The Automatic Detective
A. Lee Martinez
Tor, Feb 2008, $14.95
Mack Megaton was created as the ultimate doomsday machine capable of mass killing; his handlers planed on using him as the ultimate weapon of mass destruction leading to global supremacy. Instead something went haywire as Mack not only developed a conscience he was too kind to kill for profit. Now he drives a cab in sector of Empire City or what the Learned Council calls "Technotopia".
When his neighbors the Bleakers vanish without a trace, Mack becomes concerned though they kept their distance. He decides to investigate to insure they are all right and if not save them. He is unaware that aliens seek the blood of Holt Bleaker because it contains a mutation that they believe will prove useful when they invade Empire City. However, if Mack learns of their treachery, he would prevent it, but he has personal issues as the evil psychic Grey has done something nefarious to his programming while robotic guru Lucia Napier tries to return him to his normal state.
This is a brilliant satirical science fiction Noir in which the zany cast lampoons several typical genres’ standbys such as the little green alien mob boss. Mack is fabulous as THE AUTOMATIC DETECTIVE in a city filled with eccentric lunatics. Fans who relish something different will enjoy this well written amateur sleuth save the world investigative tale.