My “Blade Runner-ish” cyberpunk detective thriller series is here and I couldn’t be happier. Laser guns, jet-packs, hovercraft, cyborgs, and that’s just the first novel. To come will be robots and androids, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and lunar colonies. I feel like a little kid waiting for presents on Christmas Eve. Well, in this case, as the author, I’m Santa Claus and Christmas arrives when I say it does.
Liquid Cool is my third series, but it’s my first foray into both the cyberpunk and detective genres. It is also my first series that has no end. Each book is a new adventure of madness and allows me, as the author, to explore different aspects of the science fiction universe.
In my Cyberpunk Reimagined blog post last year, I talked about how my series would be different from standard cyberpunk. But now the series is officially here, let’s talk about more about the world of Liquid Cool…
Metropolis. “It’s not a bad place, but it isn’t a good one either.” It is a super-city of two-hundred-story-plus monolith skyscrapers and over fifty million people. The skies are always dark, rainy, and filled with hovercraft traffic. People on the ground are always clad in rain slicker coats and glowing eyewear. That’s our introduction to the world of Liquid Cool—wet, dreary, routine, monotonous, and seemingly meaningless. However, there is always a lot more to this society than the immediately visible.
Power. In cyberpunk novels the power is often evil megacorporations which are either more powerful than government or have replaced government altogether. But again, this is my cyberpunk reimagined. That’s what authors felt back in the ‘80s. If anything, the trend is in the opposite direction. In my Liquid Cool world, both are equally powerful and at each other’s throats. It will be explained in more detail later, but think of the Cold War between the United States and the Old Soviet Union. That is the power here—uber-governments and megacorporations. But there is one more player.
“The Mean Streets”. That is part of the title of my Liquid Cool prequel. We learn that “mean streets” is the common slang for “crime” in this world. There are “good areas” and “bad ones” in any city. It must undoubtedly be true for the super-city of Metropolis—the rich districts and the poor ones; the working class and the perpetually unemployed class; the business and finance districts; City Hall, police and the rest of local government; and those “mean streets”. Our private detective, Cruz, has avoided these areas all his life and he’s man enough to admit he’s scared of them. But he’s a detective now and has to go where the cases take him. He’s avoided crime and criminals, but in Liquid Cool he gets shot at so many times by people from the mean streets and on the mean streets, we wonder if he will even make it to the end of our novel?
Cyborgs, robots, and androids. A recurring part of the Liquid Cool world will be the abundance of cyborgs. They come in all kinds of configurations–both legal and illegal (criminals). Cruz has to tangle with both. In this novel, we don’t see the robots and androids yet, but do get plenty of anti-robot sentiment from people (“Them robots are stealing our jobs!”) Future novels will be as heavy with robots as with cyborgs. It is both of these factors that will be the reason for the over-representation of the Japanese in this world; they are the “kings” of cybernetic and robotic production in the world and America is desperate to surpass them from its #2 standing.
Space. Do you know you get to see spaceships in Liquid Cool? Humans are in space in the Liquid Cool world—space colonies and lunar colonies. It’s all very indirect. We hear about Up-Top all the time, but are never quite sure exactly what it is until the end, and even then we’re not sure. We’ll learn more about these “spacemen” in Liquid Cool.
Politics. We will get our fill of politicians in Liquid Cool, but surprisingly there will be very little politics (as with my After Eden series). The politics in Liquid Cool is all about power, not political ideology. Oh, I’ll cleverly get my politically incorrect points in, but it will always be subtle. Cruz is not my any means political, but his best friend, Run-Time, as a leading Metropolis businessman is the one who introduces Cruz to this scene with both good and bad results.
Race and Ethnicity. Think of New York on steroids. In most science fiction, there is almost never any ethnic diversity. We have Caucasians, but in Liquid Cool, it’s Italians, Russians, Jews, Irish, etc. In other science fiction you may see a black person or two; in Liquid Cool, you have black, Jamaican, West Indian, etc. In Liquid Cool you see everything—Lebanese, Chinese, Salvadoran, and Cruz is Puerto Rican. I just love that about the series–an extremely culturally diverse metropolitan city set centuries in the future. It’s genuine diversity not superficial tokenism and, more importantly, it is never a big deal. Again, something you don’t normally see.
Comedy. Liquid Cool is Blade Runner meets the Maltese Falcon (or The Big Sleep is my favorite Dashiell Hammett hard-boiled detective movie starring Humphrey Bogart). There are gun battles with laser guns, fights with cyborgs, and all kinds of mayhem. But I’m warning you. You will burst out laughing more than once reading this novel. The situations that Cruz finds himself in are absolutely ridiculous, and the “cast of characters” around him only add to the comic relief.
All of the above and more to come in future novels make Liquid Cool a very special science fiction series indeed. Enjoy!
The Liquid Cool prequel: These Mean Streets, Darkly
Liquid Cool, The Cyberpunk Detective Series. (Novel #1)
#Cyberpunk #ScienceFiction #BladeRunner
What blog post/article would you like to see about the new Liquid Cool series?
Austin Dragon is the author of over 30 books in science fiction, fantasy, and classic horror. His works include the sci-fi detective LIQUID COOL series, the epic fantasy FABLED QUEST CHRONICLES, the international futuristic epic AFTER EDEN Series, the classic SLEEPY HOLLOW HORRORS, and new military sci-fi PLANET TAMERS series. He is a native New Yorker but has called Los Angeles, California home for more than twenty years. Words to describe him, in no particular order: U.S. Army, English teacher, one-time resident of Paris, ex-political junkie, movie buff, Fortune 500 corporate recruiter, renaissance man, futurist, and dreamer.
I don’t know, you’ve got so much covered here! I’m interested in the political and diversity angles, and in whether giving them internal consistency within the world you created was a challenge, or whether it felt very natural. (Politics – in the sense of power dynamics rather than party politics – and representation are two of my nerdy interests.)
You’ve really expanded on a lot of points in this article already! But I would love to you make a blog post expanding on maybe the society? On the hierarchical structure, if any. Societal values between the classes if there are. 🙂 I’d love to see examples of class tensions or values.