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Shadowrun 15: Burning Bright (v. 15) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1995

14 customer reviews
Book 15 of 13 in the Shadowrun Series

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Product Details

  • Series: Shadowrun (Book 15)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; First Edition edition (November 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451454456
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451454454
  • ASIN: 0451453689
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #512,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

See Tom's new book: Storytelling Across Worlds: Transmedia for Creatives and Producers at

Tom Dowd is a 25-year veteran of the game design business, having been first published while still in high school. He is one of the co-creators of the award-winning Shadowrun role-playing game, as well as writer/contributor to other role-playing titles and two novels. He was a developer at FASA Corporation, working on the Shadowrun, BattleTech, and EarthDawn game lines and joined the Microprose-FASA Corp joint venture FASA Interactive in the mid-90's where he was senior designer on the RTS computer game MechCommander. In 1999 he was the lead designed on the Xbox/Xbox-Live million+ selling release, MechAssault. His other computer game credits include Shadowrun games for the NES and Sega consoles, the MechWarrior 2 ,and MechWarrior 3 game series, Axis & Allies: Iron Blitz , Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, and DuelMasters . He is currently the lead of Skotos Tech's online multiplayer text-based social/rpg game Castle Marrach and is an associate professor and Coordinator of the Game Development concentration teaching and building curriculum in their Game Design major.

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 20, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Though Nigel Findley was the one of the last true Shadowrun authors, Tom Dowd recently took the late novelists place. Burning Bright has an edge, a quality, that most of the other(and more recent) Shadowrun novels lack. The characters are excellent, as is the plot. I was always confused about what happened in Chicago in the late months of summer. This novel clarified everything.
I honestly didn't find many errors. The actual plot slowed down a little, but before I could get impatient, everything picked back up again. A must read for the Shadowrun fan. Actually, a must read for the casual reader, as well.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 18, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Not infrequently I get into debates/arguments about the utility of novels in game universes (for example, do the Forgotten Realms novels make the Realms a better, or worse, game setting?) In those debates, "Burning Bright" is the example I use of a good use of game-related fiction.
Most game-related novels, whatever their other merits, end up with one grave flaw, which over time weakens the utility of the setting as an RPG universe - they end "happily," with the heros triumphant and villans humbled (Zhentil Keep is nuked, Tethyr unified under benign government, etc, etc). This makes the setting gradually less interesting as a place to adventure in. Most authors seem to lack the stomach for anything other than a happy ending, and most readers seem to agree. Also, most such novels answer more questions than they leave you with (reducing the game world's mystery), solve more problems than they introduce (reducing the "threat level").
In Burning Bright, Tom Dowd was bold enough to take another path. He took the road less travelled by, and that made all the difference. In addition to solid characters and a engaging storyline, this book's ending paved the way for a very dangerous, dark game setting (Bug City). While publically exposing the bugs, it left the problem not only unsolved, but more dangerous - and eventually this storythread led to Yeats, Penchyk, and the Empowerment Coalition.
This was one of the first SR novels I ever read, and if only all game related fiction were this good, RPG gaming might not be a withering hobby. . .
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Chu on December 9, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A better Shadowrun book. Burning Bright is easily one of the best books of the Shadowrun novel line. The book centers around the bug spirit attack in the city of Chicago, 2050. This was an event which transcended Shadowrun history and served as the large metaplot for the role-playing game. Tom Dowd, the writer behind many of the 6th World's plot lines, weaves a wonderful narrative about a mage who is hired to find the missing son of a corporate family, from there history is made.

The early Shadowrun novels are the best of the series. Burning Bright is a book many hardcore Shadowrun fans should read at some point. The novel is now over eighteen years old, and is probably one of the rarer Shadowrun novels to find. Pick this book up along with anything written by Nigel D. Findley.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jack Tripper VINE VOICE on August 4, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If only every Shadowrun novel could be this good. Dowd was definitely one of the best writers for the franchise in the 90s, and Burning Bright is a great example of what the "man meets magic and machine" world of Shadowrun could be in the right hands.

The basic plot is this. Kyle Teller is an Amerindian mage hired by a major megacorp owner in Chicago to find his missing 17-year old son, heir to the company. Seems like a simple premise. This should be just another average, everyday Shadowrun novel, right? Not so fast. Featuring what could be the most interesting and potentially catastrophic plotline in the whole series, this novel is anything but average. It's hard to go into too much detail without giving everything away, but suffice to say that the Chicago we all know and love, and maybe the world itself, may never be the same after this mission, thanks to the shady Universal Brotherhood from '2XS' fame, and possibly creature-spirits from another plane of existence.

'Burning Bright,' after the basic plot and character introduction, never really lets up. No other novel in the series has as much of that "falling down the rabbit hole" feeling, nor the impact on the world of Shadowrun as this does. If you are a fan of the series, or of great fantasy in general, you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy. There aren't too many books in the series that I would call "must-owns," but this is definitely one of them, and is, imho, the best of them all. There were many times while reading this when I became absolutely engrossed, forgetting that I was actually reading, which is no mean feat considering the 'not-so-believable' subject matter. Too bad Dowd didn't continue writing fiction after this, as he most likely would have been pretty successful in the sci-fi/fantasy field.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jetpack on April 21, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I've started playing Shadowrun over the last year or two, and that led me to investigate the book series. This was the only one I read, and I picked it up to understand what happened better in Chicago. Well, it has great reviews on Amazon, and they are quite deserved. The characters are well explained, and I find the portrayal of a mage to be very interesting.

It will be most interesting if you know anything about Shadowrun, but worth it for any science fiction fan.
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