Matthew D. Dalton. The Vertical Man (2002) 160 pp. [tpo]
Publisher’s description: “Thaddeus Nickels just lost his job. He has misplaced his wife. The bank is about to foreclose on his house, and his steroid-pumping neighbor wants to kill him. The author of a moderately successful science fiction series, Thaddeus is in San Francisco to put some distance between himself and his problems. Hes the reluctant keynote speaker at a sci-fi convention packed with love-starved, pimply-faced geeks. Enter Timothy Lance, a mysterious genius with an intriguing business proposition: he wants to buy the rights to a book about trading God on the stock market that Nickels hasn’t written yet. What follows is a 24-hour roller coaster ride through the damp streets of San Francisco. The cast of characters includes Joey, an overzealous fan; Lloyd, a homicidal maniac with cable-access dreams; Sophia, a seductive barfly-cum-Federal agent; Rome, Thaddeus’ doomed father; and Timothy Lance, the entrepreneur-king of a genetically-perfected human race, who wants Thaddeus to write the New, New Testament.”
Setting: San Francisco