Won Honorable Mention in the Writers of the Future contest.
“… refreshing and dynamic take on the cyberpunk genus.”
Lancer Kind splices cyberpunk with Hawaiian culture in this novelette length tale (roughly 70 paperback pages). Global warming’s legacy has put part of Honolulu underwater and forced the erection of seawalls.
Nafi has given up professional surfing for a stable path to home ownership—working security at a pineapple research facility. A beautiful woman named Lina throws herself at him, and following an after-hours tour of his workplace, she leaves him dazed in a lap-dance’s afterglow to smuggle pineapple samples.
Nafi stops her and she accuses him of abetting a conspiracy to engineer a virus that will wipeout the island’s entire pineapple crop. Although he thinks she’s crazy, within hours a security guard is murdered and an infamous epidemiologist turns up. While Nafi pieces together why a plantation would destroy its own crop, he and Lina must flee a coverup that requires them dead.
I cut my teeth on gibson and sterling and must admit there are long stretches when there is anything new and exciting in the genre. But Honolulu Hottie was refreshing and dynamic take on the cyberpunk genus. Having lived in Hawaii myself and being aware of the real culture clash that lies just beneath the surface as well as the pan Asian influence that dominates the isolated islands the story had a real genuine feel to it. Adding to that the climate change and some great tech and the omnipresent pineapple it was a great ride. My only complaint if any is I wanted more and suspect Nafi could be a character that a full novel could be wrapped around. And just for nothing. Fight the power, don't eat Dole...