Not a sequel to, rather a consequence of, Harrison's eerie space
opera, Light (2004). When a piece of the mysterious alien Kefahuchi
Tract crashed into the city Saudade, it created a weird event site
to which people are drawn in the hope of gaining a glimpse of
realities beyond human comprehension. Those that enter the site are
changed, contaminated or absorbed by the strangeness inside. Some
never come out at all. Others merely want to have sex within sight
of it. Meanwhile, things emerge too: "cats," who later return as
mysteriously as they came; "people," who sing and dance and attempt
to have sex only to fade and vanish; or metamorphosing objects such
as that retrieved by "entradista" Vic Serotonin. Ineffectually
patrolling the borderlands are the Site Crime police, led by Albert
Einstein look-alike detective Lens Aschemann, whose need to
understand his dead wife transforms into an obsession with the site
itself. Vic sells his artifact to gangster Paulie DeRaad, unaware
that it's contaminated by malignant code. Some of the emerging
"people" persist and take on human qualities; Elizabeth Kielar,
Vic's current client, may be one of these, as Aschemann's late wife
also may have been. Other folk, like burned-out ex-starship pilot
Fat Antoyne and bar owner Liv Hula, avoid the trap the site
represents and content themselves with contemplating the rain, the
cats and the behavior of those around them. There are consequences
for all the characters, and eventually the novel - so dense,
demanding and intelligent that it reads as if it were four times
the length - insinuates them.A cross between J. G. Ballard's
intense, static The Drowned World and Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's
terrifying Roadside Picnic. The upshot: This science-fiction noir
cum literary and social criticism is memorable, perplexing and
challenging in equal measure. (Kirkus Reviews)
It is some time after Ed Chianese's trip into the Kefahuchi Tract.
A major industry of the Halo is now tourism. The Tract has begun to
expand and change, but, more problematically, parts of it have also
begun to fall to earth, piecemeal, on the Beach planets. We are in
a city called Raintown, perhaps on New Venusport or Motel
Splendido: next to the city is the event site, the zone, from out
of which pour new, inexplicable artefacts, organisms and escapes of
living algorithm - the wrong physics loose in the universe. They
can cause plague and change. An entire department of the local
police, Site Crime, exists to stop them being imported into the
city by adventurers, entradistas, and the men known as 'travel
agents', profiteers who can manage - or think they can manage -the
bad physics, skewed geographies and psychic onslaughts of the event
site. But now a new class of semi-biological artefact is finding
its way out of the site, and this may be more than anyone can
|Country of origin:
M. John Harrison
||234 x 153mm (L x W)
Genre fiction >
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