Daryl Gregory
Afterparty Cover



Although he is not concerned with elaborate world building, the near future Gregory sketches out for his new sf thriller is entirely believable. (Except maybe for the little, tiny cows living in the carpet of the hit man's apartment.) Designer drugs are all the rage, and thanks to Chem Printers and recipes available on the internet, anyone from a hardcore partygoer to a small time entrepreneur can mix up a chemicals that range from intense psychedelics to new smart drugs tailored to specific occasions. Experimentation on the part of both manufacturers and clients leads to predictably dangerous situations. Emergency rooms keep busy treating overdoses and mental hospitals fill up with those who have seriously altered their brain chemistry.

Lyda Rose is a mental patient who along with her partners in the start up Little Sprout developed a compound NME-10 as a possible treatment for schizophrenia. But just before they can get it on the market, she and her co-workers are given a massive overdose. There is a murder, apparently committed by Lyda. She's doing time in a psych ward. But she is not entirely alone. Dr. Gloria is her companion. The doctor is an angel, visible only to Lyda. The overdose has given each of the core group there own personal god.

The formula for their compound has supposedly been destroyed, but Lyda learns of a new church movement that administers the chemical sacrament Numinous. It is clearly a perfected form of NME-10. It takes the user further than the god-inducing drug Lyda Rose has taken. She knows that Dr. Gloria is a hallucination. Those on Numinous know God.

With this set-up, Gregory sets off on a thrill ride that will involve Afghani drug lords, Native American smugglers, an ex CIA operative, that hit man with the herd of tiny cattle, and the original members of Little Sprout. The action goes from Toronto to New York to Chicago to the New Mexico desert. There are chases, grisly murders, a prison break, betrayals, and a lot of comedy. Gregory has written his first real page-turner.