Review: Bone Wires by Michael Shean

Bone Wires written by Michael Shean is described as a dark, brooding, cyberpunk noir and is currently a running serial released every Thursday on Curiosity Quills. When the government ran the police force, the position of Homicide Detective warranted respect and recognition. However, in a time when private companies own the force the once honored position has become nothing more than a dead end job likened to janitorial service.

Detective Daniel Gray, of Homicide Solutions, knows that to get ahead in the company he has to be more business man than cop and that means doing whatever makes the company, Civic Protection, look the best. However, when someone from the company is found with his back splayed open like a fish with his spine removed Gray realizes that what's best for the company may not be what's best for the case.

I am thoroughly enjoying this serial; the characters, a main focus of mine, are strong, accessible and complex. I like the intricacies of the different perspectives of police work between Gray and his sometime partner Brutus Carter. Gray is a cop driven to work his way up the police corporate ladder and Carter, a cop who was once on the Seattle Police Department before the corporate take over, cares more about the case than the business side of things.

I love noir stories and although this one isn't as dirty or gritty from my perspective I can see it developing into more of one as the serial continues. I think the progression into noir will shine through with the development of Gray's character. Noir characters are flawed, loners, and although Gray could be seen as a loner, he's not completely flawed. Even though he talks about a time when he didn't move quickly enough to move up the ladder, he does now. He's motivated and anxious for that one media friendly case that will give him the Amber shield he covets. With the introduction of Angie, a stripper that says less than what she's wearing, Gray starts to question what really is important, advancement within the company or learning the truth behind the case. At the conclusion of the sixth part he is taking matters into his own hands with the case and following his gut that there is more to the case than the company would have him believe. His character starts to show a nasty, gritty side that I love about noir characters.

Shean has nailed the noir setting by way of the cyberpunk elements of the story. Bone Wires takes place in Seattle 2076 where corporate sponsorship bombards you at every corner with their neon signs and constant advertisements. I love Shean's setting up of the dark dealings underneath the unnatural glow of the heavily illuminated city. His descriptions of the new technology and way of life makes it easy for anyone to put themselves in the story.

At an average of 3400 words his installments are the perfect length to sit down and get a small dose of great writing. I will definitely be back next Thursday to see how the case develops and to learn more about Gray as he tries to figure out who is stealing people's spines.



Bone Wires is a serialized cyberpunk, noir story on Curiosity Quills every Thursday. Michael Shean is a web professional and graphic artist living in the Washington, DC area. A lifelong devotee to science fiction, weird fiction and noir tales, Michael enjoys weaving complex stories involving troubled, colorful characters and deconstructing the darker side of the worlds in which they live.

Find, follow and friend Michael on Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Reddit and Digg. (Author information taken from Curiosity Quills.)