Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Blog Hijack: Milo James Fowler

Today, I hand over control of the blog to Milo James Fowler, an emerging writing talent with several books to his name and more published short stories than you can shake a stick at.


What is Future Noir?

Also known as Tech Noir and Science Fiction Noir, this crossover genre merges aspects of film noir with futuristic elements. If you can imagine Philip Marlowe on the trail of a killer robot, you're on the right track.

I like the tropes of the '40s detective story: the hardboiled private eye, the femme fatale, the inevitable double-cross, scar-faced thugs, wild car chases, heart-pounding footraces through streets of shadows. But I also like near-future dystopian science fiction: rundown cities, fascist governments, heroes struggling to hold onto their humanity, villains taking advantage of the desperate.

Put the two together, and you have the world of Charlie Madison, private investigator.

I started writing Charlie Madison detective stories when I was a kid. They weren't very good. During Write1Sub1 back in 2011, I came up with an idea for my first Charlie Madison tale in decades, transplanting him from 1930s New York City to a gritty, future noir setting. Once I started writing Girl of Great Price, I knew I'd be revisiting Charlie's world.

Immaterial Evidence followed, with Charlie on the trail of an invisible criminal, and on November 7th, Yakuza Territory will be available from Musa Publishing. (Pre-order before November 1 to reserve your copy at 30% off.)

Here's the blurb:

A detective with no way out. A telepath with something to prove...

World-weary detective Charlie Madison has seen more than his share of war. When he stops by the 37th precinct late one night to check on his old friend Sergeant Douglass, the place is as quiet as a morgue. The last thing he expects to find: half a dozen Russian gunmen with a score to settle.

What starts out as a vicious Alamo-style battle soon evolves into something more sinister as Madison's past comes into play. Will his ties to a branch of the Japanese mafia be a help or a hindrance? And who is the strange man in holding? Why are the Russians determined to break him out?

Struggling to survive the night, one private eye must rely on his wits to solve a mystery where he's outnumbered, outgunned, and trapped inside a police station with a soulless killing machine.

Ready to take a crash-course in future noir? Check out Blade Runner, Minority Report, or Looper. Movies aren't your thing? More of a book person? Check out Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds, or The City and the City by China MiƩville. If you have any other favorites, please mention them in the comments. I'm always on the lookout for a good future noir tale.

I hope you are, too.

Milo James Fowler is a teacher by day and a speculative fictioneer by night. When he's not grading papers, he's imagining what the world might be like in a dozen alternate realities. He is an active SFWA member, and his work has appeared in more than 90 publications, including AE SciFi, Cosmos, Daily Science Fiction, Nature, Shimmer, and the Wastelands 2 anthology. Visit www.milojamesfowler.com and join The Crew for updates about new releases as well as exclusive promotions.


I can highly recommend Milo's books, having read both Charlie Madison stories. But, if future noir isn't your thing try his weird westerns starring Coyote Cal, or his space-comic style stories starring Captain Quasar. 


Valentina Hepburn said...

This sounds intriguing, and something I've not come across before. Love the character names!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Sounds very cool. One of my favorite movies is I, Robot, which I think is a bit like this genre. Good luck, Milo.

S Gallagher said...

Sounds awesome, and I really should pick up a copy of Charlie Madsion's tales, since I adore Blade Runner and just about everything Philip K. Dick.

Thanks for sharing this with us, Martin!

Milo James Fowler said...

Thanks for letting me hijack your blog, good sir.