Thursday, November 30, 2017

Ten of the best sci-fi locked-room mysteries

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and the Ustari Cycle from Pocket/Gallery, including We Are Not Good People. At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog he tagged ten fiendishly clever sci-fi locked room mysteries, including:
Places in the Darkness, by Chris Brookmyre

The space station Ciudad de Cielo (the City in the Sky) hangs in orbit hundreds of miles above the Earth, and for many, represents humanity’s aspirations of escaping the clutches of gravity once and for all. For the people on the station, it’s something else entirely—a claustrophobic prison where drug-running and prostitution fuel endless gang wars and implantable memories offer both the opportunity for limitless knowledge and the potential for horrifying manipulation. These criminal elements are tolerated until a body shows up, bringing Nikki “Fix” Freeman on board to investigate, accompanied by straight-laced government rep Alice Blake. Nikki isn’t thrilled to be hobbled by Alice, but as more dead bodies show up on the station, they both realize they may not be able to trust their own memories—and that a gang war may be the least dangerous problem in the City in the Sky. Brookmyre has written armloads of crime novels, so it’s no surprise the mystery here comes off well—but it turns out he’s also just as sharp at the sci-fi stuff.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue