Empire State by Adam ChristopherYou may remember we told you about our new WorldBuilder project, where we invite fans to create their own content set in the world of Adam Christopher’s Empire State.

Well, the website has now gone live, and to get the ball rolling we’ve commissioned a few pieces (with thanks to the mighty Mur Lafferty for helping to run the project).

The phenomenally talented JR Blackwell has provided us with stills from the (non-existent) 1946 noir movie adaptation of Empire State. There’s an example below, and you can find plenty more over at the main site (EmpireState.cc).

Also at the site is a short story from Hugo and Nebula Award winner, James Patrick Kelly. Empire State inspired his first ever superhero tale, The Biggest.

“The Biggest” by James Patrick Kelly

Big, known to his dear departed mother as Filbrick Van Loon, was startled out of his reverie when a heavy in a cheap gabardine suit dropped into the seat in front of him like a piano falling out of a skyscraper. In his drowsy confusion, Big thought the train itself had derailed, but as he gathered his wits he realized that the Empire State Express was pulling out of Union Station, finally headed south to New York City.

“Guess who I just seen?” said the heavy.

“Can’t.” A woman’s voice oozed boredom. “Jimmy Cagney?”

The seatback shuddered as the heavy thrashed disagreement. “What would Cagney be doing in Albany?”

“Babe Ruth?” said his companion.


“Rin Tin Tin? Judge Crater?

“The Governor.”


Big stopped feeling sorry for himself and leaned forward to eavesdrop, although the heavy had a voice they could probably hear him in Buffalo.

“How did you know it was him?”

“Been in the newsreels, hasn’t he? Believe me, this is the guy. He could barely walk cause of the polio.”

Big stood and pulled his suitcase off the overhead rack.

“They say he got better.” The woman was still skeptical.

“If that was better, I’d hate to see worse.”

Read it all, here.

We’d love for you to go and see what’s happening as part of our WorldBuilder project, and we’d love it even more if you were to join in. There are some free sample chapters from Empire State at the site, and the novel is available to purchase now in paperback, ePub and Kindle formats from your favourite stores.


  1. Hmm, if alternate Victorian sci-fi is ‘steampunk’ then would alternate prohibition New York be ‘Drunkpunk’?

    Brilliant work guys – will send round to my event mailing list in the newsletter.


  2. That’s quite a coup, to get James to write a story right off the bad.

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