is a science fantasy novel by Emma Bull
. It was nominated for Nebula
, Philip K. Dick
, and World Fantasy Award
s in 1992 for best novel. The book is sadly out-of-print.
Each of the twenty chapters is preceded by a tarot card and a brief description of its meaning. The story itself deals with a lot of voodoo and creole terminology -- and even a few rituals. It's a mix of cyberpunk, voodoo, and tarot. Bull's protagonist -- Sparrow -- is a sexless dealer of old technology and video tapes in a post-apocalypse world not too different from our own.
Sparrow is searching to find out what has caused the gaps in memory he's experienced. This leads to even larger and deadlier problems. While the trappings of cyberpunk abound in the dark and squalid street scenes, and the prominence of technology in the story, this is more a psychological novel.
Bull can write and she's adept at crafting her stories. There are many post-apocalypse novels out there and it's a dangerous area to set out in -- given all that's been written before, but Bull pulls it off effortlessly. The Scribblies' influence shows in this novel - with constant references to music, food, and sly humor. Bull makes use of a plot device that her fellow Scribblie Steven Brust will use later in his novel Agyar.
All in all, a very good read.