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Neon Leviathan

Narrated by: Greg Patmore
Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins

Non-member price: $34.76

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Publisher's Summary

A collection of stories about the outsiders - the criminals, the soldiers, the addicts, the mathematicians, the gamblers and the cage fighters, the refugees and the rebels. From the battlefield, to alternate realities, to the mean streets of the dark city, we walk in the shoes of those who struggle to survive in a neon-saturated, tech-noir future.

Twelve hard-edged stories from the dark, often violent, sometimes strange heart of cyberpunk, this collection - as with all the best science fiction - is an exploration of who were are now. In the tradition of Dashiell Hammett, Philip K Dick, and David Mitchell, Neon Leviathan is a remarkable debut collection from a breakout new author. 

©2020 Adrian Collins (P)2020 David N. Wilson

Critic Reviews

"Haunting and iridescent-combines the paranoid weirdness of the best Philip K Dick, the chilly but cool-as-fuck future gleam of cyberpunk, and an achingly beautiful literary inflection reminiscent of mainstream heavyweights like Murakami or Ishiguro. T. R. Napper’s futures feel at once gritty and vertiginous and close-focus human in the way only the best SF can manage. Whatever roadmap he’s working from, I can’t wait to see where he’s taking us next.” (Richard Morgan, author of Altered Carbon)

“It is easier to write about violence than to write about the aftermath-the grief, the guilt, the long-held trauma. It’s easier to write about the shouted argument than the taut silence which follows it. It’s easier to write about dreamlike unreality than it is to invest a reader in the mundane and the everyday. And yet the stories within Neon Leviathan balance all these competing demands with a deft and masterful hand.” (Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of Children of Time)

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  • C.T.
  • 27-06-2020

Fantastic cyberpunk collection

NEON LEVIATHAN is a short story collection by T.R. Napper set in Australia during as well as after a brutal three way war between the Land Down Under, Vietnam, and China. In the future, memories can be harvested and sold like commodities. They can also be altered at will. Life has taken on the cheapness of a video game and it is very easy to become confused about the nature of what is real or not given so many things can affect your understanding of what's going on.

Each of the stories deals with a wide variety of antiheroes ranging from criminals to academics to professional soldiers. Almost all of them are fatally flawed to some degree and quite a few of them are clinically insane (or are they?). One of my favorite stories in the book deals with a mathematician who makes all of his money via gambling. He then thinks an alien debt collector has come to threaten him for lost winnings but can't be certain because he's severely mentally ill and off his meds. Trying to figure out what was real, what was not, and whether any of that had any importance to the central character helped make it one of the best stories within.

The Australia envisioned by T.R. Napper is a place that is on the outside of a global economic boom where people are still as likely to become destitute as they are in our world (if not more so). They make poor decisions in hopes of staying ahead of the expenses of living while often getting themselves even further in debt. The satire is well done as it's clear none of this is our hero's fault (well, maybe for believing they could get ahead of things in the first place). Many of these stories end horribly for the protagonists and have a kind of horror movie twist to them, which I rather liked. Looter capitalism can be like a horror movie if it sinks its fangs into you.

George Patmore does a fantastic job narrating and manages to evoke the rain-soaked neon future of Australia with every character. This is a very retro-vision of the future and feels an homage to the classic Gibsonian tales of the Eighties versus something that's a more modern cyberpunk take like Elysium or Altered Carbon. I really bonded with a lot of the characters and enjoyed listening to every section. Definitely worth your credit.