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Five favourite comics of the year

This year I read a lot of comics – so many, in fact, that my New Year’s resolution is to come up with some kind of tracking system. Because… erm, I like to track things? Blame the collector gene lurking somewhere inside me. I’m never happier when I have a nice ordered to-do list and a lovely big colour-coded spreadsheet.

Anyway, I’ve read a lot of comics! So what I can do is pick out my five favourites of this year.

Coffin Hill
Caitlin Kittredge, Inaki Miranda


I’m going to say it: Coffin Hill is my favourite Vertigo series. Across twenty issues, Caitlin Kittredge wrote a dark, dark tale of modern day witchcraft in New England. The characters are complex, engaging, and full of secrets, and the story is mysterious and creepy and… did I say dark? Because it’s dark.

Anything written by Tom King


Seriously, Tom King is living the dream – specifically, my dream. I first met him at WorldCon Chicago in 2012 – he’d just had a superhero novel (A Once Crowded Sky), published, and my superhero novel (Seven Wonders) was just out too. We swapped books and kept in touch.


Three years later, we bumped into each other in a hospitality suite overlooking the main exhibit hall of San Diego Comic Con. We were both utterly exhausted, but managed a congratulatory fist bump. We’d both come a long way.


Of course, Tom has come much further than me in comics. He’s writing for DC, Marvel and Vertigo. His DC books are terrific. His current Marvel book – The Vision – is bizarre and kinda scary and quite brilliant. His new Vertigo series The Sheriff of Babylon calls on his experiences as a CIA operative to tell a brutal, sad story.


The Omega Men is possibly the strangest and most intriguing DC title currently published.


So yeah, Tom is doing well, and I’ll happily read every single book that has his name somewhere on it, and I’m not jealous in the slightest. Oh no.


Justice League
Geoff Johns, Jason Fabook
DC Comics


DC Comics had a bit of a re-jig recently with the whole DC You pseudo-relaunch, where they basically let creators do what they want. The results were, actually, pretty great. My favourite of the new-style books is Geoff Johns’s Justice League. Now, I’m a fan of Geoff’s anyway, and I think Justice League might be one of his best books. Nobody quite understands DC superheroics like Geoff, and this book is pure, distilled, costumed superhero action, weaving hardcore DC continuity and fresh storytelling into something new and exciting. I also think it’s the best looking superhero book around – the art by Jason Fabook is also breathtakingly good, and there are pages and pages I just want to rip out and pin to my office wall.

Archie vs Predator
Alex di Campi, Fernando Ruiz
Dark Horse Comics


Archie has undergone a revival recently, with the main comic relaunched, and their superhero imprint reimagined. Archie is also known for some crazy crossovers (Archie Meets the Punisher, Archie Meets Kiss), and the latest, Archie vs. Predator is… well, it’s insane. It’s also very, very funny.

The Fade Out
Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips
Image Comics


The latest series from Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips – sadly ending, I believe, with issue 12 in January 2016 – is, I think, my favourite of their ever-growing library. The Fade Out is a tale of 1950s Hollywood glamour and murder (you can probably start to guess why I love this series so much), and is a noir that is so characteristic of this writer/artist partnership.

And now to craft the ultimate comic reading tracking sheet..

Favourite music of 2015

This year was another good one for music — actually, it was exceedingly great, as it marked the return of my favourite band (that’s not The Cure) after a 9-year hiatus.

Here then are my five favourite (new) albums of 2015.

No Cities to Love


When Sleater-Kinney went on hiatus in August 2006, I was pretty cut-up. I’d seen them three times back in New Zealand (2002 on the back of One Beat, then twice in 2006 on the tour for The Woods), and that wasn’t enough. Excellent albums from Carrie Brownstein’s Wild Flag and The Corin Tucker Band helped fill the nearly decade-long gap, but… that wasn’t enough either.

And then Sleater-Kinney roared back to life, having amazingly kept their reunion a secret for nearly two years. Then I saw them live in Manchester in the first half of 2015, and they blew the roof off the venue.

It’s good to have them back!

Speedy Ortiz
Foil Deer


I have to thank SomaFM, Alex Segura and NPR Music for this one. Speedy Ortiz’s third album Foil Deer has been on heavy repeat for me this year. Best bit about discovering a band a bit late? There were two previous albums I could enjoy immediately.

Raising the Skate is quite possibly my favourite song of the year.

Courtney Barnett
Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit81FuZVqc8OL._SL1500_

Another NPR Music discovery. I’m sensing a theme here.

Veruca Salt
Ghost Notes


Okay, so this is a slightly weird one. Although Veruca Salt have existed in one form or another since 1993, Ghost Notes is the first album by the original line-up since 1997’s Eight Arms to Hold You. And Ghost Notes doesn’t disappoint – it sounds just like Veruca Salt circa 1997. This is old-school American indie rock.

On the other hand… it sounds just like Veruca Salt circa 1997. Which, as I’ve just said, it great. But also a little weird. At times it does feel like a nostalgic trip eighteen years back in time, and my hope is that the next album shows a little progression. Sleater-Kinney came back after nine years with an album that felt like a modern continuation, after all.

Wolf Alice
My Love is Cool


This is a super-late entry, given I only discovered the band on Christmas Eve thanks to Soma FM and someone else’s best-of list. But less than a week of high-rotation listening has put this into my top five albums of the year. I might just have to go see them live in 2016. Their back catalogue is also well worth seeking out, especially the Moaning Lisa Smile EP.


Five favourite books read in 2015

So I was going to do one of those “best books of 2015” posts, and then I realised that a), “best” is entirely subjective and “favourite” seems a better term, and b), of the 29 books I read this year, only a small handful were actually published in 2015. And on top of that, I’m not counting ARCs, because things start to get confusing–I’m pretty sure I’ve read several 2015 books in 2014, and thus listed them in my 2014 reading.

Anyway, you get the picture.

Instead, then, is my list of five favourite books read in 2015.

Star Wars: Aftermath
Chuck Wendig, 2015


This is of course the year of Star Wars, and to my delight and supreme annoyance, my pal Chuck got to write probably the most important Star Wars book of them all. And the thing is… it’s good. In fact, I think it’s the best Star Wars novel ever written. I can’t wait for the next two volumes.

Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl
Carrie Brownstein, 2015


Rock biogs were in this year. Sleater-Kinney are my favourite band, so I was looking forward to guitarist/singer Carrie Brownstein’s memoir. It’s a fascinating book about riot grrl, feminism, and (of course) Sleater-Kinney. I was also rather chuffed to see my own book, Made to Kill, on the same best of list as this one. I’m sure Carrie feels the same.

Daryl Gregory, 2014


I’ve known Daryl for a while (we are, after all, founding members of the Two First Names gang), but Afterparty was the first book of his that I’ve actually read. And… I loved it. A near-future novel about a drug that makes you believe in God, it instantly made Daryl one of my favourite writers. Honourable mentions to his novel Harrison Squared and World Fantasy Award-winning novella, We Are All Completely Fine, which I also devoured this year.

Stephen King, 1983


I’m valiantly attempting to read all of Stephen King’s novels in publication order (apart from new releases, which I’m allowed to read when they come out – I started my 2015 reading with the incredible Revival), and finally reached Christine. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was expecting, but I was blown away (as I am with every King novel I read) by the depth of story and characterisation.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles
Agatha Christie, 1920


Another reading challenge has been to read all of Agatha Christie in publication order. I’ve only just started, but was immediately hooked by her debut, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. One down, sixty-six (plus short story collections) to go.

Next up, a slightly harder task–whittling down my list of favourite comics of 2015!


Welp, yesterday was fun. Saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens (you’ll get no spoilers from me!), and, oh, signed a little deal for some more Ray Electromatic Mysteries.


I’m chuffed to be joining the novella imprint with a new story for Ray and Ada! You can read the full announcement over at, but I’m pleased to say that Standard Hollywood Depravity will be out around September/October 2016.

Standard Hollywood Depravity — which takes its title, like Brisk Money, from something Raymond Chandler said in one of his letters – takes place between Made to Kill, the first book of the LA Trilogy (which is out now) and book 2, Killing is My Business. That volume isn’t out until January 2017, so Standard Hollywood Depravity will fill the gap next year. As with Brisk Money, which is sort-of a pseudo-prequel to the series, the novella will be a standalone story that might contain a few hints about what’s coming Ray and Ada’s way in book 2.


So, not a bad way to round off the year! Head over to for more info!

Ye grande olde MADE TO KILL newsapalooza

Seriously, there should be a word, preferably in Japanese or German, for when you are too busy to update your blog and then the more you dawdle the more you have to post and then when you finally do get around to it you’re sure you’ve missed out all the important stuff and…

Well, anyway. This year has been kinda crazy – the second half, especially, which featured two US book tours and the release last month of a little book that I kinda love.


That book is called Made to Kill.

When it came out last month, I was a little preoccupied in New York City, sharing the stage at KGB with Chuck Wendig as we toasted not just that book, but the comic we write together, The Shield.


That photo actually comes from the event Chuck and I did in Doylestown, PA, a week later. I seem to have lost most of my pix from NYC, thanks to my computer’s hard drive failing as soon as I got back to the UK. Probably just as well. I’ll see if I can unearth anything for a post about that book tour.

But while I was racing around the East Coast, visiting eight cities and chalking up a lot of airmails, Made to Kill was working hard…


Made to Kill is an Indie Next Pick for December! The full list is up at IndieBound, and let’s just say that any list I’m on that also features the likes of Umberto flippin’ Eco is a bit of a Big. Deal.


Out today is The AV Club’s Best Books of 2015 list, which features Made to Kill. I’m pretty delighted to be sharing list space with such names as Carrie Brownstein and Miranda July; of Made to Kill, list co-curator Jason Heller says:

It’s 50 percent hardboiled, 50 percent science fiction, and 100 percent retro-pulp spectacle. And in Ray, Christopher has created a mysterious, sympathetic antihero cast in titanium and steel.


Booklist gave Made to Kill a starred review, saying:

This first in the L.A. trilogy is a fun, fast read for anyone willing to take the speculative leap—a must-add for most fiction collections.


The venerable Publisher’s Weekly said:

Genre mash-ups don’t always succeed, but this one will please fans of both gumshoes and laser beams.


SFX Magazine, along with posting a mini-interview with me, and a two-page extract from the book, gave Made to Kill a 5-star review and a rare “SFX Loves” badge, saying:

Made to Kill is book one of a trilogy. We’d happily go for more than three.


In a faultless review, NPR said Made to Kill was a “pulp pastiche that hits the mark”, adding:

Made to Kill is the first installment of a planned trilogy, but it has all the potential of an open-ended series; knowing there are only two more Raymond Electromatic mysteries to come is the book’s only disappointment.


Cory Doctorow reviewed the book for Boing Boing, saying that he was glad Made to Kill was just the first in a trilogy:

That’s great news, because Christopher has hit on something that I’d hardly suspected before, and now can’t get enough of.


While I was in the US, I did my first ever television interview, for CBS6’s Virginia This Morning, broadcast out of Richmond, VA.

Needless to say, this was a slightly surreal experience (particularly as it involved a 5am flight out of Cincinnati, Ohio, that morning, just to get to the studio on time), but in my caffeine and candy bar fuelled state I managed to talk coherently (I hope!) about Made to Kill and my work on the Elementary tie-in novels.

The full interview is embedded at their website, and can be seen here.

Phew! 2015 has been fun fun.

The MADE TO KILL trailer, Indie Next Pick, and US book tour!

Publishing is a weird business. When you start a project, the publication date can be just a distant point on the horizon. You can work on a book for months, even years, before handing it in to your editor, and then there is still a year or more of work ahead of you–editorial comments, copy edits, page proofs, cover discussions. The list goes on. You can live with a book for so long that it feels as familiar as an old friend.

And then, out of nowhere, the publication date is suddenly, amazingly, right there.

All of which is to say that Made to Kill, my new novel, is out in one week today – Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015.

O. M. G.

To mark the release, my US publisher, Tor, has created a book trailer!

I have to say, I can’t stop smiling at that. It’s absolutely pitch perfect. And, as you’ll see by the badge at the end, Made to Kill is an Indie Next Pick for December 2015!


This is a rare honour for a science fiction novel, and I’m utterly delighted. I’ll have more info on that when the full Indie Next list is published.

But wait, there’s more! With Made to Kill just a week away, I’m off on a US book tour! Here’s the schedule:

Ÿ— November 3rd, 2015: New York, NY

Launch party! WORD Presents: An Evening with Tor Books and Dark Circle Comics featuring Adam Christopher and Chuck Wendig

Celebrating the launch of Adam Christopher’s Made to Kill and The Shield with Chuck Wendig

7:00pm, KGB Bar-Red Room, 85 E 4th Street, New York, NY

— November 4th, 2015: Saratoga Springs, NY

Tor 25th Anniversary Celebration

7:00pm, North shire Books, 424 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY

— November 5th-8th, 2015: Saratoga Springs, NY

World Fantasy Convention (

— November 9th, 2015: Milford, NH

Happy Hour with Adam Christopher! Food and drinks for a great way to start the week!

5:30pm, The Toadstool Bookshop, 614 Nashua Street, Lorden Plaza, Milford, NH 03055

— November 10th, 2015: Cambridge, MA

With Max Gladstone!

6:00pm, Pandemonium Books and Games, 4 Pleasant Street, Cambridge, MA

— November 11th, 2015: Lexington, KY

7:00pm, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, 161 Lexington Green Circle, Lexington, KY 40503

— November 12th, 2015: Richmond, VA

6:30pm, Fountain Books, 1312 E Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23219

— November 13th, 2015: Doylestown, PA

Geekadelphia Presents: An Evening with Tor Books and Dark Circle Comics featuring Adam Christopher and Chuck Wendig

6:30pm, Doylestown Bookshop, 16 S Main Street, Doylestown, PA 18901

— November 14th, 2015: Chapel Hill, NC

With Mur Lafferty!

6:00pm, Flyleaf Books, 752 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Phew! That’s quite a tour – two weeks on the road, which I’m going to try and blog each day, wi-fi permitting! I have no programming at WFC, but you will no doubt be able to find me in the bar. Meanwhile, there’s a cool poster for the NYC event:




























So if you’re somewhere along the tour route, it would be great to see you!

In the meantime, you can learn more about Made to Kill over at, where you can find an excerpt, more info on the story and characters, and also the free prequel novelette, Brisk Money. You can also subscribe to my new newsletter, which is coming soon, and which I think has one or two goodies lined up.

And finally, some pre-order links! Pre-orders are important for both the publisher and the author, so here are a few options:

Made to Kill is out in North America as a hardcover and ebook from Tor Books:

Buy Made to Kill at Amazon US
Buy Made to Kill at Barnes & Noble
Buy Made to Kill at Indiebound
Buy Made to Kill at the iBookstore US

…and in the UK as a paperback and ebook from Titan Books:

Buy Made to Kill at Amazon UK
Buy Made to Kill at Waterstones
Buy Made to Kill at WH Smith
Buy Made to Kill at Hive

There is also an audiobook coming from Macmillan audio–I’ll have links for that ASAP.

Right, back to work–and I’ll see some of you next week, I hope!

THE SHIELD #1 is out today from Dark Circle Comics!

It’s been a long time coming, but finally, today’s the day – on the shelves of your favourite comic store, and available digitally on ComiXology, is the debut issue of The Shield, out from Dark Circle Comics, the superhero imprint of Archie Comics.

It’s not only the debut of this particular version of the Golden Age superhero, but it’s my comic debut as well – not to mention that of my co-writer, Chuck Wendig (New York Times bestselling author, doncha know?). With art by Drew Johnson, colours by Kelly Fitzpatrick, and letters by Rachel Deering, I think this first issue is something we’re all proud of, and I hope you dig it. Alex Segura is our masterful editor, and you’ll also find an essay by SFF author Myke Cole in the back!

If you want more of a low-down on The Shield, you can check out some recent interviews with me, Chuck and Drew at The Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly. Also, the first issue has had some great early reviews, which you can read here, here, and here, and it also makes a couple of recommended lists, here and here.

And finally, thanks to my local comic book shop, I was able to head down as soon as the doors opened to not only see an entire shelf devoted to The Shield


…but to sign my very first comic! Ever!


I’m not sure that will ever get old.

And if you want to pick up a copy signed by me, The Comic Book Shop will be happy to help – just drop them a line at their Facebook page, and tell them I sent you. They have stock of all the variant covers, and can ship worldwide.

Also, if you’re within range of Big Red Comics in Orange, California, artist Drew Johnson will be appearing there today from 3-8pm, signing copies of The Shield and his creator-owned project from Dark Horse, Midnight Society. Word is he’s also doing sketches and will have prints for sale.

And finally, I’m going to be in the US in November… and there will be a very special joint event with me and Chuck, thanks to Tor Books and Dark Circle Comics. If you’re in or around New York City on Tuesday, November 3rd, keep that date free… more info on that coming shortly!

Where to find me at Nine Worlds 2015

Next week I’ll be heading down to London for Nine Worlds 2015 – unfortunately due to work commitments I’m only there for one day – Sunday 9th August – but here is where you can find me:

The Books of Doctor Who – Just how many are there anyway?
Royal C&D, 10:00am – 11:15am (Doctor Who)
with Sarah Groenewegen, Simon Guerrier, Paul Cornell
Over the past fifty years there’ve been a truly terrifying number of Doctor Who books published. From the Target novelisations of the classic series stories to the New Adventures of the nineties, the record-breaking Eighth Doctor Adventures, and the tie-ins of the New Series. What great stories can be found in Doctor Who books? How have the books influenced your views of Doctor Who?

The Many Roads Into Comics – Four creators discuss their way into graphic narrative
Connaught A, 1:30pm – 2:45pm (Comics)
with Maki Yamazaki, Paul Cornell, Emma Vieceli
Adam Christopher, Paul Cornell, Emma Vieceli and Maki Yamazaki talk about how they got to where they are and why they made the choices they did in shaping their careers. How much of it is luck? How much can you influence the process?

Writing the Other
Commonwealth West, 3:15pm – 4:30pm (All of the Books)
with Stark Holborn, Stephen Aryan, Emma Newman, Guy Haley, Naomi Foyle
There’s no description for this panel on the Nine Worlds website, but you get the gist from the title – this panel is about writing the other: other cultures, characters, people who are not you. Should be a good one.

The Top 5 Who Stories – …chosen to be saved from destruction
Royal C&D, 5:00pm – 6:15pm (Doctor Who)
with Katherine Jay, Amy (such_heights), Laurie Penny
There’s been a disaster in the space/time vortex! All of Doctor Who is about to be destroyed. Only our panellists can save five stories. Which five will they be and why? Will they co-operate with their fellow panellists to reach a compromise, or stand firm with their favourites and tut as they defend what are clearly appalling stories while all of Doctor Who is lost forever?

The full schedule and guest list can be found at See you in Heathrow!

What I did in San Diego…

SDCC 2015 was a million years ago now, so I’m not going to blog about it. Much. Chuck Wendig did a better job here. Zen Cho’s excellent rundown is here.

It was my first SDCC, and actually… I had a blast. It was infernally busy, hellishly large, and diabolical fun. I got (very) lucky and managed to snag my Hasbro exclusives (but I did miss out on the LEGO). My panels had packed rooms. My signing line at the Tor booth was so long it needed to have it’s own line.

SDCC was good.

It was also very businessy — in fact, it was probably the most businessy con I’ve been too, which is great. I had a lot of meetings, and have a lost of post-con work to get through.

So instead of a blow-by-blow account, here’s ten pictures!

SDCC is... big. Very big.

SDCC is… big. Very big.

Made to Kill was at the Tor Books booth...

Made to Kill was at the Tor Books booth…

...while The Shield was on show at the Archie Comics booth.

…while The Shield was on show at the Archie Comics booth.

Me and Shield co-writer Chuck Wendig got to a rare chance to hang out.

Me and Shield co-writer Chuck Wendig got to a rare chance to hang out.

Some of the Dark Circle Comics crew - from the left, editor Alex Segura, Hangman writer Frank Tieri, Shield artist Drew Johnson, Archie editorial staffer Joe Morciglio, and me.

Some of the Dark Circle Comics crew – from the left, editor Alex Segura, Hangman writer Frank Tieri, Shield artist Drew Johnson, Archie editorial staffer Joe Morciglio, and me.

I also got to hang out with (from the left) Chuck, Gary Whitta, Robert Brockaway, and Veronica Belmont...

I also got to hang out with (from the left) Chuck, Gary Whitta, Robert Brockaway, and Veronica Belmont…

...and Batgirl Sarah Chrisp (who, incidentally, works at my local comic shop here in Macclesfield)...

…and Batgirl Sarah Chrisp (who, incidentally, works at my local comic shop here in Macclesfield)…

...the Fourth Doctor...

…the Fourth Doctor…

...and Mixmaster Mike. Yes, seriously.

…and Mixmaster Mike. Yes, seriously.


San Diego is a lovely city – Chuck, me, and Paul Cornell enjoying the view from the roof of the public library.

SDCC was actually the final part of a three-week bookseller tour that took me from Seattle to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Phoenix, in support of my forthcoming novel, Made to Kill. You can check out the gallery of photos from the tour — including more shots from SDCC–over at


My San Diego Comic Con schedule

I’ve been in the US for a couple of weeks on my bookseller happy hour tour, but tomorrow I head down to San Diego for the biggest geek fest on the planet.

And here is where you can find me:

Thursday, July 9

The Resurgence of Science Fiction (panel)
1:00-2:00pm, Room 32AB
with Margaret Stohl, Mel Odom, Peter Clines, Chris Weitz, Jason Hough

The Resurgence of Science Fiction (signing)
3:00-4:00pm, Sails Pavillion
with authors from the above panel; limited quantities of Made to Kill ARCs will be available

Friday, July 10

Dark Circle Comics signing
12:00-1:00pm, Archie Comics booth #1829

SherlockeDCC mini-con/party
7:00pm to late, San Diego Public Library
Note: this is a ticketed event with no door sales

Saturday, July 11

Dark Circle Comics (panel)
1:00-2:00pm, Room 29AB
Get in on the ground floor of 2015’s most ambitious comics imprint as Alex Segura (editor of Dark Circle Comics), Mike Pellerito (president of Archie Comics), Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (chief creative officer), and key talent Adam Christopher and Chuck Wendig (co-writers, The Shield), and Frank Tieri (writer,The Hangman) expand the cinematic and literary universe of titles coming from Dark Circle Comics, including The Black Hood, The Shield, and The Hangman.

Dark Circle Comics signing
2:00-3:00pm, Archie Comics booth #1829

Tor Books signing
5:00-6:00pm, Tor Books booth #2707
Limited quantities of Made to Kill ARCs will be available

Aside from those appearances, if you see me wandering around, please do say hello!