(Today we have a special guest who many of us know. C.S. Boyack is here to talk about his newest release Grinders, which is a cyberpunk adventure. Not a common genre for my blog, so this is really exciting. Today, he’s going to talk about subplots and how none of the characters are doing what they want to do. Have fun.)
Thanks for inviting me back, Charles. It’s always fun visiting your place. I’m here to talk about my newest book, Grinders.
This one is a type of science fiction known as cyberpunk. I’ll let the blurb explain the main points. My topic today is one of the sub-plots. There is a lot going on in Grinders, and in some ways it makes a statement about the human condition. I didn’t really set out to do that, it just kind of happened.
In Grinders, none of the characters are doing what they wanted. If you think about it, it’s kind of realistic. How many of us are not working at the task we dreamed of as children? How many people have a degree in something that has nothing to do with their current employment? Why should the future be any different.
Jimi is my main character. She originally went to art school, but an abusive step-father withheld financing until she chose a path that he felt would make her financially stable. She went into criminal justice, and became a cop. Art became a hobby, but it’s a big part of who she is.
There are others with similar stories. The trained chef who operates a food counter in a former timeshare that’s been converted into apartments. The bartender who has a degree in computer programming, with a minor in holobarkers. (Specific tech that get’s explained between the covers.)
Lou is Jimi’s senior partner on the police force. He had everything he ever wanted, but lost it. Lou is a simple man, and loves horses. He spent most of his career as a mounted patrolman, until the department decided to retire all the horses and sell them. Lou’s horse now pulls a hansom cab through San Francisco’s touristy areas. He kept tabs on the horse, made friends with his new owner, and occasionally volunteers at her stables in exchange for a bit of equine therapy.
Even Grinder Squad itself is kind of the bargain basement of the police department. They didn’t know what else to do with Lou, so he got assigned there. Jimi got in some trouble, so they stuffed her into Grinder squad.
I think it makes the character relatable. This is fiction, so I needed to offer some kind of resolution to this issue. It isn’t the main plot, so I can be a little more fluid here, but I think it stitched together kind of nicely.
The blurb will give your readers more of the highlights to the story, but I’m glad to have the opportunity to touch on something more subtle today.
Jimi Cabot made one mistake as a starving college student. When she went to work for the San Francisco Police Department, it nearly cost her the job. The union stepped in and they had to reinstate her. They did so by assigning her to the duty nobody wants, Grinder Squad.
Grinders are people who use back room surgeries to enhance their bodies with computer chips, and various kinds of hardware. Jimi is sure that if she can just bust one grind shop, it will be her ticket back.
Paired with veteran cop, she soon learns that Grinder Squad is a cash-cow for the department. They are nothing more than glorified patrol cops, and generally get the worst assignments.
Matchless is the most wanted grinder of all time. He disappeared years ago, leaving only the evidence of those he enhanced during his career. With these pieces, Jimi picks up the cold trail to try working her way back to more respectable duty.
Grinders is a cyberpunk story set in a world where global warming has eroded coastlines, and society has solved many of our current problems by replacing them with new ones. There are cyber shut-ins, cyber-currency skimming schemes, and more in this futuristic tale.
This book also takes the opportunity to poke a stick at current issues that seem to have lasted into the future. Entitled people, helicopter moms, overzealous homeowner associations, and lack of decent jobs are all present. Never preachy, these issues make up the day to day work of a patrol officer.
I hope you enjoy Grinders as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you.
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