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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)

What listeners say about Neon Leviathan

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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Awful narration

Title says it all, didn’t even attempt to get into. The voice actor they picked is awful

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a very real potential future

the best dark future books have a pinch of realism, this has bucket loads.
I liked the short story format, painting a picture from many different angles while leaving a ton open for you to fill in the blanks.

the guy selling memories really stuck with me

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Great World-Building and Characters

4.5 out of 5 stars

I knew going into this one that I was going to have to take a break from playing Cyberpunk 2077 for the few days it would take me to finish this. I knew that the worlds would be similar and I was worried that I was going to interchange some of the details. What Neon Leviathan is, is a collection of short stories that take place in a world that is “recovering” from a brutal war. It’s a collection of 12 stories that feature a lot of anti-heroes and those who you wouldn’t normally root for. It’s full of blood and gore and all of that nitty gritty stuff that a lot of authors shy away from.

I can’t pinpoint a specific story that stood out to me because they were all really enjoyable. I’m shocked to find that this is Napper’s first published work because these stories are extremely well laid out and have a seasoned author feel to them. The collection as a whole feels well thought out and felt like they were all interconnected (even if they weren’t). Easily the best part of these stories was the world-building done in each one. Each story sort of builds up the world in a different way. Really, we’re just seeing it from different points of view and it gives this really interesting and wholistic view of it.

Neon Leviathan was a great collection of stories that I thoroughly enjoyed. I think the only issue I had was the fact that I read multiple stories in one sitting. I think that as a collection they’re great, but to really get to know and love each story on their own you should take this in the bite-sized pieces that each chapter/story is served up as.

Overall, a great audiobook with perfect narration from Greg Patmore. He was able to voice each story in a way that didn’t feel the same, even if his voices didn’t change much between stories.

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Dark Tales

This is a very well written collection of dark, interwoven tales that are superbly narrated and very entertaining.

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  • Richard C
  • 04-19-21

Amazing debut novel

Not often i need to take a break after listening to a novel, but this one did need a break. Not because of anything bad but because my brain needed a rest after being pummelled by an author with some very interesting ideas and i needed to come up for air.

I can't really say too much about the stories without dropping spoilers - they are linked sometimes, almost a follow on, but the way they intermesh for a series of short stories was very fresh. The jumps in time and characters wasn't an issue.

Oh there is some harsh language- the c-bomb is used fairly often. I actually found some of this pretty funny but I'm used to a work environment where these words are not out of place. Also there is something about the everyday Aussie and harsh language that can be almost musical.

The narrator totally nailed the book. Not many accents but i always followed the book well.

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