The Heirs of Babylon

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About The Book

The dystopian politics of 1984 meet the naval warship backdrop of The Last Ship in fantasy master Glen Cook’s reissued first novel, available for the first time in decades.

It is 2193, and still the war continues.

Two hundred years after nuclear and chemical weapons have nearly annihilated the global population, the last of mankind struggles on in isolated communities. Law and order is carried out by the Political Office, black-clad police who rule through fear and violence, commanding the world’s survivors how to think, how to act, and when to obey the call to the Gathering: the ritual massing for war against an unknown and unseen Enemy.

Now the call has come, and all nations must pay tribute.

Kurt Ranke is a young man eking out an existence in the ruins of former Germany with his pregnant wife. But when the Gathering is called, he boards the decrepit destroyer Jäger—a once-mighty warship now more than two centuries old. Antiquated, broken-down, and running on steam, it wallows through uncharted waters carrying Ranke and a reluctant and ragtag group of soldiers en route to the Final Meeting: a battle from which it’s rumored none have ever returned . . .

Night Shade Books is proud to reissue, for the first time and now with a brand-new foreword from the author, The Heirs of Babylon, Glen Cook’s long-unavailable debut novel, a dark blend of post-apocalyptic naval warfare, Orwellian political intrigue, and the intimate, war-correspondent prose the author is known for.

Raves and Reviews

Praise for The Heirs of Babylon

A loving reissue . . . this early work is much more than a mere curiosity.”—B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog

Praise for Glen Cook

Glen Cook single-handedly changed the face of fantasy—something a lot of people didn’t notice, and maybe still don’t. Reading his stuff is like reading Vietnam War fiction on Peyote.”
—Steven Erikson, author of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series

“Over the past 25 years, Cook has carved out a place for himself among the preeminent fantasy writers of his generation. . . . His work is unrelentingly real, complex, and honest. The sense of place that permeates his narrative and characters gives his ‘fantasies’ more gravitas and grit than most fictions set in the here-and-now.”
New York Times bestselling author Jeff VanderMeer

A master realist of the imagination.”
Locus

Glen writes a mean book.”
 —Jim Butcher, author of The Dresden Files

“These books, like so many of Cook’s series, are epic in scale but intimate in focus . . . Cook is a brilliant writer.”
The Green Man Review, on A Fortress in Shadow

One of the defining fantasy series ever written. Glen Cook’s writing is a great flood that washes fantasy tropes and cliché’s away and in their place we are given three novels that make us reflect on what it means to be human. . . . On more than one occasion I found chills running down my spine. Words don’t do these novels justice.”
The Ostentatious Ogre on A Cruel Wind

 “Glen Cook is the author of some of my hands-down favorite books. I hold out his Black Company series as arguably the best military fantasy ever written. The early Garrett books set a standard for the blending of fantasy and hardboiled fiction.”
Black Gate

One of Cook’s strongest storytelling traits shines through, his ability to cast no judgment and show the opposing sides of a conflict with honesty, empathy, and resonance.
SFFWorld, on A Fortress in Shadow

“Glen Cook is a rare beast of a writer—he can vacillate between military fantasy, space opera, epic fantasy, mystery, and science fantasy with great ease. His writing is often marked by a purity; that he is depicting life in its most real sense, from the thoughts in a character’s mind to the wind rushing across his or her face.”
—Rob H. Bedford, sffworld.com, on Darkwar

 “Cook’s talent for combining gritty realism and high fantasy provides a singular edge.”
Library Journal, on Water Sleeps

Cook provides a rich world of assorted races, cultures, and religions; his characters combine the mythic or exotic with the realistic, engaging in absorbing alliances, enmities, and double-crosses.”
Publishers Weekly, on Bleak Seasons

New and innovative. [Cook] blends the urban, intimate, slightly seedy tradition of sword & sorcery with the pastoral, epic, expansive tradition of heroic fantasy . . . this is the book that injected a shot of realism into the genre, and helped steer it on the course towards modern so-called "gritty" fantasy.
Strange Horizons, on Chronicles of the Black Company

Glen Cook changed the face of the fantasy genre forever . . . and for the better.”
Fantasy Book Review, on The Black Company

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