Over the years, upside citizens have lived in blissful ignorance of the deeply weird world beneath their feet, where “good inculcation” awaits at the hitherto unheard-of Academy whilst an impossible Mall provides “a pleasureland of tastes and styles.” All this, plus “solid justice, a primo bureaucracy, and excellent modification and termination at the Wards.” That’s hardly the half of all that downside has to offer, either... though I dare say you and I wouldn’t want anything to do with any of its trademark madness.
Inevitably, however, a few browns—that’s us—have stumbled into the dark passages of this subterranean pseudo-civilisation in the process of searching for something, like Dan and Rhoda did as kids. Others, like last year’s Josh and Lisa, have been drawn there, and invariably detained. But never before have downside citizens dared to come up, up and away into the light of day.
In The New Girl, the third in a loose series of insanely nightmarish horror novels by S. L. Grey—which is to say the open pseudonym shared by South African authors Sarah Lotz and Louis Greenberg—that’s about to change, because the sinister community is recruiting. Among them, some have a hunger for new blood, new knowledge, primo new products to repackage and pass on to the Mall’s shoppers... and where better to look than at school?