Kadrey's Butcher Bird -- free download

John sez, "Night Shade Books has made the entire text of Butcher Bird available as a DRM-free download, in a wide variety of formats. Kadrey is the author of one of the quintessential cyberpunk novels, Metrophage (which you can also read online.)"
Spyder Lee is a happy man who lives in San Francisco and owns a tattoo shop. One night an angry demon tries to bite his head off before he's saved by a stranger. The demon infected Spyder with something awful - the truth. He can suddenly see the world as it really is: full of angels and demons and monsters and monster-hunters. A world full of black magic and mysteries. These are the Dominions, parallel worlds full of wonder, beauty and horror. The Black Clerks, infinitely old and infinitely powerful beings whose job it is to keep the Dominions in balance, seem to have new interests and a whole new agenda. Dropped into the middle of a conflict between the Black Clerks and other forces he doesn't fully understand, Spyder finds himself looking for a magic book with the blind swordswoman who saved him. Their journey will take them from deserts to lush palaces, to underground caverns, to the heart of Hell itself.
Link (Thanks, John!)

See also: Kadrey's Butcher Bird: Dante meets RE/Search


  1. Ah, a great story. All those lucky people who haven’t read this yet. I first read it under the title “Blind Shrike” by Richard Kadrey first published in the Infinite Matrix http://www.infinitematrix.net, April 2005

    The Infinite Matrix is where I get Cory’s work sometimes. Though this Kadrey story isn’t in the archive, there are 50 more stories there by Kadrey alone. Cory Doctorow has “I Robot” and an excerpt from “Down And Out in the Magic Kingdom”.

    In the PDF that I read the formatting is a bit different than this offering. Each chapter number and title was presented as a page with the lead sentence a quote in larger pt. type. It really looked spiffier; but lacked the authors photo of the link here.

  2. love this book. i read it again this weekend (my 8th read probably) now i can carry it with me in my gadgets. sweet!

  3. @SteveW, Hah. I was like..that name sounds familiar..that story sounds familiar..*read your comment*..oh I downloaded and read that from manybooks.net a month ago! Doh.

    Very good book, but I think I’ll re-read it if it looks spiffier indeed :)

  4. #4 I agree, but I think I may sink through it just the same before starting the Dark Tower books. Sort of get back into reading novel mode.

  5. Okay, I just wasted my afternoon. As though I didn’t have enough homework already … thanks, guys!

  6. Drat, here I was confusedly wondering if this might be a sequal to Blindshrike which I read ages ago. Totally out there. Much better title too. :)

  7. The best part is this (and the other stories on that link) are available in multiple, non-DRM formats. I’m 10x more likely to give a story a chance if I can transmute it to a medium that works for me (e.g. my Rocket eBook reader or my Sony Clie). Not everyone wants to sit at their computer and read a copy-protected .pdf document (like some publishers seem to think a “free” version should be). Hurrah to Night Shade Books for this train of thought!

    Oh yeah, and Blind Shrike (er, I mean Butcher Bird) rocks. Definitely check it out if you haven’t yet.

  8. Very awesome book.

    If you enjoy it, you might also enjoy the roleplaying game Nobilis, a diceless game that draws upon Gaiman and Zelazny and others in the same general neighborhood as Butcher Bird. It’ll be coming out in a new edition soon.

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