The year is 2023. High above the canyons of Manhattan, a crew of human and android steelworkers is approaching the halfway point in the construction of a new Tower of Babel. The Tower is the brainchild of billionaire Harry Gant, who is building it as a monument to humanity's power to dream. Meanwhile, on the streets (and below), a darker game is afoot: A Wall Street takeover artist has been murdered, and Harry's ex- wife, Joan Fine, has been hired to find out why. Accompanying her is philosopher-novelist Ayn Rand, resurrected from the dead by computer and bottled in a hurricane lamp to serve as Joan's unwilling assistant. While Rand vainly attempts to tutor her in "the virtue of selfishness," Joan discovers that the murder is the key to a much larger mystery, one in which millions of lives may hang in the balance.
The world of Sewer, Gas & Electric includes such characters as submarine eco-terrorist Philo Dufrense; his daughter, Seraphina, who lives in the walls of the New York Public Library; newspaper publisher Lexa Thatcher, whose Volkswagen Beetle is possessed by the spirit of Abbie Hoffman; and Meisterbrau, a mutant great white shark who swims in the sewer tunnels beneath Times Square -- all of whom, and many more besides, are caught up in a conspiracy involving Walt Disney, J. Edgar Hoover, and an army of homicidal robots.
Sewer, Gas & Electric is radical new fiction for a radical new era-Vonnegut steeped in the vibrant chaos of our popular culture, Tom Clancy hijacked at sea by Tom Robbins, Dune's Frank Herbert with a sense of humor. Only a writer of Matt Ruff's exuberant imagination and technical virtuosity could have pulled it off to such stunning and entertaining effect.
Matt Ruff is the author of Fool on the Hill. He lives in Philadelphia....Continua