cover image Gogmagog


Jeff Noon and Steve Beard. Angry Robot, $18.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-915202-82-6

The peculiar latest from Noon and Beard (who last collaborated on Mappaluj) takes readers on a river journey through a land of plant-human hybrids, steadfast robots, and the haunting spirit of a dead dragon. Arcadia “Cady” Meade is a 78-year-old retired sea captain who now spends her days half-drunk and searching for her next drug-induced vision. She’s approached by Brin, a sickly little girl, and her robot guardian, Lek, to navigate the river Nysis and take them to Ludwich, where they hope to find a cure for Brin’s illness. Brin only later discloses to Cady that she’s also on the run due to her unusual powers that many covet. The journey is perilous: the spirit of the dragon Haakenur haunts 60 miles of the river, and its sickness taints everything it touches. The ragtag crew of Cady’s ship, Jupiter, must survive the journey while each battles their own personal demons. Though the unique and bizarre characters gamely tackle each obstacle thrown at them, the world Noon and Beard conjure is rather murky, and side quests and tangents often overtake the plot. Simultaneously morose and whimsical, this off-kilter quest narrative meanders. Agent: Michelle Kass, Michelle Kass Assoc. (Feb.)