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Authors: Christopher Golden

The Chamber of Ten

BOOK: The Chamber of Ten
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Praise for MIND THE GAP

“A pitch-perfect blend of fantasy and realism. Golden and Lebbon craft a riveting tale of adventure that is both gritty and magical.”

—K
ELLEY
A
RMSTRONG
,
New York Times
bestselling author of
Frostbitten

“Super-fast pacing and creepy touches [give this] adventure plenty of character.”


Publishers Weekly

“A dark urban fantasy that posits a world of multiple Londons, some real and some ghostly, an ancient legacy of magic, and a secret war between those who seek power to control it and those who seek to free it.… Filled with action yet much more than a simple adventure, this tale of the clash between the worlds of magic and science is a standout.… Highly recommended.”


Library Journal
(starred review)

“Reminiscent of Neil Gaiman’s
Neverwhere
and the classic Dickens’
Oliver Twist
, this book gives the dark fantasy genre a gothic twist with Jazz’s adventure.”


The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

“Magical realism at its finest … a light-speed read with mystery, magic, ghosts and a fascinating subterranean world. Great stuff.”

—SFRevu

“Golden and Lebbon do a wonderful job with this book, pulling you in with a strong opening and a likable protagonist in Jazz, and then maintaining the story with an array of mysteries and puzzles, and a cast of engaging characters.”


Fantasy & Science Fiction

“Golden and Lebbon’s skills are unquestionable, and the two working together have managed to create a vibrant world just on the outside of ours.”


Dread Central.com

“Part fantasy, part mystery, and part suspense story. The authors have done a great job balancing the three elements and braiding them together into one exciting read.”

—Blogcritics

“A contemporary mystery thriller with elements of
Oliver Twist
, a caper story, and a dash of the supernatural—namely ghosts, Victorian magic, and steam-punk … spectacular.”


Fantasy Book Critic

“A modern, supernatural take on
Oliver Twist
… Golden and Lebbon paint an evocative portrait of London, present and past.”


Fangoria

“Mind the Gap
starts off with a bang, throwing you right into the story, and once it takes off running, it doesn’t let up.… It’s moody, highly atmospheric, and pulls no punches in involving the senses as it creates the hidden world of a forgotten, decaying, buried London.… A series worth watching.”

—SF Site

Praise for THE MAP OF MOMENTS

“Urban realism meets dark fantasy in this spine-tingling second collaboration between authors Golden and Lebbon … as they merge the repercussions of Hurricane Katrina with New Orleans’ terrifying ghostly past.… Golden and Lebbon have far outstripped their past efforts with this wonderfully creepy thriller of a ghost story.”


Publishers Weekly
(starred review)

“Golden and Lebbon vividly evoke the rich, enduring character of New Orleans, as well as spinning a compelling fantasy yarn.”


Booklist

“Draws from the aftermath of a tragic moment in recent history, telling a dark, gripping story set in a shattered but unbeaten New Orleans … Part ghost story, part thriller, it doesn’t pull any punches along the way, putting the hero through a physical, mental and spiritual ordeal even as it paints an honest, stark picture of a city just starting to recover from a near-fatal blow.… A hell of a harrowing tale [and] a great read, illuminating a time and place in American history that should not be ignored or forgotten.”

—SF Site


The Map of Moments
is set in post-Katrina New Orleans, and it’s as much a love letter to the city and its people as it is a lamentation for what has been, perhaps irrevocably, lost.… Not an easy, comforting read, but it is an alluring, engrossing one, and a wiser, truer book than something simpler could have been.”


The Green Man Review

“Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon have crafted a love letter to New Orleans in
The Map of Moments
.… Fans of unconventional urban fantasy will enjoy following this map into some very interesting places indeed.”

—SFRevu


The Map of Moments
is a truly haunting look at the dark history and magic to the underside of New Orleans and the ghosts they hide.”


The Mad Hatter

“Golden and Lebbon do a masterful job of presenting the chase and the discovery of the darkness lurking in New Orleans’s history. I ended up reading much of the book at night when the house was quiet, and I think that really lent itself to the overall experience. So if you can get somewhere quiet, with darkness all around, except for your reading lamp,
The Map of Moments
is a wonderfully creepy experience down streets littered with dead and dark things.”

—Blogcritics

Also by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon

The Map of Moments
Mind the Gap

Also by Christopher Golden

The Lost Ones: Book Three of the Veil
The Borderkind: Book Two of the Veil
The Myth Hunters: Book
One of the Veil
Wildwood Road
The Boys Are Back in Town
The Ferryman
Straight on ‘Til Morning
Strangewood

The Shadow Saga
Of Saints and Shadows
Angel Souls and Devil Hearts
Of Masques and Martyrs
The Gathering Dark

With Mike Mignola
Baltimore, or, The Steadfast
Tin Soldier and the Vampire

Also by Tim Lebbon

Novels
The Island
Fallen
30 Days of Night
Dawn
The Everlasting
Dusk
Hellboy: Unnatural Selection
Mesmer
The Nature of Balance
Hush
(with Gavin Williams)
Face
Until She Sleeps
Desolation
Berserk
Bar None

Novellas
A Whisper of Southern Lights
White
Naming of Parts
Changing of Faces
Exorcising Angels
(with Simon Clark)
Dead Man’s Hand
Pieces of Hate
The Reach of Children

Collections
Last Exit for the Lost
Faith in the Flesh
As the Sun Goes Down
White and Other Tales of Ruin
Fears Unnamed
After the War

In memory of Bonnie Moore

Contents

Other Books by this Author

Title Page

Dedication

Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Chapter X

Chapter XI

Chapter XII

Chapter XIII

Chapter XIV

Chapter XV

Chapter XVI

Chapter XVII

Chapter XVIII

Chapter XIX

Copyright

Therefore I tell my sorrows to the stones;
Who, though they cannot answer my distress,
Yet in some sort they are better than the tribunes,
For that they will not intercept my tale:
When I do weep, they humbly at my feet
Receive my tears and seem to weep with me.
—W
ILLIAM
S
HAKESPEARE
,
Titus Andronicus
, Act 3, Scene 1

I

G
EENA
H
ODGE
stood on the bow of the water taxi as it chugged toward San Marco, the colors of the Doge’s Palace brought to life by the sun, and wondered how much longer Venice would survive before it crumbled into the sea. Though the Italian government had committed to a seven-billion-dollar project to install a complex system of flood gates to hold back storm surges and seasonal high tides, it was already over budget and behind schedule. Sometimes it seemed hopeless.

But even the most optimistic Venetians were fooling themselves. The city had been built on top of wooden pilings sunk into a salt marsh, with sediment and clay beneath that, which was little better than raising palaces on top of a sponge. Venice bore down, squeezing a little more water out of its foundations every year, and sinking just a bit farther. Between that and the rising global sea level, Venice was screwed. Maybe the new tidal gate system, MOSE, would work well enough—fouling up the Venetian lagoon’s ecosystem in the meantime—and maybe it wouldn’t. Even with the best-case scenario, they would only manage to buy themselves a century.

La Serenissima
, they called it—the most serene—and Venice remained a city of serenity and beauty. She was still Queen of the Adriatic, steeped in history and scholarship and art, unique in all the world. There was nowhere like it, and the world would never see its like again. But much of the population had fled the routine flooding and the absurd tourism-driven cost of living in the city, and those who remained were like the curators of a living museum.

Geena’s own project, approved by the Italian and Venetian authorities, was evidence that some people in the city understood that ruin could be slowed but not prevented.

“As lovely as ever,” said the man beside her. “She’s a gem, Venice.” Howard Finch, a television producer from the BBC, had come to her in search of a story. And though she had one to give him—as extraordinary a story of archaeology and history as he was ever likely to encounter—she wished he would go away. Reporters were bad enough, always armed with just enough research to get the story wrong. But producers could be much worse. They didn’t even
try
to convince you they weren’t full of shit.

“Haven’t been here in nearly twenty years,” Finch continued. “Hard to believe some of the things I’ve heard.”

“Such as?” Geena asked, and immediately regretted it.

He puffed himself up in that way that was universal among the very pompous and very rich in every culture. Geena had been born and raised in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. She had met plenty of arrogant men in her thirty-six years, but as bad as Americans could be, the Brits had had much more time to perfect the art of pompousness. Pomposity. Whatever.

“Talked to a bloke last week who said nobody lives on the ground floor at all anymore. Got all the windows bricked up, just letting it go to ruin. Surrendering. And those walkways in the Piazza San Marco—”

“Passarelle.”

“They’re out all the time now, so people can get through when the canal water floods in.”

The water taxi’s engine shifted from a purr to a groan as it began to slow, gliding toward a dock not far from the trees of the Giardini ex Reali. They still had an excellent view of the Doge’s Palace, but behind his façade Finch seemed uninterested in anything except the sound of his own voice.

Geena smiled at him. She had pulled her hair back in a neat blond ponytail and had actually put on makeup this morning, asked pleadingly by Tonio Schiavo, the head of the archaeology department at Ca’Foscari University, to “come smart.” The smile had been part of her marching orders as well. Usually Geena did not have to be told to smile—most days she loved her life—but she wanted to be working, getting her hands dirty, not playing tour guide.

“Mr. Finch, not too long ago the low-lying areas of the city flooded maybe eight or ten times in a year. Now that number averages closer to one hundred. A third of the time, the Piazza San Marco is full of water from the canals, which includes raw sewage, among other unpleasant things. Everyone has Wellington boots in Venice, or they wrap plastic around their shoes, even to use the walkways put out for just that purpose.”

Finch nodded in fascination. “Christ, it’s like something out of one of those crap sci-fi apocalypse films, isn’t it?” he asked, without looking to her for confirmation. “But they’ve really abandoned the ground floors?”

BOOK: The Chamber of Ten
4.88Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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