Friday, August 06, 2010

A Racing Hunger

Steam punk with air ships and goggles and corsets. Plus zombies! Do I need to say more?

Cherie Priest's story takes place in a different past from the one we're used to. It is set in Seattle, but it's slightly different from the one we remember. While the Civil War is still raging, distantly, longer than ours, Seattle has been overtaken by disaster. A technological experiment has run out of control, and, probably as a result of that, a strange gas is poisoning everyone who remains in the city.

To contain the gas, the city is now surrounded by a high wall. The wall also contains certain secrets, as well as zombies, people who were poisoned by the gas, but who then reanimated.

The two main characters of the story, a son looking for the truth about his father, and a mother looking for her son, are engagingly described. As the plot unfolds, the reader's loyalties are likely to waver from one to the other. It is not difficult to lose yourself in this story, even if the setting is a claustrophobic warren of air tight passages, with ravening zombies on your heels.

I'll bet you'll catch yourself holding your breath.

A fun little story, definitely worthy of its Hugo nomination.


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