T.R. Napper wins Aurealis Award for Best Science Fiction Novel with 36 Streets

Last Updated on June 7, 2023

Science fiction novelist T.R. Napper has won the Aurealis Award for Best Science Fiction Novel with his brilliant book 36 Streets, published by Titan Books. Taking home the chocolates from one of the premier speculative fiction book awards in Australia, Napper is recognised as being among the best and brightest voices in Australian science fiction.

2023 Aurealis Award winners T.R. Napper (left; Best Science Fiction Novel) and Aaron Dries (right; Best Horror Novella). Photo thanks to Aaron’s Instagram account.

In 36 Streets (which I reviewed for Grimdark Magazine last year) Napper brings a Richard K. Morgan style SF noir detective story onto the streets of Vietnam. It’s an excellent, morose, beautiful in the horror of life, brutal, action packed, and gorgeous read. 36 Streets is refreshing, and brilliantly realised SF noir. And I highly, highly recommend that you pick up a copy and feed your eyes with it.

The blurb for the book reads, “Altered Carbon and The Wind-Up Girl meet Apocalypse Now in this fast-paced, intelligent, action-driven cyberpunk, probing questions of memory, identity and the power of narratives.

Lin ‘The Silent One’ Vu is a gangster in Chinese-occupied Hanoi, living in the steaming, paranoid alleyways of the 36 Streets. Born in Vietnam, raised in Australia, everywhere she is an outsider.

Through grit and courage, Lin has carved a place for herself in the Hanoi underworld under the tutelage of Bao Nguyen, who is training her to fight and survive. Because on the streets there are no second chances.

Meanwhile the people of Hanoi are succumbing to Fat Victory, an addictive immersive simulation of the US-Vietnam war. When an Englishman – one of the game’s developers – comes to Hanoi on the trail of his friend’s murderer, Lin is drawn into the grand conspiracies of the neon gods: the mega-corporations backed by powerful regimes that seek to control her city.

Lin must confront the immutable moral calculus of unjust wars. She must choose: family, country, or gang. Blood, truth, or redemption. No choice is easy on the 36 Streets.”

If you’re a cyberpunk fan and that doesn’t get your blood going, then I don’t know what bloody will. Grab yourself a copy below.

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Adrian Collins

Adrian Collins

Adrian Collins runs Grimdark Magazine and loves anything to do with telling darker stories. Doesn't matter the format, or when it was published or produced--just give him a grim story told in a dark world by a morally grey protagonist and this bloke's in his happy place. Add in a barrel aged stout to sip on after a cheeky body surf under the Australian sun, and that's his heaven.