The Sun Casts No Shadow by Mark Richardson
Pub. Date: February 9, 2020
Publisher: Whiz Bang
Formats: Paperback, eBook
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1 winner will win a $10 Amazon GC courtesy of Rockstar Book Tours, International.
Wellington Thorneycroft is content picking pockets, taking Ambrosia, screwing prostitutes, and simply surviving in the hellish, walled City. But everything changes when he spots a spectral woman who wordlessly conveys the message: We’ll escape together. Suddenly, Thorneycroft’s life is turned upside down as he’s pulled along a circuitous path to an unknowable freedom: a path marked by violence, sex, and metaphysical dread.
Strangely, when I think of the City, the trains are what first come to mind. Grimy and hulking, each evening a fleet would carry a small army of workers from the Factory to bleak neighbors and shanty towns where they lived out their dreary lives.
I think of other things as well, such as: oppressive and unavoidable heat, heat so heavy it became a struggle just to walk. Troopers clearing the streets, bloodening heads with their billy clubs. Also, the red-light girls who would let me shoot my load on their tits, or wherever else I wanted, for a price. And there were the mansions on the crest of the ridge that circled high above the City; palatial estates that seemed to gaze down and lord over the rest of us. Legend had it that those mansions were the first structures built in the City, soon after its creation. For a time, they had served as homes for the Founding Fathers, but long ago had been commandeered by friends of Felix.
Once, while I still lived at the orphanage, I scaled up the hill, past the mansions, until I made it to the Wall that circled the City. Looking up, I could see no end. The Wall climbed into the thick, oppressive layer of smog. I spent the entire day slowly walking along the circumference, searching for an opening, a way out, an escape hatch. No luck, there was no way out—not even a crack. I never returned. What was the point? We were all prisoners, scurrying rats fighting to survive.
At the time that I spotted the woman with the black bangs, I’d been eking out a living as a thief and a robber. I stole from the high-end department stores where the wives and mistresses of Felix’s henchmen shopped, late-night convenience shops that peppered hardscrabble residential blocks, liquor stores and bars, and even private homes—you name it, I took from it. But mostly I picked pockets. And the pickings were easy.
About the Author:
Mark Richardson is the author of the novels The Sun Casts No Shadow, and Hunt for the Troll.
His short stories have appeared in numerous crime and literary publications, including Hobart, Fugue, Segue, Crime Factory, Switchback, and Nth Position.
Born in the Chicago area, he graduated from the University of Iowa, and promptly escaped the midwestern winters for sunny California, first living in Los Angeles and then San Francisco. He spent thirty years working as a writer and marketer for tech companies in Silicon Valley.
Mark now lives in the East Bay with his wife, two children, and the world’s cutest dog. He spends his time writing fiction, obsessing about the Chicago Cubs, attending his daughter’s softball games, and reading stacks of books. He loves genre-bending fiction, especially speculative writing with a noir flavor. In 2019, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and supports the Michael J. Fox Foundation.