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Assault on Sunrise (The Extra Trilogy) Hardcover – August 13, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Shea follows 2010's The Extra with another lowbrow thriller set in a world where video studios can get away with anything. People trapped in the vast slums are willing to risk death to escape, and video directors can shoot live carnage in which hundreds of extras are really killed by mechanical monsters. Panoply Studio's megalomaniac CEO, Val Margolian, unleashes his twisted imagination on the mountain town of Sunrise, home of former extras who escaped his earlier vid bloodbaths. The townspeople just want to be left alone, but Margolian plans to create a nihilistic masterpiece out of their destruction. He has scripted a two-day apocalypse in which the town is overwhelmed by giant wasps and mantids, all lovingly recorded from antigravity rafts. The resourceful Sunrisers have other plans, however. Shea keeps the action moving briskly, but there's something disingenuous about using outrageous ultraviolence to criticize our fascination with outrageous ultraviolence. Agent: Eleanor Wood, Spectrum Literary Agency. (Aug.)


The Extra starts out at a dead run and accelerates from there, effortlessly wrapping the reader into its tale of a gone-to-hell L.A. and a little band of gutsy starvelings with blood on their hands. (Peter Straub, bestselling author of Mr. X on The Extra)

Horror, humor, action, pathos, bread, circuses, giant mechanical spiders--oh, hell, where can I buy a ticket? (Sam Hamm, screenwriter of Tim Burton's Batman on The Extra)

It's a shrewd and more than slightly cynical piece of entertainment, as slickly made as any of the Hollywood productions it ostensibly satirizes. Trust me, you're gonna love it. (Locus on The Extra)

Combines Hollywood satire, dystopian societies, and themes on media, social realism and class status for a darkly funny and action-packed futuristic thriller. (Fantasy Literature on The Extra)

The Extra packs more violence, hilarity and speed-freak action in its throw-away asides than most science fiction books build an entire story around. This is a hot ticket. (Patton Oswalt, the voice of Ratatouille on The Extra)

Michael Shea puts his people in the damndest nightmares. He puts you in there with them, and drives the whole lot of you through a delirium of breakneck action and mad invention--hilarity and Hellfire itself. Wanna be in the movies? Step inside . . . (Stuart Gordon,writer/director of Re-Animator on The Extra)

All the hallmarks of Shea's much-lauded storytelling are here: strong, sinewy sentences--muscular metaphors--crafty characters immersed in action both horrific and hilarious. (Marc Laidlaw, writer of the award-winning computer game "Half-Life" on The Extra)

Shea's prose is brutal and his mood savage in this horror show glimpse of things to come. The Extra presages a dystopia we Westerners can witness going up, brick by brick. Bare knuckles satire at its finest. (Laird Barron, author of The Imago Sequence and other Stories on The Extra)

Michael Shea's The Extra offers intensity, great characters, action, satire that may well be prescient, fine writing, and intelligent nonstop entertainment. What do you want, dammit? This is the one! (John Shirley, author of The Crow and Living Shadows on The Extra)
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Product Details

  • Series: The Extra Trilogy (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (August 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765324369
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765324368
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,642,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael A. Shea's writing career began when he was thirteen, and his published writing career commenced in 1973 with the publication of A Quest For Simbilis--an hommage to the great Jack Vance, and sequel to his Eyes of the Overworld. Shea callowly offered Mr. Vance co-credit if he allowed Shea to publish it. Mr. Vance, graceful and kind, assured the novice that he should sell it if he could, and the neophyte contented himself with an acknowledgment that introduced the text.

Shea quit his natal L.A. and repaired to Frisco's Mission District, where he met his life-mate, artist and author Linda Cesar. They lived by teaching, painting, and writing--preponderantly the former two. Through the years of their union, and the growth of their remarkable son and daughter, Shea produced his works of science fiction and fantasy.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By josh on October 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Where are all the reviews? These books are total crowd pleasers, with the same manic, pulpy, winking sensibility as Guardians of the Galaxy, Cabin in the Woods, or Starship Troopers. They're the blistering, spiky-ripe habanero-durian fruit frappes of the smoothie stand. Which is to say, awfully delicious.

Shea writes with a visceral, cinematic quality all his own. His prose is lush, beautiful, and merciless. He packs words one upon the other into dense, forceful imagery that falls upon you under its own weight with all the impact of a sledge hammer. It's like a deep tissue massage to the brain. He can do beauty: "The universe was right there on top of you, a pavement of white coals. Their light lay like frost on the grassy slopes and on the grandfather pines in their thousands." Horror: "They came in little squadrons running slantwise across the fronts of buildings, little arrowheads and dagger-blades of half a dozen mantids, scuttling in perfect synchrony zig and zag over verticals of plaster, carpentry, and concrete." And sentiment, not to mention all three at once: "A swift deployment of mass above and behind him. Barbs sank into his shoulders and his chest, hoisting him up and back into the jaws. A demon's head with rainbow eyes engulfed his own, and closed the book of his kindness and courage forever."

Shea died not long after this novel was published. He wrote with a unique voice, and left a legacy of works easy to love. Here's hoping this one finds the massive market it so richly deserves.
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By Ed on November 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It was an interesting story, but the lack of character development left me not caring what happened to anyone. Good si-fi.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Henry L. Lazarus on December 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Life is so worthless in the future, according to Michael Shea, that the extras in the epic movies of the future really die. Of course the public is easily sated. So a small town in the mountains is framed for murder and attacked by giant nanotech insects while being filmed by camera crews on anti-gravity rafts. The Assault on Sunrise (hard from Tor) is spread over two days with directorial surprises for each of the three acts of each day. Fun and exciting. I just find it difficult to believe that liberal California would get so hard-nosed.
Review printed in the Philadelphia Weekly Press
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