Science Fantasy / Aetherpunk
Date Published: 12-19-2023
Publisher: Android Press
On the surface, the city of HelsInc appears to have recovered from the war waged between humans and Ethereals, but beneath the scars, the city seethes. The remains of magic festers, causing mutations in human DNA which could give humans Ethereal power-not that the HelsInc government would ever let that happen. The Legion resists, ripping out their neurochips and protesting the mandatory gene therapy for humans with cryptomine in their DNA.
At only 19 years old, Omyn Talvinen isn't ready to play parent to her kid brother, but with her mom in prison on trumped up charges and her deadbeat dad AWOL, she's left with little choice. Forced to risk her freedom to pay the rent, Omyn finds herself at the mercy of a pair of cyborg soldiers when they catch her red-handed stealing nanites from a cyberware Salon. But the synths' powers don't work on Omyn, and they discover they all share a common memory that they must get to the root of.
Wanted dead by the government, Omyn and the renegade soldiers turn to a rebel Legion group with dreams of resuscitating dead magic for help. With the clock-ticking for the synths, Zee-Five and Omyn are forced to confront the secrets of their past and a dark conspiracy that'll shake the blood-soaked foundations of the city.
"Van Rooyen spices up a familiar cyberpunk world with appealing, voicey narration and an added layer of mutagenic magic."
About the Author
Author Photo Credit: Ekaterina Trayt
Climber, tattoo collector, and peanut-butter connoisseur, Xan van Rooyen is an autistic, non-binary storyteller from South Africa, currently living in Finland where the heavy metal is soothing and the cold, dark forests inspiring. Xan has a Master’s degree in music, and–when not teaching–enjoys conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. You can find Xan’s stories in the likes of Three-Lobed Burning Eye, Daily Science Fiction, and Galaxy’s Edge among others. They have also written several novels including YA fantasy My Name is Magic, and adult arcanopunk novel Silver Helix. Xan is also part of the Sauutiverse, an African writer’s collective with their first anthology due out this November from Android Press. Feel free to say hi on socials @xan_writer.
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