Francesco Verso (born in Bologna, 1973) is one of the most interesting authors of contemporary Italian Science Fiction, and we are delighted to welcome him into the Luna Family.
Luna Press has obtained English Worldwide rights for his award winning novel, Bloodbusters, winner of the Urania Mondadori Award 2009.
We absolutely loved his dystopian view of Italian society, and, as a Roman, I was engrossed as I read about the streets where I grew up, seeing them in such a new light.
What if taxes were paid by citizens through blood withdrawals? What if tax evasion was a crime punishable with imprisonment and enforced by the Bloodbusters? What if donating blood was an illegal procedure? And what if Ematogen, a delicious snack derived from blood, was everyone’s favourite food?
Francesco has published: e-Doll, Livido, Bloodbusters and I camminatori. Livido – translated by Sally McCorry as Nexhuman – as published by Apex Books. With Bill Campbell, he co-edited Future Fiction: New Dimensions in International SF (Rosarium Publishing, 2018). He works as Editor of Future Fiction, a multicultural project, publishing the best SF in translation with authors like James P. Kelly, Ian McDonald, Ken Liu, Liu Cixin, Pat Cadigan, Vandana Singh, and others.
You can see his full biography on the Luna Family page.
For now, though, let me give you a glimpse into the world of Bloodbusters...
"I tighten the strap around my arm and it digs into the skin. I’m dripping sweat, bent in two on the sofa. I hit the muscle twice with my fist and open the nickel-plated box. Inside is my Pravaz, my beautiful shiny chrome hypodermic. I take it out and choose a medium-sized needle, I don’t want to hit the same tired old vein that doesn’t cooperate anymore.
I scrabble about amongst the gadgets strewn over the table, looking for the iPod remote control, and touch the play button. The first song on the playlist is The Specials with “A message to you, Rudy”.
I like the way the rounded edges of the grip fit into my hand; it feels like an extension of my arm. In comparison, all those single-use plastic syringes, including the latest silicon models with their Quick-Fit hook/unhook needle bayonet systems, are no more than toys, cheap disposable rubbish, a sign of our lazy and comfortable times.
Another scrabbling hunt, another remote found and I attempt to switch the air-conditioning on. Again and again. Nothing. I get up and thump it, but it wants nothing to do with cooling the thick hot air. It doesn’t work and I’ve found out in the worst way possible, on a suffocatingly hot day, my back wet with sweat and beads of perspiration dripping into my eyes. I give up.
I grab a 450ml plastic bag from the coffee-table drawer. Liquid gold, so to speak. A guarantee of happiness, satisfaction in the safe.
I’m ready to stick the needle in. I’m ready to go."
Bloodbusters will be out in 2020 - You can check for updates on our "Books in Progress" page.