cover image Afterparty


Daryl Gregory. Tor, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3692-7

In a mental hospital, world-wise Lyda meets teen Francine, who’s in withdrawal from Numinous, a drug that makes you religious. Lyda helped invent Numinous and thought it no longer existed, but Francine’s symptoms are unmistakable. With the help of an angel only Lyda sees—a result of her own Numinous overdose—and her ex-lover Ollie, a former government agent and fellow patient, Lyda heads out to stop whoever is making Numinous again. The hunt leads her to female Afghan drug lords, shady dealings in the Mohawk nation, a murderous faux-cowboy, the daughter she gave up for adoption, and maybe God. Gregory (Unpossible and Other Stories) dashes off his near-future story like a “chemjet” printing out sheets of smart drugs. Both irreverent and sympathetic to the sincere Numinous-addicted believers, the tragi-comical satire dispenses with sermons and easy morals, preferring to be entertaining and thought-provoking instead. (Apr.)