Nick Wolven. On the Night of the Robo-Bulls and Zombie Dancers. (Asimovs February 2015)

asimovs1502Wolven looks into a near future where there is a pharma solution to the ‘problem’ of needing sleep, making everywhere a 24/7 operation, including the workplace, where many in employment are now working both day and night shifts.

We see this through the eyes of Gabriel, a market trader in Manhattan, who is desperate for a bit of down-time with his wife beyond the mere 4 hours he had off each day. The story revolves around a journey he is forced to undertake into downtown Manhattan, and it’s a journey through Dante’s circles of hell, in a city with privatised policing in a world that makes Sodom and Gomorrah look staid. His task : to get to understand just what the AIs who control the markets are playing at.

There’s a recurring theme of Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth has murdered sleep’, and it’s a dark dystopian future but with some lighter, nicely sardonic touches thrown in.

More from this issue here.

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