Martin “Marty” Grasso (think Mardi Gras) wakes to find the world turned into a Dantesque “carnival of bloat.” Excess consumption is patriotic, high fat and cholesterol diets are good, exercise is frowned upon, the price of fuel ticks upward by the second, and giant virtual billboards, or VRBLs, bombard citizens with advertisements for consumer products. As a mysterious vortex sucks up rapidly dwindling energy reserves and civilization faces famine, chaos and collapse, the impending catastrophe is blamed on a subversive element known as the sappers. Marty’s quest for the truth intersects virtual worlds, utopian societies and ever-morphing nightmares—in a wild vaudeville cyber-punk noir romp that crosses into the twilight zone of “sic”-fi where nothing is ever what it seems.