From award-winning author Benjamin Percy comes an explosive, breakout speculative thriller in which a powerful new metal arrives on Earth in the wake of a meteor shower, triggering a massive new 'gold rush' in the Midwest and turning life as we know it on its head. The first of a cycle of novels set in a shared universe.
It began with a comet. When it came into view on a close pass by Earth, people took off work, gathering on sidewalks and in parking lots to watch it burn by. One year later, Earth spun into the debris field the comet left behind. Minnesota seemed to bear the brunt of the damage: meteors annihilated barns and silos, cratered pastures and hardwood forests, tore up county highways, and evaporated one small town in an instant.
At first, it seems to be a disaster. Until the people of Minnesota notice deposits of unusual metal in the comet's debris. Not gold, silver, copper, tin, iron or any of the noble metals, it's a previously unknown ninth metal: omnimetal. With high-density charging capabilities and conductive properties that can change the world as an energy source, the deposit might be the best thing that ever happened to the northern section of the state, where the economy has been dying for a long time. Or it might be the worst.
It is then that the 'gold rush' begins. Farmers sell their metal-rich land for millions. Comet-worshipping cults set up compounds and repeat the phrase "Metal is" as their mantra. Roughnecks flood the town, hungry for work and trouble. Prostitutes flourish. Businesses rise. Families are divided. Saudis bid against the Chinese on land grabs. Bodies lie in shallow graves. As witnessed when oil was discovered in the Bakken Formation of
Praise for THE DARK NET - :
Written in vivid, often lyrical prose, but with exhilarating comic-book energy, THE DARK NET is a megawatt defibrillator to the reader's heart. Quirky but very human characters confront an explosive emergence of the supernatural into our world, in this imaginative, spooky, swiftly paced tale threaded through with dark humor
An impressive, propulsive narrative velocity at work here - Metro
Verdict: A truly dark urban horror tale - Sci-Fi Bulletin
THE DARK NET kicked my ass with its deft mash-up of both blackhat hacker culture and black magic. Percy reveals an upgraded, rebooted battle between good versus evil - a fast, fantastic, throat-punch of a read.
Praise for THE NINTH METAL - :
When Benjamin Percy publishes a novel, I have got to read that novel. THE NINTH METAL continues his streak of thrilling, incisive genre bending goodness. It's a sci-fi novel, a crime novel and a super-hero novel, too. Audacious and intelligent and exactly what I was dying to read - Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling
Benjamin Percy is the award-winning author of the novel, The Wilding (forthcoming from Graywolf, September 28, 2010), as well as two books of short stories, Refresh, Refresh (Graywolf, 2007) and The Language of Elk (Carnegie Mellon, 2006). Publishers Weekly gave The Wilding a starred review, saying "Percy's excellent debut novel...digs into the ambiguous American attitude toward nature as it oscillates between Thoreau's romantic appreciation and sheer gothic horror... It's as close as you can get to a contemporary Deliverance."
Percy's honors include a Whiting Writers Award, the Plimpton Prize, the Pushcart Prize, and inclusion in Best American Short Stories. His fiction and nonfiction appear in Esquire (where he is a regular contributor), Outside, Men's Journal, the Paris Review, Orion, Tin House, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and many other magazines and journals. He teaches in the MFA program at Iowa State and can be found online at benjaminpercy.com.