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Hardboiled Science Fiction

image by Veronica V. Jones

Deception, Vengeance and Subterfuge

A man's dark profile is dominated by two women's portraits aginast the backdrop of the city at night. A man walks towards a police station. A man drives up to a nightclub. A tattered U.S. flag hangs on a wall, with a man lounging on a sofa below.

Idealists paint the world in black and while, while pragmatists see only a thousand shades of gray. Subterfuge — the newly-completed future noir masterwork from Chris Pritchard — is a tale told in dark, wet strokes of lethal gunplay, political intrigue, and self-recrimination.

Homicide Detective Dean Sullivan is called to a crime scene late one night, only to discover they mayor’s daughter brutally slain by a terrorist organization known as the Sons of Liberty. Detective Sullivan begins working the case, but his best suspect turns up dead as well. The situation only gets worse when he and his partner are abducted by the suspect’s killers.

Mr. Pritchard’s hardboiled science fiction fable is set in a world very familiar to us. The differences, however, are profound, and are revealed to the reader gradually over the course of Sullivan’s riveting, determined pursuit of the truth behind the killings. His most heroic trait may be the desire to uncover the lies surrounding his case, whatever the cost.

It’s been said “the truth will set you free,” but whoever said that obviously didn’t know the whole story.

Written by in May of 2011. Last edited September 2014.

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