These Mean Streets Darkly
Liquid Cool Prequel
by Austin Dragon
Genre: Cyberpunk Detective Thriller

THESE MEAN STREETS, DARKLY the prequel to the cyberpunk
detective series, Liquid Cool.

It’s a world of colossal skyscrapers. Hovercars fly above in the dark,
rainy skies and gray people walk below on the grimy, hard streets in
the “Neon Jungle.” Uber-governments and megacorporations fight
for control of the supercity, but so does crime.
An average woman, Carol—hardworking and decent in every way— loses
her daughter to the psycho Red Rabbit. Can Police Central find the
girl in time—alive? And is it really a random, senseless kidnapping
in the fifty-million-plus city?
There are a million victims and perpetrators in this High-Tech, Low-Life
World. This is one of those stories…before we meet our private eye
(and unlikely hero), Cruz, in the debut novel, Liquid
Cool!
**Free on Amazon!**
Liquid Cool
Liquid Cool Series Book 1
Cyberpunk Thriller To Keep You on the Edge of Your Seat!

Liquid Cool is the action-packed (and funny), cyberpunk detective
series.

How Much is One Life Worth?
In the sci-fi/cyberpunk detective series, author Austin Dragon shows why
you never want to meet a cyborg in a dark alley. Liquid Cool is a
cross between Blade Runner and the Maltese Falcon. There is plenty of
gritty action, suspense, thrills, and even a few laughs.
It’s cyberpunk reimagined—an ever-rainy world of colossal skyscrapers,
hovercars, flashy neon streets, and futuristic mechanization.
Metropolis isn’t a bad place, but it isn’t a good one either.
Uber-governments and megacorporations fight for control of the
fifty-million-plus super-city, but so does crime.
We meet Cruz, our private eye (and unlikely hero), in this super-city
with a million victims and perpetrators. Watch out for
tech-tricksters, analog hustlers, and digital gangsters—psychos,
samurais, and cyborgs aplenty. Visitors have a way of becoming
permanent attractions.
Welcome to the high-tech, low-life world of Liquid Cool.
PART I: SHOOTOUT ON SWEET STREET
Metropolis.
Everything that was seen or heard, every smell, and almost every feeling belonged
to it. Skyscraper monoliths with their side lights rose into the near-perpetual overcast
sky one way, blink-blink, and the lukewarm downpour fell onto the neon urban jungle
the other, drip-drip. From the ground, looking up, on those days that were as clear as
it could ever get, buildings seemed to have their own halos, courtesy of the rooftop
lights. On “normal” rainy days, that same illumination gave the sky a faint glow. Also
from the vantage of the streets, the city’s lighted buildings pulsated in all the many
psychologically-tested and focus-group-researched colors to mitigate the street’s base
griminess, despite the ever-rain. The flashing neon signs screamed every second of
every day; their soft-sell, quasi-hypnotic consumerist cons of Big Bad Business and
government public service “aggravations” (PSAs) of Big Bad Government. But people
were numb to it all, no matter how outrageous or provocative.
The crowds on the streets moving about were like a collective lifeform.
Everyone clad in their gray-toned or black slickers, and for those carrying them,
umbrellas with glowing colored handles. Most had their ears covered with
headphones, their heads covered with hoods, and everyone had their eyes
covered with glowing colored glasses. The masses were in the world, but
mentally someplace else—away from it, never a part of it, unless there was a
reason, and there rarely was a reason. Tech-tricksters, analog hustlers, and
digital gangsters, at least, had purpose. The masses had only one concern—to
exist, get to the end of the day unscathed, and then do it all over again the next
day. Maybe smile a real smile a time or two in life. Escape was only possible if
you could buy or trick your way Up-Top or, of course, when the Grim Reaper
came a-knocking. ‘Til then, for most, there was plugging the ears into the
music, and the eyes (and brain) into the virtual television. For too many others,
it was also about jacking the body into the drugs or the mind into the cybergames.
Everything in an attempt to stave off the dark emotions and
conventional madness that accompanied the daily grind of life in the 50
million-plus, supercity of Metropolis, and the many, many other metropolises
exactly like it, though smaller, on Earth.
“Yo, yo, yo. Easy Chair Charlie! What’s the street talk, E.C.?” a voice called out.
If it were not for their glowing colored glasses, the three street kids would have
been invisible through the drizzle of the night. Easy Chair Charlie stopped his
musically-influenced stroll through the streets, pulling his headphones down around
his neck. He wore his favorite embroidered, black slicker that flowed behind his tall,
lanky frame. He also had the attached clear hood pulled over his bleached-white spiky
hair and wore glowing, dark blue-black shades, but looked out from the top as if they
were bifocals.
A neon sign flashed, and he could see the kids clearly—flapper hats and chia-pet
bubble-coats—squatting on the corner. “What you playin’?” he asked.
The boys looked like gorillas with the heads of old World War I fighter pilots. The
water-resistant, faux-fur of their coats kept them toasty warm in the rain.
“Just a game of street jacks to pass the time, Easy,” answered the same boy. “Easy,
what’s the street talk? You always know the low-down. If we get something, we’ll give
you a cut like always.”

Easy Chair Charlie was a hustler of some distinction. His racket was the numbers,
and he had the inside scoop on every professional and amateur, major league and
minor league sports game, hovercar race, horse race, dog race, boxing match, or
martial arts match there was and every illegal and back-alley one, too. But he was
branching out from his old racket, though he still had the touch and threw a tip here
and there to the street kids he liked.
“No action now. But I may have something for you later,” he said.
“Righteous, Easy. You always come through for us.”
“You always come through for me. The street looks out for self.”
“You know it, Easy.”
“Catch me later.”
“You got it, Easy,” they said in unison.
Easy Chair Charlie returned his headphones to his ears and strutted away to his
tunes. He gave them the thumbs-up as he disappeared into the rain.
Get Your Copy of Liquid Cool Right Now.
**Free on Amazon!**
Blade Gunner
Liquid Cool Book 2

The Cyberpunk Detective Thriller Blade Gunner Keeps
You on the Edge of Your Seat!

Liquid Cool is the action-packed (and funny), debut cyberpunk
detective series.

Who is Blade Gunner?
In the next installment of the sci-fi/cyberpunk detective series, author
Austin Dragon shows you when two forces of evil want to kill each
other—get the hell out of the way! The Liquid Cool Series is the
sci-fi classic, Blade Runner meets the Old Hollywood classic, Maltese
Falcon. There is plenty of gritty action, suspense, thrills, and even
a few laughs.
It’s the cyberpunk novel reimagined—an ever-rainy world of colossal
skyscrapers, hover-cars, flashy neon streets, and futuristic
mechanization. Metropolis isn’t a bad place, but it isn’t a good
one either. Uber-governments and mega-corporations fight for control
of the fifty-million-plus super-city, but so does crime.
Sinister secret megacorporations. Savage Cyborg cults. And the Blade Gunner.
How does Cruz, our private eye (and unlikely hero), solve this
case—let alone survive? Off-worlders will do anything to stop the
unknown man called Blade Gunner—even to blow up a supercity from
space! The seedy spousal surveillance case doesn’t look so bad
after all, but it’s too late to go back. You haven’t read a
cyberpunk novel like this.
Welcome to the high-tech, low-life world of Liquid Cool.
NeuroDancer
Liquid Cool Book 3

The Cyberpunk Detective Series Continues to Thrill in NeuroDancer!

Liquid Cool is the action-packed (and funny), debut cyberpunk
detective series.

Has Cruz met his supervillain match in NeuroDancer?
Liquid Cool is a Blade Runner meets the Maltese Falcon. In the next
installment of the sci-fi/cyberpunk detective series, author Austin
Dragon goes from less frenetic cyberpunk to a smoother, cyber-noir
with our hero, Cruz, matching wits with the sultry NeuroDancer. There
is always plenty of gritty action, suspense, thrills, and even a few
laughs.
It’s the cyberpunk novel reimagined—an ever-rainy world of colossal
skyscrapers, hover-cars, flashy neon streets, and futuristic
mechanization. Metropolis isn’t a bad place, but it isn’t a good
one either. Uber-governments and mega-corporations fight for control
of the fifty-million-plus super-city, but so does crime.
Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful,” she said to him. He should have
listened to his instincts when she strolled into his office to hire
him. “I knew I wasn’t gonna touch this case with a 10-foot pole.
It had danger written all over it, back and front.” But he did take
the Case of the NeuroDancer. Is this the private eye story where the
bad “guy” rides off into the sunset and the hero lies flat on his
back waiting for the meat wagon to fly down in their hoverambulance.
Which is crazier, indeed: the criminal—or the client? Welcome to the
high-tech, low-life world of Liquid Cool.
The Electric Sheep Massacre
Liquid Cool Book 4
The Cyberpunk Detective Series Goes to London!
But in The Electric Sheep Massacre does our detective come back?
And, is that before or after someone tries to kill him in the world
of virtual reality?!

Liquid Cool is the action-packed (and funny), debut cyberpunk
detective series.

Liquid Cool is Blade Runner meets the Maltese Falcon. In the next
installment of the sci-fi/cyberpunk detective series, author Austin
Dragon takes our private detective from the wild, concrete wastelands
outside the supercity Metropolis across the Great Ocean to London
Prime (that’s what they call it in the future) to the most
dangerous place in the world—virtual reality, where all of a sudden
people are killing and dying.

It’s the cyberpunk novel reimagined—an ever-rainy world of colossal
skyscrapers, hovercars, flashy neon streets, and futuristic
mechanization. Metropolis isn’t a bad place, but it isn’t a good
one either. Uber-governments and megacorporations fight for control
of the fifty-million-plus supercity, but so does crime.

 

Welcome to the high-tech, low-life world of Liquid Cool.
**.99 on Amazon!!**
Austin Dragon is author of the After Eden Series, including the After Eden:
Tek-Fall mini-series, the classic Sleepy Hollow Horrors, and the
cyberpunk detective series, Liquid Cool. He is a native New Yorker,
but has called Los Angeles, California home for the last twenty
years. Words to describe him, in no particular order: U.S. Army,
English teacher, one-time resident of Paris, political junkie, movie
buff, campaign manager and staffer of presidential and gubernatorial
campaigns, Fortune 500 corporate recruiter, renaissance man, and
dreamer.
He is currently working on new books and series in science fiction,
fantasy, and classic horror!
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for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
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