Dec 11, 2010

Simon R.Green: Nightside

Enter the nightside, where it's always 3 a.m. ...

Nightside series:
01. Something from the Nightside (2003)
02. Agents of Light and Darkness (2003)
03. Nightingale's Lament (2004)
04. Hex and the City (2005)
05. Paths Not Taken (2005)
06. Sharper Than A Serpent's Tooth (2006)
07. Hell to Pay (2006)
08. The Unnatural Inquirer (2008)
09. Just Another Judgement Day (2009)
10. The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny (2010)
11. A Hard Day's Knight (2011)

German Editions


The series takes place in a fictional inner city area of London called "The Nightside". Elements of fantasy, science fiction and the supernatural all feature heavily in both the Nightside itself and its inhabitants.

Indicated by its name, the Nightside experiences perpetual night ("it's always 3am"). The Nightside itself is contained within London, yet is larger than London by a significant measure. Though access to the Nightside is hidden, it does experience a steady stream of tourists from the "normal" world.

The main character, John Taylor, describes the Nightside "as a place where dreams come true and nightmares come alive. Where one can buy anything, often at the price of your soul... or someone else's. Where the music never stops and the fun never ends". Numerous seemingly impossible services or goods are available-often quite commonly-in the Nightside; examples include stores selling albums from alternative time-lines (e.g. a live Mama Cass concert from 2003), a business where customers pay to be possessed for a brief period of time "just for the kick of it," and a drug called Revert which causes users to temporarily devolve into a biological ancestor (e.g. a Neanderthal).

A recurring feature in the Nightside is the appearance of "Timeslips", locations where the Nightside has collided with another part of space and/or time, and sometimes with a completely separate, alternate timeline as well. A number of characters identified within the series are "refugees" displaced by Timeslips. The appearance of Timeslips is largely unpredictable, though in some cases Timeslips have been predicted or even deliberately created.

The Nightside is overseen by The Authorities, a committee whose members are largely unknown which makes rules, policy, and decisions concerning what is allowed to happen within the realm. The Authorities' decisions are enforced by their Agent (or "The Man"), who among other equipment and abilities is given The Voice, a way of issuing vocal commands which no human can refuse. At the beginning of the first book this position is held by Walker.

Nightside - Jessica Sorrow

by ~sithwitch13

Suzie Shooter aka Shotgun Suzie aka Dear God It's Her Run!

by ~blazewu

Dead Boy

by =neekko


  1. I've seen this book described as "Harry Dresden loose in a Neil Gaiman-style world and I find this description kind of accurate. It's real fun and original, sarcastic and plenty of awesome characters. I definitely like this series.

  2. As far as N.G. is concerned, this is also a hidden London, yes, but the Nightside is simultaneously broader and darker, encompassing many more planes of existence and much more depravity and violence than Gaiman’s whimsical Neverwhere.

  3. I'm gonna copy here a comment found in Amazon Customer's Reviews by someone called Wooddavis 'cause, hard as I tried, I would not be able to describe better what I feel about this book:

    The Nightside is an ugly place, not particularly well described, but perceived through the movements of the characters. The best I could conjure up with my imagination was a filthy sewer, lined with businesses and flop houses stained with urine and blood soaked carpets. Within a very short period of time, blood and gore became so much wasted ink, and was hurled around like the residents were throwing animal feces at each other. Everywhere you walk, it squishes with some kind of offal.

    The "hard boiled detective", the emotionally crippled 30 something hero of this series, whines about being abandoned by his Mommy at birth and his Daddy dying from an alcoholic binge when he was ten. (I can't imagine any man who would want to be like him, or any healthy woman who would find him attractive). His female sidekick, Suzie Shooter, is turned on by shooting things and farts for social commentary (charming). His secretary is a fourteen year old runaway from the real world who enjoys booze, masochism and dancing on tables (probably to avoid the dung on the floor). There are no sympathetic characters; "good" guys, bad guys, vampires, werewolves, demons, ghosts, angels from above and below, bums, businessmen, they all blend into one another, and telling them apart is unnecessary and impossible. Everyone is a loser and wallows in self-pity and degradation. Empty hearts, empty souls, empty lives. I couldn't find it in myself to care who lived or who died.

  4. For me, this is a quick, fun read with descriptions a bit repetitive but entertaining all the same. Some characters are weirdly endearing and sometimes I feel that Green is playing and experimenting in a brave and uninhibited way, although it's also true that Taylor strikes me as a poor copy of Harry Dresden but please bear in mind that I really don't know which of the two characters first got published, so I'm speaking from my personal point of view, biased by the fact that I first read the Dresden series


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