Netherworld—Book 1: Pleasure Model

Heavy Metal Pulp: Pleasure Model by Christopher RowleyWritten by Christopher Rowley

Pleasure Model is the first book in the Netherworld trilogy, produced under the Heavy Metal Pulp label for Tor Books. It’s an innovative new format, a fusion of graphic novel and text-only novel, the perfect medium for this future noir murder mystery.

As a science fiction writer, I’m constantly thinking about the future. Since I first began constructing this trilogy, events have moved the world briskly down the track towards exactly the kind of crisis that could produce the future of Netherworld. The effects of global warming, oil shortages, ongoing trillion-dollars-a-year wars in the Middle East, and the shrinking of the American middle class could create the grim America of 2068 in which Pleasure Model takes place.

Rook Venner, Senior Investigating Officer of the Hudson Valley Police Department’s Homicide Squad, is our window into this world. The vic in his latest case is a retired general with a very dark rep earned during the Emergency, a terrible period of social upheaval in the United States. Dig into government secrets and you’re buying a ticket to the morgue. One thing stops Rook from walking away: Plesur, a gene grown pleasure model discovered in the victim’s house. With powerful people trying to kill Rook and Plesur, the only way for Rook to save himself is to solve the case and discover the secret that was planted in Plesur’s head, something that could end the government’s regime for good.

Rook must undertake a journey through the uninsured underbelly of America, hunted by vicious ganglords, terrifying war machines, and a government, desperate to keep anyone from uncovering the truth behind their insane gamble to perpetuate their rule forever.

Netherworld—a detective story in a science fiction future? Or something a lot more ominous, a warning of what could all too easily happen? Only time will tell.

Pleasure Model released in February, 2010, followed by The Bloodstained Man, and The Money Shot, later this year.

From the February 2010 Tor Newsletter.