The dark side of technology is often reported in the day’s news. The modern problem of identify theft was a topic long ago covered in classic science fiction. With such problems and others being daily fodder for the media which seems to be driven by sensationalism these days, it isn’t surprising that authors in other genres are going to explore the positives and the negatives of technology. The mystery field, out of the remaining genres, seems to be not only the most suited to do so, but the genre leading the pack in the form of novels, anthologies, and collections.
Case in point is the recent anthology release Techno-Noir edited by Eva Batonne and Jeffrey Marks. In the book, which contains eighteen stories by as many authors, the roles of technology, morality, deceit and consequences are considered. Some authors and the resulting stories play on the classic stereotypes in the mystery field and twist them while others go in a different direction. A couple of works contain some humor but most of the stories in the anthology are deadly serious as is subject matter. Like all anthologies, it’s hard to go into detail on all the strong stories so just a couple will be covered here.
One that really jumps out is “Suspicion” by Leann Sweeney. Keeping one’s mental health secret is important because even the paranoids do have enemies.
“Cookie Monster” by Tim Wohlforth also stands out for divine retribution on a dishonest computer salesman.
Driven by memories that won’t let go, “All the World is a Stage” by Rick McMahan also works very well and gives the reader a lasting image.
That isn’t to say the other authors, Libby Fischer Hellmann, Nick Andreychuk, Michael Bracken, Earl Staggs, Eva Batonne, Stephen D. Rogers, J. Michael Blue, Flora Davis, Bill Crider, Jeffrey Marks, Arla Gregory, Linda Posey, Kris Neri, H. Robert Perry, and Vera-Jane Goodin didn’t contribute excellent stories. They did. But any reader, or reviewer for that matter, is going to have personal favorites. The above are mine. Your experience will vary.
Edited by Eva Batonne and Jeffrey Marks
Large Trade Paperback
Kevin R. Tipple © 2005, 2010