The Grand Dark by Richard Kadrey
English | 2019 | Sci / Fi | ePUB | 2.5 Mb
The Grand Dark : 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.
“When Branca had called most of the morning’s deliveries and the room was nearly empty, Parvulesco, Largo’s closest friend at the service, gave him a worried look as he carried a parcel out the door. Largo shrugged. Maybe Branca had seen him come in late and was keeping him back for a good talking-to. There was nothing to do but wait and endure whatever was coming. Parvulesco mouthed, Good luck, before heading out.
Soon, everyone else had been given an assignment and it was just Largo and Herr Branca. The supervisor didn’t look up for two or three minutes as he took his time filling out a small pile of paperwork. As the seconds ticked by, Largo imagined all sorts of scenarios. A simple dressing-down. Having his pay docked. Maybe he’d even be fired. He stood still, hoping to not draw attention to himself, but after a couple more minutes passed he couldn’t stand it anymore. He cleared his throat.
“Do you have a cold, Largo?” said Herr Branca. “If so, kindly keep your distance, as it would be inconvenient for me to be ill at this time.” He spoke quietly. Branca always spoke quietly, no matter the topic or circumstances. The couriers joked that if he were an executioner, you’d never know he was there until your head was on the ground.
“No, sir. It’s nothing like that. I was just wondering if . . .”
“If I noticed you come in late, then hide in the back like a cockroach from the light?”