Told in the style of Raymond Chandler and the Golden Age of hard-boiled detective novels, Ballad’s Little Song is a vibrant stylistic journey through a retro-futuristic world of an art deco dystopia. Although the world around it has long entered into a highly advanced stage of technology, the thousand-floor arcology (or “arcolypse”) of Ballad contains a million residents who have been stuck in the past. Originally built as a 1930s living village amusement park, the inhabitants of the enormous completely self-sustaining structure have been shut from the outside world and have mostly forgotten about it, living their themed lives for many decades in a technological holding pattern.
Detective Draker works Brown Sector, one of ten “townships” composed of a hundred stories of the building. One morning he is called to the scene of a grisly murder of a female pleasure bot. Grappling with his prejudice against artificial life, he is suddenly approached by a mysterious and beautiful woman in black named Vada Quinn, who wields mysteriously advanced weapons and an incredible knack for computers. Her sufficiently advanced appearance and technology has the appearance of being artificial life, but Draker can’t tell. Either way, they have a job to do. Together they scour Ballad, uncovering far more than Draker could have ever imagined about his home, and ultimately uncovering truths that will change his life forever.

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