Police Procedural

Countdown City by Ben Winters

Review: Countdown City, by Ben H. Winters

Countdown City By Ben H. Winters Quirk Books 2013 The world is still going to end. That’s the reality facing former Concord, NH, police detective Hank Palace as Countdown City, the second book in Ben Winters’ Last Policemen trilogy, opens. Still going to end because Maia, a 6.5-km-wide asteroid discovered by scientists prior to the […]

Crossroads: Speculative Devices in Police Procedurals

Character, Context, and Procedure: The Cores of the Police Procedural One can’t analyze science fiction and fantasy without running into certain words over and over again: World-building. Sense of wonder. Neologism. Cognitive estrangement. Novum. These terms crop up time and time again because they are narrative techniques and modes of reader experience which – to […]

Popular Posts 6/1-6/8 2013

Have Literary Luddites Taken Over SFF Fandom?! Sexism and the SFWA Girl, You’re In the Army Now Crossroads: The Difficulty of Police Procedural Speculative Fiction No. 18 – C.J. Cherryh, The Faded Sun, and a World Building Ethos Characters: Clare of Claymore Deconstructing Horror: Haunted Houses The Joy of Reading Star Trek My top 10 […]

Law and Order: SVU

Crossroads: The Difficulty of Police Procedural Speculative Fiction

Police procedurals are a complicated genre to explore because they intersect so fluidly with so many other genres. On the one hand, they solidly rest within the mystery tradition: there is a crime that needs investigation, there is typically a primary hero (investigator) and a villain, and over the course of the story the hero […]

Psychics are Dark Fantasy

I remember being uncomfortable about the “psionics” in Dungeons and Dragons back when I was a kid.  Psychic powers seemed more appropriate in science fiction than fantasy.  I mean, we had Mr. Spock’s mind meld in Star Trek, Jedi mind tricks in Star Wars, and telepathy in X-Men.  Fantasy was for, well, dungeons and dragons, […]

Review: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

My final (for now) look into SF detectives brings me to the classic SF novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. Most people know of this novel as the basis of Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner. Upon reading the novel, however, you quickly learn how little the two works have to do with […]

Crossroads: Where Genres Meet in the Night

Speculative fiction’s ability to stay fresh is a direct result of its ability to blend with other genres: the mash-up, the hybrid, the literary crossroad are where science fiction has always found innovation. We’re a magpie genre, and I think that should be celebrated and explored.