grydscaen: tribute
by Natsuya Uesugi

"He lost his construct here in this hell, lost it like an innocent child confused, like a hooker falling for some love line from a street pimp coked up on synth."

Uesugi’s grydscaen is techno-speak for network. Networks, computers, and all things digital make up this author’s futuristic view of the universe to come. It’s a universe alive with imaginative machinery and populated with charismatic characters. Grydscaen is a collection of short stories about individuals in an environment severely impacted by a nuclear bomb. Inhabitants who did not die initially from radiation poisoning are forced to maintain their existence amid fallout, devastation, and ever-present police squads bent on rounding up vagrants and sending them to labor camps. Many survivors work as hosts—prostitutes licensed by the government and inoculated against social diseases. Being a host is considered a good job because it keeps one from living on the street and dumpster diving to avoid starvation. Being a hacker is an even better job. It enables one to provide sensory entertainment to club-goers in milieus awash in drugs, danger, psychic powers, and more.

The tales in this book bring to mind Philip K. Dick stories and Wachowski Brothers movies. They are scientific and sordid. Their lure is both cerebral and sexual. They offer a view of the future as frenzied as it is frightening. Rogue bands of hackers jack into computers via data ports imbedded in their skulls. Inducer drugs help control out-of-control psychic capabilities. Teleportation speeds getaways. Uesugi’s prose is clipped and crisp. He eschews emotion for the impact of facts. He maintains interest through story not style. The landscape he creates is claustrophobic, dark, menacing, and fraught with peril. It’s about a world gone even more insane than the one we currently inhabit—a world the author promises to revisit in his sequel, grydscaen: alliance.

Return to USR Home