Cyberpunk comes to Manchester, albeit in radically hallucinatory form. It’s Scribble’s sister, intriguingly, who is trapped in the Vurt-world as he and his fellow Stash Riders crash though a succession of psychedelic scrapes in the attempt to retrieve her. Jeff Noon’s watershed chemical generation novel conjures a future dystopia where virtual reality is dispensed in the form of state-sanctioned drugs ingested orally with psychoactive feathers. South Manchester – from Chorlton to Platt Lane to Hulme – bleeds perceptibly through the text, as the Hacienda comedown mutates into mindmelting prose.