Adam Christopher’s Empire State is a pulp science-fiction super hero parallel worlds story that is certainly rich in concept. In his own words, it’s “kinda Raymond Chandler meets The Rocketeer in Gotham City – robots, superheroes, airships, Prohibition, a lot of rain, and a lot of shady characters, and more than a few double-crossings”.
To me, in many ways the story lines reminded me of Fringe and Dark City, both of which I have a lot of affection for. However, when I asked Adam on Twitter about his influences, he assured me he had yet to see yet to see Dark City. Furthermore, while he thought that the Fringe Episode ‘Brown Betty’ fitted the aesthetic of Empire State very well, he had not seen any of the series until after finishing the book.
There are so many twists, double-crossings and surprises throughout the book, so it’s hard to go into details of the story, but it was a gripping story, keeping me engaged. The characterisation is good, doubly so. And the aesthetic worked for me; Chandler-esque pulp noir with super heroes and robots? What’s not to like?