I’m pleased to announce that at long last my sci-fi noir series Slab City Blues: The Collected Stories is now available in audiobook, read by Steven Brand. The collection also has a brand new cover, illustrated by Kevin Goeke (see more of his work at movco-art.com) with cover design by Shawn King (www.stkkreations.com).
Gangs, killers, and vampires. One war-torn detective is the only hope of survival for a crime-ridden orbiting city…
Blade Runner meets Se7en in this gritty five-story collection from New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Anthony Ryan.
Alex McLeod paid dearly during the war for independence from Earth. It left the detective disfigured, jaded, and alone. In the aftermath of victory, Alex seethes as criminal factions and cold-blooded killers clash over control of the newly-liberated confederation. In his crusade for justice in the free states, he’s willing to break more than a few rules along the way…
The only home Alex knows is the slums of Slab, an orbiting city teeming with lowlifes, back-stabbers, and gene-spliced monstrosities. From the grimy streets of his city to the lawless Asteroid Belt, Alex goes toe-to-toe with a sharp-clawed vigilante, a mythical serial killer, and a gorgeous vampire with an ominous message. His quest won’t end until his homeland earns the freedom it was promised…
But even Alex may not be able to stop the impending Reckoning and a voyage to the one place he swore he’d never return: Earth…
Slab City Blues: The Collected Stories contains four exciting novellas and one sensational novel set in a world of hard-boiled sci-fi and cyberpunk. If you like hard-nosed detectives, futuristic planets, and pulse-pounding action, then you’ll love Anthony Ryan’s world of vampires, werewolves, and space.
An Aria for Rangarok – the fifth and final story in the Slab City Blues series – is now available in ebook.
Description – ‘Alex McLeod has a score to settle. Back on the Slab and newly promoted to head of Special Homicide, Alex decides it’s time to finally bring down Mr Mac – his longest-standing enemy and the most powerful criminal kingpin in the Confederation of Autonomous Orbiting States. But, before the hunt can begin he finds himself lumbered with the inconvenient and spectacularly bloody murder of a famous industrialist. A swift but violent resolution to the case raises more questions than it answers and Alex’s inability to tolerate a mystery soon uncovers a far greater threat than he has ever faced before. Ragnarok is coming. To stop it, Alex must call on the help of both friends and foes, as well as placing himself in an alien and hostile environment: it’s time for a return visit to Planet Earth.’
Those new to this series might want to opt for Slab City Blues: The Collected Stories, also released today.
Description – ‘Presenting in one volume all five stories in the Sci-fi Noir series by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Anthony Ryan, author of the acclaimed Raven’s Shadow Trilogy. Includes the short stories Slab City Blues and A Song for Madame Choi, the novellas A Hymn to Gods Long Dead and The Ballad of Bad Jack, and the novel An Aria for Ragnarok.’
The fifth and final Slab City Blues story – An Aria for Ragnarok – will be released on October 1st and is now available for pre-order. In contrast to the short-story or novella length previous installments, this is a 50,000 word novel which concludes the series. Slab City Blues: The Collected Stories which will be released simultaneously and contains An Aria for Ragnarok together with all four preceding stories: Slab City Blues, A Song for Madame Choi, A Hymn to Gods Long Dead and The Ballad of Bad Jack. The Collected Stories will also be released as a print-on-demand paperback for those who prefer the dead tree option (buy link to come when it’s ready). Ebook pre-order links below:
The latest Slab City Blues novella, The Ballad of Bad Jack, is now available on amazon.com, amazon.co.uk and Smashwords. Links also on the books page. Thanks to James at Humblenations.com for the excellent cover.
Thanks to Riyria Revalations author Michael J. Sullivan for tagging me in the Next Big Thing meme, a mechanism for authors to talk about future writing projects. Basically, each author answers ten questions about their next book and tags someone else to do the same. I’ll post links to whoever I tag when their own answers go up, in the meantime here’s mine:
1) What is the working title of your next book?
My next book is a novella entitled Slab City Blues: The Ballad of Bad Jack.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
My ideas normally take a long time to gestate. In this case the character name ‘Bad Jack’ popped into my head a long time ago. I knew he was some kind of criminal but it was several years before I formed a clear idea of who he was and what he did.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
It’s the fourth story in my Slab City Blues SF-noir series which takes place in an orbital society which has gained independence from Earth after a bloody revolution.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I wouldn’t. Writers are notoriously bad at casting and there’s a reason why movie producers pay lots of money to casting agents. Plus, as a reader, I like to formulate my own image of how characters look. That being said, Janet the gene-spliced vampire in A Hymn to Gods Long Dead (the third Slab City Blues story) is just crying out to be played by Olivia Wilde.
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? The Bourne Supremacy meets Firefly.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’ll be self-publishing this one via the usual outlets on February 1st. Novellas are a tricky thing to sell, being too short to justify the expense of a print run and too long for magazines. Plus, I’m keen to keep hold of the series as it gives me room to enjoy the writing without worrying about a deadline.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Longer than it should. I was hoping to get it down in a month, in fact it took three. I started not long after finishing Tower Lord (Book 2 of the Raven’s Shadow trilogy), and was frankly pretty exhausted after writing 2000+ words a day for six months whilst holding down a day job. Also, I ran into a few thorny plot-issues that took time to resolve.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I do owe a debt to William Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy, but that’s true of pretty much everything I write. Richard Morgan’s Takeshi Kovacs books are also a major influence.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to explore the more of the world I’d created in earlier Slab City Blues stories, all of which had been set on the same orbiting slum. This one takes us to the Asteroid Belt and provides an expanded view of the solar system beyond Earth orbit. However, the main inspiration was simply need to keep writing. I’m a full-time author now and I’m realising the more content I can produce, the greater the chance of continuing as such.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
If you’re a fan of hard-boiled crime fiction, armoured power-suits and space battles, then there’s probably something in there for you.