“It reads like Snow Crash had a dance-off with Gideon the Ninth, in a world where language isn't a virus from outer space, it's a goddamn alien invasion.” —Charles Stross
In modern day Los Angeles, a shadowy faction led by the Governor of California develops the arcane art of combat linguistics, planting the seeds of a future totalitarian empire in Scotto Moore's Battle of the Linguist Mages.
Isobel is the Queen of the medieval rave-themed VR game Sparkle Dungeon. Her prowess in the game makes her an ideal candidate to learn the secrets of "power morphemes"—unnaturally dense units of meaning that warp perception when skilfully pronounced.
But Isobel’s reputation makes her the target of a strange resistance movement led by spellcasting anarchists, who may be the only thing stopping the cabal from toppling California over the edge of a terrible transformation, with forty million lives at stake.
Time is short for Isobel to level up and choose a side—because the cabal has attracted much bigger and weirder enemies than the anarchist resistance, emerging from dark and vicious dimensions of reality and heading straight for planet Earth!
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Moore (Your Favorite Band Cannot Save You) takes readers on a roller coaster of weird in this wildly entertaining gonzo adventure. For the past eight years, Isobel Bailie has dominated the leaderboards of Sparkle Dungeon, a popular series of medieval rave-themed VR games. Her expertise and skill, especially with the game's voice-based spell-casting system, earns her a job with Sparkle Dungeon's PR firm as a senior marketing specialist. But her real assignment is to master "power morphemes," a sequence of linguistic units capable of accomplishing a vast array of magical feats. That's just the tip of an increasingly impossible iceberg, as Isobel learns that a conceptual thunderstorm is poised to destroy reality and winds up caught between a ruthless cabal of powerful people and a group of spell-casting anarchists, each with a conflicting plan to save the world. Moore's tale, adapted from several of his earlier plays, is audacious, ambitious, and metatextual, packed with such wild concepts as sentient punctuation marks, musical weapons, and multilayered reality. While the story sprawls at times, Moore never loses sight of his characters' humanity or the underlying sense of adventure and humor. Readers will love it as much for the outlandish ideas as for the narrative complexity and sense of fun.