Текст книги

Jeff VanderMeer
Dead Astronauts

Dead Astronauts
Jeff VanderMeer

Under the watchful eye of The Company, three characters — Grayson, Morse and Chen — shapeshifters, amorphous, part human, part extensions of the landscape, make their way through forces that would consume them. A blue fox, a giant fish and language stretched to the limit. A messianic blue fox who slips through warrens of time and space on a mysterious mission. A homeless woman haunted by a demon who finds the key to all things in a strange journal. A giant leviathan of a fish, centuries old, who hides a secret, remembering a past that may not be its own. Three ragtag rebels waging an endless war for the fate of the world against an all-powerful corporation. A raving madman who wanders the desert lost in the past, haunted by his own creation: an invisible monster whose name he has forgotten and whose purpose remains hidden. Jeff VanderMeer's Dead Astronauts presents a City with no name of its own where, in the shadow of the all-powerful Company, lives human and otherwise converge in terrifying and miraculous ways. At stake: the fate of the future, the fate of Earth – all the Earths.

Copyright (#ua5f24917-9ce1-5b23-a5ee-c0bf78fc1996)

4th Estate

An imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers

1 London Bridge Street

London SE1 9GF

www.4thEstate.co.uk (http://www.4thEstate.co.uk)

This eBook first published in Great Britain by 4th Estate in 2019

Copyright © 2019 by VanderMeer Creative, Inc.

Cover illustration © Maalavidaa

Cover design © Jo Walker

Lyrics from “Suicide Invoice” copyright © 2002 by Rick Froberg (lyricist) and the Hot Snakes.

Frontispiece and ornament illustrations copyright © 2019 by Mario Tauchi.

The salamander-language diagram was drawn and provided by Jeremy Zerfoss.

Jeff VanderMeer asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins

Source ISBN: 9780008375324

Ebook Edition © December 2019 ISBN: 9780008375348

Version: 2019-11-08

Dedication (#ua5f24917-9ce1-5b23-a5ee-c0bf78fc1996)

FOR ANN, ALWAYS,ACROSS ALL THE WORLDS

Epigraph (#ua5f24917-9ce1-5b23-a5ee-c0bf78fc1996)

And when I dream

I keep my promises to you

I really do.

—HOT SNAKES

7 “What version is this?”

7 “Zero. It’s version zero.”

7 “Do you trust me?”

7 “I do.”

7 “Do you love me?”

7 “I do.”

7 “Hold on to me, then.”

7 “I will.”

7 “Even when I’m not me.”

7 “I will, Moss.”

0 “And I will always be there.”

Even before I know you.

Even after I’ve known you.

Even then.

CONTENTS

Cover (#u249a171e-2fc8-5e88-8d7f-d5137d3e7bc1)

Title Page (#udc3f6557-37e8-55ff-aa46-e06721282307)

Copyright

Dedication

Epigraph

1. THE DREAM OF THE BLUE FOX

2. THE THREE