Read Midnight Taxi Tango Online

Authors: Daniel José Older

Midnight Taxi Tango

BOOK: Midnight Taxi Tango


“Simply put, Daniel José Older has one of the most refreshing voices in genre fiction today.”

—Saladin Ahmed, author of
Throne of the Crescent Moon

“A damn good read . . . a hard-core, hard-driving fantasy. . . . Daniel José Older takes aim at a whole bunch of familiar targets and hits them hard in new and interesting ways.”

—Simon R. Green,
New York Times
bestselling author of
Tales from the Nightside

“Smart and gripping, funny and insightful. It kicks in the door, waving the literary .44. Be warned: this man is not playing.”

—Victor LaValle, author of
The Devil in Silver

“Vividly imagined and rendered . . . this is a fantastic beginning to what will surely be a fantastic series.”

—Jesmyn Ward, National Book Award–winning author of
Men We Reaped

“Older has crafted a compelling new world. . . .
Half-Resurrection Blues
is not just a daring new mode of ghost-detective story; it's also a courageous effort to celebrate the diverse voices that surround us.”

—Deji Bryce Olukotun, author of
Nigerians in Space

“Noir for the Now: equal parts bracing, poignant, compassionate, and eerie. A swinging blues indeed.”

—Nalo Hopkinson, Andre Norton Award–winning author of
Sister Mine

“Fresh and richly envisioned, a gritty and genuine urban setting.”

Publishers Weekly

“Delightful and witty . . . a fun, smart bit of paranormal noir.”



“The strength of Older's tale is in his meticulous attention to the details. . . . A world that will stay with readers long after the last page.”

Los Angeles Times

“One of my favorite new voices.”

—Anika Noni Rose, star of
The Princess and the Frog


The New York Times Book Review

“Dazzlingly inventive . . . funny, frightening, and always surprising.”

—Sarah McCarry, author of
All Our Pretty Songs

Also by Daniel José Older from Roc Books


Published by New American Library,

an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC

375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014

This book is an original publication of New American Library.

First Printing, January 2016

Copyright © Daniel José Older, 2016

Modified portions of this book originally appeared on as short stories “Anyway: Angie,” “Kia and Gio,” and “Ginga,” copyright © Daniel José Older, 2014, 2015

“Sus ojos se cerron” copyright © SADAIC, 1935

“Las cuarenta” copyright © SADAIC, 1937

“Las puñalada” copyright © SADAIC, 1951

“A la luz del candil” copyright © SADAIC, 1927

Map by Cortney Skinner

Frontispiece illustration by John Jennings

Penguin Random House supports copyright. Copyright fuels creativity, encourages diverse voices, promotes free speech, and creates a vibrant culture. Thank you for buying an authorized edition of this book and for complying with copyright laws by not reproducing, scanning, or distributing any part of it in any form without permission. You are supporting writers and allowing Penguin Random House to continue to publish books for every reader.

Roc and the Roc colophon are registered trademarks of Penguin Random House LLC.

For more information about Penguin Random House, visit

eBook ISBN 978-0-698-16681-3


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.



For Nastassian, my love

Convertir el ultraje de los años

en una música . . .

Convert the outrage of the years

into a music . . .

—Jorge Luis Borges, “Arte Poética”



Con el pucho de la vida apretado entre los labios,

la mirada turbia y fría, un poco lerdo el andar,

dobló la esquina del barrio y, curda ya de recuerdos,

como volcando un veneno esto se le oyó cantar:

Vieja calle de mi barrio donde he dado el primer paso,

vuelvo a vos, gastado el mazo en inútil barajar,

con una llaga en el pecho, con mi sueño hecho pedazos,

que se rompió en un abrazo que me diera la verdad.

With the cigarette stub of life pressed between his lips,

his gaze turbulent and cold, his stride a little off-kilter,

he turned a corner of the barrio, drunk on memories,

and like an eruption of venom, his song rang out:

Old streets of my neighborhood, where I took my first steps,

I return to you, my whole deck wasted with a single useless shuffle,

my chest on fire, dreams torn to pieces,

broken by an embrace that gave me only the truth.

“Las cuarenta”
tango, 1937


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