Deadly Destinations: Adam Christopher & win SEVEN WONDERS

August 5, 2012 Deadly Destinations 55

Today’s Deadly Destination  is from Adam Christopher‘s Jeannie on San Ventura, CA from SEVEN WONDERS  (published on August 28, 2012 from Angry Robot). Want to win a copy? Enter via the widget below.

**Visit Dark Faerie Tales today for her Deadly Destination from Nancy Holzner & a chance to win DARKLANDS**

Hosted by All Things Urban Fantasy & Dark Faerie Tales  August 1st-31st 

Adam Christopher’s Jeannie on San Ventura, CA from SEVEN WONDERS

Oh welcome, one and all, to the Shining City! Behold the magnificence! Look, up in the sky! See the Wonders fly! Oh, hark now at all the…  um, shiny things. Hark is look, right? No?

Okay, I’ll cut the crap. My name is Jeannie and I’m not even from around here. I’m actually from Albuquerque. Yeah, okay. Albuquerque is a nice place, it’s just that the only superpower you’ll find in that particular corner of New Mexico is the uncanny ability to sell crappy pottery to tourists.

But San Ventura? That’s where the action is. Everyone knows it. Even people from Albuquerque. Because the Shining City, as everyone calls it – as the local council has plastered over every bit of promotion and marketing to come out of its tourist office – is the home of the Seven Wonders. They’re the last superheroes standing, and a finer bunch of goody two-shoes you’re not likely to find. Well, not since the Goody Two-Shoes were killed in that fight with Belphegor back in ’98 anyway.

The Shining City. Okay, I have to admit, that fits. It gets a lot of sun, just like every other city in SoCal. But I’ve never been able to figure out whether it was called that before the Seven Wonders built their glorified office block in the center of the city. Right there in downtown, this big sort of shard thing, like a giant chunk of cut glass or maybe a skyscraper-sized wedge of crystal thrust up from the ground during a big earthquake. Or, more likely, during one of the many smack downs between the Seven Wonders and that other guy.

Sorry, I’m all over the place. You’re asking an out-of-towner about one of the most famous cities in the US? What, did you take off to the moon with The Incandescent Admiral or something?

Oh, you did. Well, okay.

So the other guy. But… wait, let’s go back. Gather round, children.

There are no more superheroes in the world. There used to be hundreds – maybe thousands; even I can remember seeing them on the news when I was a kid. But now it’s only the Seven Wonders, and they’re only hanging around because there is one foe left undefeated. Of all the supervillains there ever were, they’re all dead or locked up or rehabilitated or missing or whatever, except for the other guy, the Cowl. And because he’s still on the loose and he’s the mortal arch-nemesis of the Seven Wonders, the Seven Wonders haven’t hung up their capes yet.

Which I’m sure the San Ventura Tourist Board thinks is pretty neat because it means they can sell moody posters of the chairman of the Seven Wonders, Aurora, all hands-on-hips and mean glare, with his buxom wife Bluebird sticking her chest out next to him. Aurora’s powers might be related to the power of the sun’s magnetic field, but a gravity-defying bust is clearly her particular gift. I mean, come on.

So anyway. There are two opposing theories: the first, that San Ventura is a beautiful city basking in the glorious Californian sun, a place where playboys park their yachts (do you park yachts? I have no clue) and where the geeks of world gather every year for the San Ventura Comic Con (and no prizes for guessing who the special guests are. Every. Single. Year. Ever).

The other point of view is that San Ventura is the most dangerous city in the world, because it’s the home of the world’s last supervillain. And, well, from the outside I can see where that comes from –  bad news gets bigger ratings than good, so even back in the Beige City (that’s Albuquerque… like “Shining City”, only… oh, never mind) the Adventures of the Cowl played nightly on the 11pm news. But, y’know, maybe they’re looking in the wrong direction. Sure, the Cowl has a bunch of fans who like to wear his symbol and who the news call the Omega gangs, but they’re mostly just potheads who sell a bit of weed in the city parks after dark. What about the Seven Wonders? Have you seen the damage they do? Okay, so the Cowl comes along and is doing something nefarious but then Sand Cat comes along and throws a bus at him, and then there’s Aurora with his fancy lightshow and angry angry eyes and suddenly the highway is a giant crater and there’s one less building on the corner than there used to be, and for what? The Cowl gets away every time.

Some people think the Seven Wonders let him. But… I’ll refrain from commenting.

Of course back then, before I relocated thanks to work, The Cowl operated alone. He’s got an accomplice now. She’s called Blackbird. I like her.

But back to this wonderful and amazing and beautiful city! Right? Right. And actually, it is nice. I grew up in the desert but I do like the sea. It’s kinda restful. And blue. There’s nothing better than sitting outside an Apollo Coffee near the beach, watching the world go by, laughing at tourists with their cameras and iPads (seriously, taking a photo with an iPad in public is an embarrassment, you should be ashamed of your supreme lameness) waiting to see if Linear will scoot by at the speed of sound, or maybe they think SMART will set down and do some complex calculations for their entertainment. Seriously, if that stupid robot had an espresso machine in its chest then maybe it would be doing the good people of San Ventura a service. I mean, how do the Seven Wonders even pay for it all? Maybe printing money is another of their wonderful superpowers. Might explain how they could afford that building. Oh, didn’t I mention? The building – sorry, the Citadel of Wonders (puke puke) actually does shine. In fact, when the sun hits it, it projects this rainbow of light out over the city, and it sweeps around during the day, illuminating the good citizens they’re sworn to protect.

Which is why I got an apartment with windows facing away from the city, towards the bay. I mean, that light is a light that will keep you awake. Considerate neighbors, the Seven Wonders are not.

But maybe that’ll change. Maybe it’ll all change.

One day.

Enjoy your stay. Drive carefully. And don’t forget to tip. What, you don’t tip where you come from? Y’know, I think I preferred the story about The Incandescent Admiral.



Giveaway provided by Angry Robot Books
Two copies of SEVEN WONDERS by Adam Christopher

Cover by Will Staehle


Published on August 28, 2012 from Angry Robot


Tony Prosdocimi lives in the bustling Metropolis of San Ventura – a city gripped in fear, a city under siege by the hooded supervillain, The Cowl.

When Tony develops super-powers and acts to take down The Cowl, however, he finds that the local superhero team Seven Wonders aren’t as grateful as he assumed they’d be…

File Under: Science Fiction [ Heroes In Action | A Double Cross | Kapow! | Tables Turned ]

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55 Responses to “Deadly Destinations: Adam Christopher & win SEVEN WONDERS”

  1. Natalie Cleary

    Thanks so much for the chance. I love the sound of this, very intriguing!! Adam why did you decide to write about superheros/superpowers?

    • Adam Christopher

      Hi Natalie,

      I’m a huge fan of comics, and of superhero comics in particular, so it was probably only a matter of time before the central concept of SEVEN WONDERS came to me! Writing superhero prose was an interesting experience, with its own challenges – comics are a visual medium, so getting that comicbook feel onto the page was key. Hopefully I’ve succeeded!

    • Adam Christopher

      Hi Paul,

      Funnily enough, SEVEN WONDERS was actually the second novel I wrote, and EMPIRE STATE was the third one, even though Angry Robot are putting them out in reverse order. I guess with SEVEN WONDERS I got the superhero thing out of my system, because I don’t really consider EMPIRE STATE to be a superhero novel – it has superheroes in it, but it’s primarily a pulpy science fiction detective story. However, I’m fascinated by the idea of *period* superheroes and the Golden Age of American superhero comics, so it seemed like a natural progression to move from a Silver/Bronze/Modern Age take on superheroes (SEVEN WONDERS) to something a little more esoteric (EMPIRE STATE and the superheroes of the Prohibition). And then Angry Robot published them in reverse order anyway :p

  2. Mickie T

    This really sounds like an interesting – if slightly alarming – take on superheroes. After reading what Jeannie says, I think I’d probably prefer to have the superheros and villians in some other place than where I am! I’m looking forward to the book.

    • Adam Christopher

      Hi Sharon,

      Sort of, to a very limited extent – Angry Robot are perhaps a little unusual in that they do consult their authors when it comes to covers, which makes sense, because an author knows the book inside out and will be able to easily identify elements, characters, scenes, or the like, which might make good cover material. So for SEVEN WONDERS (and EMPIRE STATE) I sent a bunch of notes to my editor, along with a little reference material and descriptions, but after that it’s up to the publisher and the artist – after all, a publisher knows how to sell a book and an artist/designer knows what they’re doing, so it really shouldn’t be up to me to tell them what to do – what do I know about it all?

      I’m delighted to have Will Staehle working on my books – I think he’s a total genius, and when his rough suggestions come back they blow us all away. I think for SEVEN WONDERS we had seven concepts to chose from (it was nine for EMPIRE STATE), but the cover we went for was a pretty obvious choice. What I love about it is that it’s two covers in one – close up, it’s superheroes standing on buildings, but as you get further away (or as the cover gets smaller, which is important for thumbnails and things online) it turns into a giant orange number seven. That’s brilliant. I love it!

  3. erinf1

    congrats on the new release! Thanks for a great post and giveaway! Sounds fantastic!

  4. Carl

    Thanks for the intro to San Ventura. Sure sounds like an unusual town, I think I might drop by in the near future. Really like the cover too, the colors are great and the perspective is very different. Thanks

  5. Patsy Hagen

    This book sounds very interesting! Thank you for this chance of winning it.

    • Adam Christopher

      Hi Jenn,

      Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for that – if you check the acknowledgements in the back of the book, you may get a clue on who gave me the name to use. Choosing the superhero/supervillian names was a heck of a lot of fun, but when it came to the main characters, I had to be very careful – not only making sure I didn’t pick a name that has already been used for a superhero somewhere (and that took quite a bit of checking), but one that really clicked and wasn’t just something random and ridiculous (although, without giving away any spoilers, I did have the opportunity to have fun with that too).

      I had an image in my mind of what The Cowl looked like, costume and all, for ages while I tried to think of a name. When the name was suggested, it fitted perfectly!

      But yeah – there’s a reason why most novels have an acknowledgement section 🙂

  6. Carrie V.

    It’s nice to see male YA authors and writing about a male character. I think boys need to read more.

    • Adam Christopher

      Hi Carrie,

      I completely agree, boys do need to read more. And maybe some will pick up SEVEN WONDERS, although it has a fair amount of bad language in it – it isn’t a YA book, it’s adult science fiction. And Jeannie is a girl 🙂

  7. Marie-Claude Rajotte

    A book about superheroes…..I need to read it. And I love the cover.

  8. Barbara Elness

    Seven Wonders sounds very intriguing. I’m interested to find out why the super heroes don’t want Tony to take down The Cowl.

  9. Vanessa

    Ooohh. This looks good. I totally went and added you to my list of books to read… and my new to me authors to explore list too! I just looove finding new to me authors. Thanks for the details on the book and the giveaway!

  10. alicia marie

    This is the first I’ve heard about this book and it sounds really good! Definitely added to my tbr list : ) Thanks for the giveaway!!

    • Adam Christopher

      Hi Victoria,

      I write because I have to write! It’s just one of those things that I’m sure most writers will tell you – we have stories to tell, and when we don’t write, we get… agitated, shall we say!

      As for inspiration – well, I have more ideas for novels that I’ll be able to write in my lifetime, so there are no problems in that department. It’s just a matter of sitting in the chair and writing, and writing, and writing!

  11. Renee

    The book sounds really intriguing. It is going on my wish list right now.

  12. Dovile

    I love reading novels about superheroes, so I’d really like to read your book!

  13. Melliane

    I haven’t read a lot of superheroes books and I confess I’m very curious to learn more about this one. This post was really interesting, nice to learn more about Jeannie. thanks for the giveaway!

  14. Victoria Hooper

    This looks so good – added to my to-read list. Thanks for the chance to win a copy! 🙂 And wow, Angry Robot really know how to do covers!

    Adam, what did you find most challenging about writing superheroes in novel form? And do you have a favourite superhero? 🙂

  15. Courtney

    This is completely out of my comfort zone as far as reading goes…but I am intrigued. That’s hard to do outside my favorite genres!

  16. Chelsea B.

    Hi Adam and Jeannie! Seven Wonders sounds amazing– I’ve never read a superhero themed book before!

  17. rissatoo

    Empire State was interesting. I’ve got Seven Wonders on the TBB list…

  18. Brandy

    Hey thanks for the giveaway. What superpower would you want and why?

  19. Cayce

    I love superheroes and the Seven Wonder sounds awesome!
    Thank you for the funny post, Adam! You created a super cool city, The Shining City sounds like every superheroe’s dream. And I love Jeannie! Can’t wait to meet her again in the book! 🙂

  20. Francesca

    Wow I really love superheroes but here in Italy we don’t have many books about them 🙁 Thanks for the giveaway!

  21. Bethie

    It has a been a while since I have read a good superhero book. Looking forward to this one.

  22. HollyB

    AWESOME guest post from Jeannie!! So glad she could stop by and share her inside information on San Ventura with us! It was a blast to read 🙂 I LOVE superhero novels and have heard some darn good things about Mr. Christopher’s writing, and I’d be honored to win. Thanks for the great month of fabulousness!

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