We’re celebrating the launch of CROOKED V.2 by spotlighting the authors who have contributed stories!
Austin Dragon is the author of over 20 books in science fiction, fantasy, and classic horror. His works include the sci-fi noir, cyberpunk detective Liquid Cool series, the epic fantasy Fabled Quest Chronicles, the international epic sci-fi After Eden series, the classic Sleepy Hollow Horrors, and new military sci-fi PLANET TAMERS series. He is a native New Yorker but has called Los Angeles, California home for more than twenty years. Words to describe him, in no particular order: U.S. Army, English teacher, one-time resident of Paris, ex-political junkie, movie buff, Fortune 500 corporate recruiter, renaissance man, futurist, and dreamer.
He is currently working on new books and series in science fiction, fantasy, and classic horror! Head to AustinDragon.com.
Tell us a bit about your story.
“A Cruel Cyber Summer Night” is a cyberpunk novella featuring Cruz, my sci-fi detective with an attitude. He was once a classic hovercar restorer and part-time amateur hovercar racer, but gave that all up to be a private investigator in the supercity of Metropolis—fifty-million residents in this high-tech, low-life world.
Cruz has settled into his new detective life nicely and is clearly a natural at solving his cases. He’s almost as famous as his bright red, high-performance, super-charged, classic Ford Pony. He’s already solved some of the biggest, high-profile cases in the city’s recent memory and tangled with some extremely dangerous criminals—gangsters, cyborgs, corporate samurai soldiers, and more.
The case featured in this story is supposed to be a routine corporate investigation one, but, as is so often the case with Cruz, routine often ends in complete mayhem.
What was the inspiration behind this story?
I wanted to create a new short story to introduce Liquid Cool to cyberpunk and sci-fi crime fans. With Cruz and company at the center, the futuristic series has action, mystery, and a wicked sense of humor.
If you could travel to any science fictional world, where would you go and what would you do?
That’s a hard one to answer. Be an officer in the world of Star Trek? A Jedi in the Star Wars universe? Rather than wander to distant planets and galaxies, what about a futuristic Earth? Our own oceans are a “universe” onto themselves. So, I’d try my hand at being a combination of a marine biologist explorer and treasure hunter.
What are some of your favorite sci-fi crime books or stories?
My very first book I read in that sub-genre is Philip Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. I have been a fan of film noir forever so I was immediately drawn to the combination of the hard-boiled detective story with sci-fi.
What authors have inspired your writing?
Too many to list, but if we go way back, it includes the author of the Hardy Boys (which was actually a woman author using a male pen name), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (The Lost World but also Sherlock Holmes), H.G. Wells, Jules Vernes, and George Orwell. Another more modern author and favorite is the late Michael Crichton.
What are you working on next?
Well, my fans got me to finally write a military sci-fi series. I always wanted to write one, but I have to find a unique hook to get me interested. I read a quote from Elon Musk about humans being a multi-planet species and that was my impetus. The series will follow humans creating a second Earth with the military leading the way.
But that will be in addition to releasing the next four Liquid Cool novels!