Contemporary Eldritch San Francisco Design

I created a database for dead bodies and added the first one. — Annabel Scheme

The ever marvellous Helen recently handed me a corker of a short novel, Annabel Scheme. Nominally a detective story, it’s really a steeplechase through an alt-future San Franscisco. Plus demons, quantum computing and the internet. It’s played straight-up, not satirically, but with a lightness of tone and a fluency of detail that recalls early Douglas Adams.

Sloan’s name for throwaway details that enrich a world is gold coins, and it’s a good one. Annabel Scheme is packed with the things. There are just one or two moments where this tips slightly over the line to cutesiness, but mostly the tone is bang on. Seeing the gold coins along the way is one of the delights of the book, so much so that I’d rather not cite them here; it’s better to just discover them.

The book was funded by a kickstarter project, which is an interesting data point. It’s not why you should read it though. You should read it because it kicks arse.