Tag: cyberpunk

Book Review: Neon Harvest by Jon Mollison

What an excellent cover!

Digger, a private investigator fresh off a failed case and down on his luck gets a last chance at a paycheck from an old friend. But like in all noir tales the job isn’t what it seems and he gets thrown in the middle of a nefarious plot involving megacorporations, murder, rape, and government corruption set against a retrofuture techno-noir background.

Neon Harvest does something different, something cool. It’s not a true sci-fi nor a true cyberpunk. Jon takes the technological baseline of the early 80’s and stagnates it. It’s a pre-digital cyber-thriller. The heroes still use pay-phones, newspapers are still on paper, and cash is still used. Yet, colony ships take off, planets are terraformed, and the internet used to exist. I don’t want to spoil anything, because the whole concept is really cool.

Mollison excels at writing crime violence and the seedy techno-noir setting allows him to go all out with several exciting set pieces. Once scene involving a para-glider through skyscrapers was epic, an excellent action sequence where Jon showed his chops.

Another highlight was one of the villains, an disgusting billionaire rapist that was equal parts Harvey Weinstein and Baron Harkonnen, truly repulsive.

Mollison travels in the same writing circles as Alexander Helene and a lot of the PulpRev crowd and I have to say that with each new release the quality of work increases exponentially. Which brings me to my only real complaint about Neon Harvest, which is almost the same as my complaint about The Last Ancestor by Helene. I want more depth. Mollison writes ass-kicking action, the pace is quick, and the prose is pulpy goodness. But, there’s a lot of stuff in there that I wish was expanded upon, a lot of philosophical points that could of been the center of a much deeper and darker novel.

Neon Harvest is an action-packed retro scifi noir asskicker. I read it in two sittings, the second round kept me up until 2 am. Pick it up, put on some wired headphones, and throw on one of the many retrowave playlists on yotube because this one is a blast.

OUT TODAY: Neon Harvest by Jon Mollison

Good friend of mine and solid indy writer Jon Mollison has a brand new book out today. Neon Harvest is a retrowave techno-noir set in the 80s future that could have been.

Within shadows cast by the dayglo lights of a city where the party never stops, one man finds himself at the epicenter of the biggest financial deal in history.

With massive fortunes and control of powerful industries on the line, he plunges into the tangled weave where high-stakes finance, powerful politics, and grimy criminal syndicates vie for control of the seething masses of humanity. And cutting his way free of the ties that bind forces him to choose between escape from this sordid world, and saving the girl of his dreams.

It downloaded onto my kindle earlier today and I can’t wait to dig into it in the next few days. Jon writes some great scifi and fantasy stuff and cool action stories you can find in Storyhack. Give him a read and support the awesome indy scene.

Grab a copy on Amazon and make sure to write a review when you finish.

Altered Carbon by Richard K Morgan

altered carbon

Fighting off a massive hangover ¬†I couldn’t think of a more appropriate activity than to spend a wet rainy weekend in Yokosuka reading a dark and violent cyberpunk novel. Altered Carbon has been on my to read pile for a very long time and after finishing it I am thankful for all the recommendations. Its a violent piece of cyberpunk that can hold its own with the likes of Neuromancer.

Takeshi Kovaks, a Envoy(special forces agent) turned criminal is taken out of storage and downloaded into a temporary sleeve(body) right smack in the middle of 25th century San Francisco. His probation and release hinge on completing a private murder investigation on the apparent suicide of his employer, a centuries old corporate billionaire. Kovaks navigates a bloody path through a dirty Bay City, dealing with prostitutes, drug addicts, corrupt police, psychotic assassins, cyborgs, and an A.I. Hotel in the likeness of Jimmy Hendrix.

The main science fiction element of Altered Carbon is the idea of sleeves and stacks. In the 25th century ones consciousness is digitized and stored in stacks mounted to the cerebral cortex. Human flesh bodies are now called sleeves because one can be uploaded into any empty available one. The novel hits some fantastic points about identity, human connection, and self-perception in a world where one can switch bodies. It also touches on the concept of near immortal longevity for those who can afford it.

Altered Carbon managed to touch all of my favorite elements. Dark, brutal, action taking place in a fantastic setting dealing with themes that touch on the philosophical. A fantastic read for anybody who loves cyberpunk and detective noir. I’m going to read more Richard K Morgan for sure.