Well, that cover is rather fantastic. I’d spotted the synopsis for this novel a short while before the cover was unveiled, and my interest has only grown with that gorgeous cover. I know, “don’t judge a book by its cover” — I’m not, really, as I’m already a big fan of Richard Kadrey‘s novels, and have routinely recommended and cheered each and every new novel he’s written and had published. (Shamefully, that hasn’t stopped me from falling behind…) The Grand Dark is “a lush, dark, stand-alone fantasy… 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.” That sounds pretty intriguing! It has also been described as akin to the work of China Miéville and M. John Harrison. Here’s the full synopsis:
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.
The Grand Dark is due to be published by Voyager in North America and in the UK, on June 11th, 2019. That’s quite a long wait, but it does mean I’ll have time to get caught up on the excellent, highly-recommended Sandman Slim series.