Empire State

Empire State

2.6 12
by Adam Christopher

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THE EMPIRE STATE IS THE OTHER NEW YORK. A parallel-universe, Prohibition-era world of mooks and shamuses that is the twisted magic mirror to our bustling Big Apple, a place where sinister characters lurk around every corner while the great superheroes that once kept the streets safe have fallen into dysfunctional rivalries and feuds. Not that its

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THE EMPIRE STATE IS THE OTHER NEW YORK. A parallel-universe, Prohibition-era world of mooks and shamuses that is the twisted magic mirror to our bustling Big Apple, a place where sinister characters lurk around every corner while the great superheroes that once kept the streets safe have fallen into dysfunctional rivalries and feuds. Not that its colourful residents know anything about the real New York... until detective Rad Bradley makes a discovery that will change the lives of all its inhabitants. Playing on the classic Gotham conventions of the Batman comics and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, debut author Adam Christopher has spun this smart and fast-paced superhero-noir adventure, the sort of souped-up thrill ride that will excite genre fans and general readers alike.File Under: Science Fiction [ Pocket Universe | Heroes or Villains | Speak Easy | Loyalties Divided ]e-book ISBN: 978-0-85766-194-4

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Angry Robot launches its WorldBuilder project, which invites sanctioned fan fiction for certain works, with Christopher’s bleak steampunk noir. The Empire State is an alternate 1950s New York surrounded by endless mysterious fog and embroiled in endless mysterious war. In a pocket universe split off by a fight between estranged superheroes, a version of Empire State is inhabited by doppelgängers and powered by the rift between worlds; some want to close that rift, others to destroy it. The plot is both driven and occluded by anomalies and questions—how can protagonist Rad Braybury be 44 in a 19-year-old universe? where does food come from? Motivations are often unexplained and relationships tenuous. Readers may not care about the murky characters enough to make it through the novel, let alone create fan fiction, though the enigmas, missing backstories, and open-ended conclusion offer a wealth of jumping-off points. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
“Adam Christopher’s debut novel is a noir, Philip K Dick-ish science fiction superhero story… As captivating as a kaleidoscope… just feel it in all its weird glory.” - Cory Doctorow, New York Times bestselling author of Little Brother
"A fascinating debut novel that meshes noir sensibilities and science fiction together and keeps the reader guessing throughout. Adam Christopher handles in intricacies of parallel worlds, time travel and suspense with a skill lacking in many more-seasoned authors." - Mike Stackpole, New York Times bestselling author of I, Jedi
"Adam Christopher maintains a punchy, bestseller prose style that keeps the action rocketing along, and protagonists that seem right both in their own setting, and appropriate to what we already recognise as super heroes.  Empire State is an excellent, involving read, and it fully deserves to be the start of a new universe." - Paul Cornell, DC Comics and Dr Who writer
"Down these steam driven streets a man must go... straight into a pocket universe of trouble. Brutal, knowing and deft, Adam Christopher delivers." - Jon Courtenay Grimwood

"Stylish, sinister, and wickedly fun, Empire State is not your average sexy retro parallel universe superhero noir." - Lauren Beukes, award-winning author of Zoo City
"Destined to be a science fiction classic, Empire State is a breathtakingly original noir tale of intrigue, mystery, and quantum physics, deftly played out in storytelling so brilliant I'm finding it hard not to hate the author." - Diana Rowland, author of My Life as a White Trash Zombie
"From first to last page, Adam Christopher's Empire State careens along at a furious pace. Along the way, he beautifully meshes the best noir tropes with science fiction and wraps it up in a world (or two) that rivals some of the classics of speculative fiction." - John Hornor Jacobs, Author of Southern Gods
"A daring, dreamlike, almost hallucinatory thriller, one that plays with the conventions of pulp fiction and superheroes like a cat with a ball of yarn." - Kurt Busiek, Eisner Award-winning writer of Astro City and Marvels

"Fantastic stuff... The author is truly at the top of his game here. Goddamitt, I want more." - The Founding Fields

"Explosive… an effective portrait of a bleak, confused, subdued city. Most impressibely, the novel becomes more unpredicatable as it goes along. Thrilling stuff. 4****” -  SFX Magazine
“Watch out for this Adam kid, he’s nobody’s sap. He’s got a sharp nib and a sharper wit. He’d steal your last few hours before you could say ‘cat’s pajamas’, and you’d thank him for it.” - Billy Campbell, star of The Rocketeer
“Empire State is a fantastic piece of fiction, it's like one of those people that you just want to be seen with because they are so cool, radiating so much style, charm and charisma that if harnessed could power Hollywood for a century. 5*****” - SFBook.com
“Empire State is a big, blockbuster action book. It has images that will stick with you. Earlier in the week, I tweeted that I kept picturing an HBO TV series trailer as I read this book. That's what you're going to get.” - Do Some Damage
“An exuberant homage to the superhero genre powered by a fabulous noir plot and wrapped up with a retro science fiction sensibility. It’s effortlessly inventive and thoroughly entertaining.” - Maura McHugh
“Rocket-powered superheros, Prohibition era bootleggers, private eyes, mysterious men in masks; and more twists and turns than you can imagine. All in all a very fun read.” - The Dragon Page
“It has a private detective and tons of fog, superheroes, robots, moonshine, gas masks, guns and ironclads. What’s not to love? And I know this is a monumentally shallow comment to make, but the cover art is stunning. Rad is a fabulous character, one that I won’t forget any time soon. 4****” - Fantasy Nibbles
“A fast, likeable novel which aims not only to surprise, but frequently to confound - with intrigue, superheroic subversion, and a few robots playing into the mix! There's also an airship. I mean, who doesn't love airships?” - Drying Ink
“The written equivalent of crack cocaine. 10/10” - Spoiler Alert
“There are twists, turns, crosses and double-cross in this one. It has a delightfully pulpy feel to it, especially during the airship chase. It's almost here, and I think you'll find it worth the wait.” - Adventures Fantastic

"This is simply one of the greatest science fiction books I have ever read.  9/10" - Starburst Magazine

"Verve and imagination abound in this accomplished debut."
- Christopher Fowler, The Fiancial Times (December 3, 2012)

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Product Details

Watkins Media
Publication date:
Empire State , #1
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Barnes & Noble
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File size:
499 KB

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Empire State 2.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This thing is all over the place. It starts off very slowly. It takes its time in dropping hints about what's going on. Hints that aren't really needed if you've read any blurb about the book. At about the half way point, the pace picks up just a little as characters explain some of what's going on for anyone that hasn't caught on yet after 150 plus pages. But then it speeds up further to become utterly confusing. This finaly speed burst isn't so much about the plot as events on screen. The last couple of chapters are the literary equivalent of those shakey camera moments in a hollywood action film. You're fairly certain something just happened, but you aren't going to know what that something was until the story stops for a moment. Like you'll find yourself wondering where a character has gone, and a couple of chapters later the author will explain that the missing character left at the same time as some other characters being removed from a scene. Add in double (and sometimes triple) doses of characters that the reader doesn't have any reason to care for, and you end up wondering why you bothered to finish the book.
hymie More than 1 year ago
The book is trying to be a madcap romp combining detective noir, steampunk, and superheroes, but never gets in gear. Characters act without any recognizably human sense or motivation and random plot contrivances are thrown all over the place. I read through the entire thing with grim determination, but fortunately you don't have to!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a difficult book to get through. I really, REALLY wanted it to be good. Love the concept but hated the execution. The characters were uninteresting and unlikable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amaranthae More than 1 year ago
This is a debut novel for this Author, and despite what the cover may lead the reader to believe this book is about, once they start reading they will discover it is something more.  Unfortunately, despite this book having a lot going for it, it didn’t quite reach the spot with me. The reason for its shortcomings for me, all lie with the characters; right from the beginning they seem to be lacking something.  The initial character we are introduced to is gone before the reader really has a chance to get to know him, he is replaced by the main protagonist, who is marginally more interesting, but not enough to make the reader connect with him or grab their attention fully.  Many of the characters that appear in the book are never written with any real depth and, even though this is explained about halfway through the book, the reader spends much of their time surrounded by shallow characters.  The characters have very little substance, not enough to carry a whole book, which is a shame in this particular novel. Fortunately the setting of the book and the mystery contained in its pages were engrossing enough to keep me reading to the end.  The setting is a parallel universe and brings a very steampunk feel to the pseudo-New York 1930’s written there with robots, prohibition, super heroes, unseen enemies and robots.  This fictional universe is well written and the Author leaves it wide open to the reader’s imagination to explore and populate as they will.  The overall feeling that the reader will gain from the atmosphere created in the book may well remind them of a Philip K. Dick novel, but which one will depend on how they interpret this novel.  I would recommend this book to readers of the time travel and fantasy genres.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
after reading this novel in one sitting all i can say is: "WOW!", i loved, loved, loved this book. Please, do yourself a favour and buy this book...now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a well put together story with a lot of fun; almost seems to be a graphic novel w/o pictures. Not really my thing but if you like graphic novels, you'll like it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun read
SkepticMA More than 1 year ago
For some reason there is no sample available. Reader beware a Nook book that doesn't have a free sample to read.