Hello all and welcome to another SPSFC2 post from us at Team Escapist. As the competition is officially now underway, we thought it would be prudent to let you all know a little about each of the 28 books in our team’s slush pile. Below you’ll find each of our books listed (in alphabetical order) with their covers and blurbs so you can get hyped with us (as well as a few affiliate links to Amazon)! I’m not going to lie, there are a lot of good looking books in our team’s slush pile, so I think we are going to have some tough decisions in the future! Wish us luck and maybe read along with us!
(Note: If you missed our team introduction post, you can view there here and learn all about the incredible bloggers that make up Team Escapist!)
A Dream of Waking Life by E. S. Fein
HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO UNDERSTAND THE NATURE OF YOUR EXISTENCE?
HOW MUCH WOULD YOU SACRIFICE FOR LOVE?
When Matthew Willish wakes up on a cold steel floor unsure of how he got there, he begins desperately searching for answers. What Matthew doesn’t realize, however, is that this is only the beginning of a journey that will ultimately send him searching other worlds for the answer to numerous profound questions, the most pressing being: is he living in reality or in a dream? Or is he just an insane man who desperately needs help? A Dream of Waking Life is a philosophical and psychological thriller that tells the story of one man’s journey through space, time, and mind to not only discover his true identity but also the love of his life—a woman who keeps slipping through his fingers and into another reality. A thought-provoking meditation on the thin line between what is real and what is not, A Dream of Waking Life will leave readers questioning how far they would go to understand the nature of their own existence and how much they would sacrifice for love.
Aerovoyant by P.L. Tavormina
On planet Turaset, droughts ravage farmlands, cyclones rip through coastal cities, and with every barrel of oil the combustion industry pumps from the ground, the climate worsens. Alphonse has just refused a council seat because taking it means serving that rapacious industry. He leaves the city to seek solace in the wilderness, and there, a power to live the past awakens within him. Alphonse walks the steps of his distant ancestors on long-dead Earth, soon growing plagued with memories of its collapse, and he’s left with a troubling certainty: he must infiltrate the combustion industry to secure proof of its treachery, or Turaset will be next to fall.
Alphonse finds an ally in Myrta, a farmgirl who sees air, every molecule in every pulse of breath or blast of exhaust. With her talent, she can evade the patrols on the industry’s grounds. Together, Alphonse and Myrta can prove the industry lies about emissions. They can convince the councils to shut down fossil fuel use permanently.
But people in the industry have grown wise to Myrta’s power—and now she’s marked for death.
Alien Advantage by Lorain O’Neil
COMFORTABLE. SAFE. ORDERLY.
That’s what Mark Hemmings happily thinks of his law student life until one balmy Florida night he foolishly runs out to gawk up at that light in the sky. Zap! Mark is kidnapped by space aliens.
When the aliens’ experiment on Mark teaches him a little too much, Mark is able to accidentally steal an alien ship and plunge back to Earth, only to land smack into the clutches of General Peerless and Dr. Montgomery, the warring co-directors of Little Island. Little Island, the U.S. government’s secret facility where the government “collects” abducted returnees. Being the only person who can ―sort of― fly the spacecraft makes Mark just what the government is looking for, but an imprisoned life on Little Island isn’t exactly what Mark had in mind. Not that Mark’s feelings matter, because no one has ever escaped Little Island. But no one before’s ever arrived with his very own spaceship!
In his fight for free will, Mark, the Doctor, and the General, battle each other to triumph, the Doctor by clever manipulation, the General by crushing force, and Mark by his cunning, wits… and spaceship! A humorous story of chase and determination, and above all else, refusing to forget who you really are, despite the craftiest of temptations.
The Calling by Branwen OShea
Humanity’s wake-up call. Answer it or face extinction.
When Bleu’s little sister shows symptoms of the deadly Sickness, a strange vision directs him to leave humanity’s subterranean haven and seek the cure on Earth’s glacial surface. Joining the expedition team, Bleu expects extreme temperatures, not a surface ruled by ingenious predators.
Rana and her fellow star beings have co-existed with Earth’s top carnivores since the humans disappeared. But when her peers transform into Crowned Ones, the final stage of star being development, she fears remaining Uncrowned like her parents. To prove her worth, she undertakes a dangerous mission—contacting the hostile and nearly extinct humans.
But Rana’s plan backfires, and Bleu’s team retaliates. As war with the more advanced star being civilization looms, both Rana and Bleu separately seek a way to save their people.
The Carnelian Fox by Kay MacLeod
Monsters don’t exist. At least, they didn’t until we created them.
Maiyamon was once merely a game. Now it’s a global reality. After dozens of hit monster collecting games raked in billions of credits per year, it was inevitable someone would create real ones. Unfortunately, it wasn’t so obvious how many people would dump them in the wild…
Sam Wentworth grew up with nothing. She’s worked tirelessly just to get through college and earn her first monster. Bankrupt and exhausted, she sets her sights on fame and fortune in Maiyamon arenas. Instead, Sam’s caught between battling the rampaging elemental creatures abandoned by their owners and standing up to a toxic group intent on ending the game forever.
With her flame fox cub, Finn, at her side, Sam sets out to build a team capable of protecting both innocent people’s lives and the creatures she loves. That’s the easy part.
Monsters may fill the world, but it’s humans she fears the most…
Colony by Max Florschutz
A corporate investigator who doesn’t trust his employer.
A mercenary gun-for-hire with a talent for violence and a willingness to shoot first.
And a white-hat hacker who doesn’t know when to quit.
Three independent contractors brought together for one unusual job. Five years ago, master programmer Carlos Rodriguez retired. Now his old employer wants him back.
It’d be a lot easier if he hadn’t left Earth.
The Created by Michael McCloskey
What do a stealthy synthetic plant, an eavesdropping sound curtain, and an invisible observer have in common? They are artificial agents working tirelessly in the crime-ridden city of Red Calais for their ingenious Master. They wend their way through the cutthroats, cat burglars and con men of the greatest city of the core world called Idona, challenged by numerous obstacles. Yet it seems that their Master hardly notices the chaos his automated minions are creating…
The Dark That Dwells by Matt Digman and Ryan Roddy
The first installment in an immersive new space opera series combining the epic scale of the original Star Wars trilogy and the ensemble-cast adventure of Firefly in a world where alien technologies, hidden magic, and ancient evils push the limits of reality itself.
Beyond the edge of known space, the Frontier awaits four souls…
Fall Arden, freelance Ranger for hire, wields an unbreakable sword and a mechanized bow. Low on funds, he’s taken a job on a dangerous expedition, one that promises a hefty reward. But danger lurks in the Frontier, a fact his employer refuses to acknowledge.
Ban Morgan, leader of an Alidian marine squad, fights to regain his honor. But the man who ruined him stands in his way. As he prepares for the orbital assault on an enemy installation, he draws strength from the words of an ancient knight’s order, one he dreamt of joining before he lost his way.
Tieger of Westmarch, Malleus Maleficarum of the Elcosian faith, hunts down the arcanist witches wherever they may flee. Using the mighty gifts of his god, Elcos, and a technologically advanced ship predating the dawn of history, he scours the stars for his prey, burning a path to their hidden world.
Sidna Orin, a mercurial young arcanist, searches for the power to save her people. In a lost temple on a forgotten world, she’s closer than ever to finding what she seeks. Able to harness the dual forces of fire and lightning, she won’t let anything, or anyone, stand in her way.
Forced together by fate on paths that collide in chaos, they must fight to survive in a galaxy on the brink of war. As their stories interweave in love and hate, redemption and revenge, one threat will eclipse their greatest fears: a being of utter darkness and its imminent return.
THE DARK THAT DWELLS: a thrilling debut that blends science fiction and fantasy, essential for readers craving a robust, character-driven saga set against the backdrop of an expansive universe with deep world-building at its core.
Debunked by Dito Abbott
Sometimes adventure knocks. Other times, it kicks the door in.
“Dearest Alexandria and Ozymandias,
If you are reading this, I have perished. My demise likely involved some manner of spiked pit or curiously fanged beast, so it’s doubtful I suffered long. Do not try to find me – the path is too perilous, and I am lost to the mortal plane.”
When Alex and Ozzie read their grandfather’s latest “death” letter, they barely blink. Dying six times in two years has to be a record, even for an explorer as incompetent as Sir Quidby Forsythe III.
Faster than you can say “kidnapped by a giant, glowing lizard,” the Forsythe twins are dragged into a world of ancient prophecies, sarcastic swords of legend, mutant slime beasts, and a growing awareness their grandfather might be the greatest explorer in history.
With Skhaar the Annihilator hot on their trail, Ozzie and Alex must solve the mystery of Sir Quidby’s disappearance before they become the final victims of the Forsythe Curse.
The Drift by Casie Aufenthie
In a future where the human race has split into three species, the mentally-evolved Illuminatos have conquered the other two in a brutal Evolutionary War. Now, the seven most powerful Illuminatos, the Council, control the Earth, ruling over the other two human species through violent oppression.
As one of the defeated physically-evolved Corporis, Samara lost everything: her family, her freedom, and her will to fight. But when her master, Lord Wyatt Faraday, commands her to find the mysterious leader of the Resistance, Tristan, everything she thought she knew is challenged.
Tristan is an Illuminatos who has turned his back on his own kind to follow his principles. An idealist hoping to restore peace and equality for all species, he cannot escape his past, and it may force him to make a terrible choice.
Their meeting will change the world, but will it be for the better?
Entity by Toshi Drake
Lieutenant Michael Collins’s week just went to hell. The suspicious actions of his captain escalates as he orders Michael to investigate a dead ship’s heart—the cephalopods that pilot the star drive system. The mission forces Michael from the safety of his ship and his lover, Commander Eizen Sartris, while straining the bond with his own ship’s heart, Padua.
Attacked by Siwu pirates, Michael finds refuge on a damaged alien vessel, where he waits for Eizen to rescue him. But in the dark cold wreckage, he discovers a thriving garden tended by a strange young boy on behalf of his enigmatic “Mama.”
Fear dominates Michael’s thoughts as he struggles not to succumb to the darkness and terror of abandonment. To survive he must rely on his wits and hold fast to his faith that Eizen will find him before the pirates—or before the mysterious entity on board decides to destroy him.
Escape From Earth 1 by David Dubois
Steve is an aspiring computer programmer and business owner. Zander is a burnt-out but dedicated FBI agent. They don’t know each other, but their paths cross when they find a portal to another world. The gateway is not random, and they meet Maximilian Beauregard, the Vice-Chancellor of the United Federation of Americas. He needs their help. Steve and Zander travel to this strange world, quickly embrace new technologies, and get pushed into politics on the world’s stage. They want to help, but the more involved they get, the more they realize things are not as they seem. The duo soon get in over their heads and must depend on one another if they want to survive and escape from Earth 1.
Escaping First Contact by T. S. Beier
At the far edge of cultivated space, a derelict ship rests. Ten times larger than the biggest Terran dreadnaught, the ship is not recognized by any of the five species tenuously coexisting in the galaxy.
Small crews are sent to investigate. What they find is a trap.
Once in the metal labyrinth’s clutches, it is clear the unlikely allies will not escape unless they can work together as a team. Unfortunately, trust and cooperation are entirely out of the question.
An immersive tale of escape and comradery, Escaping First Contact brings together an unforgettable cast of characters, richly detailed alien cultures, deft humour, and explosive action.
Fallen by Patrick Abbott
An Adventure Into the Stars and the PTSD Mind
Intelligence Officer Brendan Sean Murphy has served his country on the Middle East and Central Asia battlefields. However, his hard-won successes overseas came at the cost of failures at home. These events have drained his soul, leaving him racked with PTSD.
However, his life changes when he intervenes to stop an anti-alien terrorist attack on the subway. Now, he is thrust into interstellar politics with the government naming him an intelligence attaché to the Sabia, a race that closely guards its own secrets.
Right-wing militias, corrupt politicians, and countries seeking military aid from the Sabia challenge Brendan’s mission. On top of this, a medical mystery complicates the balance. Brendan’s only chance at success involves accepting the impossible and unutterable. Only then can he learn the secrets in this Fallen world.
The Fated Sky by E.M. Swift-Hook
One man’s fight against fate shapes the destiny of an entire world.
Caer’s breath hissed between his teeth. For some reason he had assumed that offworlders would be frail, with weak, puny bodies. From all he had heard they were feeble, using machines they had invented to do the work of their muscles. But this one was strong and his body was built like any ordinary man. His flesh carried several old scars and his muscles were clean and compact beneath the skin. The thought struck him that this man would fetch a fortune in the Alfor slave pens. The castellans would be scrambling over each other to purchase something so rare and exotic as a genuine offworlder.
“See, he is a fighter, Captain. This and this – they were made by blades,” Zarul said, pointing at the scars. Caer nodded.
“Well, if he lives, perhaps we shall find out what kind of fighter he is, this man from the stars.”
Temsevar is an insignificant Periphery world on the very fringes of galactic civilisation. Settled long before the rise of faster-than-light technologies and left isolated for hundreds of years, its population have degenerated into the barbarism of a medieval culture. This primitive world has nothing the wealthy planets of the Coalition could want, until it becomes unwitting host to one of their most dangerous enemies – Avilon Revid.
From the moment he wakes up in the caravan of the merchant-princess Alexa the Fair, Avilon has to fight simply to survive in a world where he is seen as alien and dangerous. It is a battle to obtain his freedom,that pushes his skills and resources to the limit,so he can find a way off-planet before his enemies in the Coalition track him down.
But Temsevar has its own brutal conflicts being played out against the backdrop of its harsh and unforgiving climate. The society is dominated by a ruthless Warlord, intent on subduing the entire continent to his will and whose brilliant general – Jariq Zarengor – has earned a reputation for callous bloodshed. And then there is the enigmatic Durban Chola, trading information to whoever pays him for it, while playing his own, highly dangerous, game with fate.
The Fated Sky is the first volume in a new series of character driven books, which combine the action and space opera of science-fiction classics with the intrigue and political duplicity of the fantasy and historical genres. If ‘Game of Thrones’ met ‘Star Wars’ – this is what their progeny might look like.
Into Neon by Matthew A. Goodwin
When a corporate lacky discovers a terrible secret that exposes his illusions, will his hidden fire dwindle or ignite a rebellion?
Orphaned and alone, Moss is happy to have found a place in the world. But his humdrum working routines take a terrifying turn when a mysterious woman breaks into his apartment and hands him a data chip from his dead parents. Suddenly hearing messages revealing his benevolent employer has a far darker side, he braves the dangerous megacity streets in search of the truth.
Surrounded by outcasts and criminals and running on instinct, Moss stumbles onto a rebel group intent on exposing their corrupt oppressors. And though he fears for his life when his old boss has put a price on his head, the naïve man believes the key to taking down the enemy may lie inside the high-tech device… and his own cerebral cortex.
Will Moss’s attempt to fight the power cause him to terminally short circuit?
Into Neon is the electrode-laden first book in A Cyberpunk Saga science fiction series. If you like everyman heroes, futuristic tech, and immersive dystopian worlds, then you’ll love Matthew A. Goodwin’s mind-expanding epic.
Neander by Harald Johnson
“My God. These people really are Neanderthals!”
At an archeological dig in Gibraltar, science journalist Tom Cook’s hopes and dreams are shattered in an instant by a mysterious explosion—is pregnant fiancée is missing.
During the search, things go from bad to worse when Tom plunges through a time portal and into the strange and dangerous era of the Neanderthals. Can he get back, or is he stuck in the past forever?
On top of figuring out how to return to the present, Tom must use his modern-day wits to fight for survival in the world of 40,000 years ago. And contend with a group of archaic humans that are not at all like what he expects.
Finally, Tom faces a crucial decision that could alter the course of human history. A history he knows he has the power to change. Will he make the right choice?
If you’re a fan of the time travel fantasy novels of Jack Finney (Time and Again), Stephen King (11/22/63), or Michael Crichton (Timeline), you’ll savor this science-fiction, time-travel adventure from historical fiction author Harald Johnson.
“It’s 40,000 years ago and I’m stuck here. Now what?”
Night Music by Tobias Cabral
The colonization of Mars has begun.
Following a rapid expansion of the manned space program due to the discovery of a potentially catastrophic Earth-crossing comet, Zubrin Base has been established on the Red Planet to oversee the capture of the rogue object.
During final preparations for a second expedition, however, contact has been lost with the outpost. Pilot Seth Boaz finds himself re-tasked for a rescue mission, one which will force him to confront his own past, as well as otherworldly forces with profound implications for humanity’s future.
A “Hard” Science Fiction space exploration novella, with affinities to the work of Greg Bear, Michael F. Flynn, and Arthur C. Clarke, NIGHT MUSIC incorporates realistic, near-future space technology and Mars mission and colonization models, as well as elements of Complexity Theory and nanotechnology. The author is a clinical psychologist, who applied that experience to the development of distinct and fleshed-out characters who speak with realistic voices.
Of Mycelium and Men by William C. Tracy
The generational fleet was supposed to land on a new world in eighty years. Eleven planets and four hundred years later, they finally found a home.
The only problem is something already lives there, and it’s big.
Agetha and her husband Daved have lived in zero-G in the fleet their whole short lives. Now they are thrown into turmoil as the fleet lands, surrounded by a vibrant biomass consisting of a single fungal alien organism spanning the entire planet. Together, they must build a new home, brave a dangerous organism, and decide when and if they might raise a family in this new inhospitable landscape.
Jane Brighton holds tenuous command over the entire colony and the other administrators who once commanded the ships of the fleet. She and the other gene-modded leaders who have stayed in suspended animation for the four hundred year journey of the fleet find crew who are much different than the ones they started out with on Old Earth. Jane must direct the fragile colony, ever in danger of being overrun by the fast-growing biomass. The generational crew of the ships have their own agendas, but Jane and the other leaders will live many times longer than the colonists. They must balance the growth and survival of the colony with the fleeting lives of those who would build it.
But there is something none of the colonists know. The massive organism that spans the planet is not simply a fungal mass, nor even simply a chimerical combination of species that once roamed free on the planet. The biomass has desires and goals, and one of those is to know these strange beings carving out a new home in its midst.
Find out how–and whether–the colony can survive in Of Mycelium and Men!
The Prometheus Effect by David Fleming
Deep in the Nevada desert…
…lies a secret futuristic world.
Would Jack’s technology save humankind?
It started with Jack’s discovery, but he feared it was a power too great. All around the globe, energy reserves are dangerously low. Superpowers brace for battle over what remains.
Should Jack share his energy solution?
He thinks it’s too dangerous.
The power potential is as important as Prometheus discovering fire and giving it to man. There must be a way to use what he knows, but he’s conflicted. Maybe the brilliant mind of Mykl can solve the puzzle?
Mykl is five.
Is the answer worth the cost?
You’ll love this Dystopian Science Fiction, because the world building is brilliant, the technology is fascinating, and the story keeps you turning pages. And don’t be fooled…
…this isn’t for kids.
Psycho Hose Beast From Outer Space by C. D. Gallant-King
Newfoundland, Canada, 1992.
Gale Harbour hasn’t seen any excitement since the military abandoned the base there thirty years ago, unless you count the Tuesday night 2-for-1 video rentals at Jerry’s Video Shack. So when a dead body turns up floating in the town water supply, all evidence seems to point to a boring accident.
Niall, Pius and Harper are dealing with pre-teen awkwardness in the last days of summer before the start of high school. The same night the body is found, the three of them witness unusual lights in the sky over the bay.
Is it a coincidence? Are the lights connected to the rapidly-increasing string of mysterious deaths? And what does the creepy old lady at the nursing home have to do with it?
There is an evil older than time hidden deep beneath the waters of the North Atlantic. It is hungry, and vengeful, and it has its sights set on Gale Harbour to begin its path of destruction. All that stands in its way are a group of kids who would rather be playing Street Fighter II…
Shepherds by J Drew Brumbaugh
Olga, a genetically engineered mermaid and her two shipmates live aboard the Factory raft, Homestead where they herd domesticated tuna on the open ocean using trained dolphins instead of sheep dogs. Confronted finally with the chance to meet the mother who gave her up to an uncaring multinational conglomerate, she wrestles with a decision. Before she can reach a decision, she finds that other shepherds are being killed, apparently without reason. Meanwhile, Toivo Nurminen, an independent trawler captain, discovers the murdered crew of a shepherd raft’s, and unwittingly puts himself and his crew directly in line to be murdered. Radioing in his findings seemed like the right thing to do, but his choice may cost them all their lives. The ruthless pirates aren’t far away, and soon Toivo must join forces with Olga and her shipmates and dolphins to fight against overwhelming odds as they are pursued by a relentless enemy whose obsession for money lets nothing stand in the way of their profits. Survivors and witnesses are loose ends that need to be taken care of permanently! But Toivo has a few surprises of his own that the cutthroats aren’t prepared for. In a thrilling, page-turner, the story rushes headlong to a fantastic conclusion that will keep you on the edge of you seat.
Songs of Space and Time by Scott J. Robinson
After years in the army, then more years backpacking around the world, Kim thinks she’s seen just about everything there is to see. But she has to admit to being a little bit surprised when the giant bats started dropping bombs. And then the aliens came.
There she was, wondering what a medieval hotdog might have been filled with, and five minutes later she was battling ugly, leathery-skinned aliens, beating them over the head with a historically accurate mace. And if that wasn’t strange enough, she was shown a portal to another world, with the same war being fought on the other side.
Kim knows the information she holds could be vital, but she doesn’t like authority all that much, and it doesn’t like her either. So, when the leaders of the Earth’s defenses test her friendship one time too many she sets out to end the war on her own.
Well, just her, an elf, a giant and a dwarf who may well be completely nuts.
Those Left Behind by N. C. Scrimgeour
A dying planet. A desperate mission. A crew facing impossible odds. Humanity’s last hope lies with them…
Time is running out for the people of New Pallas. Nobody knows that better than Alvera Renata, a tenacious captain determined to scout past the stars with nothing but a handpicked crew and a promise: to find a new home for humanity.
But when a perilous journey across dark space leads to first contact with a galactic civilisation on the brink of war, Alvera soon realises keeping her word might not be as easy as she thought.
Her only hope lies with the secrets of the ancient alien waystations scattered across the galaxy. The mysterious technology could be the key to humanity’s survival—or bring unwanted attention from the long-forgotten beings who built them.
But remaining united is a lot to ask from a crew already splintering under the weight of their differences. A jaded pilot looks for a place he can start over. A young translator searches for meaning out in the galaxy’s lawless frontier. And Alvera reckons with the aftermath of betrayal as she fights for a way to save them all.
As they break apart to forge their own paths, Alvera and her crew all face the same question: what are they willing to sacrifice to save those left behind?
Those Left Behind is an epic, galaxy-spanning space opera full of exploration, adventure, and ancient alien mysteries. Fans of Mass Effect, The Expanse and Star Wars will love this character-driven science fiction novel—the first instalment in the Waystations Trilogy.
Traitor by Krista D. Ball
Seven years ago, Rebecca St. Martin took the coward’s path to save her skin. She has lived with that decision, eking out a life as an indentured servant on a space station far from home. Only now, fate has decided to give Rebecca another chance. A ghost from her past plans to execute a daring rescue from the prison bowels of the station Rebecca now works.
Rebecca has to face the same decision she made all those years ago. Could she watch her friends be murdered? Or could she, just for once, be a hero?
Transference by B.T. Keaton
Rebellion. Revenge. Revelation.
Barrabas Madzimure is banished to the desert planet Eridania for his many crimes. Slaves to the Church and to the will of its prophet Jovian, a charismatic figurehead who rules everything on Earth, Madzimure and his cohorts toil underground digging endlessly for the substance eridanium—the source of Jovian’s alien power.
But Madzimure can no longer hide from his past. Facing execution, he claims to have once been Thaniel Kilraven, transferred decades earlier into the body of Madzimure against his will. Under interrogation the stories of both men are brought to light, and the terrible fate of the lost Kilraven bloodline is revealed.
Madzimure escapes, knowing the only way to salvage what’s left of the Kilraven name and confront his destiny—and Jovian—is by facing them head on. But the horrific truths he finds on Earth might be the undoing of all mankind. What if everything humanity believed about civilization was a lie? Will anything or anyone be left from the fallout?
The Trouble with Love by Maurice X. Alvarez and Ande Li
Teenage thief, Kormèr Lezàl, tumbles through his inter-dimensional portal to the distant future and into the middle of a fire fight on a distant world. Swept into a web of industrial espionage, an impossible jewel heist and romantic intrigue, there’s trouble at every turn, but he’ll do whatever it takes to win over Averia’s beautiful chief of police… if she doesn’t arrest him first.
Zeroed Out by Jacob Markrof
Zeroed Out is a cyberpunk thriller set in a fully automated metropolis governed by an all-seeing synthetic intelligence that examines the morality of limiting technological evolution.
While chasing a criminal through an unruly sector of Omega City 6, freelance enforcer Zed Takeda stumbles on the first of many victims by an unknown serial killer that has somehow escaped all forms of the city’s intensive surveillance. His investigation into the murders will uncover some hard truths he had not intended to find.
On the other side of the city, Ash Starbrooke lives as a dreamcaster, or someone whose dreams are turned into highly profitable virtual reality entertainment. She is unaware that the symbols showing up in her nightmares will have her caught up in Zed’s murder investigation.
Their intertwining stories will have them traveling through multiple layers of the neon-drenched, futuristic city filled with street gangs, radical political groups, and social elites.