The sci-fi noir of Neon Harvest is no exception. Set on an unnamed off world colony planet in an unnamed city that feels like 1980s crime-riddled Miami, Neon Harvest has the day-glo vibe of The Miami Connection (minus ninjas) with the noir sensibilities of The Big Sleep. It’s a compelling and wholly unique aesthetic that totally works.
Digger is a former athlete turned private eye fresh off a crushing failure of a case. All he wants is to get off this planet and go to another colony world, one cleaner both environment- and people-wise. Despondent, he’s hired by his old friend/guy who ended his sports career True Drexert with one last case with a payoff so big Digger will be one the next ship off of the planet: rescue Virginia Mance, daughter of tech oligarch Niko Mance, aka The Necromancer, who has gone missing and was last seen in the company of a notorious sex trafficker.
So into the city’s seamy underbelly Digger goes once again, hoping that this score is enough to settle his debts and start a new life.
Neon Harvest is a gritty, take-no-prisoners detective/chase tale with a gloss of corporate espionage told at a fast pace with brutal action that never overstays it’s welcome and classic dialogue that crackles with life. Further, underneath it all, Neon Harvest has a surprisingly wholesome moral core. Digger is a paladin, doing right because it’s the right thing to do in a world that grinds people like him into dust. It’d be easy for Digger to sell out like so many others, take the golden ticket, and life the easy life, but the price of doing so is too much even for a down-on-his-luck sad sack like Digger.
In other words, you can’t help but root for the guy.
Neon Harvest is another pulp-inspired tale from Mollison, who is rapidly becoming a master at whatever genre he touches. Highly recommended. Buy Neon Harvest here.