James Bond On A Bad Day

Incompetence (Rob Grant, 2003) is a comedy noir-esque novel. The author is best known for his work as one half of Grant Naylor, the writers of Red Dwarf. Set in the near future where United States of Europe Article 13199 has banned basing hiring and firing practices on a person’s competence level, Harry Salt — deep undercover agent for an British/European intelligence agency — has to unravel the mysterious death of fellow cell member Klingferm, committed by the anonymous and dangerous Jack Appleseed. Continue reading

The Demolished Man

How To Kill Your Rivals and Influence People
(The Demolished Man)

The Demolished Man (Alfred Bester, 1951) is a science-fiction inverted detective story, equal parts Ocean’s Eleven and Death Note. The novel tells the story of business monolith Ben Reich’s mission to murder rival conglomerate owner Craye D’Courtney in a world where psychics (or espers, ‘extra-sensory perception’-ers) form a significant proportion of the population and a pre-meditated murder hasn’t gone undetected or unsolved for over seventy years. Ben’s primary foil is the police prefect Lincoln Powell, top-class esper who is able to ‘peep’ through even the strongest mental blocks that a suspect can put up. Continue reading