Game (2004)
A novella by Conrad Williams

Cover art by Erik Wilson

SYNOPSIS: London. The coolest city in the world can also be the coldest...

Meet Ness. An arrester. One of a handful of people in the world able to see things, subtle signals from the future, things that might be. But she'd rather not. Because it hurts her. It hurts her so badly. She is slowly picking her way through the city's forgotten corners, searching for her long-lost lover before the attrocities she has envisioned are visited upon him. But Ness is running out of time...

As are Rache and Fi, heading south from Liverpool on a panicked, nightmarish journey fuelled by adrenaline and fear. They need to get to the capital soon if they are to save Liam from death at the hands of Bas Eachus, a notorious north London gun-for-sale, who is currently knee-deep in a shocking scam involving unfit meat and the city's seamier curry houses, soup kitchens, and kebab dens. But it's not as simple as that. Rache and Fi have been set a task: to kill three targets on Eachus's shit list within 24 hours. If they fail to contact him with evidence of their bleak odyssey at specific times, Eachus drains another pint of blood from Liam's body...

The destiny of these desperate characters are inextricably bound to what patiently waits for them in the lost edges of London's map, where the ancient white spaces of banned territory will offer them salvation and horror in equal measure.

Game. It's anything but ...

Now available in two states:

Trade paperback


15 lettered hardcovers, bound in leather and housed in a handcrafted slipcase, signed on limitation page by Conrad Williams and the cover artist, Erik Wilson


The slipcased lettered edition, a handmade book with marbled endsheets and cover art in a stamped recess in the front board, housed in a handmade slipcase, book and slipcase covered with fine Japanese cloth.

"Powerful and tragic. Centering on humanity's worst sins, Williams exploits and examines what happens when fate finally catches up to you. This is 80 pages of dark, ultra-violent, thought-provoking congestion. What you have here is three sculpted stories running simultaneously, interlacing slowly, divinely. Five out of five stars."
— Horror-Web

"GAME is a novella that takes the material of very hardboiled crime fiction and adds a horror/dark fantasy twist. It's a story diamond-hard in tone,
studded with imagery that will stay in your mind whether you like it or not, evoking a brutal world where evil flourishes and the innocent are liable to die horribly."
— Gary Couzens (INFINITY PLUS)

"Pacy, hard-edged, and almost feverish in the intensity with which it moves towards its blood-soaked and righteous climax. The writing, as always with
Williams, is both earthy and luminous, illustrating his ability to relate scenes of savage violence and corruption with clear and lucid prose. A blistering tale [that] reminds us of the genre's continued transgressive power."

"A ferocious adventure. The bits of story that get the characters going are not nearly as important here as the way Williams describes action. You can feel the desperation when you read the lines and it makes you nervous. You can almost taste the foul meat (another little incidental plot element) from the words inked on the page. It is amazing. The shocking twists in plot do keep you off balance and that accounts for some of the sting in the punches, but most it is Williams's extraordinary writing. The dialogue, the narrative, even the damned section titles are memorable. Conrad Williams types a mean key."

"A modern masterpiece of noir."

"Conrad Williams is one of the unsung heroes of fantastic fiction, and with GAME he is writing at the top of his form. This gem of a novella sparkles with audacious ideas, diamond-sharp dialogue and sublime detail. Williams has the unnerving ability to depict the most appalling human atrocities in achingly lyrical prose, which has the effect of making them more disturbing still. After GAME, I guarantee you will want to seek out and devour every other word that Williams has written. Go on, you'll be doing yourself a favour."
— Mark Morris