Hardboiled fiction: “Although deriving from romantic tradition… hardboiled fiction deviates from the tradition in the detective’s cynical attitude… conveyed through the detective’s self-talk describing to the reader… what he is doing and feeling. The genre’s typical protagonist is a detective who… witnesses the violence of… crime… while dealing with a legal system that has become as corrupt as… crime itself. Rendered cynical by this cycle of violence, the detectives of hardboiled fiction are classic antiheros.”
“Hardboiled” accurately describes detective Adam Twist, the protagonist of the novel Twist. Caught in the brutal, corrupt, survive-at-all-costs dystopian world of Wichita in the year 2075, he manages to maintain his ethics, empathy and compassion. The hardboiled detective lives by his code, founded on civilized human rules of law, justice, mercy, fairness and protection of the weak, even while surrounded by pre-human influences of vengeance and cruelty. You could say that he and his female ally, Kit, symbolize a parental unit, and along with the wayward girl, Dora, manifest the values of a family – cooperation, caring, and dare we say love?
Ice, polar bears, salmon, parkas, and cold. These are just a few of the stereotypes that pop into my head when I think of Alaska. Now, try and imagine an ice-free Alaska, 100° weather, and melting sea ice. It’s a crazy thought, but we may all have to get used to the idea. A picture taken a few days ago shows a melting Arctic and a nearly ice free Alaska. The same day the picture was taken it was 96° in Talkeetna, Alaska, which usually has an average max temperature of 64.4°, for June. According to one article, “the state is likely to see the first climate change refugees in North America, due to rising sea levels swamping native villages on the Arctic Ocean.” In my novel Twist, the Gulf of Mexico has risen all the way up the Mississippi River Valley to Wichita, Kansas, and the sun blisters skin in seconds. According to this new report, it looks like the northern hemisphere may be in similar trouble soon.
When we think about global warming and climate change what often comes to mind are visions of smog covered cities, toxic polluted rivers, and giant gaping holes in the ozone. However, I think we all tend to forget the scariest consequences of global warming: people starving to death because of famine, extreme tornadoes and storms, villages flooding, and the livelihood of hundreds threatened. A report came out today, from the World Bank, laying out a grim future. It said that a rise in temperature by 2° Celsius, in the near future, may hold people in extreme poverty, cause massive food shortages, create droughts in India and Sub-Saharan Africa, increase flooding and extreme drought in South Asia, and bring severe storms to South East Asia. According to the report, the people who will suffer the most from these climate changes are those that are already struggling with poverty. Not only that, but those that will experience these hardships had little to do with causing climate change. It seems unjust that because of environmental damage caused by wealthy industrial nations, those in poorer developing nations are going to suffer. All of these predictions sound like a scene right out of Twist. I hope the words of my novel don’t come true, but according to the new report the year 2075 may not be that far off.
Whether I’m reading or writing, I have always enjoyed literary fiction. Escaping into a different world, a different mind, and a different person has always been something I relish. Whether it’s writing about being a private detective in the the future or reading about Scout Finch, there is something wondrous about escaping into the world of fiction. Scientists have recently done a study showing that there is a lot more than pure enjoyment when it comes to reading fiction. According to a recent article, “Exposure to literature,” the researchers write in the Creativity Research Journal, “may offer a (way for people) to become more likely to open their minds.” The next time you are reading and start feeling guilty about neglecting other responsibilities, just remember that with every page you turn you are opening your mind and improving your thinking!
Myron here. So yesterday I created a Facebook Page for my novel, Twist. Check it out, like it, share it, and comment on it. Also, be on the look out for an upcoming Tumblr, and Facebook pages for my other novels.
Take a look at this news articles on the current twister epidemic in the Midwest: http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2013/05/20/tornadoes-severe-weather-plains-midwest/2325875/. The headline reads “Monster Oklahoma tornado kills 51.”
Could my novel, TWIST, be prophetic? From the blurb on the back cover: “Wichita, Kansas, in the year 2075. Global warming has triggered a world-wide depression. The ozone layer is depleted, the land parched and ravaged by tornadoes.” And from the pages of the novel itself, in the words of the protagonist, Adam Twist: “Yes, the weather was getting more vicious, hostile, and unpredictable all the time. We had been warned about ozone depletion, pollution, deforestation, and all that. But talking about it was one thing—trying to live with it was something else… We had screwed up the weather in almost every imaginable way, but the tornadoes were the worst. I hated the tornadoes.” Be afraid — be very afraid!
Here it is, straight from Adam Twist, protagonist of my novel Twist: “My hands shook as I lifted the cup of delicious black liquid from the hissing espresso maker and took a slug of the double shot. I set the cup on the desk and looked out the window at the empty surface of the Wall. It was soothing to watch, like a blank television screen. I waited for the bean to take effect.”
Yeah, he’s serious about his bean! So, let’s talk coffee.
Not the cups of milk, cream, sugar, and syrup you see everywhere, but a real cup of rich Columbian coffee. Whether it’s the allure of the dark glossy beans, or the blissful aroma of a fresh brewed cup of Joe, nothing is better than waking up and pouring a hot cup of the delicious liquid caffeine. Now, not all caffeine was created equal. According to Adam Twist, “Tea was no substitute for the almighty bean.” And according to The Huffington Post, he was right. The almighty bean has more benefits than its heavenly taste. Coffee may help strengthen your muscles and your DNA, improve your skin, and even make you smarter. But wait — what about the awful coffee withdrawal we’ve all experienced? First, you think you’ll be fine; it’s just a cup of coffee you’re missing, right? And then the withdrawal sets in, the dark and twisted evil twin of that delicious brew. But, not to worry, the fix is easy – just pour yourself another cuppa.
Whether you’re in it for the sweet relief from caffeine withdrawal, the health benefits, the taste or the caffeine jolt, there’s only one thing left to do: find the nearest source of java and dive in, mouth first.
“Learning how to live is easy — it’s learning how to die that’s hard.”
Not really. Just wanta talk about the music in my novel Twist. In 2075, how will we get our groove on? There are only a few mentions of music in the novel: soothing background music in the exotic office of the Great Man, Montrose; a string quartet playing beautiful music in that whack-job Sal’s account of murder at a garden party; and in a crappy juke-joint outside the protecting Wall of Wichita, the “classic” music of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Mick Jagger.
But what about the movie soundtrack? Unlike electronic Vangelis in the high-tech future of Blade Runner the film adaptation of dystopian Twist will feature a retro jazz and R&B soundtrack. Check out Ray Charle’s rendition of THE DANGER ZONE (“…the world is in an uproar, the danger zone is everywhere…”) You might be able to give it a listen at http://m.beemp3.com/download.php?file=8867507&song=The+Danger+Zone
Welcome to Myron’s World
Myron Night weaves the dark quirks of human nature into the plot twists of his fast-paced, gritty novels. Myron has been a trans-continental hitchhiker, a blues musician, a theatrical producer, a playwright, and developer of www.misterpottymouth.com. He lives and writes in Bellingham, Washington, computer keys clicking in harmony with the silent purr of his cool cat sidekick, Mr. Black Magic.