All in a day’s work for Bubbles Marlowe, HoloCity’s only cyborg detective.
What do an anti-tech cult, a deadly new street drug, and the corrupt Chief of Police have in common?
It’s a question Bubbles can’t afford to ask. Last time she got curious it cost her job, a limb, and almost her life.
She vows to stay out of police business. But with a newly minted cybernetic enhancement, a semi-legal P.I. license, and a knack for asking the wrong kind of questions… Vows are made to be broken, right?
When a seemingly straightforward contract takes a dark turn, heads literally roll. Unless she wants to take the fall for the murders Bubbles needs to cut town on the double. Too bad she’s flat broke.
And now, she’s being hunted.
In a world where dreams can be made real for the right kind of dough, nothing is as it seems. One thing is clear, though. The dream is becoming a nightmare.
As the body count stacks up, Bubbles realizes she’s made a terrible mistake.
Can she figure out who is behind the murders before she loses her head?
Warning: Don’t read this book if you hate fun, glitter, sassy robotic pigs, or hard-boiled badassery. Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett are rolling in their graves, but this is all their fault.
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1. The Fifth Element
This has always been one of my favourite SF films, and I found myself re-watching it halfway through writing Tropical Punch just to add a bit more glittery pizzazz to my space cruiser settings. You will definitely see some character inspirations popping up, too. Chris Tucker’s gender bending character, Ruby Rhod, was in the back of my mind when I created the fashion magnate Cosmo Régale. He’s a huge personality, and I also loved the way The Fifth Element flipped gender expectations. The (to us) effeminate Ruby Rhod was the epitome of high-fashion masculinity, and I really wanted to play with the idea of gender in this series. Although The Fifth Element is more Space Opera than Cyberpunk, it really helped me visualize a lot of my high-tech settings. The glitz and glamour of the rich and famous was an important dichotomy to represent next to the grit and poverty of life on the streets of HoloCity.
2. Blade Runner/Blade Runner 2049
Blade Runner represents of the of those rare instances where I love the film as much as the book it was based on. In my opinion, this is one of the best book to movie adaptations every made. It is not 100% true to the plot of the book, but I think it does an excellent job of exploring PKD’s themes in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? in a way that stays true to the soul of the story. This is another classic in terms of cyberpunk aesthetic, too. The dark nights, neon lights, perpetual rain. It shaped the genre, in film and literature, for generations. The android Rachael is one of my favourite characters of all time and she inspired one of the characters in Tropical Punch (I won’t say who, no spoilers!). She is the ultimate femme fatale. Blade Runner 2049 expands on the success of the first film and is such a cinematic joy to watch. It is beautifully shot and scored, and the dull, throbbing ache to the emotional vibe is so cyberpunk it hurts. They are both must sees as far as I’m concerned!
3. The Ghost in the Shell
I know a lot of people didn’t like this movie. As I wasn’t familiar with the original, I didn’t really have any expectations going into it. I really enjoyed the visuals and the story and felt like it brought what I loved about Blade Runner and The Matrix, into the present day. The use of holograms in this film inspired some of the scenes in Tropical Punch. I liked the gritty use of back alley cybernetic enhancement, too. You will see a lot of parallels between this movie and my Bubbles in Space series, though Bubbles doesn’t take herself quite as seriously as Major!
4. Cowboy Bebop
Okay, it’s not a film. But this TV series is fantastic! My husband and I have been binge watching the whole thing. It’s also got a lot of Space Opera elements, but I love the way it blends in Cyberpunk themes and aesthetics. It showed me that I could mash up my favourite sci-fi genres and gave me a lot of ideas on how I might expand the Bubbles in Space series into a more traditional Space Opera. The storytelling in this series is absolutely phenomenal, and I really feel like each episode could have been expanded into a full length movie. But because they haven’t been, my imagination has been able to run wild with ideas!
5. Alita: Battle Angel
Technically I can’t call this an inspiration for Tropical Punch because I didn’t watch it until after the first book was written. However, I really love the combination of post-apocalyptic and cyberpunk settings in this movie! There are so many cool themes and ideas being explored in this film, I hope they’ll make more. Cyborg gladiators, the floating city, bounty hunters. Alita brings the high-tech, low-life vibe of cyberpunk into an even starker contrast and really pushes some of the boundaries we’ve come to expect. Here, cyberpunk loses it’s “retro” feel and steps into the future. For me, Alita really represents an evolution in the genre and I’m very excited to see what other new works it will inspire.
S.C. Jensen is a Canadian fiction writer, sci-fi enthusiast, and literary advocate. She lives on the windswept prairies with her husband, three children, and various fuzzy friends. When she's not writing, she can be found trying to avoid mosquitoes, sunburn, and/or frostbite in the great outdoors. She loves to talk about books almost as much as she loves writing them, and is often chatting away on bookstagram @scjensen.author when she should be working. Shhh. Don't tell her kids that's what she does in the office all day. Visit www.scjensen.com to see what S.C. Jensen is up to. Sign up to the VIP Reader's Club to get free books and special deals on new releases!
About the Narrator: Jennifer Blom
I am an audiobook narrator and actor living in New York. I have a varied background in many fields but found my passion in the creative pursuits. I have been a junior software engineer, a technical support specialist, and am involved in theater both on and offstage. I am also a singer and love playing my Ukulele. I have studied 3d animation, game design, true crime and forensic psychology, you know, for fun. I love knowing about how the world works at a deeper level.
Besides narrating, I also run Reaping Audiobooks where I lead an all female crew in the task of post production on audiobooks. I also coach others in the art of using Reaper and efficiency in general. I love helping people find the magic and joy in technology again.