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Hang Wire – Adam Christopher

Martyn Coppack

The Angry Robots imprint has been pushing a lot of decent Science Fiction out for a while now and none more so than this new novel from one of its best authors Adam Christopher. Having become something of an internet sensation with his earlier writings, he has now settled with Angry Robot and Hang Wire is the fruits of a new batch of work.

It’s a dense novel which takes it’s time to get going albeit when it does it is nothing less than a rollercoaster ride. Difficult to sum up in a paragraph, it is a tale of dual personality, gods and alien lifeforms with a little hint of paganism thrown in. A serial killer is on the loose in San Francisco, a man is on a quest and a carnival has set up in Golden Gate Park. What is it that links these together? Read the novel to find out.

It may seem utterly convoluted at first and with the sudden changes in timeframes you find yourself wondering just what the hell is going on. It’s a disconcerting start to the novel but with perseverance the story starts to shine through. The myriad strands all link together to make a satisfying whole which ends in an almighty bang. To put it simply, this is one of the best sci-fi novels in years.

It is best approached from a comic book angle (and what a Graphic Novel this would make). When looked at this way, the characters start to make more sense and the constant location changing becomes less of a chore. The dialogue also feels less clunky in what is one of the few let downs of the novel.

Christopher has shown no fear in taken on such an almighty task and it is to his credit that his idea actually works so well. Manga-esque villains ply for place with rather mundane everyday people to create a vividly imagined world where anything could happen. In most people’s hands the premise would just fail but Christopher makes everything utterly believable. From the rooftop battles to the well thought out construction of the gods there is a feeling that this battle for the ages may actually be happening right here, right now.

If Hang Wire is anything to go by, we have a great future to look forward to in Christopher’s work. The novel does demand some concentration and takes its time but you are soon in the thick of it and are puzzling over the story as you go along. Try this one out, it’s a worthwhile experience and one that beats any number of Hollywood Blockbusters for pure originality and panache. A fantastic read.

Out January 28th through Angry Robot Ltd and all good book shops