Cower not, fierce readers! Today we have The second novel from J D Cowan. And well, like the best stuff coming out of pulprev, this doesn't fit one neat box. And while I enjoyed his Knights of the End, this is a completely different feeling book. Let's take a look what will make the dregs of SFF howl in pain.
First, this story has some REALLY strong male-female character roles. The jobs of each are quite clear, and the book not only isn't afraid of traditional masculine and feminine roles, but embraces them fervently. It pulls from an old story type not seen much, the youth gang story, and the male female dynamics of those seems to come through here.
Which of course, leads to: It pulls heavily from a genre abandoned by crime fiction, even in the resurgences of pulp stylings. Why? Because the genre had romance and was driven toward a future the characters may only have had a glimpse of, fumbling around in the darkness of their fights and neighborhoods.
Third, the sff parts are more decoration than anything else, and the author has no problem leaving things stated matter of factly. No detail oriented laundry list of events or theories. The milsf crowd? Not for them, but if you want a bit of style and visceral fights that feel more like the blur in a Mickey Spillane novel, you might dig this.
Yeah. In fact, I'll put it like this:
Picture a punk going right from a Spillane novel. Take out the sex, keep the romance. Put him in a future that is both familiar and different, more a high tech street punk setting. No, No cyberpunk, this is strictly cats that fight for territory, and looking to carve out a place for themselves.
Yeah, this was a cool novel. Get some music on, and picture this cat in both fights and dancing with his girl. 9 of 10 fell deeds.
When you play Social Justice, the world loses.