The little room was so hot that Leila tried not to move inside her clothing. She’d chosen the plain tan shirt with the piping on the pocket because bureaucrats are swayed by even the smallest impression of martial authority. Ditto the shiny black shoes. But the lady who took in Leila’s laundry had really gone to town on the shirt, and the result was like a suit of armor made from paper bags. Leila could feel a line of sweat trickle south down her back. A large beetle somehow injured buzzed and rattled in a corner of the stifling room.
It had been nearly two hours since one of Colonel Zeya’s underlings had instructed her to wait here, someone will come for you! You please must not leave this room!
Fine, she’d thought then. Leila Majnoun could wait. She wasn’t going to fall for that make-the-Westerner-sit-until-she-is-undone-by-her-own impatience trick. She pulled out her notebook. She favored Gregg-ruled steno pads; went through them at a rapid clip. She wrote in a swift and flattened cursive that was nearly illegible to anyone but herself and maybe her big sister, Roxana. She wrote mostly in English, but she also used Pashto, and some stenoglyphs that she’d invented along the way. Leila was no Luddite, but she trusted her paper notebook over any of her electronics. They usually let you keep a notebook even when they took your passport and pocket computer. Though in a secure airport interview room once, they’d taken Leila’s notebook from her hands. That’s as dicey as it had ever gotten for her. Soon after that, she’d done a job that put her in proximity to commando-type soldiers, and one of those guys had his instructions in a sort of sheet protector Velcroed to his inner wrist. The commando wrist slate—that’s the kind of personal organizer she could use.
Exciting news: HBO is to adapt Whiskey Tango Foxtrot as Comedy Series from Plan B (Brad Pitt’s production company). More information here:
About the Book:
David Shafer's acclaimed Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: A brilliant, visionary and deeply human cyber-thriller
Deep in the forest near Burma's border with China, a young woman sees something she wasn't supposed to see. In Portland, Oregon, a troubled young man crashes his bicycle on his way to work - and then gets fired. In New York, a famous self-help author goes on daytime TV - and suddenly conceives 'a book that would take him beyond talk shows'.
What connects these three people - though they don't know it yet - is that they have come to the attention of the Committee, a global cabal that seeks to privatize all information. And each of them will, in their different ways, come to take part in the secret resistance struggle spearheaded by a scarily clever hacktivist collective - a struggle built on radical politics, classic spycraft and eye-popping technology. Along the way, they are forced to confront their own demons, reconsider their values, and contemplate the meaning of love, family, friendship and community. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is at once a page-turning thriller, a deeply absorbing psychological novel, and a visionary exploration of the possibilities and hazards of our online lives.
Out now in paperback and e-book
About the Author:
David Shafer is a graduate of Harvard and the Columbia Journalism School. He has lived in Argentina and Dublin, and worked as a journalist, a carpenter and a taxi driver. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and children. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is his first book. You can find him on Twitter @jaycreal
Interested in a copy of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Then there is a copy up for grabs. To get your hands on it please send your name, email address and postal address to email@example.com. Don't forget to put Whiskey, Foxtrot Tango Competition in the subject line. UK and Ireland only. Closing date is Friday 12 June 2015.
Tomorrow the Bleach House Library blog will host the second extract.