If there was one thing Redlaw knew how to do, it was locate vampires.  He was in a strange, alien city, and the weather was diabolical.  But wherever you were and whatever the conditions, certain aspects of vampires behaviour were constants.  They took refuge in shabby, tucked-away places, mostly through necessity but also by preference.  They tried to draw as little attention to themselves as possible.  And they always left traces, signs that the eye could be trained to detect.

          It might be a litter of dead vermin, rats especially, heaped in a basement lightwell.  It might be a pile of faeces, unusually red, spattery and pungent.  It might be the urine with which, doglike, they left their scent and alerted other vampires to their presence.  Vampires were not the cleanest or most foresighted of creatures.  They were as much animal as human, and didn’t think to tidy up their own mess or consider that others could track them by their detritus.

          Redlaw, with Cindermaker lodged in trouser waistband, steered clear of the well-lit avenues with their shops and restaurants.  He ranged southward, down to where the city’s grid pattern broke up and intersections were no longer invariably right-angled crossways.  The rigid geometry of upper Manhattan and midtown gave way to something he found more recognisable: unplanned urbanisation, a street layout that seemed to have occurred naturally rather than been imposed by ruler and set square.

          Here, between the ruins of the World Trade Center and the vaulting arrogance of the financial district, was the sort of warren of cramped old buildings he could see vampire immigrants favouring.  He assumed that, like the City of London, this part of New York tended to be busy by day but unfrequented at night, which also suited the Sunless.

          Patiently, doggedly, Redlaw trudged through the snow.  He bent to check doorsteps for the telltale, acrid-smelling stains that betokened territorial marking.  He scanned the upper-storey windows of the more dilapidated tenement blocks, looking for crude methods of blotting out daylight such as newspaper pages and scraps of cardboard box taped inside the panes.  He was a big game hunter searching for spoor, but to passers-by – of which there were few – he looked like nothing so much as a madman, one of those quietly tormented schizophrenics of which New York seemed to have more than its fair share, performing arcane public rituals to stave off some private apocalypse.

          Midnight deepened into the small hours, and Redlaw had nothing to show for his efforts except sodden shoes, damp feet, and an uncontrollable shiver that came and went but was more violent each time it returned.  He had never, ever been so cold.  Tomorrow – note to self – buy warmer clothing.

          To add to his woes, around 2AM fresh show started falling.  The flakes were huge and silent, floating down like autumn leaves.  They clumped on his eyebrows and built up in white epaulettes on his shoulders.  His unprotected head was soon snowcapped, which made his scalp ache, especially at the crown where the covering of hair was thinner.

          He forged on because that was the sort of man he was.  A bit of snow – no, a lot of snow – wasn’t going to deter John Redlaw.  He could almost hear Róisín Leary telling him he was an idiot and he should get his arse indoors now or he’d catch his death.  His former SHADE partner had not been one to mince her words.

          Similarly, he could almost hear the voice of Illyria Strakosha, the shtriga he had allied himself with not so long ago, saying much the same as Leary.  Putting it less bluntly, perhaps, but with an equal amount of eye-rolling exasperation.  Really, Redlaw, stop this bally nonsense.  You’re only human, old bean.

          Ghosts of the dead.  The sounds of his conscience.  Redlaw knew they were just memories, disembodied echoes haunting the hollows of his mind, but sometimes he thought of them as angels.

          And then, at last, success.  A result.  Persistence rewarded.

          He had passed the deconsecrated church twice already, and only on the third time did something about it strike him as anomalous.  A small round window high in its façade appeared to have been neatly removed.  Not vandalised, as some of the others were, with starred holes in their stained-glass panes where stones had been hurled at them.  This one window was simply not there any more, leaving a circular aperture that was just large enough to permit a human-sized body to squeeze through.

          Looking closer, Redlaw discovered scratches in the stonework below the empty window.  A column of little runic scuff marks led up the wall, the kind that might be left by unnaturally sharp and powerful talons.  For a vampire, climbing up the sheer face of a building was a far from impossible feat.

          The church was tall and sandwiched between two former warehouses that had been converted into blocks of fashionable boho loft apartments.  In its day, it would have been quite something.  No doubt a property developer was eyeing it up with a view to making it quite something again in the near future.  For now, though, it was very much nothing.  A useless hollow excrescence.  A place of worship that was no longer needed, especially in a part of the city where money was God and the general opinion of religion was that it was a madness that made people fly jumbo jets into skyscrapers.  The world had moved on and left this church behind like a large, steepled gravestone.

          The handles on the double doors were secured by a padlocked chain.  A laminated notice warned that, by civic ordinance, trespassing on this property was an offence punishable by a steep fine and a possible jail sentence.

          Redlaw glanced both ways along the street.  Nobody around as far as the eye could see.  Nobody but him.  The snow tumbled in thick flurries, encrusting streetlamps and burying parked cars.  His gaze fell on the railings that fronted the church.  Vandals had been busy there too.  Several of the railings had been worked loose from their settings.  A couple lay discarded, poking up out of the snow.  Redlaw fetched one.  The sturdy iron rod promised to make a decent crowbar.  He inserted it inside the loop of chain.  Several minutes of wrenching and twisting him did him no good.  The chain held fast.  He tried another tack.  He stuck the railing inside the shackle of the padlock.  Bracing the tip of it against one of the doors, he leaned back like a signalman pulling a lever to change points.  The padlock resisted.  Redlaw strained, putting his back into it, all his strength.  He grimaced.  Breath steamed through clenched teeth.

          There was a loud metallic snap and the shackle sprang open.  The sudden release caught Redlaw by surprise and he collapsed backwards.

          The chain rattled loosely to the ground.  Redlaw picked himself up and grasped one of the handles.  He dragged the door open, heaving it against the knee-deep snowdrift that had accumulated in front.  He made a gap just wide enough to slip through.  Drawing his Cindermaker and chambering a round, he went inside.

 

*   *   *

 

The moments it took his eyes to adjust to the gloom were the most dangerous.  Anything could happen while he was temporarily blind.

          At SHADE, image-intensification goggles were standard issue equipment.  Now that he was “freelance”, Redlaw was having to learn to do without the things he had once taken for granted.

          Dimly, the church interior took shape.  Pews stood in haphazard rows, some overturned.  The font had been removed – presumably a nice piece of marble masonry, worth reselling – leaving just a bare plinth.  The pulpit was intact, and so was the life-size crucifix that stood in the apse behind the altar.  On it hung a Christ depicted in that pose that so many ecclesiastical sculptors seemed to think appropriate.  The Son of God wasn’t exhibiting any apparent pain.  There was only profound sorrow written across His face, His anguish spiritual rather than physical.

          The presence of the crucifix gave Redlaw pause.  Perhaps he’d made a mistake.  He had assumed the church would be bare inside, stripped of its holy regalia.  How could there be vampires here with this large sacred symbol still dominating the place?  To them it was as toxic as radioactive waste.

          Then he caught the distinctive, meaty whiff of vampire scat.  It smelled fresh.

          And, above his head, he detected faint, furtive movement.

          The rafters.

          Vampires were up there.  Watching him.  He could sense pairs of crimson eyes staring down.

          He walked further into the church, along an aisle over whose flagstones countless congregations must have passed, and many a bride, many a funeral procession too.  He tried to exude an air of calm and peaceability.  He didn’t want to alarm anyone.  The Cindermaker hung by his side, concealed discreetly in the folds of his overcoat.

          As he reached the end of the nave, he sensed vampires descending behind him.  It was instinctual as much as anything, a prickling of his nape hairs.  They were putting themselves between him and the doorway, guarding his exit route.  Some were coming down the church’s pillars as well, with almost imperceptible stealth, shadows shifting amid shadows.  They weren’t going to challenge him openly.  Not yet, and maybe not at all.  They were waiting to see what he did.  If he turned round and left, they would most likely let him, sinking back into the darkness as if they had never been there.

          The vampires had nothing to gain by being aggressive, and nothing to lose by adopting a cautious stance.

          Redlaw halted at the altar, a bare block of stone not unlike a raised tomb.  Experience was telling him he was in the company of at least two dozen Sunless, perhaps as many as thirty.  He could read the acoustics in the church much as a bat could map its environment by sonar.  The tiny scraping clicks of talon on stone, which to most ears would have seemed just random background sibilance, to him spoke volumes.

          His right shoulder gave a sudden involuntary spasm, reminding him of the last time he had been in a large building full of vampires.  An industrial unit on the Isle of Dogs.  A trap laid for him by one of the few people in the world in whom he had had complete, implicit trust.

          The episode had left him with extensive scarring and an arm that was stiff every morning and needed to be loosened up by exercise.

          His faith in his fellow man had suffered greatly, too.

          “I am here,” he said in a loud, clear voice, “only to talk.  I mean you no harm whatsoever.”

          His words were met with absolute hush.  He pictured the vampires hanging from the walls and pillars, stock still, ears cocked, listening.

          “You’re probably aware that I’m carrying a gun,” he went on.  “You can smell the cordite and the ash-wood bullets.  I promise it is only for self-defence.  I have no intention of using it unless necessary, by which I mean unless I am provoked and in fear of my life.  As a show of earnest, I’m putting it down here on the altar and stepping away.”

          He did so, taking three paces backward.

          “Now it’s out of easy reach.  You have the advantage over me.  Like I told you, I’m not out to harm.  I really only want to talk.”

          Whispers crisscrossed the gulfs of the church.  Nervous chatter.  He caught the gist of it.  Who was this?  Could he be believed?

          “I can give you my name, though it may not count for much here.  John Redlaw.  Formerly my job was to police your kind.  I’ve since assumed a more pastoral role.”

          It occurred to him that many if not most of these Sunless were not native English speakers.  He should simplify his language.

          “You might call me a human shtriga.”

          That set tongues wagging.  The word shtriga carried weight.  Non-vampires weren’t even supposed to know it.

          “How interesting,” said someone to Redlaw’s left.

          He spun.

          A man appeared from the transept on that side, sauntering round the base of the pulpit.  He was dressed like a priest, from dog collar to ankle-length black cassock, yet he didn’t move like one.  His gait was delicate, feline, full of grace and sinew.  He had a pronounced widow’s peak and a lean face that tapered to a very pointed chin.

          He was no ’Less.  His eyes were normal-looking, not bright vampiric crimson.

          But he wasn’t just a man, either.

          “You do yourself a disservice,” he continued.  The accent was American but bore a trace of east European.  Russian, perhaps.  The way the “r”s rolled and the intonation rose and fell.  “You’re too modest by far.  The reputation of John Redlaw has spread beyond the borders of the United Kingdom.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s global but it’s undoubtedly international.  Within a certain stratum of society, that is.”

          “And you are…?”

          The priest, if he was a priest, smiled.  And all at once he was no longer standing in front of Redlaw, he was behind him, crouched on the altar with the Cindermaker in his hand.

          “Faster than you,” he said, levelling the gun at Redlaw.  “And ready to blow your head off if you make the slightest false move.”

 

 

16 Responses to “Redlaw: Red Eye”

  1. Ray says:

    James:

    Red Eye is a great popcorn book. But please forgive the comment, but do you have any interest in writing an epic story- not in length but in depth and characters?

    I love your stuff and look forward to the rest of the Pantheon series!!!

  2. James says:

    I have toyed with the idea of writing a 1,000-page whopper, ranging across locations and featuring a massive cast, and I may yet do one of those someday. But at the moment, I have so many different ideas and so many series I’m committed (or committing) to, that I doubt I could find the time. I seem to have quite a short attention span when it comes to novels, and I find that even just spending four or five months writing one is long enough. I’m delighted every time those words “The End” crop up. The notion of taking a whole year or more on a novel brings me out in a cold sweat. What if, after all that time, it turns out to be no good? What if I lose heart halfway through? I’m going to stick with the popcorn books for now, but I’m not ruling out a hardcore epic in the future.

  3. Tanner Baker says:

    Hello, James!

    I just wanted to say that I’m a huge fan of your work, and actually would like to talk to you about possibly creating a 100% free Video Game Roleplaying Community based in the Redlaw Universe! I sent you an e-mail, however according to my address no such message was sent. If you could possibly get back to me about this, I would be ecstatic! Again, thank you for devoting so much time doing what you, and we, love so much. Writing amazing pieces of literature.

  4. James says:

    Hi, Tanner. Your email did in fact come through, and I will reply to it directly in the next few days. I’m away most of the week, but will be in touch when I return. And thanks for the kind words about my work.

  5. Andrew Miller says:

    Very long time and very long time no speak. I have a lot of things to go over with you and unfortunately not all of them are so good. Let me begin by just saying I’m sorry that our interview did not get completely posted. My website’s administrator and fellow writers have shut the site down essentially. We have run into that buzz saw of productivity and commitment and unfortunately the site fell. If visited only the previous articles will be available to view. Our interview never got to see it’s complete posting and I honestly had no idea where to even post it at this point. With no venue to display it, it is stuck in cyber limbo. So my apologies for that. You took the time out of your day to talk to me about it with the hopes things would come of it and unfortunately it seems like nothing will…again I hope you aren’t too sour with me because of that.

    On a more positive note I have decided to communicate via your website again. I find it I can write like I’m writing to a pen pal more than on Facebook although I will of course chime in on humorous status updates. I went to my local book store and found Red Eye yesterday. I am again disappointed in myself for not knowing it’s release date but low and behold I own it in my hands. I am going to finish World War Z before starting it although I’m sure the wait will be worth my while. Speaking of, have you read World War Z? I saw the movie trailer and am over halfway finished with the book and I’m horribly disappointed in the trailer. Don’t get me wrong the film looks fantastic but if you are familiar with the book you know it takes place over 10 years after the 10 year Zombie War, not during the war. I think the movie will be the most accurate depiction of a zombie film and how the world reacts to it, but unfortunately it isn’t anything like the book…so far. Besides that I mainly came on here to give you a lengthly apology and just rekindle conversation again. It is one of the few things that gets me through dealing with school.

  6. James says:

    Hi, Andrew. Apologies for the delay in replying, and the brevity of reply. I’m up against a very stiff deadline right now with my Sherlock Holmes novel, and spare time is at a premium. Don’t worry about the website or the interview disappearing. It’s just a shame that all your hard work has come to nothing.

    Glad you’ve found Red Eye. Hope it works for you. I’m a huge fan of World War Z, the novel, but advance word on the film is not positive. Frankly I don’t see how they could replicate the book’s tone and structure at all.

    I promise I will communicate at greater length in the near future. I have a reasonably free weekend coming up, so that’s when I could get down to some proper correspondence. Hope all’s well with you in the meantime.

  7. James says:

    Ah, a moment’s free time! Just to add that I had a similar experience to yours a few years back. I was invited to interview Mike Mignola for a new SF magazine being launched. I did the interview, transatlantically, recorded it, typed up a transcript, knocked it into shape, did a pretty good job, I felt, and then… The mag folded before it had even begun. I didn’t even get paid a penny for my time and effort, so I was pretty pissed off about that. However, the reason the whole thing collapsed was that the editor had a near-fatal heart attack, meaning I couldn’t really be pissed off with him. I wanted to be but couldn’t. Still, on the bright side, I got to chat with Mignola for half an hour — while he was shaving, no less. A nice guy, and it was good of him to spare the time, because he was insanely busy right about then, prepping the first Hellboy movie, among other things.

  8. Andrew Miller says:

    Heh don’t I understand that. Our stories differ slightly in that the website I was writing for was not paying me (thank goodness for that) and nobody suffered a bad heart attack (another thank goodness). I just became very frustrated in taking both of our times out of the day (you especially) to only result in half of the work being done.

    Besides that I have a lot of updates in my personal life. Firstly I am now a proud full time employee at my job. I am happy because full time = more money and benefits if I need them. We are now nearly in December and I have only a couple of weeks left of the semester before I finish this 3rd semester of school effectively finishing 1/2 of my graduate program. These things do come at a cost though and that cost of course if my leisure. Reading is at a crawl, comic book reading is at an even slower crawl (although I am quite unhappy with Marvel at the moment) and I barely do anything else. I have recently though begun writing more. I am hoping to be able to put this story in my head onto paper and have people read it. Finding the time between 100 things is not simple.

    In other news I have recently bought a Captain America shield. That cost me a pretty penny and I will be soon posting that picture on FB (if I get the time to do so) I hope you like it because it is beautiful. Nearly done reading WWZ and that means RL:RE is next on my to do list of books. How is your schedule treating you? As you can see mine is a small nightmare.

  9. James says:

    The schedule remains dauntingly full. I’ve managed 42,000 words of the Sherlock Holmes novel in the space of a little over a month, meaning I’m well on course to hit the February deadline (and even the original January deadline, which I asked to be extended, just in case). I can honestly say I have never written at this rate since my very first novel, back when I was 22, which I completed in under six weeks. I’m still getting a little giddy “squee” moment every time I type Holmes’s and Watson’s names, not quite able to believe I’m actually doing this. My main imperative, however, is to keep the plot tight, the action ticking over nicely, the characterisation consistent, and the historical context exact.

    As for the future, I’m contracted to deliver a novella and a further two novels (one another Age Of…, one another Holmes), so that should keep me busy until the end of 2014. I really like the security of knowing that I have commissions in hand. It also gives me something to look forward to, so if whichever book I’m working on becomes hard going, I can always start thinking about the next and how that one will surely be easier to deal with than this one.

    Like you, though, my reading time is minimal right now. I manage a few pages of a book in bed each night, or maybe one or two comics, then crash. It’s frustrating, but surely things will get easier, and leisure more plentiful, with time.

    I’d love to see a picture of the Cap shield!

  10. Andrew Miller says:

    Sorry about the late reply here I thought I had submitted it already but I guess not. It seems you have written a great deal of Holmes already and I can only wait to see how this one plays out. Is this a steam punk story involving sci-fi or more traditional mystery? I’ll be getting it either way but any teaser is always nice. I know what you mean when it comes to thinking about the future. I am always thinking about several things involving my own future be it at work, school, personal life, or dreams they are all always at the front of my mind.

    My reading has picked up as of late due to no school. I finished World War Z and am already over halfway done with Redlaw Red Eye. I am actually liking this one better than the first if I dare say. I feel the realism in this one more but so far I’m excited to see how it ends. During my reading I met Andy Gregg (the vampire of course) and thought it ironic his back story. The vampire who loves Rice and fictional vampires but hated I Am Legend because of the science and not enough fantasy. It is ironic to me because Andy shares a name with me yet has the opposite POV when it comes to vampire books. Just a bit of irony to me.

    Christmas is tomorrow so Merry Christmas to you sir. Happy Holidays for any other holiday you may celebrate. I uploaded one picture of the Cap Shield for now and sooner or later I’ll get more pics up. Just wanted to share its beauty with the world for now. Oh and one more thing. Happy Birthday my friend. I’ll be talking to you soon and giving you my personal review of Red Eye as soon as I finish it. But so far I’m loving it.

  11. James says:

    Thanks for the Christmas and birthday wishes. That’s all behind us now and I can get back to work again. I have to say I’ll be glad when the boys go back to school (next Monday) as there’s been too much noise and excitement in the house generally for me to concentrate my best.

    Glad you’re enjoying Red Eye. Its view of America is very much that of an outsider’s eye. I have lived there for a while, but that was back in the mid-nineties and I dare day things have changed considerably since then. However, using my own experiences and the information contained in a travel guide and on the internet, I think I’ve been able to bluff it more or less convincingly.

    The Andy Gregg Irony was pure coincidence, by the way. And I’m of exactly the same viewpoint as you. I love I Am Legend and can’t stand the overwrought Gothic histrionics of Anne Rice and her ilk. Likewise, I enjoyed Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain trilogy, right up until the point at which they decided, in the final volume, to make the vampires mystical after all. A misstep, in my view. Having said that, the vamps in Redlaw are very much the supernatural variety. I haven’t wanted to dwell on their origins too much, for fear it might overcomplicate matters. The reader just has to accept they’re magical and abide by the Dracula rules (garlic, stakes, sunlight, etc.).

    The Holmes has steampunk SF elements and a mystery too. I’m also shoehorning in various references to other Holmes adventures and doing everything I can to make it “canon”, for all the non-mainstream content. Some modern Holmes pastiches don’t play it straight and use attitudes and phrasing out of the twenty-first century. I don’t want this one to be like that. I want non-SF-reading Holmes fans to be able to enjoy it as well as SF readers.

  12. Andrew Miller says:

    Well when did it become January 14th already? I must have missed the memo on the year flying past. Well back to business right? I begin school on the 22nd, a day after Martin Luther King day so a bonus day off from work then back to school. I am approaching the end of my second year in graduate school and then have one hellacious year ahead of me but that is a discussion for a later time.

    I finished Red Eye before you had even replied with this message. It was truly excellent. Redlaw still has some of that super-hero in him like any good recurring character should but I appreciate how you toned down some of it and made him more human. I was wondering all book how we were going to really pin down Farthingale as an evil bad guy but you managed it quite well. I’m enjoying the series so far and can where the next one needs to go but at the same time I am eager to see how it gets there. A lot needs to happen and I wonder how you will do it.

    After reading Andy Gregg as a character I had to laugh and knew the sheer irony was coincidence. I was just humored that a character who shares my first name could be so opposite on my feelings when it comes to the vampire lore. I didn’t get into The Strain but I’m sure it is a well put together series that just tapers out and loses effect. I personally don’t mind super natural villains from vampires, werewolves, mummies, zombies etc. but I really appreciate it when they are explained scientifically. It makes you think it could actually happen. As far as your vampires go I have a question. Knowing your creatures are supernatural do you know in your mind where their origin comes from or are you also accepting that it is just nature?

    I love Sherlock Holmes and every book of yours I have read is excellent I have no question that you will not disappoint me. I’ve seen what you have done with characters and mystery and liked it all so far so I have a feeling you will do Sir Arthur Conan Doyle proud.

    So did you like my Captain America shield? I’m in need of posting more pictures of it but I had to get the one up. It is more “movie” quality but to me it has a sense of realism to it and dimensions wise it matches the real comic book one to almost a quarter inch and that includes how concavity. I can’t wait to finish school just the past few weeks when I was off have felt like a vacation although I was working 40 hours a week (that is how desperate I am for free time) Well I left you with a lot to read and digest. One final question. What do you got planned for the year? I mean besides several books.

  13. James says:

    I don’t have much planned for the coming year except books: a third Age Of… novella, Age Of Shiva, and a second Holmes, plus the usual ton of reviewing and journalism. I’m pretty sure we’re going on a family holiday to Turkey in summer, and it’s my wife’s fiftieth birthday in August so we’ll be doing something sizeable to celebrate that. Otherwise just the normal, everyday stuff: work, getting the kids to and from school, fretting over bills, not going mad…

    Have you tested your Cap shield’s indestructability yet? It so looks the part that I assume it is made from a vibranium/adamantium alloy and even the Hulk couldn’t bend it. I suggest driving a car over it first, as a tryout, and when that works, proceed to harsher, more extreme tests. Also, you must throw it and make it bounce off walls and bad guys and come straight back to your hand.

    I may have an origin worked out for the vampires in Redlaw, and it may turn up in the third book. I say “may” because the third book is not currently on the to-do list. Solaris are waiting to see how sales on the first two pan out before commissioning a third. I’d like to think it’ll happen, but market forces drive everything these days, even creativity. I’m also focusing a lot of energy on my World Of… series of space-operatic action-adventure tales, which I’m hoping will be given the green light soon.

    The first Holmes book (The Stuff Of Nightmares) went off to the editor this morning. I wait with bated breath to see what she makes of it. I’m pretty pleased with it myself. Capturing Conan Doyle’s literary voice was easier than I thought (although I haven’t gone for a slavish imitation, more a fusion of his and mine), and the steampunk elements of the storyline seem to work, meshing neatly with a traditional Holmesian investigation plot. I’ve also thrown in a few Easter eggs for hardcore Holmes fans to spot, and tried to keep the novel absolutely in-line with the established continuity and timeline of the originals. Fingers crossed, it’s all worked OK.

  14. Andrew Miller says:

    So congrats you have become my “What I may be interested in” on amazon.com. Every single thing at my scroll is one of your books. They even had something for Age of Godpunk but of course it did not have awesome cover and it said Age of Gaia which interests me because I thought you said Age of Shiva? Only asking for clarification. I have to admit something I noticed which I find sort of funny. A lot of your books are titled “Something of” For example every single Pantheon book, Holmes book (Stuff of Nightmares) World of series etc. If you hadn’t noticed it yet you do now.

    Redlaw is a good series. I like it a lot better than our Die Hard films because although the abilities of John Redlaw are a bit outlandish they aren’t stupid or silly like good ol’ John in Die Hard. I think you ended Redeye perfectly for there to be a sequel or for it to end right there. If you want to work in your origin to vampires I’m sure it will be interesting but at the same time if you didn’t want to include it then that works fine as well, not like we ask authors to give an origin of humanity in their stories.

    As for my shield I have yet to test the indestructibility of it. I am afraid I might damage the car or be arrested for fatally injuring the bad guys. Of course if I don’t catch it I could also lose my head which will put a major damper on my year. School officially started yesterday which means a lot more posts from me here when I procrastinate from doing my homework. I’m in the final 3 semesters and hopefully an internship which will be incredible. Once school is officially over, I get myself into my career and have some free time I can catch up on my reading (books/comics) video games, and writing. My goal is to have one published book by my 10 year class reunion which is in 2016. Even if I have to self publish I will I just want to know that I accomplished that goal all on my own.

    You seem to have your hands full with your line up for the year and hopefully you get it all done and don’t lose your mind in doing so.

  15. James says:

    Age Of Gaia is simply a novella, to match Anansi and Satan. I think the three will go well in a compendium edition together. They all have roughly the same tone and the same theme: ambiguity about the real existence of gods. That sets them apart from the other Pantheon novels, and it works well in the novella format. Shiva is a full-on novel and I’m set to begin work on it after Gaia.

    The “Of” thing with the Holmes novels is completely accidental. It didn’t even occur to me until you pointed it out. The second one is going to be called Gods Of War. Maybe I’m stuck in some terrible titling loop. Having said that, calling the space opera concept series World Of… is entirely deliberate, so that it echoes the Age Of… series. Marketing are very happy about this. It makes the series an easier sell to bookshops.

    The third Redlaw volume is still on hold, and even if it does happen, it won’t appear until 2015(!) at the earliest. You’re right: the ending of Red Eye was meant to be both final and open-ended. There is a way forward, and I’ve hinted at events in Japan coming to a head, but if no third volume ever happens, the series still gets some sort of closure.

    I’m catching up on reading right now myself. I’m taking a couple of weeks off after the high-speed marathon that was writing the Holmes book, catching my breath and making long-overdue inroads into the pile of books and comics by my bedside. I’m doing a bit of reviewing and stuff in the meantime, but that’s relatively straightforward and also fun.

  16. Andrew Miller says:

    Ah I understand now. I was thinking Shiva was the novella and when I read Gaia I was quite confused. EIther way I greatly look forward to reading all of these stories and seeing what connection the novellas have (even if it is only in theme.) I thought you would find the “of” thing slightly humorous at least. Sherlock Holmes always has the word “Of” incorporated into the title and many of your other books it just makes sense to have the word. I am interested in what you mean by “space opera” and can only imagine what you might have in store for us there.

    I’m glad you punched out Redlaw: Red Eye so quickly. Redlaw ends on a good note but knowing that there is much more. Red Eye ends with everything “working” itself out in one way, and the thing with Japan can either be a way to say that corruption will always exist or a nice add on for book 3.

    I began school recently and this is (at present) the most difficult semester I have faced thus far. One class is right up my alley and it is about psychological effects yadda yadda. The other one is “Research Design and Methods” I know research is my weakest point too. So we are coming up with research hypotheses, doing research proposals and all the other crazy stuff. Class is not overly easy at this point and that combined with working a full time job is nuts. Not to mention I recently started going to a dojo to learn martial arts and to get in better physical shape. So let’s just slap that onto my nights as well. I’m glad you are finally breathing and catching up on your pleasure and I dream of the day (hopefully officially by May 2014) that I can do the same thing haha.

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• Filed under Extracts • 08/10/2012 •