Books (Random House), 2014, e-book
"Bakersfield," Jorvik Press, 2018, trade paperback
"Haight St.," Jorvik Press, 2020, trade paperback
"A Shot Away," Jorvik Press, 2021, trade paperback
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