In this dark and gripping sci-fi noir, an exiled police detective arrives at a lunar penal colony just as a psychotic android begins a murderous odyssey across the far side of the moon.
Purgatory is the lawless moon colony of eccentric billionaire, Fletcher Brass: a mecca for war criminals, murderers, sex fiends, and adventurous tourists. You can’t find better drugs, cheaper plastic surgery, or a more ominous travel advisory anywhere in the universe. But trouble is brewing in Brass’s black-market heaven. When an exiled cop arrives in this wild new frontier, he immediately finds himself investigating a string of ruthless assassinations in which Brass himself—and his equally ambitious daughter—are the chief suspects.
Meanwhile, two-thousand kilometers away, an amnesiac android, Leonardo Black, rampages across the lunar surface. Programmed with only the notorious “Brass Code”—a compendium of corporate laws that would make Ayn Rand blush—Black has only one goal in mind: to find Purgatory and conquer it.
Visual, visceral, and tons of fun, The Dark Side fuses hard science with brutal crime and lunar adventure. It’s an intense, stylish, and action-packed thriller with a body count to match.
The Dark Side 01 ONLY A LUNATIC WOULD live on the Moon.
The Moon is a dead rock—eighty-one quintillion tons of dead rock. It’s been dead for nearly four billion years. And—inasmuch as a dead rock wants anything—it wants you dead too.
So you can go quickly. A landslide can bury you. A lava tube can collapse on you. You can plunge headlong into a crater. A meteoroid can strike your habitat at seventy thousand kilometers per hour. A micrometeorite can bust open your spacesuit. A sudden burst of static electricity can blow you apart in an airlock. A slip, a cut, a ruptured seal, a faulty oxygen tank can kill you in minutes.
Or you can go a little slower. A wiring malfunction can shut down air filters. A corrupted computer program can play havoc with climate-control systems. A particularly nasty pathogen—mutant strains of bacteria flourish in enclosed environments—can kill you in days. If you’re out on the surface, the sudden temperature plunge between sunlight and shade can leave you with thermal shock. A solar flare can toast you like a TV dinner. A vehicular breakdown can leave you suffocating in your spacesuit.
Or you can go incrementally, over the course of years. Moondust can work its way like asbestos into the deepest fissures of your lungs. Prolonged exposure to chemical vapors and gas leaks can wreck your whole respiratory system. Reduced gravity—one-sixth that of Earth—can fatally weaken your heart. Cosmic radiation—galactic rays from dead suns and black holes—can warp your cells. Not to mention a cocktail of psychological factors—sensory deprivation, insomnia, paranoia, claustrophobia, loneliness, hallucinations—that can reshuffle your mind like a deck of cards.
On the Moon, in short, you can be killed by the environment. You can be killed by accident. Or you can kill yourself.
And then of course you can always be murdered. By gangsters. By terrorists. By psychopaths. By ideologues. Or simply because you cost too much to keep alive.
Only a lunatic—or a renegade, or a pariah, or a misanthrope, or a risk junkie, or a mass murderer—would live permanently on the Moon.
"Inspired lunacy...satisfying on every level."—The Wall Street Journal
"A smart, rollicking sf-detective-noir genre-blendwith a delightfully dark and snide sense of humor...This incredibly entertaining novel is unmitigated fun to read, and is sure to be at the top of many genre readers' favorite books of the year."—Booklist, Starred Review
“The Dark Side is what would happen if Raymond Chandler met Arthur C. Clarke while Isaac Asimov lurked in the shadows. It’s a two-fisted lunar detective story that has everything I’ve ever loved in a book. A good cop. A corrupt system. Mysterious murders. Moon colonies. Chase scenes. Killer robots. A damn fun book!”—Peter Clines, author of The Fold, 14, and the Ex-Heroes series
"Noir reigns supreme in this mystery set on the far side of the Moon. Rife with morbid humor and tense action that makes excellent use of the setting." –Publishers Weekly
"[O'Neill's] characters have enormous appeal—even the ones you're aware are about to be horrifically murdered. And to relieve the grimness he offers his trademark weird puns, flashes of wit, and mordant humor...Reveling in the low gravity, a yarn that bounds along in fine style, spraying gore and body parts."—Kirkus Reviews
“Writing as sharp as a nanofilament dagger, a story as dark as the space between stars. And disgracefully, bizarrely, irresistibly funny.”—John Birmingham, author of The Axis of Time series