Hargreaves, Michael (2019) The Mirrored City: creating claustrophobia and pace in overpopulation through prose. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Andrew Lamprell is a jaded journalist living in London some hundred years in the future. He describes himself as a ‘world turner’ and holds little value in his job or society. He has one aspiration, Esme Harper, a celebrity news anchor, who he has become obsessed with. He wishes to woo her and escape to space with the money he has saved from years of a minimalist lifestyle. Andrew is given an exclusive scoop on an underground medical centre by nurse and long-time friend Elizabeth Ruby. The medical centre is operated by a young doctor and a mysterious scarred man who can fly his sky-car out of the permitted zones, something Andrew thought was impossible. After writing the article on the untested drugs that are being sold to people the government have refused medical care to, he rests. The following morning, the article has been published and he has two tickets to Limbo X, the space station in between Earth and the colony on Mars. He soon discovers that the scarred man, Locke, has orchestrated his good fortune and wants something in return. Locke promises Andrew that he will get him Esme Harper, but only if he does as he says. Andrew complies, exploring areas of the country that he thought were uninhabitable. He helps Locke transfer a computer virus into the software of higher-members of society, which quickly spreads, giving Locke complete control of the city. The night before Andrew’s flight to Limbo X, Locke flies him to the London News Service, with a replicate of Esme Harper sitting in the front seat. Locke says he will give her to Andrew, but he refuses. Offended, Locke begins his anarchist plan early, setting off all the fire alarms of the city, cutting the power and the traffic system. Andrew leans over and crashes Locke’s car through a nearby building. Upon waking, Andrew sees the chaos unfolding below and uses the strong android in the passenger seat as a way of getting through the condensed crowds below. He reaches Esme Harper’s apartment, discovering it has been broken into. Three dead men are on the floor and Esme Harper is stood naked in the room. Exposed wires dangle from the insides of her thighs from the assault and a label on her back reads: property of LNS.
She greets Andrew.

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