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DarkSF is the Dark Chocolate of Science Fiction, says John Argo

Meta4City. DarkSF adventure among pocket universes—can Tedda's world be saved? Read this strange and wonderful story of imagination so fresh it's never been done before—recalls the Sense of Wonder of lost 1930s comic books from the Golden Age of Science Fiction. More info soon. Site under development.

Your Favorite Board Game. Imagine if you could shrink down to microscopic size and become a pedestrian walking on a mysterious, drizzly, exciting street far down on (oh, let's say) a Monopoly board. That's unthinkably cool, right? Now imagine if your own world is threatened with doom, and the tiny game world is your only hope. That increases the tension and suspense to thriller levels—welcome to Monopol City. The adventure is just beginning. Click the round image at bottom for a guided tour on a separate, dedicated Monopol City website.

Remember a time when you enjoyed playing board games around the kitchen table, and you rolled the dice and moved your piece around the train tracks on the board? You could buy and sell real estate in some virtual city that left much to the imagination.

Maybe you fantasized what it might be like to shrink down to atomic size. You'd become a tiny person in an virtual game world with life-sized trains and cities all around you. Most excitingly, you’d meet all those fascinating people—spies, lovers, runners, shooters, or a million ordinary men and women going about their lives in a divided Gotha (think Berlin) right out of the Cold War. Interested?

That metro has now arrived at your imagination station with this DarkSF novel by John Argo. Take a rocket ride on the author’s inventive and original idea express. Enjoy a romantic story in a setting so far out that only John Argo could get us there and back. Best of all, the underlying concept takes us to the far edge of science.

In a pocket universe of danger and intrigue, Tedda lives in a rainy metropolis right out of Brazil or Dark City. In a dark and glistening dystopia, East Gotha and West Gotha are eternal rivals trying to destroy each other in a war whose reasons nobody can fathom (aren’t all wars like that?).

You’re about to meet a young West Gotha woman mathematician named Tedda, who commits the ultimate crime of treason - she has an affair with the dashing Captain Alton Hedrock, a spy for enemy East Gotha. Tedda becomes a prisoner in a strange West Gotha university, where she joins other programmers in the eternal military effort against East Gotha.

For amusement, West Gotha's data miners invent a subatomic board game where you can actually descend to a tiny universe (that game board) and interact with people - and dark, dangerous forces that challenge your own reality. In the pocket universe of Meta 4 City, or Metaphor City, Tedda meets and falls in love with Edgar, a Rule like all things and all people in that miniature world. But Tedda's world is in danger of imminent destruction, and only Metaphor City offers a means of escape before it is too late. The spies of East and West are everywhere, and you always looks over your shoulder.

The game is on, the stakes are sky-high, deadly spies move in the night, and the eternal war between East and West Gotha continues unrelentingly. Think East and West Berlin at war, complete with strutting officers in jackboots, alluring women with secrets and perfume, soft jazz on rainy street corners, droning bombers, sweeping search lights, and howling sirens. In the midst of all battle and terror, men and women manage to still fall secretly in love--that, too, is the oldest game in town. Except the entire world is about to change. This novel will remind you of DarkSF movie classics like The Matrix, Inception, Blade Runner, and Dark City, but Meta 4 City stands tall in a world of its own fresh, unique imagining.

What is DarkSF? John Argo proposes that most literary, topnotch science fiction is DarkSF. That’s not horror or gruesome, but “the dark chocolate of science fiction.” We’ve already mentioned a few classics. Add to that great books like Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, George Orwell’s 1984, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Nobel Laureate William Golding’s Lord of the Flies or The Inheritors, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein—the list is endless, and surprising. DarkSF is the Dark Chocolate of Science Fiction in particular, and literature in general. Clocktower Books will soon launch a website to offer more info and insight about DarkSF, so please stay tuned.

Original novel (Monopol City) written by John Argo in 2004. Copyright © 2005 by John Argo. All Rights Reserved. Clocktower Books first edition 2005.


click to read free or buy - opens a new window Read Free at my online bookshop (Galley City dot com). You can read the first half free, with the option to buy the whole book (if you wish) for the mere cost of a cup of coffee. A cup of latte is gone in minutes, but the e-book is yours forever. Print editions also priced as low as overhead will permit. Enjoy a good read, tell your friends, leave a favorable review online, and post on social media. The author appreciates your kindness. Thank you!

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What is DarkSF? We like to say that DarkSF is the Dark Chocolate of Science Fiction. DarkSF is not about gore or grue but about art and atmosphere. It is literary and poetic. Think of the artful genius of Ridley Scott's 1982 Blade Runner or Alex Proyas' 1998 Dark City or Julien Leclercq's 2007 Chrysalis, just to name three. The best SF is DarkSF because it tends to embrace sweeping themes in a rich broth of art and atmosphere. The list is long, and includes far more of world literature than our Puritanical society is allowed to think. Elements occur in the Epic of Gilgamesh, Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Dante's Divine Comedy, Defoe's 1719 Robinson Crusoe, and tales by many modern masters. We'll be publishing a special DarkSF website soon to celebrate.

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