As part of The Colorado Sun’s literature section — SunLit — we’re featuring staff picks from book stores across the state. >> Click here for more SunLit

This week’s bookstore: Out West Books, 533 Main St., Grand Junction | @outwestbooks on TwitterInstagram

The Water Knife

By Paolo Bacigalupi
Vintage Books


April 5, 2016

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From the publisher:  Paolo Bacigalupi, New York Times best-selling author of The Windup Girl and National Book Award finalist, delivers a near-future thriller that casts new light on how we live today—and what may be in store for us tomorrow.

From Didi at Out West Books:  Angel Velasquez is a water knife, someone who will go to any lengths to protect the water rights of their employer and will do anything to secure more — which has deadly consequences when rumors of a lost water rights deed appears. This violent tale is horrifyingly on target, foretelling a future when the wealthy thrive in verdant water rich arcologies and the poor must drink their own recycled urine just to exist. As climate change impacts the West, Bacigalupi’s cautionary thriller is more than timely.

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Dark Matter

By Blake Crouch
Ballantine Books

May 2, 2017

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From the publisher:   This book is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human—a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.

From Didi at Out West Books:  Kidnapped, stripped, and beaten, Jason Dessen, a college physics professor, finds himself in a parallel world where a decision made years prior resulted in a very different life for him than the one he has lived. The Jason in the world he finds himself in made a huge world-changing quantum physics discovery but failed at family life. Fast paced, page turning action sweeps the reader through the multiverse. Quantum physics has propelled this thriller into a new Apple TV+ series.   

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Quick Trip to Moab

By Kevin T. Jones
Self published
Feb. 2, 2022

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From the publisher: Kevin T. Jones brings to this tale compassion, empathy, and a deep understanding of the land and its cultural history. He thoughtfully explores the fundamental conflicts in the 21st Century American West while thrilling his readers with a page-turner of an adventure.

From Didi at Out West Books: Geologist Stan Watson sets out for a quick trip to Moab and ends up facing a battle for survival when he crosses the path of murderous anti-government  insurrectionists who have taken over public lands. Teaming up with Lily, who escaped after seeing her husband killed, and later with Frank, a journalist, originally  sympathetic to the insurrectionists, they make their perilous way through the rugged desert terrain of the San Rafael Swell.

Thoughtful discussions of issues facing the West, ranging from viewpoints sympathetic to the Bundy-like extremists to those of Edward Abbey, elevate this debut novel above the ordinary shoot ’em up. 

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This byline is used for articles and guides written collaboratively by The Colorado Sun reporters, editors and producers.