1937. Sore Earth, population – 3120 souls.
Hellequin, last of the HawkEye military elite, is desperate to escape the legacy of Soul Food, the miraculous plant food that leeched the soil, destroyed his family, and instigated a bloody civil war. For a man awaiting the inevitable madness brought on by his enforced biomorph implant, there’s only one choice. Run away with the circus.
Drifting above a poisoned landscape, Cyber Circus and her exotic acrobats and bioengineered freaks bring a welcome splash of colour into folk’s drab lives. None more so than escaped courtesan turned-dancer Desirous Nim. When Nim’s freedom and her very life are threatened, Hellequin is forced to fight again.
Shortlisted for BSFA Award 2012 – Best Novel
‘Kim Lakin-Smith is not just the real thing she has a real way with words. Cyber Circus is as honestly brutal a twisted cybernetic love story as anything I’ve read. She makes mixing emotion with action and world building look effortless.’ – Jon Courtney Grimwood
Excerpt from Chapter 2
The ladyboy touches down on the apex of a colossal iron scaffold. He curtseys and steps out of view. The lights grow dim. Applause fades out.
All eyes lift to the ribs of the tent where pearlescent light feeds down to the fibrous mass of the calliope. It breathes. The instrument actually breathes. Folk turn to poke their neighbour and point and nod – they are sure of it. The intricate pipework steams. It speaks to them, the calliope, in a voice that is dry and fluting, its purpose being to distract the crowd from the figures who rush from the wings and unroll thin canvas over the floor of the ring. Hammers chime as Pig Heart’s pitch crew secure the waterproof skin inside the rim of the low wall. They disappear and return moments later, shouldering prisms which they arrange around the outer rim. The calliope sings its strange song. The pitch crew melt back into the shadows…read more…