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Charles de Lint's Newford novels, loosely linked "tales" with overlapping characters set in an imaginary modern North American city, are tales of magic and myth afoot on today's city streets. But at the center of every de Lint story is the miracle of the human heart.
And at the heart of Spirits in the Wires are Saskia Madding and Christiana Tree, both of whom are tied to perennial Newford character, the writer Christy Riddell. Are either Saskia or Christiana real? Christy's girlfriend, Saskia, believes she was born in a Web site, while Christiana is Christy's "shadow-self"--all the parts of him that he cast out when he was seven years old.
At a popular Newford on-line research and library Web site called the Wordwood, a mysterious "crash" occurs. Everyone visiting the site at the moment of the crash vanishes from where they were sitting in front of their computers. Saskia disappears right before Christy's eyes, along with countless others.
Now Christy and his companions must journey into Newford's otherworld, where the Wordwood, it transpires, has a physical presence of its own...to rescue their missing friends and loved ones and to set this viral spirit right before it causes further harm.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Canadian author De Lint follows up 2001's triumphant The Onion Girl with another fine novel dually based in the fictitious city of Newford and a magical otherworld, where spirits of faerie and folklore occupy modern technology and cyberspace is a fantasy realm in which imagination fuels artificial intelligence. When a virus crashes Wordwood, a Web site existing in an "impossible limbo in between computers," a lot of people disappear, including Saskia Madding, girlfriend of perennial Newfordian character Christy Riddell. Saskia literally sprang full-grown from a computer and was already suffering an identity crisis when sucked into oblivion. She escapes by taking up residence in the same body as Christiana Tree. The heroic Christiana, Christy's "shadow," must restore Saskia to her own body, sort out what happened to Wordwood, and figure out what can be done to save it and the rest of the spirit world from chaos. Meanwhile, Christy and a band of companions leave consensual reality and enter the Internet spirit world, seeking to save Wordwood and those who have gone missing. De Lint makes the binary tangible and handles his concept of technological voodoo with intelligence, verve and wit while introducing fascinating new characters and expanding on old ones. Not surprisingly, everyone eventually discovers that it doesn't matter where we come from but who we are that counts but their journeys to that conclusion will please previous fans and find new ones for this master of the modern fantastic.FYI:De Lint's story collectionMoonlight and Vines (1999) won a World Fantasy Award.