Monday, August 12, 2013
I Can Transform You - by Maurice Broaddus - Sometimes the law has a way of getting in the way of justice
I Can Transform You, by Maurice Broaddus, is the second in a new line of books in the Apex Voices series. The First book, Plow the Bones, by Douglas F. Warrick, was the best collection of stories I've read so far in 2013. Be sure to check it out. It's really worth your time.
The idea behind Apex Publishing's Voices series is to give exposure to relatively unknown writers. This time, somewhere between the idea of featuring Maurice Broaddus as one of those writers and the publishing of this book, Broaddus went and made a name for himself. OK, maybe not a "household" name, but he's certainly getting his name out there. There are the Stoker-nominated Dark Faith and Dark Faith: Invocation anthologies he co-edited with Jerry Gordon, his short fiction, which is getting published in a number of high-profile outlets and one of my favorite novellas in the last few years, Orgy of Souls, co-written with Wrath James White.
There are two works in this book. The first, I Can Transform You, is a story-driven, raw and gripping futuristic piece...
From the dust of The Trying TimesTM, corp-nations have risen up in place of failed governments. Mac Peterson left the employ of LG Security Forces and now manages a life in the shadows of the great towers. His ex-wife, Kiersten, stayed behind on the Security Forces, working undercover. When she turns up dead alongside one of a growing number of tower jumpers, Mac pairs up with Ade Walters, a cyborg officer, to uncover who would try to hide Kiersten's death among the suicides. Searching for the murderer of one of their own, Mac and Ade discover plans to transform the Earth and its inhabitants.
While clearly a sci-fi tale, I Can Transform You, is also a solid police procedural. As is repeated in the story by more than of of Broaddus' characters, "Sometimes the law has a way of getting in the way of justice." And there's a lot of truth in this response during an interrogation, "What do you want to hear? That mommy and daddy beat us? That some rogue uncle touched him? Things aren't always so melodramatic. Sometimes dysfunction is simply...dysfunction."
In addition to the main novella, you also get a longer short story, Pimp My Airship, with one of the best opening lines ever. "Citizens of the Universe, do not attempt to adjust your electro-transmitter, there is nothing wrong. We have taken control to bring you this special bulletin." There's some social commentary here in this story with some rather strange characters, Hubert "Sleepy" Nixon, Knowledge Allah and Deaconess Blues.
If you're not yet familiar with Maurice Braoddus, I Can Transform You, will give you a taste of his story-telling skills and his diversity with a bit of Sci-Fi and a little Steampunk. He's a pretty good horror writer, too.
I Can Transform You (Apex Voices) (Volume 2) is available in both paperback and e-book at Amazon.com.