by M. John Harrison
In M. John Harrisonâ€™s dangerously illuminating new novel, three quantum outlaws face a universe of their own creation, a universe where you make up the rules as you go along and break them just as fast, where thereâ€™s only one thing more mysterious than darkness.
In contemporary London, Michael Kearney is a serial killer on the run from the entity that drives him to kill. He is seeking escape in a future that doesnâ€™ t yet existâ€”a quantum world that he and his physicist partner hope to access through a breach of time and space itself. In this future, Seria Mau Genlicher has already sacrificed her body to merge into the systems of her starship, the White Cat. But the â€œinhumanâ€ K-ship captain has gone rogue, pirating the galaxy while playing cat and mouse with the authorities who made her what she is. In this future, Ed Chianese, a drifter and adventurer, has ridden dynaflow ships, run old alien mazes, surfed stellar envelopes. He â€œwent deepâ€â€”and lived to tell about it. Once crazy for life, heâ€™s now just a twink on New Venusport, addicted to the bizarre alternate realities found in the tanksâ€”and in debt to all the wrong people.
Haunting them all through this maze of menace and mystery is the shadowy presence of the Shranderâ€”and three enigmatic clues left on the barren surface of an asteroid under an ocean of light known as the Kefahuchi Tract: a deserted spaceship, a pair of bone dice, and a human skeleton.
From the Trade Paperback edition.