Blake Northcott – Arena Mode


Heroes with super problems

United States, 2041. Civilization is in a shambles: the rich are getting richer and the poor, already poorer, live in confined ruined quarters, with no real prospects for the future. After the discovery that super-human beings really exist, a “sporting” tournament called Arena Mode is arranged, where those who have superpowers are matched against each other in a fight to the death. The prize: ten billion dollars. Too good a sum for Matthew Moxon, a nerd with no superpowers but with an instinctive intelligence, to pass up and have the chance to be able to pay for treatment for a devastating brain tumour. Northcott, from Toronto, engages in a science fiction novel about super-humans and produces a fascinating story full of twists, with a protagonist who cannot rely on himself alone. The social background is credible and well defined. Some of the main character’s personal rhetorical musings might risk making the ending less than impressive, but all is redeemed in the last two pages. The novel is good fun and at the same time provides food for thought.

Translation by Silvia Accorrà (edited by Roma O’Flaherty)

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Heiko H. Caimi
Heiko H. Caimi, born in 1968, is a writer, screenwriter, poet and teacher of fiction writing. He has collaborated as an author with publishers Mondadori, Tranchida, Abrigliasciolta and others. He has taught at the Egea bookshop of Bocconi University in Milan and several other schools, libraries and associations in Italy and Switzerland. Since 2013 he has been editorial director of the literature magazine Inkroci. He is one of the founders and organizers of the traveling literary festival Libri in Movimento. He collaborates with the news magazine "InPrimis" keeping the column "Pages in a minute" and with the blog of the writer Barbara Garlaschelli "Sdiario". He published the novel "I predestinati" (The Predestined, Prospero, 2019) and edited the anthology of short stories "Oltre il confine. Storie di migrazione" (Over the border. Migration stories, Prospero, 2019).