Bram Stoker Best First Novel (nominee)
Mage. His name is actually Michelangelo Magistrale, but that's too long a moniker for a tough Brooklyn guy. Like his namesake, he's an artist - a photographer. He's been traveling a lot, trying to find where he fits in, when he makes an acquaintance in a Greyhound bus terminal that changes his life. Her name's Amanda, and the magic Mage feels is nothing more than the heat that any beautiful young woman could generate. But when she gives Mage the key to her apartment in exchange for ticket money, he gets more than he bargained for. The key, attached to a strangely beautiful braided lanyard, turns out to be real magic. And, unfortunately, trouble comes along with it. First come the kind of monsters Mage can understand: big, beefy guys with hard fists. Then a bakemono - nothing but a head and a pair of hands - tries to kill him. It turns out that the yakuza - the Japanese mob - had their hooks in Amanda, and now they're after Mage. Lucky for him he meets Charlie Takumo, a guy who knows something about the yakuza and about weird Japanese creatures and sorcery that are supposed to be nothing but myth but turn out to be horribly real.
Used availability for Stephen Dedman's The Art of Arrow Cutting
June 1997 : USA Hardback
February 1999 : USA Paperback