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Maranatha is a series of contemporary urban homoerotic thriller stories by Alex Vance, written between 2004 and 2006, presently unfinished. Set in the fictional Maranatha City, the 19 chapters focus primarily on the hustler Owen Zelazny and the criminal Q. I. Malloy, detailing their fight for survival in a gradually unfolding conspiracy.

Each set of three chapters is written from the perspective of one character. In order, these are:

  • Owen Zelazny, Chapters I - III, where Owen experiences the loss of three days of his memory, discovers a friend is in danger, and sacrifices himself for the safety of his friend.
  • Q. I. Malloy, Chapters IV - VI, where Malloy recruits a timid hacker to participate in a high-stakes heist, hoping to gain the resources necessary to save Owen.
  • Reiner Kierkegaard, Chapters VII - IX, where Malloy's revenge leaves Reiner with one hour to live, haunted by flashbacks of his experiences as a military operative in Sarajevo.
  • Luke McCall, Chapters X - XII, where Owen and Malloy try to hide from the threats they've escaped from, and Owen's mental state deteriorates as he succumbs to the infection he was subjected to.
  • Sybrand Brubaker, Chapters XIII - XV, where the homicidal and esoteric psychopath Sybrand cuts a bloody swath through Maranatha City, in his hunt for Owen.
  • Nicky Marlowe, Chapters XVI - XVIII, where the young upstart Nicky Marlowe, just turned 18, in love, and emancipated, infiltrates an invaded police station to aid his estranged father.
  • Mark Kovalis, Chapter XIX, where Mark's incarceration over his part in Malloy's heist is cut short when Malloy instigates a prison riot and a jailbreak.

The story was started at the end of November 2004 when the author abandoned the fantasy project he'd been writing for the National Novel Writing Month. Three sleepless nights later he had penned thirty thousand words, passing the fifty thousand word requirement less than a week after that.

At nineteen chapters and roughly 190 000 words long, Maranatha is currently unfinished. Alex Vance suffered repetitive strain injury to the first fingers of his right hand in 2006 and decided to curtail his writing activities to sustain his health. As of 2007, he's working with artist Ayato and colorist Distasty on a followup graphic novel titled Heathen City, which will be set two or three years after the events in Maranatha, and provide some clues as to what happened in Maranatha. Owen Zelazny and Q. I. Malloy have appeared in the first issue, which was released at Anthrocon 2008.


"Double Bill" is the collective name for a pair of heterosexual felines, named Will and William respectively, who appear in the Maranatha story series. Neighbours of Owen Zelazny and later bandmates of Luke McCall, they like girls, squalor, fame and very loud music.

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Maranatha · Heathen City
Writer: Alex Vance
Illustrators: Ayato · Distasty · Krahnos · Charha · Fel

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Bad Dog Books
See also