Monday, August 08, 2005

TECHNO NOIR by various, edited by Jeffrey Marks and Eva Batonne (Zumaya)

Well, just as soon as I say I do not read many short story collections (yeah, like I don't read many books about Utah), here comes another.

This week's recommendation comes in the form of a collection of short mysteries focusing on the impact of technology (everything from floppy disks to the Internet) and the combination is quite enjoyable. The book is TECHNO NOIR by some 18 authors and edited by Jeffrey Marks and Eva Batonne.

All of the stories are clever and memorable, and a few go beyond the typical scope of mystery writing, nearly falling into the literary scene. One story in particular, Till Death Do Us Part by Michael Bracken, would have made Philip K. Dick smile: a story about a man who repeatedly travels forward in time to kill all of his ex-wife's potential husbands at the altar. The protagonist is perfectly painted as jaded and pathetic (all in the first paragraph) in this swift story.

Then there's Through a Lens, Darkly by Flora Davis, about a middle-aged woman who is near-blind and takes digital pictures of things she wants to remember, so she can take them home and blow them up on her computer, to get an image to match the memory in her mind. Can you guess what she happens to catch on her digital camera by accident?

This is a super collection of intelligent mysteries, easy to digest in a few sittings and highly entertaining.

TECHO NOIR is recommended for fans of mystery, light science fiction and technology thrillers. It's a nice mix of different writing styles in a streamlined and potentially growing genre. Pick it up and enjoy (it can be purchased from Booksurge now but should be available on Amazon shortly.)