A classic, post-apocalyptic vision of America created by C. L. Moore, an undisputed master of science fiction’s golden age.
In the wake of a nuclear war, the totalitarian system known as Comus has restored order in a shattered America. Comus controls every aspect of American life, from communications to transportation to law enforcement, but cracks are beginning to show: rumors of a rebellion in California are brewing, and Comus’s leadership is aging. History is at a crossroads, and the man who will decide the outcome is a washed-up actor named Howard Rohan.
Leading a troupe of theatre players to perform in the heart of rebel territory, Howard’s true mission is to gather intelligence on a device that could bring down Comus. But Rohan finds himself slipping between his roles as a double agent and supposed revolutionary sympathizer, to the point where even he isn’t sure where he stands. As America edges closer to its reckoning, Rohan will need to decide who he’s been lying to: the rebels, Comus, or himself.
“A finely wrought dystopic vision where an oppressive future government utilizes communication networks to spread its tentacles across the United States.” —Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations
“It need hardly be mentioned at this late date what a gloriously fine writer Moore was . . . she combined elegant yet colorful prose with a distinctive emotional flair and one helluva imagination.” —Fantasy Literature