NEARLY PEOPLE by Conrad Williams, intro by Michael Marshall Smith, cover by Wieslaw Walkuski. Harrogate, UK; PS Publishing; 2001. 1st edition trade paperback. Synopsis:

It's dog eat dog out here. And man eat dog, and man eat man...

Howling Mile. A city of the future. Barred from surrounding areas in the aftermath of a deadly toxic spill, its citizens are a crushed, hateful breed, slowly imploding in a vicious cycle of violence and cannibalism while their jailers, the Bordertypes, keep watch from sniper steeples and patrols of fire-breathing helicopters, desperate to prevent the contagion from infecting the rest of the country.

Yet within this black arena, hope has come, at least for one woman.

Carrier has fallen in love with The Dancer, a man she catches glimpses of beyond her reinforced windows and deep within her dreams. By day, she tends to her best friend Jake, who is dying, infected by the slow poison that is subsuming the city and its inhabitants. By night, she corresponds with Enderby, a friend who provides her with a reason to live, by sending her missives from the real world.

Meanwhile, The Dancer introduces her to a different way of life in Howling Mile. She learns that there is beauty and magic beyond the bloodshed and resentment, that there exists a possible way forward.

But she discovers there is a price to be paid for such epiphanies. Carrier finds herself running the risk of exposing herself and Jake to the Bordertypes, who don't want anything leaking out fro Howling Mile. Anything alive, that is.

And all the while, it seems that the greatest secrets of the city are to be found deep within herself.

Issued in a SIGNED/LIMITED trade paperback edition of 500 copies, SIGNED by the author. Fine. OUT OF PRINT FROM THE PUBLISHER.

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