I'm looking for the name of a book, the remembered details are:

-I read this book some time between the years 2010 and 2015. -The copy of the book was an A5 (?) paperback in poor condition, English language, found in a shared secondary-school/college library.

The designer "party drug" viruses could cause a group hallucination of almost any specific thing or character - at one point, the protagonist realises that he must have inhaled an infected sample because he could clearly see a "blue fairy" or pixie of some sort flitting around his apartment.

  • Protagonist made designer virus samples for use as mind-altering drugs.
    • He lived in a cheap apartment.
    • His fridge was filled with bottles of a discontinued brand of a possibly cinnamon flavoured soda.
    • The Soda was named 'Faggio' or similar
  • Blue-skinned genetically engineered humanoids were kept as pets and gladiators
    • IIRC, the festival time we see a Blue-skin is in a train station - it is the pet of a wealthy woman.
    • At one point wealthy humans with guns and armour fought unarmed Blue-skins for sport.
  • One blue-skin is described as having a ridge on top of their skull in order to anchor the enlarged muscles needed to use their "prognathous jaw" in combat.
  • There is a squad of genetically modified accelerated-growth clone soldiers
    • They are muscular and bloodthirsty but their voices sound like overgrown hormonal 14-year-olds.
  • There is a little girl who displays disturbingly mature and manipulative behaviour
    • she initially controls the protagonist through threats of accusing him of sexually molesting her.
    • She is somehow involved with the MegaCorp
    • Later it is revealed that she was some sort of experimental prodigy.
  • Victims of a virus have formed a massive swarm
    • They try to infect the uninfected by forcible fluid exchange
    • One news reporter was dragged down by a mob and forcibly kissed by a 'hag' or 'crone'.
  • The Werewolf or 'Loup-Garou' is a soldier who has had artificial bloodlust implanted in him by some perhaps surgical means.
    • This is a problem because he is a deserter and the system is malfunctioning, causing him to commit violent acts uncontrollably.
  • Later in the book, references to a sort of Fairyland begin.
    • This is where the weirdest of engineered life congregate and aggressively prevent themselves from being discovered by regular humans.

Does anyone know this book?

(P.S. bless the editor/s for making sense of my rambling. Thank you.)

  • Great details there, also check out How to ask a good story-ID question? to see if it helps jog your memory and add any more details, such as when you read it or when it might have been published.
    – Möoz
    Dec 21, 2017 at 23:14

1 Answer 1


Fairyland by Paul McAuley

In the next century, an underground chemist meets and becomes obsessed with Milena, a child genius who is the ultimate product of gene-splicing technology. Milena is an advocate of the dolls--artificial constructs that have replaced extinct companion animals. Milena wishes to free the dolls from bondage--but in doing so, she creates an autonomous race that may be a threat to mankind.

The soda is named Pisant:

He gets a quick shot of reassurance from a couple of tabs of Cool-Z, which he washes down with that day's carton of Pisant, this orange cinnamon drink he discovered in a vending arcade on the Tot-tenham Court Road. Pisant lasted about a week in the frenzied sharkpool of niche marketing, probably because of the name, but Alex tracked down the supplier before it disappeared, and the last of the world's supply of Pisant is stacked in one of his three industrial fridges.

There's this description of blue-skinned doll:

It is a blue-skinned doll, heavily modified by selective somatic mutation or surgery. Probably both, Alex thinks. It's naked - and female, although its dugs are little more than enlarged nipples. The wide powerful jaws are like something found on an old tree bole blasted by lightning and infected with fungus and rot, layers of knotted cankerous growth. The doll has a crest of muscle on the top of its skull to work these big jaws, a nose so flattened that the nostrils are slits, little black eyes close set under a craggy brow.

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