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Dead Girls, Dead Boys, Dead Things

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  136 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
This extraordinary trilogy depicts a future gender war that crosses the boundaries of software, wetware, time, and reality itself in its imaginative leaps and bounds. Only love holds the future together in this tale of star-crossed teens whose transformations defy description or imagination.

To read this trilogy is to behold a strange new world, one unlike any other.
Paperback, 400 pages
Published February 15th 1998 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published February 15th 1993)
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Community Reviews

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Feb 07, 2012 Szplug rated it really liked it
Dead Girls : Adam's review does a nice job of laying out the sources for Calder's bizarre splash of rainbow mayhem—sexual, interpersonal, technological, civilizational, political, dimensional—though the prevailing ones in the opening book of the trilogy would have to be Moorcock's Cornelius and Gibson's Neuromancer, with a splash of Nabokov and hints of Bataille by-the-bye. I expected the sex to be a bit more explicit than proved to be the case, though Calder manages an assured mixture of the e ...more
Oct 14, 2008 Adam rated it really liked it
Calder’s Dead trilogy is a Frankenstein monster made up of masturbatory fantasies about anime, serious fevered study of De Sade and Bataille, love of the baroque prose of Nabokov and Angela Carter, and fin de siecle decadence held together with cyperpunk wiring and then torn to pieces with narrative scatterbombs from Burrough’s Nova trilogy and Moorcock’s Cornelius Quartet. If you don’t like these references, you won’t like Calder.
Mar 19, 2012 knig rated it really liked it
Shelves: bizarro, 2012
Dead girls only: then I stopped (loved it TOO much maybe). This book will be a film one day. It reads like a film.

Primavera Bobinski is 12 and turning into a doll in postapocalyptic London, ravaged by doll-disease. Iggy sits behind Primavera in class and loves her. When it becomes apparent the authorities will terminate Primavera (as they do all dolls), the two run away to the subterranean tunnels of central London where Titania, the Queen of dolls, will help them escape. This is what Tatiana’s
Charlie George
Jan 04, 2009 Charlie George rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: the jaded
Recommended to Charlie by: Jesse Folsom (in loving memory)
I anticipated a mind-scrambling, reality-bending book of epic proportions, but this exceeded all expectations. It is among the most remarkable books I've ever read.

In a future where the world has become obsessed with fashion, a kind of nanotechnology virus infects girls to turn them into "dolls", which might best be described as android-vampires. The dolls endure ostracism, extermination, and finally ascension into extra-dimensional demi-gods as the epidemic spreads.

Among the bewitching ideas
Boden Steiner
Oct 17, 2011 Boden Steiner rated it it was amazing
Fearless imagination--in concept, sentence, story, execution.
Fearlessly published.

Ahead of it's time, but also, out of time, timeless.

Unlike any book you are likely reading.

You may not like aspects of subject, you might be challenged by time and place, details in the prose. You will eventually embrace these things, recognize brilliance, realize that you have found something unique.

Best thing I've read in some time (maybe since discovering Steve Erickson), affecting me on all levels I
Ross Lockhart
Jun 21, 2007 Ross Lockhart rated it liked it
I’m only about two-thirds through this one, since other books keep jumping up and yelling “read me!” But so far I’m far enough down the rabbit hole to say that Calder’s trilogy is a Trevor Brown painting come to life, told through lush, decadent prose reminiscent of Ballard’s The Atrocity Exhibition or Burroughs’s The Ticket That Exploded by way of the Marquis De Sade. Not a book for the faint of heart, but if the prospect of adolescent schoolgirls transformed into vicious vampiric gynoids holds ...more
Aug 23, 2007 Rob rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people tired of the same old Vampire mythos
I sold my copy a few years ago... Looking back on it now, I can't remember why. This was an interesting story. Not a screamingly great trilogy but a good one just the same. It mashed up some bits of nanotech futureshock with classic vampire myths and the ever fun Madonna/Whore symbolic cues. It gets a little "out there" toward the end of the trilogy, as I recall but still manages to deliver an entertaining and (at times) thought-provoking read.
Dec 22, 2008 Tricia added it
An erotic world of robotic vampire women named Lilim, sprung from a mechanic virus that otherwise sits docile until puberty; whose main goal in life is to protect their most valuable asset - their wombs and its attachments - and their male prey, who are either their addicted followers or ruthless hunters.
For starters, I want to establish that I haven't completed the whole series; however, that is not an accurate gauge of my reaction to this trilogy. It's just that I bought the thing in its entirety instead of individually (as I prefer to read books in the same series) and tried to tough it all out in one go. It's taken me long enough to get to Dead Things, and the backlog of books I have lined up for myself has become daunting. So, on that note, I retire this series until sometime a little later ...more
Dec 07, 2011 Nicole marked it as to-read
Shelves: unforgettable
I'm holding off on giving this book a rating as I intend to reread it.
I had this book assigned for a university course in cyberpunk literature I took several years ago. I ended up reading only Dead Girls, as I had an overwhelming amount to read that quarter, but found what I did read strange, dark, and unforgettable. I don't remember much of the writing style or even the exact arc of the plot, however, many of the themes of the book have not yet left me, from the idea of female children infecte
Aug 31, 2013 Kitty added it
I've actually only begun this trilogy and only reached around page 55. I wanted to add it to my books mainly to remind myself I had started it (I wish there was an option on Goodreads that covered trying a book but giving up on it ). I didn't rate it because I don't think my initial distaste for it would be a fair review in the slightest.
I really enjoy cyberpunk (not to mention microbiological fiction ) and was hoping for something along the lines of Justina Robson's work. I was very much enjoy
Jul 08, 2011 Jennifer rated it did not like it
This is only the second book I've ever not finished through to the end. I got through the first part of the Trilogy, Dead Girls, but just couldn't take any more torture. I constantly had to keep re-reading paragraphs to figure out if a new scene had started. None of the characters are developed enough to actually form any connection and I found myself just not caring what happened to them. I was actually hoping one of the main characters would just die already to make it interesting! The vocabul ...more
Kaley Buck
Jan 29, 2016 Kaley Buck rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
I don't even know where to start with thinking about this book. If I had read each book in the trilogy individually, I don't know that I would have continued to the next book.

The first book was confusing but not so much that I couldn't follow it. The journey makes sense.

The second book rakes the world and flips it on its head. Almost literally. Everything has fallen apart and we don't know why. I found it very hard to follow.

The third, and final, book finally gives us sense of what has happene
Oct 25, 2015 Taylor rated it it was ok
I really reallly reallllly liked the "Dead Girls" story at the beginning of this book, but by the time "Dead Boys" started I felt like he was attempting to carry a torch that had burned low, and allowed his protagonist to become catastrophic and unexciting. After awhile, Calder's poetics turned into dribble and was incoherent to the point of being boring. I am not a book snob when it comes to this writing style, as "Naked Lunch" is written in the same fashion and I didn't have such a hard time w ...more
Jun 19, 2011 TalonWyrm rated it it was ok
It's a trilogy in one book. Unfortunately, it degrades as it goes. By the end of the second book, I just didn't care anymore. The narrative and sentence structure are a strain to keep up with, and with Iggy no longer the primary character and Primavera a distant memory by midway through the cycle, I lost connection. That said, the first book of the trilogy, "Dead Girls," is fantastic. It takes a very long time to get into Calder's headspace, but if you can, the first book is worth it. Skip the r ...more
becca sporky
Aug 24, 2011 becca sporky rated it liked it
Its kind of like the Matrix.... with robots and vampires and time travel. I like that the love story is a secondary factor of the book, not a primary one. This book gets extremely wordy, and I had trouble understanding it, because of all the futuristic descriptions and made up words. It took me a long time to finish this book, because of what I previously mentioned... but if you can get around that, its an entertaining read.
Dec 27, 2007 Julian rated it it was amazing
The first book in this trilogy (collected together in this edition) is stunning. The language, the characterization, the plot and the world building are all impeccable. Despite the weakness of the following two books, the concept of a couture virus was enough to catch and carry me through the series. These books are sexual, violent, and terribly glamorous.
Apr 21, 2012 paul rated it it was amazing
Is it not sufficient to say that I have bought this book THREE times, in different formats ~ the most disappointingly-presented being, of course, the American paperback edition? Quite simply, one of the richest, most deliriously literate works of meta-fiction I have ever encountered. Though not one, admittedly, for the meek, sere or prudish reader.
Jun 25, 2009 Heather rated it it was amazing
So far I've only read Dead Girls. It was great, even though the first time I read it I did not know a lot of the foreign words. I have never been a fan of Sci-fi, but this one kept my attention.
Edward Rathke
Feb 05, 2014 Edward Rathke rated it it was amazing
Brilliant trilogy. Fearless and compelling and just full of chaotic awesomeness.

My full review at The Lit Pub.
Patrick rated it it was amazing
Apr 08, 2013
Cory Roberts
Cory Roberts rated it liked it
Aug 23, 2013
Nathan rated it liked it
Oct 24, 2012
Melinda rated it really liked it
Aug 08, 2008
Rocketshipdog rated it liked it
May 20, 2010
Peer Nyberg
Peer Nyberg rated it liked it
Jan 12, 2015
Tengutoo rated it it was amazing
May 09, 2008
Rebekah Amerson
Rebekah Amerson rated it it was ok
Jul 26, 2010
John E.
John E. rated it liked it
Dec 30, 2014
Asohan rated it liked it
May 09, 2010
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“Awakened by a thousand dogs, a passing truck, the tailspin of a poisoned mosquito (or, perhaps, merely the silence of my dreams), I had, before remembering who and where I was, seen only that green sun suspended in the firmament of my room (her uterus bottled in preserving fluids) and, through seconds that became millennia, millennia aeons, felt the steadfastness of my orbit around that cold glow of love, a marvelous fatal steadfastness, before my pupils dilated and shadows and unease once more defined reality, the steel box naked but for a mattress and insomnious bugs where I had lived, in a coma of heartbreak and drunkenness, the six months since Primavera's death.” 4 likes
“Today the city melted in a heat wave. The crystal skyscrapers glittered like knives (this is a city of knives), steel-and-glass blades inlaid with the reflections of other knives, mirrors within mirrors within mirrors, knives that thrust up at the scorched clouds, presaging that evening's little death… As always, beneath the vaulted brilliance the infernal shadows of the streets were filled with the phantoms of murdered girls.” 1 likes
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