In The City, government is god — in The Sector, anarchy rules.
The Membrane stands between those worlds. Some cross it to The Sector, seeking the forbidden. Some cross it to The City, seeking a chance to see the sky. Some try to stay. Most die trying.
In a world without paper, names are earned. Sector-born, Carbon has been forged by his life, and violence became his only credential.
Knowing his life expectancy, Carbon risked everything for a chance to live in The City, with the fresh paper and retinal enhancements that requires … a price beyond the ability of any Sector-born to earn alone. Captured, he entered prison. Another membrane, demanding another devil’s bargain to cross it. Now, released to find a killer whose pattern threatens the government itself, Carbon’s real search is for the money stashed by his former gang.
Only one woman knows that location. She will trade that information for the return of her property … an abducted child. The child is somewhere in the Pure Zone, a wild place where sorcery works, but firearms do not. Trapped between hostile worlds, Carbon will enter the Pure Zone as he’s entered so many cages … hyper-focused and fatal to anyone blocking his path.
Praise for Carbon:
“This is a fantastic departure for Vachss. Lean as a prehistoric corpse and full of magic without an overabundance of geegaws and wizard hats. One of his most original and among his best. And that’s saying something.”
— Joe R. Lansdale, Edgar award-winning author of The Hap & Leonard Series
“I’ve been reading Vachss for 30 years and he only gets better. This time, he delivers the payload of his righteous obsession with child protection in a new weapon: a science fiction tale, the dystopian story of a killer and the child he bonds with set in an arresting world that’s like a dark, shattered mirror of our own.”
— Barry Eisler, bestselling author of the John Rain Series
“(Carbon) is a stupendous piece of work, a genre-busting masterpiece that is a whole new direction in fiction. As astonishing as it is compulsively readable and as always with Andrew Vachss, the compassion and empathy for the vulnerable and victimized is heart-wrenching. May be the finest work yet from the master of the art.”
— Ken Bruen, award winning author of the Jack Taylor Series.
“In CARBON, Andrew Vachss gives us a fascinating new character, “Carbon White”, a man who walks alone in a world that is part dystopian future, part urban fantasy. Carbon is a hard man in a harder world, a former private investigator who now takes occasional “jobs” for people in need.
To say more would be spoiling the story, but Carbon White does indeed possess a soft heart. His interaction with another character – which we are led to believe may be long-term – proves again the toughest man in the room is the one who is strong enough to be compassionate.”
— Will Graham, author of VEGAS KNIGHTS