Created by Adam Christopher
Hard-boiled shamus RAD BRADLEY is just one of many familiar archetypes to be found in Adam Christopher's deliciously pulpy, retro sci-fi fantasy, Empire State (2011), but he's certainly not the only one.
Every single character seems to have been lifted from Black Mask, Amazing Fantasy & Science Fiction, about 1,000,00 old comic books or some cheesy old B-flick. There are bootleggers, feisty girl reporters, a killer automaton or two, a barkeep with a big yap, thuggish cops, psychotic gangsters, femmes fatale, freaky cults, speakeasy floozies, ambitious bootleggers, squabbling superheroes fallen on bad times and more, all bouncing around a parallel-universe, through a retro-future looking glass New York City where Prohibition never quite ended.
And all totally unaware of our New York City, until Bradley gets roped into helping out a pal, ace newshawk Kane Fortuna, who's just found a stiff in an alley, and suspects a rogue robot may be running amuck in the city. But the deeper Bradley pokes into things, the clearer it becomes that not everything -- including New York City itself -- is quite what it seems.
A swirling gumbo of genres, call-outs and echoes keep this grabbag of gotchas moving -- and readers guessing. Sure, it seems at times that the author is making it up as it goes along, but there's no denying the sheer joy in the writing (Christopher must have had a blast!) or how the plot just zip, zip, zips along. No, it won't be for everybody, but with its witty, giddy, full-frontal assault on some of our most cherished and beloved tropes, it's got something for everybody.
Empire State was named SciFiNow's Book of the Year and a Financial Times Book of the Year for 2012. Its author, Adam Christpher, was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and grew up obsessed with Doctor Who, The Beatles, DC Comics, Stephen King, and The Cure. He is also, he says, "a strong advocate for social media, especially Twitter, which he spends far too much time on, avoiding work." Nonetheless, he does manage to put out assorted comic books, novelizations and ebven a trilogy featuring the world's last robot private eye, Ray Electromagnetic.
-- Cory Doctorow
-- Kurt Busiek
-- Billy Campbell, star of The Rocketeer
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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