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Awe of Mercury

Elon Dann
"How many escapes until freedom?"
Awe of Mercury – picture

How many escapes until freedom?

Mo is a penitent on the Death Spiral, a subterranean, circular death row. Each day, he gets closer to pen 1, where he will be executed. Trapped with the snivelling Nonstop, and only word games to pass the hours, Mo has given up. Until the memory of Harete stirs something, and he plans his most desperate escape attempt yet, with a toothpick, the juice of a stomach-destroying chilli and a bucket of urine.

Far above the Spiral, the Fartherland – his home – has disintegrated into an appalling civil war. Mo knows this was triggered by the Moth’s liberation, and that he is to blame for the carnage and chaos. Mo vows revenge, but each escape is a step into an even more horrific reality than before. Unflinchingly told and truly unputdownable, AWE OF MERCURY is the stunning conclusion to CLOCKWISE TO TITAN.

Publication Date: Thu 3 Jul 2014
ISBN Paperback: 9781471401190
ISBN Ebook: 9781471401206

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Elon Dann

Elon Dann grew up in rural Lincolnshire, where his childhood was one of 'sensational boredom and ordinariness set against eye-strainingly wide fields of barley on which V-bombers cast triangular shadows'. Television educated him, although he did attend the local grammar school for appearance's sake. At eighteen he left Lincolnshire for Manchester, where he studied Physics and idolised Bertrand Russell and Kurt Vonnegut.

After a spell of being an academic, Elon has worked in various IT jobs. He now lives with his wife and two children in Worcestershire. At the weekend he enjoys voluntary litter-picking, 'sifting through the cast-off waste of society like a lanky Womble'. CLOCKWISE TO TITAN was Elon's first book, and you can follow him on Twitter: @ElonDann

Extract

The light was already on when I woke up, air was flittering down though the vents, the Spiral was chittering and clacking and hymning to itself as it boosted up for another day. I tumbled off the edge I'd lain on during the night and smacked my teeth onto the gritty floor. My mouth felt as if it had been stuffed with used bandages, a paste of sweat encased my face like a visor. Rush hour would not happen for another thirty minutes or so, I had . . . 'Hand it over! Rush hour in two minutes, yuk-yuk!' barked Atlas. He was outside on the gantry, impatiently toeing the crap flap for the slop bucket. Overslept. Down to my last day of life, and I'd overslept. Not surprising; I'd nodded off only a couple of minutes earlier. All through the night I'd been busy thinking, thinking like I'd never thunk before. I was exhausted. I groggily reviewed my plan for the day. What was it, now? TO DO: Escape Save life Save Nonstop's life I hurled myself at the door. Everything depended on my speaking to Atlas and gaining his cooperation. 'Atlas, Atlas,' I shouted through the flap, 'it's our final meal today.' 'I know, yuk. Sorry, Mo.' 'We can request something special, right? That's the tradition, isn't it - the condemned men can have what they want for their last repast?' 'Sure, Mo. As long as I've got it, yuk-yuk. We're in a Mother Hubbard situation out here, so don't go requesting monkfish and baked Alaska. Yuk, Alaska, that brings back some memories, too many mountains!' 'Sure, sure. Listen, Atlas. Listen very carefully. This is what I want.' Atlas heard me out, his lack of yuk-yuks telegraphing his bafflement. 'You're sure that's what you want? For real and actual?' 'Yes, Atlas. Exactly that, or as close as you can improvise.' I hardly had time to deliver my strange order and pack before the call 'Move through!' was heard and we shuffled over. Pen I. Twenty-four hours to live. Unless I could pull off the most hare-brained, most hopeless and worst prepared-for escape ever devised.