From the bestselling author of the Sandman Slim series, a lush, dark, stand-alone fantasy built off the insurgent tradition of China Mieville and M. John Harrison--a subversive tale that immerses us in a world where the extremes of bleakness and beauty exist together in dangerous harmony in a city on the edge of civility and chaos.The Great War is over. The city of Lower Proszawa celebrates the peace with a decadence and carefree spirit as intense as the war's horrifying despair. But this newfound hedonism--drugs and sex and endless parties--distracts from strange realities of everyday life: Intelligent automata taking jobs. Genetically engineered creatures that serve as pets and beasts of war. A theater where gruesome murders happen twice a day. And a new plague that even the ceaseless euphoria can't mask.
Unlike others who live strictly for fun, Largo is an addict with ambitions. A bike messenger who grew up in the slums, he knows the city's streets and its secrets intimately. His life seems set. He has a beautiful girlfriend, drugs, a chance at a promotion--and maybe, an opportunity for complete transformation: a contact among the elite who will set him on the course to lift himself up out of the streets.
But dreams can be a dangerous thing in a city whose mood is turning dark and inward. Others have a vision of life very different from Largo's, and they will use any methods to secure control. And in behind it all, beyond the frivolity and chaos, the threat of new war always looms.
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"A constant underlying tension makes the city's powder-keg agitation visceral, and the individual neighborhoods and their residents are well wrought. Any fan of convoluted science fiction will appreciate the sharp twists Largo has to navigate if he and those he loves are going to survive."-- "Publishers Weekly"
"A dope-addicted bike messenger tries to change his stars in a futuristic war-torn republic that reflects some of the best fantasy fiction....Wildly ambitious and inventive fantasy."-- "Kirkus Reviews"