Impressions of Austin Dragon’s Cyberpunk Detective Novel, “Liquid Cool”

25 Mar

Liquid CoolBy Shawn Trommeshauser (Dreaming In Digital)

I’m not usually one for detective novels, but the cyberpunk angle convinced me to give Liquid Cool a read.  The setting brings to mind the scale Judge Dredd’s Megacity, and the colors and flying cars of The Fifth Element’s New York. Here, the city is called Metropolis and it is populated with colourful characters who tend to go by odd nicknames such as Run-Time, and China Doll. They live life alongside the fringe elements in the city because the police don’t have the manpower or resources to properly deal with everything the city throws at them.

“Liquid Cool” is a world of rainy skies and neon lights. Hoodlums are everywhere on the street and crime lords are living large. Even the police, such as Officer Break, are forced to deal with the underground simply to force his superiors to prioritize a young girl’s kidnapping. Here is where we find the eccentric main character, Cruz, a private investigator who drives an old Ford Pony. Not investigating the scene at a business that had just been shot up, but trying to put off meeting his girlfriend’s disapproving parents for the first time.


I enjoyed finding the undercurrent of dark humor in Liquid Cool, and discovering the way a web of seemingly separate events all comes together in ways I wasn’t able to predict. I always appreciate when a narrative can surprise me without going completely off the rails into deus ex machina. If this were adapted into a film or a TV miniseries, I wouldn’t hesitate to spend more time in this world.

If this sounds appealing to you, then I would suggest checking out ‘These Mean Streets, Darkly’ It’s a short prologue to “Liquid Cool” and is freely available. I would recommend it if you’re a fan of either detective or cyberpunk stories.

These Mean Streets, Darkly –

Liquid Cool –

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