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Pulp Modern: Tech Noir Paperback – October 20, 2019
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Frequently bought together
- Publisher : Uncle B. Publications (October 20, 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 131 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1734217707
- ISBN-13 : 978-1734217704
- Item Weight : 6.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.33 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,239,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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You should know I have a story in this issue, but I'll let you evaluate the quality of that one. My impressions of the other stories:
C.W. Blackwell's "A Deviant Skein" builds a believable world that I wouldn't want to live in; his dinosaur cage fight is only one of the many dystopian touches that bring this tale to life. The question of what enslaved machines will do when they reach sentience is explored most satisfyingly.
Nils Gilbertson's "The Moderator" dives even deeper into virtual reality, a theme that pops up repeatedly in this issue, as is the ugly downside of social media. As you might expect in a noir story, the consequences for the protagonist are not cheery.
Deborah L. Davitt's "Leaving Red Footprints" takes place on a planet of diamond sand, which is as abrasive as the dilemma the VC finds himself in. Broke and outcast, he is left with nothing except his pride and sense of right and wrong, dangerous for a man in his position.
Angelique Fawns' "A Time to Forget" makes clever use of multiple points of view to pull the reader through a tale sure the disturb those of us who spend a great deal of our lives on our phones and social media.
J.D. Graves' "Three-Two-One Zebra-stripe Shake-off" wins the prize for the most puzzling title, but the story isn't. In the main character's world, the punishment for the crime he commits is unappetizing, so it's not surprising he chooses an arranged marriage and exile to a new world when the offer comes his way. Both turn out a disappointment, as you might expect.
Don Stoll's "15 Minutes" is not for the squeamish, and touches more lightly on the sci-fi aspect that the noir side. Natalia has received her 15 minutes of fame, and if ever there was a downside to it…
Jo Perry's "Lights Out" should delight anyone who has worked in an Amazon warehouse. This vision of the future shows us an application of the law of entropy that is surprisingly satisfying, unless you're one who is putting money aside for your eventual evolution into a cyborg.
Zakariah Johnson's "Walking Out" is a clever sleight-of-hand story, another one set in a prison-apparently, incarceration is going to be a growth industry. There are some provocative details that add to the story, such as the failure of antibiotics, but there is also a little Shawshank Redemption vibe to add to the enjoyment.
My favorite stories are as follows:
In “A Deviant Skein” by C.W. Blackwell, a mission to put an end to corporate sabotage leads a man to a futuristic femme fatale.
“Love in the Time of Silicon” by Tom Barlow involves retribution for a heinous crime against a robot prostitute.
In the world of “15 Minutes” by Don Stoll, everyone is entitled to a bit of fame, and Natalia uses hers for revenge.
“Walking out” by Zakariah Johnson paints a grim future. “A hundred years of wasting antibiotics on chickens and cows had cost the world its greatest medical advance in history—antibiotics worked no more. These days a child could design a working artificial heart on a home 3-D printer, but most people would die of infection if they ever tried to install it.”
Ran Scott created the gorgeous cover and an awesome internal illustration for each story.
Having two of my favorite storytellers, Blackwell and Barlow, in the same anthology was a treat. Readers who want more of this great blend of noir and science fiction should check out Switchblade Magazine’s companion issue.
“A Deviant Skein” by CW Blackwell
“The Moderator” by Nils Gilbertson
“Lights Out” by Jo Perry
“Zebra-Stripe Shake-Off” by JD Graves
“Walking Out” by Zak Johnson
Don’t kid yourself—this one’s a classic. Get it in print.