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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Ghost Hardware

Ghost Hardware

Three Infinite Detail Stories

Tim Maughan

MCD

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From the author of Infinite Detail, The Guardian's Pick for Best Science Fiction Book of 2019!

Three short stories set in the near-future dystopia of
Infinite Detail

After an act of anonymous cyberterrorism has permanently switched off the internet, causing global trade, travel, and communication to collapse and modern luxuries to become scarce, life in the Croft and beyond . . . carries on.

In “Ghost Hardware,” we meet Anika, an artist who uses VR to uncover layers of street art in pursuit of the work of another elusive artist. In a desolate future, she is chasing the past. “Limited Edition” takes us to a time before the crash to introduce us to Grids, College, and Melody—a tight-knit, sneaker-obsessed South Bristol crew. When a new pair of limited-edition trainers drops, they won't let a little thing like being broke get in their way—even if they have to do some VR hacking to pull off an IRL heist. And in the pre-internet-crash world of “Gulls” we meet Mary, who lives in the Tip, where Gulls like her dig through landfills in search of treasure. But Mary wants out. And the strange, glowing pair of glasses she found in a dead man’s jacket pocket just might be her ticket.

Expanding on Tim Maughan’s vision of a world disconnected in Infinite Detail, the stories in Ghost Hardware give a closer look at the End of the Internet, the End of the World as We Know It.

Praise for Ghost Hardware

Praise for Infinite Detail

"A politically astute, fascinating, and depressing glimpse of a near future brought to its knees by the abrupt death of the internet."
IAN MOND, Locus Magazine

“On its face, the internet kill switch is such an on-the-nose science fiction premise that it’s a wonder Maughan is the first author to get it to market. Luckily, in his hands, the broad-stroke concept trickles down into weird and unexpected crevices: sage futurism, political treatise, and mournful meditation on the violence of technological dependency.”
ELIVIA WILK, Bookforum

“Maughan conducts a masterclass in the thrill and contradictions of counterculture, the uses and abuses of networks, the ways that capitalism can bend and flex to adapt, until, suddenly, it breaks. This is a stunning debut.”
CORY DOCTOROW, Boing Boing

"I still think about Infinite Detail . . . It's one of those rare novels that, if you enjoyed it the first time, you'll want to re-read it."
VALENTINA PALLADINO, Ars Technica

“Maughan’s book, as precise and evocative as its title demands, is ultimately clear-eyed in its evaluation of what would be lost, and what gained, if our connections were swept away.”
SUMIT PAUL-CHOUDHURY, BBC Culture

“Much-anticipated . . . It’s a book that only Maughan could write . . . Maughan chose the harder task and pulled off a marvel. It makes for an uncomfortable read but a necessary one.”
Skiffy and Fanty

“A tapestry of near-term prognostication that stuns you with … More…

Praise for Infinite Detail

"A politically astute, fascinating, and depressing glimpse of a near future brought to its knees by the abrupt death of the internet."
IAN MOND, Locus Magazine

“On its face, the internet kill switch is such an on-the-nose science fiction premise that it’s a wonder Maughan is the first author to get it to market. Luckily, in his hands, the broad-stroke concept trickles down into weird and unexpected crevices: sage futurism, political treatise, and mournful meditation on the violence of technological dependency.”
ELIVIA WILK, Bookforum

“Maughan conducts a masterclass in the thrill and contradictions of counterculture, the uses and abuses of networks, the ways that capitalism can bend and flex to adapt, until, suddenly, it breaks. This is a stunning debut.”
CORY DOCTOROW, Boing Boing

"I still think about Infinite Detail . . . It's one of those rare novels that, if you enjoyed it the first time, you'll want to re-read it."
VALENTINA PALLADINO, Ars Technica

“Maughan’s book, as precise and evocative as its title demands, is ultimately clear-eyed in its evaluation of what would be lost, and what gained, if our connections were swept away.”
SUMIT PAUL-CHOUDHURY, BBC Culture

“Much-anticipated . . . It’s a book that only Maughan could write . . . Maughan chose the harder task and pulled off a marvel. It makes for an uncomfortable read but a necessary one.”
Skiffy and Fanty

“A tapestry of near-term prognostication that stuns you with its contextual implications while its streetwise prose gets to work on picking your emotional pockets . . . a searing debut novel from a writer who couldn’t be more relevant to these troubled and troubling times.”
—British Science Fiction Association

"Says something important and thought provoking about such hot-topic issues as privacy, the interconnectedness of the world’s population, and class structure; but, thanks to Maughan's rigorously developed characters and his ability to tell a compelling story, the book is never preachy. A seriously good page-turner with plenty of meat on its bones."
DAVID PITT, Booklist

"Maughan’s dynamic, sprawling, post-postmodern cyberpunk debut . . . is an energetic novel about civilization as it races toward the ultimate overload.”
Publishers Weekly

"The characters are compelling, and it’s worth reaching the end just to find out how Maughan wraps up this Byzantine puzzle box. An original and engaging work of kitchen-sink dystopia."
Kirkus Reviews

“Deft and jolting as an EMP, Infinite Detail is a worryingly credible ghost story about our electronic lives.”
LAUREN BEUKES, author of The Shining Girls

“A singular speculative debut, Infinite Detail asks crucial questions about the nature of our relationship to technology. A lively and provocative novel particularly equipped for the challenges of our moment.”
JEFF VANDERMEER, author of Dead Astronauts, Borne and The Southern Reach Trilogy

"Looping and layered, disruptive and deeply linked—Tim Maughan’s unsparing tale of the internet's end is a paper internet unto itself. The native 21st-century novel is coming into view; it looks like Infinite Detail."
ROBIN SLOAN, author of Sourdough

"Tim Maughan’s fiction is whip-smart, funny as hell, and full of hard truths most people would rather ignore. And despite its riveting dystopian scenario and biting critiques of life in late capitalism, Infinite Detail has so much deeply felt grace, heart, and hope."
INGRID BURRINGTON, artist, journalist, and author of Networks of New York

"Tim Maughan gets it. This civilization is over and everyone knows it. Infinite Detail gets on with the job of figuring out what to do next. His inspiring characters show us how to live and love in these ruins."
MCKENZIE WARK, author of A Hacker Manifesto, Gamer Theory, and Telesthesia

"Tim Maughan brings a deep knowledge of why the contemporary world works as it does, along with an informed awareness of how subcultures operate, to Infinite Detail—a powerful narrative featuring characters hardened but never crushed, told in crystal-sharp writing that leaves you wanting more."
JACK WOMACK, author of Random Acts of Senseless Violence

Infinite Detail is an immaculately patterned debut novel, its author as in control of its design as the metafiction specialist Christopher Priest. Maughan's feel for and knowledge of the technological straightjacket of contemporary culture is the equal of William Gibson. I have not often felt optimistic after reading a dystopian sci-fi novel, but Maughan's debut leaves you with a Vonnegut-like sense of abiding humanity. Infinite Detail offers a sorely-needed perspective on the transience of the internet age. Fierce and compassionate, its vision of a post-apocalyptic afterlife is a blessing.”
DAN O'HARA, editor of Extreme Metaphors: Selected Interviews with J. G. Ballard

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Reviews from Goodreads

Tim Maughan

Tim Maughan is an author, a journalist, and a features writer who uses both fiction and nonfiction to explore issues around cities, class, culture, globalization, technology, and the future. His work regularly appears on the BBC and in Vice and New Scientist. Maughan also wrote the novel Infinite Detail, the short story collection Paintwork, and has co-authored the series Chromewash, The Best British Fantasy 2014, and Closer.

image of Tim Maughano
Tim Maughan

Tim Maughan