The Desperate Ones is a genre-crossing, renegade novel: part cyberpunk, part fairy tale, part poetic apocalypse.
Dominion Capital has slated the walled city of Pottersfield for obliteration. Those within must survive or be subsumed. While hackers invent a resistant religion from Dominion Capital’s tech discards, they discover survival rests with one man: Rhubarb Ward, a war veteran and ex-con whose military issue implant holds the key to the future of Pottersfield. Rhubarb is newly released from prison when he meets Lola. Fierce, cunning and addicted to the drug blue, she is the secret to his captive past. While the city’s wealthiest residents are lifted out, the rest are trapped behind. Among them are a history Professor obsessively recording his memories as he forgets them, a suburban runaway compelled by the glamor of implosion and a call girl bent on meeting a new god even if it means martyrdom. Their lives intersect with a certainty that only some will survive to see the strange new world that blooms in the exit wound of the disappeared city.
Allyson Shaw is an award-winning poet and also author of The Bon-bon and Love Token, a Powell’s poetry best-seller. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her poems have been selected for awards by Pulitzer Prize winners John Ashbery and Charles Simic. Much of her fiction and poetry has appeared in anthologies and literary journals, including the National Gallery Publication Tiger Seen on Shaftsbury Avenue. She has recently worked in collaboration with the artist Edith Abeyta and currently blogs about London at Feral Strumpet Teatime. She has taught writing at Long Beach City College and received her MFA from the University of California, Irvine. She now lives in London where she knits, brews beer and writes while trying not to lose her Californian-by-way-of-the-Midwest accent.