The Deep Sea Diver’s Syndrome

Written by Serge Brussolo | Translated by Edward Gauvin | Jan 2016 | Melville House

In The Deep Sea Diver’s Syndrome, lucid dreamers called mediums dive into their dreams to retrieve ectoplasms—sticky blobs with curiously soothing properties that are the only form of art in the world. The more elaborate the dream, the better the ectoplasm.

David Sarella is a medium whose dream identity is a professional thief. With his beautiful accomplice Nadia, he breaks into jewelry stores and museums, lifts precious diamonds, and when he wakes, the loot turns into ectoplasms to be sold and displayed.

Only the dives require an extraordinary amount of physical effort, and as David ages, they become more difficult. His dream world—or is it the real world?—grows unstable. Any dive could be his last, forever tearing him away from Nadia and their high-octane, Bond-like adventures.

David decides to go down one final time, in the deepest, most extravagant dive ever attempted. But midway through, he begins to lose control, and the figures in the massive painting he’s trying to steal suddenly come to life. . . and start shooting.

“Brussolo is a singular and essential voice…with a striking imagination, sense of strangeness, and masterful feel for the surreal… he plunges readers into the weird and macabre, leaving only a blazing vision lingering on their retinas . . . a French J.G. Ballard, impeccably distilled stylized nightmares.” —Le Monde

SERGE BRUSSOLO is the author of nearly two hundred books in every possible genre—dark fantasy, horror, historical fiction, young adult fiction, thrillers, and literary fiction. His books are consistently bestsellers, have won every major French science-fiction prize, are considered modern classics, and have been made into films.

EDWARD GAUVIN translates from French with a focus on fantasy, science fiction, and graphic novels.

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