cover image The Milkman: A Free World Novel

The Milkman: A Free World Novel

Michael J. Martineck. EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing (Ingram, U.S. dist.; Fitzhenry & Whiteside, Canadian dist.), $14.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-77053-060-7

In Martineck's (Cinco de Mayo) latest novel, Detective Edwin McCallum, assigned the task of finding Geri Vasquez's murderer, is enough of an idealist to want to catch the killer and enough of a realist to realize the system he works in, one in which the world has been divided between three giant corporations, will likely prevent this outcome. Justice does not matter to a post-Buy Up world divided between Ambyr and its rivals BCCA/Hong Kong and India Group; only the bottom line does. Emory Leveski is unfortunate enough to offer the system a cost-effective scapegoat; McCallum knows Leveski is an innocent man but without funds to prove this, seemingly helpless to rescue Leveski from the prison hell he is consigned to. The system is about to find out just how far McCallum will go to fulfill the spirit of the law and not the letter. Reminiscent of the novels of Michael Coney, Frederik Pohl and Cyril Kornbluth as well as Terry Gilliam's Brazil, although with less bitter humor and more outrage than those luminaries, the work is a reductio ad absurdum examination of the increasingly corporatized world in which we all live, an impressive demonstration of the author's skills. (May)