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Baptism by Max Kinnings

January 7, 2014 1 comment

Baptism by Max Kinnings

Baptism by Max Kinnings (Quercus, 2013) comes to me in the American edition. In the UK, it has been out in the market for some time and the sequel, Sacrifice, is already published. Such are the vagaries of the international publishing scene where there can be quite long delays between the launch of titles in different copyright jurisdictions. There are also problems in that the subject matter of the books may not transfer and find a resonance within the new culture. In Britain, using the widest term to embrace all the people who live in the constituent states, the London underground has an iconic status. Even those who live in the Outer Hebrides and have never been further south than Oban (not to be confused with the brand of sunglasses) have some awareness of the significance of this transport system. Indeed, because it’s embedded in the culture, it’s been a regular target for terrorist attacks, the first major bombing being in 1885. In due course, both the IRA and Islamists planted bombs. Given more than one-hundred years of attacks, Londoners have therefore become somewhat blasé about the continuing threats. Moving across the Atlantic, the recent attack by Al-Qaeda on American soil has sensitised local culture to the reality of its vulnerability to attack. Given this book offers a graphic description of an attack on an underground train network, the US market now has the opportunity to both explore emotional reactions to a home-grown terrorist attack, cf the Boston Marathon bombing, and to deal with the claustrophobia of an attack trapping several hundred in a deep tunnel.

As to the book itself, it’s a fascinating piece of writing on two counts. First as to the prose style: it’s what I might describe as meticulous. This is not in any way a bad quality, but the volume of detail creates a slightly dense text. This is a book that expects readers to take their time to absorb all the information on offer. Second, the structure of the plot is very dynamic. This author has significant experience in film and television. We therefore have very short chapters, each one dealing with just a few minutes of time with shifting points of view. On most occasions, the transition between points of view is consecutive, often just moving the plot forward on a different part of the underground train or in other locations of parallel significance where law enforcement plans its response. However on one or two occasions, there’s a slight reprise where we get the first run through a scene followed by a second person’s response. The overall effect is a very fast-moving narrative. Even though the prose itself invites a measured approach, the plot actually pulls the reader through to the end. For the record, there are spec trailers for a film version of this story: the shorter being at YouTube. These were shown at Cannes 2013 with a view to raising the finance to make the film.

Max Kinnings

Max Kinnings

So what’s it about? Ed Mallory is an expert negotiator. On what threatens to be the hottest day of the year in London so far, he’s called to the Underground. A train has unexpectedly stopped in a deep tunnel and the driver is not responding. Although it could just be the driver has fallen ill, no-one wants to take any chances. So the hostage negotiation team is moved into place and armed officers approach the rear of the train. As things warm up, we’re given this officer’s backstory which saw him blinded in only his second negotiation. With some thirteen years of experience since this tragic incident, he’s honed his listening skills. Consequently, he’s now rated as one of the best negotiators in the business. In this instance, however, the textbook approach is not going to work. The terrorists are led by Tommy Denning, a young ex-soldier who’s convinced himself he’s on a mission from God. Since he does not have the usual agenda of demands, Ed Mallory is forced into less than conventional tactics. The result is a fascinating set of relationships. The train driver, George Wakeham, has to deal with Tommy directly. The driver’s wife is on the same train to ensure the driver obeys the instructions given. Ed Mallory has to deal with both his own superior and MI5 while trying to engage Tommy in some discussion, any discussion. Then there are the passengers who slowly come to realise they may have to risk their own lives to escape the situation.

The result is a slightly gonzo thriller yet the fact there are elements which strain credibility all proves part of the fun. So assuming you don’t mind quite a high body count, Baptism proves to be excellent entertainment and well worth reading. I now find myself looking around for the second in the series, if only to see how Ed Mallory manages to keep his job.

For a review of the sequel, see Sacrifice. There’s also an interview with Max Kinnings here.

A copy of this book was sent to me for review.

An interview with Max Kinnings

March 28, 2014 8 comments

Welcome to Thinking about books. By way of introduction, Max Kinnings is the author of five books, the most recent being Baptism and Sacrifice which feature the character Ed Mallory as a hostage negotiator.

Perhaps I should begin with an apology that I’m very interested in the craft of writing and so, with your indulgence, I’d like to talk a little about how you came to draw up the plot of this, so far, latest duology. Hopefully as one who teaches creative writing, you’ll share some aspects of the process of creating this character. I’m curious about the choice of a disabled protagonist. He seems a paradox. His blindness excludes him from the routine of social interaction which so often depends on the ability to interpret visual signals, e.g. choice of clothing, facial expressions, body language, etc. yet his profession requires him to empathise with others under pressure. I suppose the mechanism of communication with hostage takers levels the playing field — he “hears” more than his sighted colleagues — but it also remains a barrier to his integration into the team. So why pick someone with “limitations”?

Originally, the Ed Mallory character was very different from the one that appears in the published version of Baptism. Firstly, he wasn’t blind. Secondly, he was an alcoholic with relationship issues. This version of Ed Mallory actually appeared in the first published version of Baptism in Holland in 2009. However, when my agent had shopped the manuscript around publishers in the UK, they were lukewarm in their feelings towards the character. My agent suggested that the Ed character was possibly a little too derivative. The big drinking cop with relationship issues is someone that we’ve encountered many times before in crime fiction. He suggested that I revisit the character with a view to changing him possibly quite drastically.

Much of the day-to-day writing of Baptism was carried out at the British Library on Euston Road in central London. I love the learned atmosphere of what is one of the world’s great libraries. I would take the Tube up from my home in south London to Kings Cross station. Very close to the library is the Royal National Institute for the Blind and quite often I would offer an arm to blind people who were leaving the Tube train at Kings Cross to make their way to the RNIB as the escalators and steps up from the station can be quite awkward. Whether there was some subconscious connection between this and my decision to make Ed Mallory blind, I can’t say for certain but almost as soon as I started to rethink Ed’s character, I knew that I wanted to make him blind – and scarred, not just physically but emotionally too. His loss of a sense would make his other senses stronger and for a negotiator who spends the vast majority of his time speaking to people on the other end of a phone line, this might be a very useful attribute. One of the key skills of hostage negotiation is what is known as active listening. To create a character whose abilities as an active listener were sharpened and enhanced appealed to me.

Max Kinnings

Max Kinnings

However, when I started to rewrite the book with the new Ed character, I realised that I had created all sorts of complications for myself. So much of what a writer describes from the point of view of a character is visual. But gradually, I came to inhabit Ed’s mindset and enjoyed the challenge of describing the sounds, the smells and the tactile sensations that he experiences. The fiction editors in London certainly shared my enthusiasm for the new character and whereas the original story had been rejected by a number of publishers on its first round of submissions; the new Ed Mallory character proved to be much more popular and Quercus finally bought the rights.

With hindsight, I’m really glad that I made Ed a blind character. While it excludes him from much in terms of the visual signals and body language of his colleagues and the negotiating team in which he operates, when it comes to the negotiation which forms so much of the drama of the book (and its sequel) it makes for some much more intriguing drama. My decision to make him blind brought him alive for me and I found I could inhabit his character much more effectively.

In Bushi no Ichibun (武士の一分), Love and Honor (2006), the samurai warrior loses his sight but, when his honour is at stake, he learns to fight again. This film offers a fairly realistic portrayal of supervening blindness, unlike Daredevil which makes as much sense as you expect from a comic book hero. Have you been tempted to allow your protagonist to learn new physical skills, or to give him the chance to experiment with new technology like screen readers or refreshable Braille displays to give him internet access, or some of the new sensory substitution systems for giving greater mobility?

My reason for asking is my slight uncertainty whether your hero has come to terms with the blindness. While he’s adapted that’s not the same as accepting and moving on.

Other than the enhancement of his listening abilities which his blindness gives him and which he uses to good effect during his  hostage negotiations, I didn’t want Ed to come to terms with his blindness, certainly not in the first two books in the series. Much of his alienation from society stems from his refusal to accept his visual impairment. He doesn’t use a dog to help him in his everyday life and wouldn’t ever consider using a white cane. His singularity as a character comes from the fact that despite having been blinded some thirteen years prior to the events that take place in Baptism, he has still not come to terms with his blindness. His job as a police hostage negotiator and subsequently a negotiator-for-hire in Sacrifice, provides him with some validation as a blind person but this doesn’t mean that he is in any way ready to achieve acceptance of his disability. However, in the event that I do write further books in the series, I think it would be interesting to see Ed change his outlook with regards to his condition and start to explore sensory substitution systems, especially if this can form an integral part of the plot.

You also hew to the Aristotelian unities of time and, to a lesser extent, action. This is a further challenge. In addition to a protagonist with physical limitations, you impose the limit of having everything happen in just a few hours.

As far as my decision to impose the limit of having everything happen in just a few hours is concerned, this was something that had been my intention right from the very first notes that I made about the story. Many thrillers employ the ticking clock concept as a means of ratcheting up the tension. I wanted to place that at the heart of the novel by having the train tunnel flooding over the space of a few hours so there is a very specific deadline for the authorities to adhere to.

I’m a firm believer in the benefits that creative limitations can bring to a story. As a teacher of creative writing, I’ve seen many writers struggle with the ultimate freedom that fiction writing provides. Often this can cause writer’s block. But as soon as some creative limitations are imposed, often the imagination reacts to them and a story is born. A blind protagonist and a narrative of interconnecting story-lines that plays out over the space of just a few hours are two creative limitations that caused all sorts of problems for me in many respects but were also really quite inspiring. Hopefully Baptism is all the better for them.

Many thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. It has been illuminating. For those who want to know a little more, here are my reviews of the two books:

Sacrifice by Max Kinnings

February 13, 2014 2 comments


Sacrifice by Max Kinnings (Quercus, 2013) is the second book to feature Ed Mallory, the blind negotiator. After the events described in Baptism, our hero is no longer employed by the police force. No surprise there. He more than amply demonstrated a maverick streak in being prepared not only to ignore standard operating protocols, but also consort with known terrorists to resolve a difficult situation. Such independence of mind elevates him to mythic status in police circles. If this had been set in classical times, the decision to seek the aid of this heroic freelancer would be a mixture of hope he would clean out the Augean Stables, and fear he might loose a thunderbolt or two and incinerate less than worshipful senior officers. So this book finds him called up for the first time since the Incident of the Underground. It’s Christmas Day and no other negotiator is prepared to forego the traditional turkey with all the trimmings. He starts off with a delicate situation. A householder has been all too ready to shoot burglars on sight. So much for the notion of good will to all men over Christmas as one intruder lies dead and another may soon go the same way unless our hero can pull chestnuts out of the fire (but only when they are properly cooked, of course). In part because of the hidebound approach of the senior officer in charge, the negotiation is not as successful as it might have been. This leaves our hero less than whelmed when he’s called to the main course of the day.

The core incident begins with one of the joint operators of an alleged Ponzi Scheme returning to England after a three-month sojourn in Switzerland. The return does not signal a capitulation. He’s decided to return to fight the allegations. This means he, his wife and seventeen-year-old daughter arrive at their home to be welcomed by a hard core of press photographers and three well-prepared security men. However, shortly after they have settled back into their fortress home, the three security men are dead and they are being held hostage by a masked man — the young man delivering their Christmas lunch also proves to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up on the floor beside the family. At the behest of COBRA, the Cabinet Office Briefing Room, which is overseeing what’s immediately seen as a major incident, the original team which handled the Incident of the Underground is put back together. Britain depends on the willingness of financiers to live and work in London. If they are seen to become targets for “terrorists”, this could be bad for the economy. Both military and police resources are therefore quickly on the scene. With the press already camped outside, a media scrum quickly develops.

Max Kinnings

Max Kinnings

This makes the line of command difficult to establish. Our hero is now a freelancer so neither fits into the police authority structure nor is he directly accountable to the military. Yet he finds himself at the sharp end of an increasingly unusual negotiation. The perennial problem in this situation is to establish a meaningful dialogue. In ordinary social and commercial circumstances, the process of negotiating is intended to produce a mutually satisfactory outcome, usually a compromise between the two or more interested parties. In hostage and comparable situations, the undeclared purpose of the negotiation is to agree terms for surrender. The lives of the hostages give the criminals a bargaining advantage but if the hostages die, the law enforcement agencies are not exactly going to be pleased and will take swift and effective action to bring the siege to an end. So both sides engage in a form of brinkmanship in which concessions are provoked or offered as inducements. Yet this particular exchange of words does not proceed along conventional lines and it soon appears the point of the exercise may be to make a public spectacle of the disgraced financier and his family. Obviously this does not appeal to media shy COBRA which prefers the SAS to bring a swift end to the unfortunate affair.

With one cheat, the structure of the book follows a strict unity of time in which all the key elements are introduced and then shown interacting to produce a taut and exciting siege and resolution. The authorial problem is how to sustain excitement when the hero is blind and therefore cannot do all the usual things expected of a sighted protagonist. Put simply, there are only a few moments of heroism required when speaking with a hostage-taker on the telephone (for a discussion of disabled protagonists, see Bleed For Me by Michael Robotham). So as in the first novel, he has to move around and prove he’s just as much a threat to the bad guys as an abled protagonist. How this is managed here proves highly innovative and not at all what I had predicted given the preliminary POV chapters. Indeed, the final chapters prove he’s every bit as dangerous to himself (and others) as you might expect. That he survives is a testament to the others in his team, the dedication of the police force at large, and the bravery of the hostages. Perhaps he should be less fascinated by the idea of suicide and more interested in self-preservation.

Whereas Baptism deals with a major set-piece attack on an infrastructure target in a plot that depends on some less usual features, this plays with a slightly more realistic hostage situation which resonates with the current popular hostility towards bankers and other financial moguls. Although less spectacular, I find Sacrifice more compelling because it takes its time to capture and analyse the strengths and weaknesses of all involved. We get inside the heads of everyone involved from the fraudsters to their “innocent” families, the police team, the hostage-taker, and the shadowy people orchestrating the media event (and collecting donations for their political cause). The result is highly readable and strongly recommended.

For a review of the first in the series, see Baptism. There’s also an interview with Max Kinnings here.

A copy of this book was sent to me for review.

Alphabetical Listing of Books K to Z

For the first part of this alphabetical listing, click Alphabetical Listing of Books A to J.

Kaaberbøl, Lene and Friis, Agnete
Death of a Nightingale
Invisible Murder

Kadrey, Richard
Aloha From Hell
Devil Said Bang
Kill City Blues
Kill the Dead
Sandman Slim

Kane, Andrea
The Stranger You Know

Kaplan, Glenn
Poison Pill

Kashina, Anna
The Goddess of Dance

Kelleher, Pat
The Ironclad Prophecy

Kelly, Diane
Death, Taxes, and Extra-Strength Hold Hairspray
Death, Taxes and Mistletoe Mayhem

Kelly, Jim
The Funeral Owl

Kent, Winona
Persistence of Memory

Kerr, Katharine
Water to Burn

Kessler, Alan Steven
A Satan Carol

Khara, David
The Bleiberg Project

Kiernan, Caitlin R
The Ape’s Wife
Blood Oranges (written as Kathleen Tierney)
Confessions of a Five Chambered Heart
Cover design for Confessions of a Five Chambered Heart

King, Lisa
Vulture au Vin

Kinnings, Max

Klaus, Susan
Shark Fin Soup

Klima, John with Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas
Glitter & Mayhem

Kolega, Tom
Contra Alliance: Shadows of the Past

Koontz, Dean

Kowal, Mary Robinette
Glamour in Glass
Shades of Milk and Honey
Valour and Vanity
Without a Summer

Kent, Christobel
A Murder in Tuscany

Knopf, Chris
A Billion Ways to Die
Cries of the Lost
Dead Anyway
Ice Cap

Kress, Nancy
Steal Across the Sky
Yesterday’s Kin

Krikorian, Michael

Kuehn, Stephanie

La Plante, Lynda
Blind Fury
Blood Line

Lachlan, M D

Lake, Jay
Love in the Time of Metal and Flesh
The Sky That Wraps

Lake, Jay & Gevers, Nick
Other Earths

Langan, John
House of Windows
Mr. Gaunt and other uneasy encounters

Lansdale, Joe R.
Devil Red
Edge of Dark Water
The Thicket
Vanilla Ride

LaValle, Victor
Lucretia and the Kroons

Law, Janice
The Prisoner of the Riviera

Lawrence, Paul
The Sweet Smell of Decay

Lebbon, Tim
Alien: Out of the Shadows

Le Carré, John
A Delicate Truth

Leonard, Peter
Voices of the Dead

LePore, James
Gods and Fathers

Ligotti, Thomas
The Spectral Link

Lindholm, Megan
The Inheritance (authorship shared with Robin Hobb)

Liney, Peter
The Detainee

Liptak, Andrew and Gates, Jaym (editors)
War Stories

Littell, Robert
A Nasty Piece of Work

Little, Bentley
Indignities of the Flesh

Littlewood, Alison
A Cold Season

Locke, Attica
The Cutting Season

Locke, Kate
Long Live the Queen

Long, Nathan
Jane Carver of Waar
Swords of Waar

Lourey, Jess
December Dread
January Thaw
November Hunt
The Toad House Trilogy: Madmen

Lovegrove, James
Redlaw: Red Eye

Lumley, Brian
The Fly-By-Nights

Lynch, Sean
Wounded Prey

MacBride, Stuart
Dark Blood

McCammon, Robert
The Five
The Hunter From the Woods
The Providence Rider

McDevitt, Jack
Cryptic: The Best Short Fiction of Jack McDevitt
The Cassandra Project with Mike Resnick
The Devil’s Eye
Time Travelers Never Die

MacDonald, Tom
Beyond the Bridge

McFarland, Nora
Going to the Bad

McGuire, Seanan
Chimes at Midnight
Discount Armageddon
Half-off Ragnarok

McHugh, Maureen F
After the Apocalypse

McKillip, Patricia A
The Bards of the Bone Plain

McKinty, Adrian
The Cold Cold Ground
Falling Glass
I Hear the Sirens in the Street
In the Morning I’ll Be Gone
The Sun Is God

McLean, Margaret
Under Oath

Macleod, Ian R
Snodgrass and Other Illusions: The Best Short Stories of Ian R MacLeod

MacLeod, Ken
The Night Sessions
The Restoration Game

McMahon, Gary
Beyond Here Lies Nothing
The Concrete Grove
Dead Bad Things
Reaping the Dark
Silent Voices

Magary, Drew
The Postmortal

Magson, Adrian
Death on the Pont Noir

Maitland, Barry
Chelsea Mansions

Malzberg, Barry N
Beyond Apollo

Mann, George
The Executioner’s Heart

Marmell, Ari
In Thunder Forged
Strange New Words: Tales of Heroism and Horror

Marshall, W G

Martin, George R R
A Dance With Dragons

Martin, George R. R. & Dozois, Gardner
Old Mars
Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance
Songs of Love and Death

Martinez, Michael J
The Daedalus Incident

Marusek, David
Getting To Know You
Mind Over Ship

Mason, Lisa
Strange Ladies

Massie, Elizabeth
Desper Hollow

Mattison, Booker T

Mayle, Peter
The Marseille Caper

Mieville, China
The City & the City

Miller, Carol
Murder and Moonshine

Molay, Frédérique
The 7th Woman
Crossing the Line

Monette, Sarah
The Bone Key Joint review with The Guild of Xenolinguists.
The Bone Key Stand-alone review.
A Companion to Wolves (with Elizabeth Bear)
Somewhere Beneath Those Waves
The Tempering of Men (with Elizabeth Bear)

Moody, Susan
A Final Reckoning

Moon, Elizabeth
Crown of Renewal
Kings of the North
Limits of Power
Moon Flights

Morris, Tee
Phoenix Rising (written as a team with Philippa Ballantine)

Mortimer, Jennifer

Mosley, Walter
All I Did Was Shoot My Man
Blonde Faith
The Gift of Fire and On the Head of the Pin
Jack Strong
Known To Evil
Little Green
The Long Fall
Merge and Disciple
When the Thrill Is Gone

Myers, Beverle Graves
Whispers of Vivaldi

Nakamura, Fuminori
The Thief or Suri

Narvaez, R
Roachkiller and Other Stories

Nesbø, Jo
The Bat
The Son

Nesser, Håkan
The Inspector and Silence or Kommissarien och tystnaden

Nethercott, Michael
The Séance Society

Neuhaus, Nele
Bad Wolf

Newton, Mark Charan
City of Ruin
Nights of Villjamur

Nickson, Chris
Fair and Tender Ladies

Norman, Michael
Skeleton Picnic

O’Connor, Andi

O’Malley, Daniel
The Rook

O’Shea, Dan

O’Sullivan, Kathryn
Murder on the Hoof

Oliver, Jonathan
House of Fear

Oliver, Reggie
The Dracula Papers Book 1: The Scholar’s Tale

Olshan, Joseph

Owen, Howard
Parker Field
The Philadelphia Quarry

Pajer, Bernadette
Capacity for Murder
The Edison Effect
Fatal Induction

Palumbo, Dennis
Fever Dream
Night Terrors
Phantom Limb

Palmer, Dexter
The Dream of Perpetual Motion

Palmer, Michael
Oath of Office

Parker, K J
Academic Exercises
Blue and Gold
Purple and Black

Parfitt, Troy
Why China Will Never Rule the World

Pastor, Ben
A Dark Song of Blood

Pearce, Michael
The Bride Box

Perry, Anne
Death on Blackheath

Pesaro, Luca
Zero Alternative

Piccirilli, Tom
What Makes You Die

Pinborough, Sarah
The Chosen Seed
A Matter of Blood
The Shadow of the Soul

Polansky, Daniel
Low Town

Posey, Jay
Morningside Fall

Potts, Sharon
The Devil’s Madonna

Powell, Gareth
The Recollection

Powers, Tim
The Drawing of the Dark
Hide Me Among the Graves
Nobody’s Home
Salvage and Demolition

Priest, Cherie
Bloodshot (The Cheshire Red Reports 1)
Hellbent (The Cheshire Red Reports 2)
The Inexplicables
Those Who Went Remain There Still

Priest, Christopher
The Adjacent

Pronzini, Bill

Pryor, Mark
The Blood Promise
The Bookseller
The Crypt Thief

Pugmire, W H
The Strange Dark One. Tales of Nyarlathotep

Putnam, David
The Disposables

Quinn, Spencer (pseudonym of Peter Abrahams)
The Sound an the Furry

Randisi, Robert J
The Way You Die Tonight
You Make Me Feel So Dead

Raphael, Lev
Rosedale the Vampyre

Reedy, Trent
Divided We Fall

Reich, Christopher
The Prince of Risk

Reichs, Kathy
Bones Never Lie
The Bones of the Lost
Flash and Bones

Resnick, Mike
The Cassandra Project with Jack McDevitt
Cat on a Cold Tin Roof
Dreamwish Beasts and Snarks
The Incarceration of Captain Nebula and Other Lost Futures
Stalking the Vampire
The Trojan Colt

Retzky, Allan
Vanished in the Dunes

Reynolds, Alastair
Blue Remembered Earth
Deep Navigation
The Six Directions of Space

Rhodes, Kate
A Killing of Angels

Ringo, John
To Sail a Darkling Sea

Robbins, Charles
The Accomplice

Roberson, Chris
The Dragon’s Nine Sons

Robertson, Michael
The Baker Street Translation

Robins, Lane
Kings and Assassins

Robinson, Thatcher
White Ginger

Robotham, Michael
Bleed For Me
Watching You

Rosen, Leonard
All Cry Chaos
The Tenth Witness

Rosen, Lev AC
All Men of Genius

Rosenbaum, Benjamin
The Ant King and Other Stories

Rosenfelt, David
Heart of a Killer

Rothfuss, Patrick
The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, Day 1)
Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, Day 2)

Rotstein, Robert
Corrupt Practices
Reckless Disregard

Rowson, Pauline
Death Surge
Shroud of Evil

Royle, Nicholas
First Novel: A Mystery

Rucker, Rudy
Jim and the Flims

Rusch, Kristine Kathryn
City of Ruins
A Dangerous Road (writing as Kris Nelscott)
Diving into the Wreck
Duplicate Effort
Recovering Apollo 8

Ryan, Hank Phillippi
The Wrong Girl

Saintcrow, Lilith
The Red Plague Affair

Samuels, Mark
The Man Who Collected Machen

Sanderson, Brandon
Alcatraz versus The Scrivener’s Bones
The Emperor’s Soul
The Hero of Ages
The Rithmatist
The Way of Kings
The Well of Ascension
The Words of Radiance

Satterfield, Jim
Saving Laura

Saulter, Stephanie

Scalzi, John
The Human Division
Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden’s Syndrome

Schenkel, Andrea Maria
The Murder Farm

Scholes, Ken

Schreiber, Joe
No Doors, No Windows

Schroeder, Karl
Ashes of Candesce

Scott, Julianna
The Holders

Sebold, Gaie
Babylon Steel

Shames, Terry
A Killing at Cotton Hill
The Last Death of Jack Harbin

Shayne, Maggie
Sleep With the Lights On
Wake to Darkness

Shean, Michael
Bone Wires
Shadow of a Dead Star

Sheehy, Patti
Stalked: The Boy Who Said No

Shepard, Lucius
Beautiful Blood
The Dragon Griaule
Louisiana Breakdown
The Taborin Scale
Two Trains Running
Vacancy and Ariel

Shiner, Lewis
Dark Tangos

Shirley, John
Bleak History
Borderlands: The Fallen
Doyle After Death
In Extremis: The Most Extreme Short Stories of
New Taboos
Resident Evil: Retribution

Silverberg, Robert
The Best of Robert Silverberg: Stories of Six Decades
Multiples (1983-87): The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg, Volume Six

Simmons, Dan
The Abominable
The Guiding Nose of Ulfant Banderoz
Muse of Fire

Simms, Chris
A Price to Pay

Sizemore, Jason

Sizemore, Jason and Johnson, Eugene
Appalachian Undead
Mountain Dead

Skillingstead, Jack
Are You There
Life on the Preservation

Slan, Joanna Campbell
Death of a Schoolgirl

Smith, Martin Cruz

Smith, Michael Marshall
Everything You Need
The Gist

Smylie, Mark
The Barrow

Snodgrass, Melinda (writing as Phillipa Bornikova)
Box Office Poison

Solana, Teresa
Crazy Tales of Blood and Guts
The Sound of One Hand Killing

Spann, Susan
Blade of the Samurai

Spindler, Erica
Justice for Sara

Sprunk, Jon
Blood and Iron

Stashower, Daniel
The Harry Houdini Mysteries: The Houdini Specter

Stebbins, Erec
The Ragnarök Conspiracy

Steele, Allen
Angel of Europa
Coyote Horizon
galaxy blues
V-S Day

Sterling, Bruce
Gothic High-Tech

Stirling, S. M.
The Council of Shadows
Shadows of the Falling Night
The Tears of the Sun

Strahan, Jonathan
Eclipse Two
Eclipse Three
Eclipse Four

Straley, John
Cold Storage, Alaska

Strieber, Whitley

Stross, Charles
The Apocalypse Codex
The Fuller Memorandum
Neptune’s Brood
The Revolution Business
Rule 34
The Trade of Queens

Stroud, Carsten
The Homecoming

Sullivan, Michael J
The Emerald Storm
Hollow World
Nyphron Rising
Theft of Swords

Swain, James
Dark Magic

Swanwick, Michael
Dancing With Bears

Swersky, Rachel
How the World Became Quiet

Tem, Steve Rasnic
Blood Kin

Temple, Peter
An Iron Rose

Terrell, Jaden
A Cup Full of Midnight
Racing the Devil
River of Glass

Tesh, Jane
Now You See It

Thomas, Jeffrey
Beautiful Hell
Blood Society
Blue War
Lost in Darkness
Red Cells
Thought Forms
Voices From Hades
Voices From Punktown
Worship the Night

Thomas, Jonathan
Tempting Providence

Thomas, Lynne M. with Klima, John and Michael Damian Thomas
Glitter & Mayhem

Thomas, Michael Damian with Klima, John and Thomas, Lynne M.
Glitter & Mayhem

Thomas, Paul
Death on Demand

Thomas, Sam
The Harlot’s Tale

Tidhar, Lavie
Apex Book of World SF Volume 3

Todd, Charles
A Bitter Truth
Hunting Shadows

Toole, F X
Million Dollar Baby

Torregrossa, Richard
Terminal Life

Tregillis, Ian
Bitter Seeds
The Coldest War
Necessary Evil
Something More Than Night

Tremayne, Peter
The Chalice of Blood

Trow, M J
Crimson Rose
Traitor’s Storm

Tursten, Helene
The Fire Dance

Tyler, L C
Herring on the Nile

Vachss, Andrew
Urban Renewal

Valente, Catherynne M.
The Habitation of the Blessed

Valtat, Jean-Christophe

Van Lustbader, Eric
Beloved Enemy
Father Night

Van Pelt, James
Flying in the Heart of the Lafayette Escadrille
The Radio Magician and Other Stories

Vance, Jack
This is me, Jack Vance

Vaughn, Carrie
After the Golden Age
Dreams of the Golden Age

Vinge, Vernor
The Children of the Sky

Vittachi, Nury
The Feng Shui Detective Goes West

Waggoner, Tim
The Last Mile
Night Terrors

Wagner, David P
Cold Tuscan Stone
Death in the Dolomites

Wahlberg, Karin
Death of a Carpet Dealer

Walker, Martin
The Crowded Grave

Warrick, Douglas F
Plow the Bones

Weber, David
Out of the Dark

Webb, Betty
The Llama of Death

Wells, William
Ride Away Home

Wendig, Chuck
The Cormorant
Unclean Spirits

Westerson, Jeri
Blood Lance

Whates, Ian
City of Light and Shadow

White, Lori Ann
Spiritual Growths

Wilhelm, Kate
Death of an Artist
Heaven Is High
A Wrongful Death

Williams, Liz
A Glass of Shadow
The Iron Khan
Precious Dragon
Shadow Pavilion

Williams, Sean
The Crooked Letter
The Devoured Earth

Williams, Tad
Diary of a Dragon
The Dirty Streets of Heaven

Williams, Walter Jon
Deep State
The Fourth Wall
The Green Leopard Plague
This Is Not a Game

Willis, Connie
The Best of Connie Willis

Willrich, Chris
The Silk Map

Wilson, Carter
The Boy in the Woods

Wilson, Elizabeth
The Girl in Berlin

Wilson, F. Paul
Aftershock & Others
By the Sword
The Dark at the End
Dark City
Fatal Error
Ground Zero
Secret Circles
Secret Histories
Secret Vengeance

Wilson, Robert Charles
Burning Paradise
Julian Comstock

Wishnia, Kenneth
23 Shades of Black

Wolf, Gary K
Typical Day

Wolfe, Gene
Home Fires
The Land Across

Wortham, Reavis Z
The Right Side of Wrong

Wynne, Douglas
Steel Breeze

Xiaolong, Qiu
Enigma of China

Yocum, Nathan L.
Automatic Woman

Yu, Ovidia
Aunty Lee’s Delights

Ziskin, James W
No Stone Unturned
Styx & Stone

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