Ghost of the Neon God (Hardcover)

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A thrilling, propulsive story of escape as a small-time crook goes on the run across Australia with a stolen secret that will change the world, from the award-winning author of 36 Streets, perfect for fans of William Gibson’s All Tomorrow’s Parties, Richard Morgan and Ghost in the Shell.

Jackson Nguyen is a petty crook living slim on the mean streets of Melbourne. When he crosses paths with a desperate, but wealthy, Chinese dissident, begging for his help, Jack responds in the only natural way: he steals her shoes. 

And yet, despite every effort to mind his own damn business, a wild spiral into the worst kind of trouble begins – Murder, mayhem, fast cars, fast-talking, bent cops, and long straight highways into the terrible beauty of the vast Australian Outback. 

In Jack’s world, taking a stand against the ruling class is the shortest path to a shallow grave. But when an Earth-shattering technology falls into his hands, he must do everything he can to stop the wrong people taking it. In a world of pervasive government surveillance and oppressive corporate control, it’s up to a small-time criminal to keep the spark of human rebellion alive.

About the Author

T. R. Napper is an award-winning author whose stories have appeared in Asimov’s, Interzone, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and others, and been translated into Hebrew, German, French, and Vietnamese. His first novel was the acclaimed 36 Streets. Before turning to writing, Napper was a diplomat and aid worker throughout Southeast Asia, helping to deliver humanitarian programs.

Praise For…

"Constructed with the nuance, wit, and sniper-precise obversion to make you believe and fear his hard-boiled vision of the future."
Luke Arnold, author of The Last Smile in Sunder City

“Another slice of odd-angled literary-inflected future noir from one of the most dynamic new voices in SF. Ghost starts out in familiar hi-tech/low life territory, then rapidly bends the tropes at right angles into a delirious turbo charged road movie narrative filled with unexpected left turns and terse, snapshotted character-work gold.  Tim Napper is fast turning into my go-to for all that’s good and fresh in what cyberpunk has become" - Richard Morgan, author of Altered Carbon

"Relentless energy, breakneck pace, wired with countless ideas and inventions, all of them utterly convincing and harmonised into the siren song of a terrifying future. Plug this novel into the grid: it could power an entire city."
Jock Serong, author of The Rules of Backyard Cricket  

"Raw, classic cyberpunk. It's both frighteningly familiar and a fresh take on the world we are heading towards. Napper always nails grounded characters dealing with big questions. It'll grab you from the first line and will not let go."  
Timothy Hickson, author of On Writing and World Building, I - III

"Loved this atmospheric, fast-paced ride through a future in which society’s fringe slams headlong into terrifying techno potential."  Cat Sparks, author of Lotus Blue

"Harsh and beautiful as rain on neon" - Anna Smith Spark, author of A Woman of the Sword


Best Reads of 2022, Sydney Morning Herald

Best Books of 2022, Canberra Times

"36 Streets glows bright and hallucinatory as tropical neon, goes down smooth as warm sake, cuts deep as a nano-steel blade. Napper honours classic cyberpunk with fresh perspectives and hot genre recombinations, a nasty new future gleam, the proverbial new coat of paint. But there are more austere echoes here too, of Graham Greene and Kazuo Ishiguro, of a whole post-colonial literary heritage banging to be let in. In a genre stuffed with facile hero narratives, 36 Streets consistently chooses something else - messy humanity, grey moral tones and choices, hard-edged geopolitical truth. Raw and raging and passionate, this is cyberpunk literature with a capital fucken L. Get it while it’s hot!"
Richard Morgan, author of Altered Carbon

"Quintessential cyberpunk, hard-nosed, sharp edged and gleaming." Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of Children of Time

"[36 Streets] has things both novel and serious to say about the psychological effects of intrusive media. This is a kick-the-door-down account of how past traumas — personal and national — may one day be weaponised for social control."—The Sunday Times

“Brutal, brooding, brilliant . . . an angry vision of violence wrapped around a complex meditation of memory, trauma and hegemony. This is cyberpunk with soul.”
Yudhanjaya Wijeratne, author of The Salvage Crew

"Not since Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl have I been so utterly enthralled by a science fiction novel. 36 Streets is a cyberpunk tour de force - richly textured, nuanced, and shot-through with emotional depth. I could practically feel the sweaty, grimy, bloody, tropical heat oozing from the pages. One of the standouts of the year."—Richard Swan, author of The Justice of Kings

"T. R. Napper understands not just the style of Cyberpunk fiction but the importance of style to the genre. That is not to stay that he stints on the substance, it’s there in spades. The writing is astonishing, seamlessly incorporating inspirations from as far afield as Graham Greene and Coppola, yet never being anything other than original and fresh. This is an important book, particularly at a time when our heavily mediated reality is becoming increasingly frangible."—Gavin Smith, author of The Bastard Legion

“Intimately concerned with the little guy in a world of neon gods, Napper paints a prophetic and uncomfortably believable vision of the future. A fascinating interplay between advancing technology and wish fulfillment, 36 Streets is ambitious in scope while remaining deeply human.”
Tim Hickson, Hello Future Me

"High-octane, immersive SF at its best. 36 Streets is sure become a classic in the field." 
Kaaron Warren, Shirley Jackson Award-Winner

"Napper has made a remarkable character in the form of his protagonist Lin Thi Vu, subverting to some degree the conventions of the world of male power and violence. It's a great achievement. The set pieces, the interludes, of performed mastery with weapons and skill, are well poised and set the scene with ritualised violence." 
Stephen Teo, author of Chinese Martial Arts Cinema: The Wuxia Tradition

“An engrossing, intriguing action-packed duty tour of a tech-thick, violence-infused, neon-scorched near future gangland Vietnam, where unwinnable games run hot and wild. Highly recommended.”
Cat Sparks, author of Lotus Blue 

“A fun, frenetic journey of neon-blasted streets, sinister underworlds and oodles of brutal tech, rendered in cutthroat prose so tangible you can almost smell the grime and cigarette smoke. T. R. Napper’s cyberpunk world is a feral, back-alley brawl of a novel with real blood under its nails.”
Jeremy Szal, author of Stormblood

“Beautiful, shimmering, ghostly science fiction.”
Anna Smith-Spark, author of Empires of Dust

"A kick-the-door-down account of how past traumas — personal and national — may one day be weaponised for social control." — The Times

"A lot to enjoy here." — SFX Magazine

"Intricately plotted, using advanced biotechnology, a close investigation into Vietnamese history and culture, and a hard-edged, complicated lead character, Napper's fine first novel will draw in cyberpunk readers." — Booklist

"A gripping near-future cyberthriller ...Napper drives the brisk plot forward with plenty of action and intrigue. Cyberpunk fans will find much to enjoy in the noir tone, unique setting, and high stakes." — Publishers Weekly

"36 Streets is refreshing, and brilliantly realised SF noir." — Grimdark Magazine

Product Details
ISBN: 9781803368115
ISBN-10: 180336811X
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: June 25th, 2024
Pages: 128
Language: English