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The Meq

The Meq

(2003)
(The first book in the Meq series)
A novel by

 
Awards
John W Campbell Memorial Award Best Novel (nominee)
John W Campbell Memorial Award Best Novel (nominee)
The Meq, subtitled "A Lyric Fantasy" is the first novel from American country-rock musician Steve Cash. The flavour is refreshingly unusual, with a secret race of childlike immortals--the Meq--groping after a lost heritage while decade after decade of human history ticks by.

The narrative of Zianno Zezen begins in 1881 America on his 12th birthday. It's the first of many 12th birthdays, since Meq age no further until they find love and consciously choose to go on through puberty. Z's parents, who made that choice, are soon killed in a tragic accident, leaving the boy with hints of Basque "but more than just Basque" descent, and a cryptic Meq contact name.

Befriended by a travelling Jewish entrepreneur and sort-of-adopted by a St Louis boarding-house keeper who moves into the more profitable trade of brothel madam, Z finds life full of violence, exotic colour and elusive magic. He dreams strange dreams and carries a talisman he doesn't understand. He meets other eternal 12-year-olds living among the dangerous "Giza" (mortal humans), surviving through special talents and centuries or sometimes millennia of experience.

Long and almost dreamlike searches recur. Through 12 years at sea, Z seeks an ancient fellow-Meq nicknamed Sailor. In New Orleans, with a friend, he tracks a Meq who has gone bad and wreaked atrocities on Z's adoptive family. Later hunting covers huge tracts of China, and then--for nine years more, in Tuareg disguise--the North African desert. "Do not think ahead, the Sahara will not allow it." In the background, the First World War is now being fought, and it's over before Z reaches a temporary stopping place.

All this makes for a remarkably charming and compelling read, with history and fantasy twining together--there are glimpses of Jesse James, Oscar Wilde, Scott Joplin and the young TS Eliot. The childlike immortals' leisurely attitude to time is imagined with some power. But as the 20th century wears on, they may be dying out...

Many mysteries remain, a hissable villain is still at large, and sequels to The Meq will follow. --David Langford

 
Used availability for Steve Cash's The Meq


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Hardback Editions

May 2008 : USA Library Binding
Title: The Meq
Author(s): Steve Cash
ISBN: 1-4352-9165-4 / 978-1-4352-9165-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Paw Prints 2008-05-29
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

January 2005 : USA Library Binding
Title: Meq
Author(s): Steve Cash
ISBN: 1-4177-0878-6 / 978-1-4177-0878-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: San Val
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

January 2005 : USA Paperback
Title: The Meq
Author(s): Steve Cash
ISBN: 0-345-47092-3 / 978-0-345-47092-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Del Rey
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

January 2004 : UK Paperback
Title: The Meq
Author(s): Steve Cash
ISBN: 0-330-49315-9 / 978-0-330-49315-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Tor
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

January 2003 : UK Paperback
Title: The Meq
Author(s): Steve Cash
ISBN: 1-4050-0011-2 / 978-1-4050-0011-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Tor
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

January 2005 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
Title: The Meq
Author(s): Steve Cash
Publisher: Del Rey
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   



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