Hardboiled Science Fiction Books

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A specific form of detective story that merges film noir with the classic American detective novel. A good visual representation of hardboiled sci-fi would be Blade Runner. Hardboiled usually features a cynical down-and-out lone detective who faces some sort of conspiracy mystery investigation. The setting is often seedy bars, crime infested neighborhoods, or a squeaky clean corporate setting. The science fiction aspect adds future tech, usually in the form of bio-engineered body upgrades that give the detective (and criminals he faces) enhanced abilities. Hardboiled Science Fiction is often part of the Cyberpunk tradition.
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Flashback

by Dan Simmons

The United States is near total collapse. But 87% of the population doesn't care: they're addicted to flashback, a drug that allows its users to re-experience the best moments of their lives. After ex-detective Nick Bottom's wife died in a car accident, he went under the flash to be with her; he's lost his job, his teenage son, and his livelihood as a result.

Nick may be a lost soul but he's still a good cop, so he is hired to investigate the murder of a top governmental advisor's son. This flashback-addict becomes the one man who may be able to change the course of an entire nation turning away from the future to live in the past.

A provocative novel set in a future that seems scarily possible, FLASHBACK proves why Dan Simmons is one of our most exciting and versatile writers.
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Halting State

by Charles Stross

Now in paperback?from the author of Saturn?s Children.

In the year 2018, a daring bank robbery has taken place at Hayek Associates. The suspects are a band of marauding orcs, with a dragon in tow for fire support, and the bank is located within the virtual reality land of Avalon Four. But Sergeant Sue Smith discovers that this virtual world robbery may be linked to some real world devastation.

Hugo
Locus Science Fiction
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Dirk Gently\'s Holistic Detective Agency

by Douglas Adams

3 avg rating
There is a long tradition of Great Detectives, and Dirk Gently does not belong to it. But his search for a missing cat uncovers a ghost, a time traveler, AND the devastating secret of humankind! Detective Gently's bill for saving the human race from extinction: NO CHARGE.
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Pashazade

by Jon Courtenay Grimwood

Part mystery, part speculative fiction, and wholly unforgettable, Jon Courtenay Grimwood’s celebrated Arabesk series portrays the dark, hard-boiled story of a man out to prove his innocence in an alternate world where the facts aren’t always the same as the truth . . . and murder isn’t the worst that can happen.

It’s a twenty-first century hauntingly familiar—and yet startlingly different from our own. Here the United States brokered a deal that ended World War I, and the Ottoman Empire never collapsed. And lording it over all sits the complex, seductive, and bloodthirsty North African metropolis of El Iskandryia. Almost nothing is what it seems to be in El Isk, and Ashraf Bey is no exception.

Neither the rich Ottoman aristocrat everyone thinks he is, nor the minor street criminal once shipped off to prison when he fell foul of his Chinese Triad employers–the fact is that Raf has as little idea who he is as anyone else.

With few clues and no money, all Raf has is a surname hinting at noble heritage and an arranged marriage to a woman who hates him. But nothing Ashraf al Mansur learns about himself is as unexpected—or as terrifying—as the brutal murder he’s accused of committing. Now, as a hunted man with the welfare of a precocious young girl in his irresponsible hands, Raf must race after a killer through an unforgiving city as foreign to him as the truth he'll uncover about himself.
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The Cutting Crew

by Steve Mosby

The small team of policemen never even identified the dead girl and, for the officers involved, her murder came to symbolize everything that was wrong with the city—a haphazard sprawl of commerce and indifference. Four months on, that group is in disarray. Sean has disappeared into the city's black heart and not returned, and Martin is separated from his job, his wife, and his friends. But then a simple note from his ex-partner forces him to re-enter an investigation he'd rather forget. "I found her," it says. The search leads him from one side of the city to the other in a downward spiral of violence and pain, and drags him into the orbit of the things that are really wrong with the city—the eight brothers rumored by legend to have control over everything.
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Equations Of Life

by Simon Morden

Winner of the 2012 Philip K. Dick Award

Samuil Petrovitch is a survivor.

He survived the nuclear fallout in St. Petersburg and hid in the London Metrozone - the last city in England. He's lived this long because he's a man of rules and logic.

For example, getting involved = a bad idea.

But when he stumbles into a kidnapping in progress, he acts without even thinking. Before he can stop himself, he's saved the daughter of the most dangerous man in London.

And clearly saving the girl = getting involved.

Now, the equation of Petrovitch's life is looking increasingly complex.

Russian mobsters + Yakuza + something called the New Machine Jihad = one dead Petrovitch.

But Petrovitch has a plan - he always has a plan - he's just not sure it's a good one.
Philip K. Dick
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Laundry Files

by Charles Stross

Bob Howard is a computer-hacker desk jockey, who has more than enough trouble keeping up with the endless paperwork he has to do on a daily basis. He should never be called on to do anything remotely heroic. But for some reason, he is.

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Noir K.w. Jeter

by K.W. Jeter

In his acclaimed novels Dr. Adder, The Glass Hammer, and the Blade Runner books, K.W. Jeter masterfully re-created the grim and gritty world of Ridley Scott's classic science fiction film masterpiece.  Now Jeter returns with a startling and stylish new vision of the future as only he could imagine it, a dark and disturbing universe that can be described with one word...  

Welcome to the Pacific Rim, the new center of the civilized world.  As the rest of the planet sinks toward economic and social disaster, the cities on the coast have become a neon-lit, high-tech paradise.  Chief among them is Los Angeles, a sparkling metropolis attracting lost souls from across a shattered continent.  

But beneath the sleek surface lies a labyrinthine underground feeding on the darkest human desires.  Here the wealthy seek forbidden thrills through an anonymous on-line computer system that makes use of prowlers--masked simulations of human users programmed to delve into the most taboo of the hard-core sexual underworld and bring back exotic and erotic experiences to their safeguarded users.  For most people, the prowlers are a way to indulge in their wildest sexual fantasies.  But for others, they are something far more dangerous.

When a young executive of one of the world's most powerful corporations is found brutally slain, a retired ex-cop is called in to find his missing prowler.  The corporation believes the young man's prowler is still "alive" and they want it found, but they don't care to reveal why.

McNihil was an information cop forced into early retirement.  He knows he is walking straight into a trap, but he has no choice.  He must descend into the noir underground, his only companion a ruthless female operative named November who has a desperate agenda of her own.  Together they will uncover a web of evil far more extensive than McNihil ever imagined...a vast conspiracy that threatens to blur forever the line between the sane safety of the daylight world and the dark, dangerous world of noir.

Noir is K.W. Jeter at his very best, a dazzling and inventive futuristic drama of mystery, menace, and sexual terror set in a society of glitter and sinister darkness in which no one can be trusted and everything is far worse than it seems.  


From the Hardcover edition.
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Clark Gifford\'s Body

by Kenneth Fearing

Back in Print After Fifty Years


Clark Gifford? A cipher. A disaffected, vaguely idealistic politician in a nameless media-driven modern state where representative politics has dwindled to the corrupt transaction of business as usual and a new foreign war is always breaking out. One night Gifford and his followers seize some radio stations and broadcast a call for freedom—a rebellion that is immediately put down by the government and whose motive will remain forever obscure. Even so, it leads to twenty years of war.

A paranoid tour de force of political noir, Clark Gifford’s Body skips back and forth in time, interspersing newspaper clippings and court transcripts with the reactions and reminiscences of the politicians, generals, businessmen, journalists, waiters, and soldiers who double as the actors and the chorus in a drama over which, finally, they have no control. Who here is leading? Who is being led? Fearing’s novel is a pseudo-documentary of a world given over to pseudo-politics and pseudo-events, a prophetic glimpse of the future as a poisonous fog.

“I have not developed the habit of reading thrillers, but I have read enough of them to know that from now on Mr. Fearing is my man.”–The New Yorker
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Bone Song

by John Meaney

A gothic melding of future noir and dark fantasy. This could go under the fantasy category too.
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Kiln People

by David Brin

Hugo
Locus Science Fiction
John W. Campbell
Arthur C. Clarke
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Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat

by Andrez Bergen

Cut to Melbourne, Australia--the most glamorous city in the world. It also happens to be the only one left standing, but nevermind that, we're there now and I'd like you to meet your narrator, a certain Floyd Maquina, a likable chap with one hell of a story to share. See, the powers that be are knuckling down on the Deviant menace that plagues the city, and our boy Floyd's unknowingly got himself in the thick of it. Cue guns, intrigue, kidnappings, conspiracy and all sorts of general mayhem that make for cracking good headlines. Does Floyd stop the bad guys? Does he get the girl? Does he make Humphrey Bogart proud? Grab some popcorn and read on.
ITEMS 20 - 35 of 35

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