Midnight, Water City
By Chris McKinney
SF and future-noir detective fiction go so well together they constitute their own sub-genre. Midnight, Water City walks down these dirty streets again in the year 2142 as a tough detective discovers the body of Akira Kimura, a scientist who saved the Earth from a deadly asteroid decades earlier, chopped into pieces in her revitalization pod.
The whodunit angle may be familiar but Chris McKinney makes it work with his world-building chops and the creation of an authentically fresh protagonist.
In terms of the former there’s the now almost taken-for-granted split of society into two social classes (the Money and the Less Thans), but due to the degradation of the mainland much of humanity has moved offshore and now live in underwater seascrapers and floating ‘burbs. Meanwhile, lifespans have been lengthened so that the narrator, though 80 years old and feeling weathered, not least from four marriages, is a long way from being over the hill.
Though he’s not always the brightest laser-knife in the drawer, our hero has psychic powers to go with his toughness, being able to see the colour of murder. This comes in handy, as soon there are bodies piling up and he’s going to need all the help he can get, even from beyond the grave, if he’s going to survive.