Nick Petrie Series

Nick Harkaway Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Gone-Away World (2008)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Angelmaker (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Tigerman (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Gnomon (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Titanium Noir (2023)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Edie Investigates (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Blind Giant (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Doctor Who: Time Trips Books

The Death Pit (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Into the Nowhere (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Keeping Up with the Joneses (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Salt of the Earth (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Handful of Stardust (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Bog Warrior (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Anti-Hero (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Anthologies

Solaris Rising 2(2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Irregularity(2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Doctor Who: Time Trips(2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Third Annual Collection(2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Nick Harkaway is an English author of fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and thrillers books best known for his The Gone-Away World novel. The book was nominated in 2009 for a BSFA Award for Best Novel and a Locus Award for Best First Novel. It was also praised by the January Magazine, terming it as a powerful and accomplished debut novel that weaves the elements of mystery, romance, fiction, science fiction, and thriller together in a way that leaves no doubt Harkaway is a master storyteller.

The Gone-Away World

Nick Harkaway’s novel The Gone-Away World is one of the best apocalyptic novels that sneaks up on you, hooks you in, and leaves you yearning for more. Nick’s writing can be compared to two Douglases who are masters of the apocalyptic genre: Douglas Adams and Douglas Coupland.

Sarcastic and observant, Nick Harkaway introduces scene after scene of unending zany fun. The book’s title is derived from the name of the most devastating superweapon ever created, the “Go-Away Bomb.” when unleashed, the bomb makes all the information cease to exist immediately. But this bomb has a harmful side effect; it creates nebulous stuff capable of responding to random memories and thoughts in a human’s mind, making such thoughts and memories real.

The effects of the nebulous stuff are the creation of monsters, mutants, and entirely new people. When different countries decide to deploy bombs in the attainment of mutually-assured destruction, a Gone-Away World is created.

Nick Harkaway’s novel spans several decades that begin in a near-future with an alternate history, and then the war occurs, which changes the world. Most of the story takes place in this strange post-apocalyptic world where the safest assumption is never to make any.

The main plot of the story, which is immensely valuable for a revisit after you get to page 300, the book switches back to the childhood of the nameless narrator and his friend, Gonzo Lubitsch. It follows the two spendings their childhood in a small British country village, attending college, and later becoming a part of the highly secretive “Away” project, going to war and using the Gone-Away Bomb.

After the short opening chapter set in the novel’s present, the narrative time travels to the past and then covers the event from the narrator’s childhood. While this storytelling tactic results in highly entertaining events, it plays a vital role in allowing the reader to get to know how life was for the narrator and his friend before the war began and how things have changed since the war.

This narrative also plays a huge role after the huge mind-screw plot twist towards the end of the story. It’s a sort of plot twist that would typically be a horrible stylistic device, but the author manages to pull it off, allowing the book to make more sense. What at first appears to be a random autobiographical narration becomes relevant to the main plot and the Gone-Away World themes on dehumanization in the face of bureaucracy.

And it’s this stylistic device that proves Nick Harkaway is in the same league as Douglas Adams. To give you a backstory, Douglas Adams was a satirical author who managed to craft blistering satires of the British bureaucracy. Harkaway brilliantly replicates the same with his giant Jorgamund Corporation and manages to spice it with some mimes and ninjas. And like Adams, he manages to use humor that reinforces the story’s themes.

What themes? You may ask. Well, much of the Gone-Away World story criticize bureaucracy. The main antagonist in the story is what the narrator calls a “type A pencil-neck, a person wholly consumed by the mechanism in which they are employed such that they cease to exist as a separate entity. The story further explores how some folks use cognitive dissonance to ensure their humanity stays intact in the brutalizing lines of work, whether they are mindless, tedious, or appallingly destructive.

The Gone-Away World isn’t just a story about maintaining one’s human side in the face of outside threats. Still, it is also a cautionary tale of unintentionally sacrificing the humanity side of you in the name of doing good.

The Gone-Away World is a book that bridges the gap between our view of the world and the world itself. This is similar to the 1961 novel Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, which is narrated through loosely linked scenes, in most cases past tense, and gives a sense of reality that lapses into the surreal. It’s described such that some aspects of the story are unclear as the rest burn brightly with psychological and emotional importance, possibly with time and recollection. This is an effect that Harkaway utilizes throughout his book, even though the techniques through which the effect is achieved are different.

In Angelmaker, Harkaway introduces us to an everyday man named Joe Spork. He is a watch repairman who finds himself in possession of a highly sought-after book. His shop, which also serves as his house where his grandfather used to work, starts getting customers he has never seen before, with some being too flexible to be human.

However, unknown to him, the trigger to these otherworldly things is a request from one of his customers, an older woman who needs a clockwork toy soldier repaired. As he begins the repair, a big event happens on a global scale. Mechanical bees swarm the city, terrorism, and Spork soon finds himself struggling to stay alive as the book and his grandfather’s work become points of interest to groups willing to do anything for what they seek. And soon, Jork finds himself with the world’s fate on his shoulders.

The Angelmaker is adventurous, humorous, vivacious, expansive, and flashy. While written in few pages than the Gone-Away World, it’s written in a style that the reader will continue to drool over in the latter. It opens up the reader to a world of Granny ninjas, Fu Manchu villains, clockwork devices, strange cults, and mechanical bees, allowing the story to live up to its billing.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Nick Harkaway

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