(2011) Kim Lakin-Smith, Newcon Press, pbk, £9.99, 254pp, ISBN 978-1-907-06930-7
On the world of Sore Earth, the Cyber Circus is putting on a show. However the brothel owner D’Angelus wants the return of Desirous Nim, a cyborg prostitute turned dancer. He also to acquire the wolf girl Rust, to satisfy his own tastes. After D'Angelus’ initial attack is defeated, with the help of Hellequin, a solider bioengineered into a HawkEye, and Asenath, a mohawked warrior woman, the circus is on the move. The circus files over the dusty landscape seeking new venues. But D'Angelus is in pursuit in a drilling machine and the pasts of some of the circus members are going to catch up with them.
This is one of those stories, that reads as if the writer was having a good time creating it. The action scenes are exciting. The narrative enjoys finding new names, argumentations and mutations to play around with. The characters all get their moments in the sun, over the course of the story.
The book also includes the story 'Black Sunday', with an attempt to save a Kansas town in the mid-1930 through a drilling machine looking for water. It is an interesting companion piece to 'Cyber Circus', although it goes for a completely different feel, with building heat and tension.
Cyber Circus may not be radically different from anything else on the shelves. It does feel as if it was influenced by works like Perdido Street Station. However, it does fully stand on its own feet as the story takes shape. I found it to be a thoroughly entertaining narrative that is worth seeking out.
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