A little more on THE AGE ATOMIC and HANG WIRE

Sometimes the timelines in the publishing industry boggle the mind, although they are perfectly logical given the amount of work needed to get a book out (not least of which is actually writing the thing in the first place… note to self, must get on with that…).

So while The Age Atomic is more than a year away, and Hang Wire more than two (two years!!), the official blurbs are now up over at Angry Robot. You can click here for The Age Atomic, and here for Hang Wire.

These blurbs are subject to change – I’m still writing The Age Atomic, and no doubt it’ll start to deviate from the outline at some point, and while an early draft of Hang Wire is actually done, it needs a whole buncha work – and they are also a little shorter than my originals, because of course I wrote way too much for the standard template that Random House need to use.

Writing blurbs is fun but also quite hard – as the author, there is a desperate urge to put as much information into the copy as possible, as every single detail is, naturally, of gigantic import. If we had our way, the back cover of a novel would be a fold-out A3 piece of card with synopsis and character sheet.

So here are the originals to compare and contrast:


The Empire State is dying. The Fissure connecting the pocket universe to New York has vanished, plunging the city into a deep freeze. The new Commissioner, Captain Carson, was last seen walking out across the ice into the perpetual fog as discontent spreads, the populace demanding a return to Prohibition and rationing as energy supplies dwindle. Private detective Rad Bradley maintains a vigil, hoping to receive word from his friends in New York, when he gets a call from the enigmatic King of 125th Street. It seems Rad has something the King wants, while the King claims there is someone waiting at his Harlem fortress who wants to meet the detective.

New York, 1954. The political dynamic has changed and Nimrod finds his department subsumed by a new group, Atoms For Peace, led by the mysterious Evelyn McHale. After they dredge the wreck of an airship out of the Hudson, Nimrod discovers Atoms For Peace are reverse-engineering the technology to build a secret and terrible army, but he disappears before he can warn anyone. Meanwhile, a new supervillain known only as The Enemy is causing havoc nationwide, the latest outrage a lightning raid on Alcatraz, breaking the island’s only female prisoner, The Science Pirate, out of solitary confinement.

As Rad uncovers a new threat to his city, Atoms For Peace prepare their army for a transdimensional invasion. Their goal: total conquest – or destruction – of the Empire State.


When Ted Hall’s birthday dinner in San Francisco’s famous Chinatown ends with an explosion, the fire department blames a gas leak. But when Ted finds strange, personalised messages from the restaurant’s fortune cookies scattered around his apartment and begins to lose time, his suspicions are aroused, particularly as his somnambulant travels appear to coincide with murders by the notorious Hang Wire Killer – a vicious murderer who strings his victims up with steel cable.

Meanwhile, the circus has come to town, but company morale is low, the troupe dysfunctional; the Celtic dancers are taking their pagan act a little too seriously and the manager of the Olde Worlde Funfair has started talking to his vintage machines. And while the new acrobat is wowing the crowds, his frequent absences are causing tension among the performers.

Out in the city there are other new arrivals, immortals searching for an ancient power which has been unleashed, awakening something awful buried deep beneath the San Andreas fault… a primal evil which, if not stopped, will destroy the entire world.

Time to get to work!

  • If we had our way, the back cover of a novel would be a fold-out A3 piece of card with synopsis and character sheet.”

    LOL, so true. Also, I just learned your text highlight is red. Nice touch!

  • Hehheh, thanks. I love the highlight colour, it’s a nice surprise!