Nova Swing

M. John Harrison, Author . Bantam Spectra $16 (252p) ISBN 978-0-553-38501-4

In this dense quasi-noir tale set in the universe of Light (2004), Harrison introduces Vic Serotonin, a ne'er-do-well who makes his living running illegal tours of the Saudade event site, where hallucinatory and impossible experiences are the norm. When rich tourist Elizabeth Kielar hires him as a guide and then disappears in the area around the site, things get even stranger than usual. Police detective Lens Aschemann, who usually turns a blind eye to the tourism business, threatens dire consequences for Vic's sideline of event site artifact smuggling, while shady club owner Paulie DeRaad buys an artifact that begins to change him in bizarre ways. Harrison privileges atmosphere over plot, using grotesquely beautiful narration and elliptical dialogue to convey the beautifully delineated angst of Saudade's extraordinary inhabitants. Although not for everyone, Harrison's trippy style will appeal to sophisticated readers who treasure the work of China Miéville and Jeff VanderMeer. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/27/2007
Release date: 09/01/2007
Open Ebook - 173 pages - 978-0-553-90429-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 315 pages - 978-0-553-59086-9
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