Black Moon is a new novel by Kenneth Calhoun, and I wonder how it will compare to Charlie Huston’s incredible novel Sleepless? In both, an insomnia epidemic catalyses radical social disintegration.
Calhoun’s protagonist, Biggs, is one of a few people who has not succumbed to the chronic insomnia ravaging the population. Setting out to find his wife, he has to contend with a world where all around ‘sleep has become an infinitely precious commodity. Money can’t buy it, no drug can touch it, and there are those who would kill to have it.’
Sleepless is set in a world that is struggling to cope with the global pandemic SLP (aka Sleepless) – a fatal disease that renders the sufferer literally sleepless. The novel powerfully conveys the dystopian reality of a world that has evolved in response to this disease. It’s dirty, gritty, and corrupt. The characters are themselves dirty, gritty, and corrupt … and painfully engaging. It is at once a dystopian science fiction,a noir detective novel, and a techno-thriller. If you read it, you won’t forget it.
Black Moon is released next week (4 March).