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Daniel Polansky

Daniel Polansky Daniel Polansky, winner of the Prix Imaginales, is the author of the critically-acclaimed Low Town trilogy and The Builders, which was a 2016 Hugo Award finalist. He can be found in Brooklyn, when he isn’t somewhere else. Read excerpts from Low Town and learn more about the author at Daniel Polansky’s website.

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Daniel Polansky talks about Low Town

Earlier this week I reviewed Daniel Polansky's debut novel, Low Town, and I mentioned that I loved the setting, characters, and tone of the novel. Mr. Polansky sent me this piece in which he discusses some of the influences behind Low Town.

Slums of the Shire
by Daniel Polansky

Occasionally you'll be with a group of people and they'll get to talking about their favorite historical epochs, nostalgic for lives they never led. One person will talk up their childhood love of the Wild West, another reveal a penchant for Victorian England. This last one just has a thing for corsets, but it's better not to call them on it.

When my turn rolls round I take a sip of whatever we're drinking and look at my shoes. “The mid 9... Read More

Low Town: A strong, confident debut

Low Town (The Straight Razor Cure) by Daniel Polansky

FORMAT/INFO: Low Town is 352 pages long divided over 49 numbered chapters. Narration is in the first person, exclusively via a thirty-five year old crime lord/drug dealer/junkie named the Warden. Low Town is self-contained, but is the first volume in a series. August 16, 2011 marks the North American Hardcover publication of Low Town via Doubleday. The UK edition will be published by Hodder & Stoughton on August 18, 2011 under the title The Straight Razor Cure.

ANALYSIS: Daniel Polansky’s Low Town is categorized as ‘noir fantasy’. What is noir fantasy? In my mind, it... Read More

Tomorrow, the Killing: Another mystery set in Low Town

Tomorrow, the Killing by Daniel Polansky

Tomorrow, the Killing (2012) is the second book in Daniel Polansky’s LOW TOWN series, a noir-flavored fantasy set in the grimy underbelly of a fictional city. Tomorrow, the Killing takes place three years after the events of Low Town (UK: The Straight Razor Cure). You don’t necessarily need to read Low Town first because the stories stand alone, but it will be most enjoyable if you do.

In Low Town, we met a man whose friends and acquaintances call him Warden. Warden is a former soldier and police officer who’s now a crime boss. He sells (and uses) drugs, but... Read More

The Builders: A delightfully unexpected mash-up

The Builders by Daniel Polansky

I'm a huge fan of Daniel Polansky's LOW TOWN series, so I might have claimed that I wouldn't have bought The Builders if he hadn't written it, but that's not completely honest because there is something appealing about a story that features personified animals. I’m sure I’m not the only adult man who hasn’t outgrown them.

As it turned out, this novella is one the wildest stories I've ever read. I can't explain it any better than to quote what other authors and reviewers have already said:

The Wild Bunch meets Watership Down.” ~ Read More

A City Dreaming: Intriguing hero, intriguing setting

A City Dreaming by Daniel Polansky

First things first: A City Dreaming (2016) is not really a novel (as its cover claims). It’s more like a collection of connected short stories that all feature the same protagonist (an adept named M) in the same setting (a supernatural New York City). The stories progress chronologically and have a cast of recurring characters. I liked this set-up quite well, but I suspect that some readers will want to be warned about this straight off so they can choose to approach A City Dreaming when they’re in the mood for a more episodic adventure.

M has just returned to NYC after being out of the country for years. He’s introverted and somewhat of a loner, so at first he doesn’t let anyone know he’s in town, but soon the magical community becomes aware of his presence and then his friends, acquaintances, and enemies begin demanding his time and ... Read More