Black Man (aka Thirteen)

  • Publisher: Gollancz (UK) / Del Rey (US)
  • Publication Date: May 2007 (UK) / June 2007 (US)


Carl Marsalis is a traitor, a bringer of death, a genetic freak and an unwelcome reminder of all that is dark in the human psyche – he in every sense of the word a Black Man. And right at the moment he’s beyond the UN’s juristiction, banged up in a Florida jail for financing an illegal abortion. So when the US police call, Carl cuts a deal.

The 13s are genetically engineered alpha males, designed to fight the century’s last conflicts. But men bred and designed to fight are dangerous to have aroundin peacetime. Many of them have left for Mars, but one has returned. Somehow he survived the journey to Earth, and now a series of brutal slayings has erupted across America. Only Carl can stop him.

And so begins a frenetic man hunt and a battle for survival. And a search for the truth about what was really done with the world’s last soldiers.

Author’s Notes:

“An accidentally lengthy meditation on elements of the human condition that the Kovacs books always had the capacity to sidestep – namely, the prison of our own flesh, and the inevitable doom of our own mortality. A future of genetic science out of control, geo-politics out of joint, and fresh colonial and racist aspirations for the whole human race.

“It took me two years to pull all this material together (or, some might say, apart) – check it out, see if it’s been worth it.”