The Printer's Devil - Stona Fitch

THE future, as seen by novelists, is almost always a scary place, either post-Apocalyptic or at the mercy of technology. The Printer s Devil by Stona Fitch is set in the former. Natural disaster is commonplace, the air is so polluted, it is regularly unbr

THE future, as seen by novelists, is almost always a scary place, either post-Apocalyptic or at the mercy of technology.

The Printer's Devil by Stona Fitch is set in the former.

Natural disaster is commonplace, the air is so polluted, it is regularly unbreathable. Those caught outside on the bad days, suffocate to death.

Society has become tribal and officious secret police have the power to kill on the spot anyone deemed to be breaking the law.

Two warring printers' guilds struggle to survive in this world. Apprentice Ian belongs to one and, caught up in a risky raid on rival printer Sevenheads' bank, he and his vulnerable girlfriend struggle to escape the city as the black wind starts to blow.

With its abuses of power and violence, and its own language, The Printer's Devil naturally draws comparisons with A Clockwork Orange.

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At just 148 pages, it's perfect for pocket or handbag to read on the Tube or bus.

Fitch has an elegant turn of phrase and it's not difficult to see the world turning into his dystopia.

In 2008, he founded the Concord Free Press in America, an experiment in publishing and community, which publishes books and then gives them away for free, hoping that the recipients will pass them on once they've read them.

However, in the UK, The Printer's Devil is printed by Two Ravens Press and will cost you �8.99.

- LINDSAY JONES