In Rogue Cells, Oober Mann emerges from his cryobed on high alert in New Haudenosaunee, a nation at war with the mysterious territory Nutella during a critical election year. Citizens here live in dread of celebrities who carry out terrorist actions in defence of their own fundamentalist belief systems, including Stratford-upon-Avonists, whose guerrilla conflicts stem from slight variations of Shakespearian texts; Drumhellerists, whose discovery of some dinosaur bones results in a polygamous sect; and Chaos!tologists whose divine teachings are to be found in an obscure book with questionable authorship. Mixed up in an assassination plot being investigated by ISM (Insurgent Saddo Management) and DNA-specialist cops, Mann begins to wonder about the nature of reality and even about the new woman in his life, a femme fatale known only as the Librarian.
It is the Age of Aquarium in the speculative “green” dystopia of Carbon Harbour. Omni-magnate Cornelius Quartz is overseeing the merger between Bildung Endustries and Foreign Objects, but is distracted by an imminent double wedding for himself and his daughter; by the loss of his best promoter and lover to his rival, Zirconium Bluff; and by working conditions in the rehashing core and on wind pharms for hardlucks who harvest bio-material to produce architecture, clothing, and other swag for a luxury class of hardcore gamers (they pay for “pollution fantasies” with carbon credits on extended getaways to Putridworld). Threats to these halcyon days include a new religion publicized by Minor and his daughter Diminuenda that is “Old Testament-style,” Mr. Goo’s long-awaited release of the “MeMeMe” device, an interstellar pipeline project, the proliferation of aquacukes and giant composting worms that are rapidly running out of garbage, a word virus cultivated by the last carbon-based poet, and the controversial awarding of the Ignoble Prize. Rogue Cells / Carbon Harbour resumes The Chaos! Quincunx novel series.
About the author
Garry Thomas Morse has had two books of poetry published by LINEbooks, Transversals for Orpheus (2006) and Streams (2007); two collections of fiction, Death in Vancouver (2009) and Minor Episodes / Major Ruckus (2012), published by Talonbooks; and two books of poetry published by Talonbooks, After Jack (2010) and Discovery Passages (2011). Discovery Passages was a finalist for both the Governor General’s Award for Poetry and the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, and was voted One of the Top Ten Poetry Collections of 2011 by the Globe and Mail and One of the Best Ten Aboriginal Books from the past decade by the CBC’s 8th Fire. Morse’s work is regularly published in literary magazines, journals, and anthologies, and studied at post-secondary institutions, including the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University. Morse is the recipient of the 2008 City of Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award for Emerging Artist and has twice been selected as runner-up for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry.
“A vision of life with the liminal and the interstitial excised; our lives if we lived inside the current media representation of our lives ... hilarious and bizarre ... In Rogue Cells / Carbon Harbour, Garry Thomas Morse has created something new, and we should celebrate it.”