Nekropolis by Tim Waggoner
At first blush, Tim Waggoner’s Nekropolis seems derivative. A dark city where the sun never shines? Check. A central bar with an enigmatic bartender? Check. Predatory traffic and a strange sentient vehicle? Check. Vampires, ghouls, zombies and demons? Check. An outsider detective? Check again. Surely I’m reading one of Simon R. Green’s NIGHTSIDE books — oh, no, wait. This is something else.
Waggoner may just be the victim of bad timing. In his Afterword, he writes about how long he spent developing the ideas for Nekropolis. Green’s Nightside beat Waggoner’s original Five Star Press publication into print by less than a year, so the similarities may be coincidental.
Once I got past the strong feeling of ... Read More
Tim WaggonerTim Waggoner teaches composition and creative writing at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio. He also writes science fiction, horror, and thrillers and he contributes to the Dragonlance, Eberron, and Nightmare on Elm Street series. Learn more at Tim Waggoner’s website.
The Matt Richter Series — (2009-2011) Publisher: Meet Matt Richter. Private Eye. Zombie. His mean streets are the city of the dead, the shadowy realm known as Nekropolis. This place has always been ruled by the vampire lords. Now they’re planning to destroy the city. Over his dead body. More pulp than Pulp Fiction, more butt-kicking than Buffy, Nekropolis is the first in a deathly new series. FILE UNDER: Urban Fantasy [Zombie Detective / Undead City / Crime Overload / Sexy Vampires]
Nekropolis by Tim Waggoner
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Ebberon: The Blade of the Flame — (2006-2008) Part of the Eberron series. Publisher: Diran used to make his living as an assassin — one of the best money could buy. But after a life-altering spiritual experience, he’s turned his back on killing. All he wants is peace. But in a shoddy port city, his past catches up to him, and killing may be the only way to bring peace to a city on the verge of destruction.
The Harmony Society — (2003) Publisher: Reality and nightmare. Past and present. Sanity and madness. For Nathan Bennett, there is no longer any difference between them – not since the Harmony Society came into his life. Now, as his world begins to collapse around him, Nathan must travel the strange and dangerous roads of the Nightway in search of the Dark Angel — a being of great power that the Harmony Society desperately wishes to control. But even if Nathan reaches the Angel first, what waits for him at the end of his long, dark road: salvation… damnation… Or both?
Like Death — (2005) Publisher: Scott Raymond is a man haunted by his past and terrorized in the present. As a young boy, he witnessed the brutal murder of his family, but there is so much of the gruesome tragedy that he simply cannot remember — including the identity of the killer or why Scott alone was spared. The memories won’t come, but the trauma won’t go away. Scott is an adult now, still emotionally scarred but learning to deal with it. He has come to Ash Creek to write about a different mystery, a six-year-old girl named Miranda who has disappeared in broad daylight one year ago. Here, Scott meets another girl named Miranda, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the one who’s missing — but this one’s a teenager. She will draw Scott into the bizarre hidden world known as Shadow. A world where nightmares are very real… and very deadly.
Pandora Drive — (2006) Publisher: There are no words for it. Ecstasy is laughably inadequate, as are rapture, euphoria, bliss…. Ugly, harsh syllables that come nowhere near capturing the merest fraction of what he feels. The experience is primal and transcendent, like birth, like death. Scott Raymond lost his parents in a bloodbath when he was only nine years old, but despite the occasional headaches and hallucinations, he’s managed to turn that trauma into moderate success as a true crime writer. The success doesn’t extend to keeping up the relationship with his estranged wife and son, however. Hoping to regain a sense of normal family life, he follows them to Ash Creek, Ohio under the pretense of writing a new book about a missing six-year-old girl. There, he encounters a young woman who shares the missing girl’s name. She leads Scott into a world of psychotropic spiders, shark-toothed teenagers and the expression of nearly every dark desire. Fear and fascination lay equal claim as the nightmare fantasies of this realm bleed into Scott’s daily life and his attempts to maintain a relationship with his son. Soon, he will need to use this world of cruelty and pain to face his past, his future, and what his life might have become. If he fails, it is only a matter of time before the nightmare that bloodied his childhood will reach out to ensnare his own son.
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The Shirley Jackson Awards will be handed out in just less than two weeks, at Readercon in Burlington, Massachusetts. This is the third of three columns about the short fiction nominees, this column covering the novellas; the short stories are discussed here, and the novelettes are discussed here (now updated to include a discussion of Jeffrey Ford’s wonderful novella, “The Last Triangle” from the E... Read More