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The Dresden Files meets American Gods in New York City.
What would you do if you lost everything that mattered to you, as well as all means to protect yourself and others, but still had to save the day? Conrad Brent is about to find out.
Conrad Brent protects the people of Brooklyn from monsters and magical threats. The snarky, wisecracking guardian also has a dangerous secret: he’s one in a million – literally.
Magical ability comes to about one in every 30,000 and can manifest at any age. Conrad is rarer than this, however. He’s a middling, one of the half-gifted and totally despised. Most of the gifted community feels that middlings should be instantly killed. The few who don’t flat out hate them still aren’t excited to be around middlings. Meaning Conrad can’t tell anyone, not even his best friends, what he really is.
Conrad hides in plain sight by being a part of the volunteer Watch, those magically gifted who protect their cities from dangerous, arcane threats. And, to pay the bills, Conrad moonlights as a private detective and monster hunter for the gifted community. Which helps him keep up his personal fiction – that he’s a magical version of Batman. Conrad does both jobs thanks to charms, artifacts, and his wits, along with copious amounts of coffee. But little does he know that events are about to change his life…forever.
When Conrad discovers the Traveling Fair auction house has another middling who’s just manifested her so-called powers on the auction block, he’s determined to save her, regardless of risk. But what he finds out while doing so is even worse – the winning bidder works for a company that’s just created the most dangerous chemical weapon to ever hit the magical community.
Before Conrad can convince anyone at the Watch of the danger, he’s exposed for what he really is. Now, stripped of rank, magical objects, friends and allies, Conrad has to try to save the world with only his wits. Thankfully though, no one’s taken away his coffee.
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|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.00(d)|
About the Author
Alex Shvartsman is a writer, translator, game designer, and anthologist. His adventures so far have included traveling to over 30 countries, playing a card game for a living, and building a successful business.
Over 120 of his short stories have appeared in Analog, Nature, Strange Horizons, Fireside, Weird Tales, Galaxy’s Edge, and many other venues. He won the WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction in 2014 and was a two-time finalist (2015 & 2017) for the Canopus Award for Excellence in Interstellar Fiction. His political fantasy novel Eridani’s Crown was published in 2019.
Alex’s translations from Russian have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Clarkesworld, Asimov’s, Apex, Strange Horizons, and other venues.
He’s the editor of the Unidentified Funny Objects series of humorous SF/F, as well as a variety of other anthologies, including The Cackle of Cthulhu (Baen), Humanity 2.0 (Arc Manor), and Funny Science Fiction (UFO). He’s the editor and publisher of Future Science Fiction Digest, a magazine that focuses on international fiction.
His website is www.alexshvartsman.com and his Twitter handle is @AShvartsman.
Alex has resided in Brooklyn, NY for over 30 years and draws on his experience as a New Yorker in writing The Middling Affliction where Brooklyn is more than merely a background.