Marlowe and the Spacewoman
For Marlowe, an over-worked and oft worked over private eye recovering from yet another emergency resurrection, it’s the start of a long day. He’s murdered by a bar of sentient soap in the morning, and just when he’s recovered enough to grab some lunch, a femme fatale crash-lands outside the City, causing a major political disturbance.
Forced by the government to investigate her claims to be from outer space, Marlowe struggles to strike a balance between solving his own murder and resisting his attraction to the alleged yet alluring extraterrestrial. All while dodging additional assassination attempts and the meddling of powerful figures who have their own ideas about how the ‘Affair with the Spacewoman’ should end.
Marlowe and the Spacewoman started out as a short story entitled Semi-Sentient Soap Scum on the Prowl. I began that story with the thought: What is the most absurd, impossible opening line to start with? I wanted to write something completely crazy and off-the-wall, something that would make you shake your head and think I could not possibly pull off a story that starts this way. And then I wanted to pull it off. So what was that original first line?
The bar of soap killed Marlowe.
But I had to be clear this wasn’t some sort of slip and fall accident in the shower. No, it was going to be a murder, a murder committed by an armed and dangerous bar of soap carrying out a hit. So was born the follow-up:
“Nothing personal,” it bubbled to him as the needle retracted, “just business.”
After that, I just needed to figure out who Marlowe was and how a bar of soap could be a malicious killer. Piece of cake.
Not too long after I finished the short story, I decided to expand Semi-Sentient Soap Scum on the Prowl into a full length novel. Multiple drafts, two critique groups, and a title change later, Marlowe and the Spacewoman, a 105,000 word absurdist science fiction noir novel with a streak of dark satire, came into being.
Want to know more? Here’s an excerpt.