The Rise of Denver Moon – Cyberpunk on Mars

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My first introduction to Joshua Viola and Hex Publishers was through the fantastic short story anthology Cyber World. It had that real cyberpunk edge. Now partnered with Warren Hammond, Denver Moon is continuing that cyberpunk and science fiction noir tradition. Unlike Cyber World though, Denver Moon appears to be intended to spawn a franchise, the first entry of which will be Denver Moon: The Minds of Mars. You can read the official synopsis below:

Denver Moon, PI, works the dark underbelly of Mars City. While investigating a series of violent crimes linked to red fever—a Martian disorder that turns its victims into bloodthirsty killersDenver discovers a cryptic message left by Tatsuo Moon, Mars City co-founder and Denver’s grandfather. The same grandfather who died two decades ago. 

Twenty-year-old revelations force Denver on a quest for truth, but Tatsuo’s former friend, Cole Hennessy, leader of the Church of Mars, has other plans and will stop at nothing to keep Denver from disclosing Tatsuo’s secrets to the world.

Hellbent on reclaiming her grandfather’s legacy, Denveralong with her AI implant, Smith, companion android, Nigel, and shuttle pilot, Navyaset out on a quest to find the answers they hope will shed light on the church’s true agenda, the origin of red fever, and the mysteries surrounding Tatsuo’s tragic death.

I’ve had the pleasure of dipping into this delicacy of a story early, and I can tell you, it is worth the ride. Denver Moon, the titular protagonist, is a great modern reinvention of the classic noir PI and there is no shortage of enticing cyberpunk tropes from robotic prostitutes drenched in neon to ruminations on the human condition. Even the science fiction tropes that don’t fit neatly into a cyberpunk package are tinged with the thematic paint of the cyberpunk genre. Denver Moon is the child of Blade Runner and Armitage III drenched in the red dust of Mars and dried blood.

If you like fast-paced cyberpunk action with a dash of philosophical thought then I suggest keeping an eye out for Denver Moon. Denver Moon: The Minds of Mars, the first installment, is slated for release on June 5th, 2018 and you can lock down your copy here, should you feel so inclined.

Leading up to the release of Denver Moon: The Minds of Mars, you can bide your time and dip a toe into the world with Denver Moon #1: Murder on Mars, the first of a comic mini-series featuring our heroine. It set to be available on January 31st in digital format and on June 5th, alongside Denver Moon: The Minds of Mars, in physical format.

Hex Publishers isn’t one to let June 5th rest, so there will also be a release of a short story, Denver Moon: Metamorphosis, which I can vouch for being a fun read too.

The experience of Denver Moon won’t be complete, though, without the upcoming official soundtrack, PS4 themes, and other merch that is to come and if the artwork from Kirk DouPonce and Aaron Lovett are any indication, this will all be visually arresting. I, for one, am looking forward to future of this franchise in the making. You can find the official website here.

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