Mathew Swain
Created by Mike McQuay

Sorry, but this sci-fi/P.I. hybrid works better as spoof, than straight. McQuay dedicated the whole series to to the memory of Raymond Chandler, "because he understood." It's too bad McQuay didn't. Chandler wanted to rise above the pulps, not wallow in them. But a bit of misguided name-dropping aside, the series has some real pleasures to offer, mostly of the good ol' pulpy type.

Private eye MATHEW SWAIN meets all the requirements of your typical pulp P.I. He's tough, packs a rod, drinks too much, has a seedy office and gets bonked on the back of the brainpan with alarming frequency. Okay, so the weapon of choice is a frumpgun, which reduces its targets to "nothing more than a pile of warn goo on the ground", and the seedy office is in a large, un-named city somewhere in south-central Texas circa 2083 A.D. that makes "Blade Runner's L.A. look like Disneyland," according to Chris Mills.

Indeed, the streets were never meaner. Only the very rich can afford police protection, so anyone with any money at all has to rely on private security guards, nicknamed Fancy Dans, who are essentially fascist-thugs-for-hire. Entire sections of the city are cordoned off, due to massive radiation, garbage is everywhere, poverty is rampant and life was never cheaper. Death is so common, by starvation, violence or disease, that Meat Wagons prowl the city, sweeping up the day's dead.

Good pulpy fun.Lije Baley and R.D. Olivaw This historic cop and robot team showed how science and mystery fiction could work together, and manage to slip by this site's "P.I.'s only" guidelines.



Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks, Chris.

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