Maranatha takes place in the fictional decaying city of Maranatha, Florida, on the equally fictional Blood Bay Peninsula. The story centers around its main characters Owen Zelazny and Q. I. Malloy. Owen, an American wolf, is a self-employed male hustler constantly turning tricks. Malloy, an English doberman, is a petty thief and drug dealer. Owen and Malloy are childhood friends. They are emotionally and sexually intimate, but are Just Friends With Benefits without any romantic layer.
Heathen City takes place some years in the future after the unfinished Maranatha story. In its backstory, Maranatha was abruptly destroyed in 2005 when its entire city center collapsed into a giant sinkhole at least eight square miles in size. The initial survivors couldn't be rescued because a lethal dust billowed up from the collapse crater, killing the majority of people who came in contact with it.
In both stories, Owen and Malloy are thrust into the role of Action Heroes, with much badassery ensuing.
Now has a theme song.
These works bear examples of the following tropes:
- Action Hero: Owen more of an accidental one, but Malloy always seems to be armed to the teeth whenever he needs to be.
- All Men Are Perverts: Done unapologetically straight (not that kind of straight).
- Anti-Hero: Malloy is very much a criminal who has committed crimes such as petty theft, drug-dealing, man-slaughter, and even orchestrated a prison riot so he could escape. But he'll do anything for the ones he loves.
- Anything That Moves: In Owen's case, it's because he's a self-employed hustler and is both good at and loves what he does. In Malloy's case, it's because he's...Malloy.
- Art Shift: Multiple artists involved in drawing.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Despite all the gauntlets these guys go through.
- Bishōnen: Alice. And arguably Owen as well.
- Black Widow: Imelda Caulfield, though she doesn't appear to marry for money, and she leaves the actual killing to her son. It's even explicitly mentioned that people are starting to call her "The Black Widow".
- Booby Trap: Malloy's apartment when pursuers enter it.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Owen and Malloy each. Malloy in particular seems to have a guy in every port, but he seems to care about each of them.
- Crazy-Prepared: Much like Jack Sparrow, Malloy is either this or he's just making it up as he goes along.
- Damsel in Distress: Alice, a male example in Maranatha.
- Deadly Gas: The lethal dust billowing up from the ruins of Maranatha.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Tony.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Owen and Malloy both. Though in Owen's case it's strictly professional.
- Everyone Is Gay: Any straight male characters yet? Well, there are a few very minor characters who insist they're straight, but somehow don't leave mention without having a gay experience.
- Word of God has chief antagonist Tony Caulfield as straight.
- Fag Hag: Anezka.
- Film Noir.
- Flamboyant Gay: Alice, though intentionally this trope. (Straight Gay is still the realistic norm in these stories.)
- Furry Comic: Not a normal human in sight.
- Interspecies Romance: Malloy and Alice. Owen and Ruy. And maybe Alice and Owen too, but committed monogamy seems to be rare in this story in any case.
- Just Friends: Owen and Malloy. They certainly love each other, but they're just not a couple. It never stops them from having lots of sex though...
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Owen forgetting the previous few days at the beginning of the Maranatha novel.
- Manly Gay: Malloy, full stop.
- Manly Tears: In Maranatha, Malloy breaking down in the shower and sobbing.
- Psycho for Hire: Tony Caulfield, one of the people pursuing Owen.
- Red Light District.
- Shirtless Scene: To say the least.
- Shower of Angst: In Maranatha, Malloy breaking down in his shower, after Owen has been captured.
- Shower of Love: Owen and Ruy, but suddenly averted when the hot water turns cold and they have to get out.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Malloy's apartment.
- The Twink: Alice. Maybe Owen too.
- Where Everybody Knows Your Flame: The Dive in Maranatha.
- Wretched Hive: Maranatha, Florida. Most of the city has been abandoned in protracted urban decay. Then the entire city is left for dead after a sudden cataclysm.