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Nova Swing

by M John Harrison

If you like your metaphysics upbeat and genetically tailored, this is for you. The only familiar points of reference are the tacky bar in a decaying port, and the lazy cop with a maverick assistant. Everything else is institutionalised uncertainty.

Extract

By the time the cats began to pour back into the event site, up Straint Street and past the yellow window of Liv Hula's Black Cat White Cat bar, it was raining again. Five in the morning. A few people would be out once the street had cleared, workers who used Straint as a short cut through to the ion works. A few shop assistants and clerks with rooms nearby, making their way down into the city proper; a few fighters making their way back from Preter Coeur. But generally Straint was unfrequented, and every morning at that time, the light seemed less to be coming back into things than leaving them for good. Liv Hula's window was the only lively thing in that part of Saudade. It illuminated the sidewalk. Seen from outside, two or three all-night drinkers, isolated by its rectangularity so they seemed to have nothing to do with each other, could look like a warm crowd. They looked like people you might enjoy to know.

Parallels

Neuromancer by William Gibson
The Crystal World by J G Ballard
 

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