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Bard Constantine was nearly 30 years old when he decided to quit procrastinating and pursue a career in novel writing. The next few years were spent obsessing over his first novel, a fantasy epic that nearly finished him.
After surviving that ordeal, he applied himself to learning the craft of writing. In time his work turned into novels, short stories, poetry, and screenplays. His work often dwells in fantasy, science fiction, and the surreal aspects of the human mind. He defies convention, spinning archetypes and creating new perspectives on storytelling and world building.
Currently residing in Birmingham, Alabama, he adds his ever-growing compilations of literary manuscripts while trying keep a somewhat suspect hold on something called 'reality'. With his widening audience and steadily growing body of work, he is certainly a writer to look out for. His latest updates can be found at Twitter: @BardConstantine; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bardwritesbooks; and his web site: bardconstantine.com
A. F. Stewart
on Sep. 14, 2013 :
Noir is alive and well in the future. The Troubleshooter: New Haven Blues by Bard Constantine takes the atmosphere and sensibilities of a '30's detective novel and blends it well with sci-fi cyberpunk into a tasty and appealing cocktail.
The Troubleshooter begins where all good noir crime fiction should, with a slightly disreputable, down on his luck shamus, excuse me, private detective. In this instance, it’s Mick Trubble, a guy with money problems and a price on his head. The twist in the plot is this private dick works out of dystopian, post-apocalyptic sci-fi city called New Haven. Mick takes a case to pay off his debts, a high risk venture, almost guaranteed to get him killed. The deeper he investigates, the wilder things become as he finds mayhem, android killers, and dark secrets from his own past.
I loved the style and sensibilities of this novel, a cool hybrid of Blade Runner and the Maltese Falcon. The characters are tough and gritty, with a side order of sneaky. You can trust no one, and everybody has something to hide. The author does a nice job of creating this world, the noir and sci-fi blend seamlessly. The plot does a lot of twisting, but manages to keep the reader along for the ride (and at the edge of your seat once or twice), and comes to a satisfying conclusion with just enough left over to whet the appetite for a sequel.
I can recommend The Troubleshooter: New Haven Blues easily.
(reviewed long after purchase)
Mark Toma & Eva Kamm
on Sep. 26, 2012 :
A great little book catching the spirit of Dieselpunk. Dystopian without being depressive, The Troubleshooter: New Haven Blues is packed with adrenaline and humor. Vicious and surprising, the story rapidly absorbs the reader, making him/her into another New Haven citizen. Once you're familiar with local lingo, you feel at home in Mick Trubble's bizarre post-Apocalyptic world.
The author doesn't avoid pulp/noir stereotypes - on the contrary, he makes good use of every possible cliché to create an impossible post-Modernist atmosphere, mixing 1930s detective stories with present-day cyberpunk fantasies and adding a generous dash of "the future that never was". Glamor and filth, ugly thugs and beautiful dames, booze and guns, treachery and heroism - everything's here.
Mick Trubble aka The Troubleshooter is a great character, the one you'll instantly love despite all his flaws (and boy, he's got some!). So grab the book, don't wait.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on July 05, 2012 :
I'll give it to you straight: if you're into dystopian dieselpunk then The Troubleshooter is your sort of story. It's one part hard boiled noir, one part Bladerunner, one shot of Total Recall, two shots of Dan Turner: Hollywood Detective, with a slice of good old fashioned Pulp in the mix, shaken and served in a dystopian deiselpunk glass. Just as you like it.
And your barman - Bard Constantine - has done an excellent job. This smoke hazed, rain drenched tale of Mick Trubble's trouble is one very well crafted story, from the deftly witty voice of the protagonist through to the non-stop action. It's simply a delight to read such a well crafted piece of dieselpunk goodness.
Mick Trubble's narrative voice is fantastic, the author revelling in the sly cadence of the private eyes of old but not overdoing it and falling into cliche the way many a previous author has done. His unique 'perspective' steeps the story in the dieselpunk world that Constantine has created, provoking memories of every classic line of noir cinema you've ever seen or every classic detective pulp you've ever read. The world is rich in detail, the characters fantastically outlandish and it all blends together effortlessly as we follow Mick's out of control 'bad day' to a soundtrack of his own dry, slang-soaked point of view. It's a pleasure to read.
And the action doesn't stop. New Haven is a rollercoaster ride of fantastic genre mash ups that Mick careers through at a blistering pace. From two fisted brawls to verbal knife fights between sharp tongued opponents who are all trying to hide something the story is pacy and explosive in the best traditions of pulp. And it's all handled deftly and succinctly by the author's great writing style. An author who clearly has a love for all things that the genre has to offer.
If you're after a fantastic fun romp through a dystopian dieselpunk world then I highly recommend this story. It's well worth the $4 cover charge, if just to enjoy Mick Trubble himself in full song. Throw in the story's quirky mix of genre bending sci fi and pulp and the tale is worth even more. Well done.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)