Ben H. Winters is the popular author of the The Last Policeman series, which is a mix of dystopia and crime mystery. Prior to his series, he was best known for Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, a parody novel of Jane Austen’s bestselling book.
With the pre-and post-apocalyptic books being so popular these days, The Last Policeman is a series that took off from the very beginning. Both readers and critiques loved it, especially when it deals with doing what’s right in a time when everything is falling apart.
Here are the Ben Winters books in order for The Last Policeman and the rest of the novels he has written to date.
New Ben Winters Book
Last Policeman Trilogy
Standalone Ben H Winters Books and Plays
- The Jewish Comedy Thesaurus, 2007 (non-fiction)
- Tooth, 2008
- Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, 2009
- Android Karenina, 2010
- The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman, 2010 (book for children)
- The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, 2010, with Stephen Sislen (book for children)
- Bedbugs, 2011
- The Mystery of the Missing Everything, 2011 (book for children)
- Uncle Pirate, 2011 (book for children)
- Literally Disturbed, 2013 (collection of poems)
- Romantically Disturbed, 2015 (collection of poems)
- Underground Airlines, 2016
- Golden State, 2019
Ben Winters Biography
Benjamin Allen H. Winters (aka Ben H. Winters) was born in 1976, in Maryland. At around the age of 10, he wrote a couple of stories about a pig named Piggy-Wiggy. He was always interested in books, both in reading and in writing. He used to love reading science-fiction books and fantasy from authors like Orson Scott Card and Philip José Farmer. He would also read comic books, which is a genre he likes even today.
While in high school, he was part of Corm, a punk music band. Next, he attended Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he joined Mama’s Pot Roast, a comedy group.
He graduated from the university in 1988 with a degree in literature.
While living in Philadelphia with his wife, he was living in a building across Quirk Books, the publishing house. As he got to know the employees, he would write some non-fiction pieces for them.
Several years later, when the publishing house got a big breakthrough with Pride and Prejudice and
Zombies, written by Seth Grahame-
Once the book was published and became popular, Ben H. Winters the writer was born. He then continued the series with a third book titled Android Karenina, after which he decided to stop the series.
However, the Ben Winter books have really become international bestsellers with The Last Policeman trilogy, a set of three books that touch on much more serious issues than the author’s previous novels.
Detective Hank Palace, living in New Hampshire, is at a crucial crossroads in his life: only six months from now, an asteroid will hit Earth, killing pretty much all of humanity. At a time when the whole world panics and turns on each other because everyone knows they will die anyway, Hank Palace keeps his moral integrity and decides to keep on working until the very last day. After all, he has a homicide case to solve. He believes what he’s doing is the right thing, and even though he’s just a small-town cop, he won’t stop until the murderer is caught. People ask Hank Palace in the book if there is a point in solving murders if everyone’s going to die anyway. What is the point?
One of the most important themes of the series is how people respond in times of serious crisis and impending doom. To write his books, Ben H. Winters did a lot of research and talked to several relevant people in the fields of economics, sociology, and psychology.
After The Last Policeman trilogy, Ben Winters wrote a standalone novel titled Underground Airlines, which features Victor, an African-American protagonist in an alternative historical timeline when the Civil War never really happened. The book, although part of the author’s speculative-fiction theme, is a detective novel, just like The Last Policeman, as Victor is a hard-boiled detective.
Golden State, published in 2019, features yet another alternate society where the main character, Lazlo Ratesic, is at the center of a mystery, in a society where the truth is the only thing that matters. Fiction doesn’t exist, and the only thing that can be written in books is about the current truth. Everything is recorded and neither recorded past nor the future exists as truth.
As usual in the newer Ben H. Winters books, the main protagonist is a policeman – in this case, a law enforcer, part of the Speculator Service, and he is one of the few people who can actually speculate as to a situation to be investigated.
For his books, Ben Winters received several awards, including the Edgar Awards Best Paperback original for The Last Policeman in 2013, the same year the Philip K Dick Award Best Book for Countdown City, Anthony Awards Best Paperback original for World of Trouble in 2015. His books were also nominated twice; for Edgar Awards Best Paperback original in 2015 for World of Trouble, and for John W Campbell Memorial Award Best Novel in 2017 for Underground Airline.
Praise for Ben H. Winters
Not many writers would take on Orwell, Ray Bradbury, the nature of truth, and the current administration all at a blow. Big shoes to fill–and they fit Ben H. Winters just fine. Golden Stategrabs notions of disinformation and literalism and brilliantly turns them on their head to see what falls from their pockets. (James Sallis)
Golden State is a prescient, devastating commentary on humanity’s disintegrating attachment to reality and truth, expertly-told through the prism of a police-procedural, dystopian nightmare. Winters has written a 1984 for the 21st Century. Not just a thrilling book, but an important one. (Blake Crouch)
The author of the Last Policeman trilogy and the stand-alone Underground Airlines (2016) adds another thought-provoking, genre-bending SF thriller to his bibliography. . . . Another fine novel from a writer whose imagination knows no bounds (Booklist)
Winters’ style is a slow burn….His cadence is a steady beat rather than a roller coaster, and his words sparing and simple. They will stay with you. (William O’ Connor)
World of Trouble is a page turner, a book that is riveting and humane, suspenseful rather than frenetic, and moving rather than depressing; and the key to it all is our guide trough this crumbling world. Palace is a brilliant creation, the perfect hero for our eschatological age. (Tor.com)
The Last Policeman books offer an appealing hybrid of the best of science fiction and crime fiction. (The Washington Post)