Dreams can set you free -- or imprison you forever....
The acclaimed author of The Shift and Contraband delivers a brilliant new novel set in an edgy future where nothing is more dangerous than a dream....
Slocum had it all: the perfect family, the perfect home, and the perfect job with X-Corp Multimedia -- a major producer of interactive virtual-reality entertainment. In a world divided between protected enclaves of luxury and blighted, decaying landscapes, the ubiquitous 3-D telecasts over the Flash hold millions in thrall with their packaged, programmed dreams.
Once Slocum helped devise those dreams, until his career at X-Corp self-destructed and with it his marriage. Now his world has shrunk to a tiny sloop berthed in the dingy harbor of a dying New England seafaring town, where the main attraction is a virtual-whaling theme park. In his solitary cabin he studies the legendary Smuggler's Bible and dreams of sailing off to a life of freedom.
Then an enormous ocean liner docks beside him in the harbor: a floating palace of glittering wealth and mystery, with a single enigmatic passenger, a woman who restlessly walks the decks as if unable to leave the ship. For Slocum -- rejected by his wife and daughter, hounded by his vengeful employers, harassed by the town police, his credit cut off, his funds running out -- the alluring woman soon becomes his sole hope of escape. Only by learning her terrifying secret can he free her from her gilded captivity ... and realize his own dreams -- which, in a world of mass-produced fantasy, is the most forbidden pursuit of all.
“A style that imitates the sensory experience of 3-D.”
— Publishers Weekly
“Hemingway meets magical realism.”
“A storyteller who, like Conrad, can compress into a tale you can’t put down all the complexities of time and place.”
— Doris Lessing