How to Write a Dystopian Noir Novel


The concept of The Troubleshooter is retro-futurism, or dystopian noir as coined by the author, Bard Constantine. It's taking the grit, slang, vibe and look of the 30s pulp and hardboiled detective stories and dropping all of that in a Blade Runner styled future. So you get your jazz and bourbon, trench coats and fedoras, dames and gangsters along with your flying cars, synthetic humanoids, and towering cities protected by invisible shielding.


The setting is a few hundred years after an event called the Cataclysm nearly wiped humanity from existence. A remnant survived in Havens: colossal city-sized constructs built as utopias for the inhabitants. What the architects didn't count on was humanity's tendency to be motivated by their baser instincts, like greed, prejudice, and selfishness. The dream of a brighter future quickly sank in a mire of militarism, power struggles, and capitalism. The Havens became strongholds for those with power, and hell for those without it. Crime became rampant, and the strained police forces were unable to come to the aid of everyone, especially those with little to offer. Citizens were forced to turn to other sources when they needed to get out of a jam. And for the right price, they could turn to the Troubleshooter...


It's noir. It's dieselpunk. It's sci fi. It's dystopian. It's one hell of a ride...

The Main Mug


Mick Trubble is a man with a past he can't remember and a future just as foggy, so he tends to live in the moment. Despite his darkened history, he's usually quick-witted and full of sarcastic, self-deprecating charm. Fond of strong drink, gasper smoke and easy dames, Mick also has a strong personal honor code and loyalty to those who do good by him.

The character of Mick Trubble is taken from familiar stock: that strong, world-weary mug usually seen with a couple of day's worth of stubble on his chin, a cigarette hanging from his lip, and his eyes shadowed by a fedora. He's obviously influenced by the literary giants who came before: Philip Marlow, Sam Spade, Mike Hammer. He's a touch of Bogart, and even a dash of Indiana Jones.

But make not mistake. Mick Trubble is his own man, and any chump who says different might end up getting his ugly mug rearranged. Because Mick is a pretty cool customer... until you get on his bad side.

The City


You wanna make it in New Haven? Better get to know the lay of the land. Tourist? Better stick to The Uppers and enjoy the shops and diners. It'll cost you a pretty penny, but it's better than getting mugged in the Flats. Course if you've been here a few times then you know that Downtown is where the action is. Lots of cool cats and sleek dames, along with the regular crop of players, hustlers, slicksters and gangsters. Best jazz and scotch can be found at the Gaiden, I hear.

If you got a mind to play a little blackjack and prefer a place where slugs might not pop off, you might wanna try Bayside. The casinos start on the ground and go straight up, giving you a grand view of the city while you lose your money. And if wanna see the cats who own everything, try the Heights if you can get past security. Folks up there are the high rollers. You know, the type with their noses so high in the air that it's a wonder they don't bleed.

I already told you about the Flats, but at least you can catch a cabbie and hightail it outta there if things get grim. Unlike the West Docks. You wind up there, there's a good chance you'll be the next mug washed up on the banks of the West River. Better say your prayers, chump.

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​© Copyright 2017 Bard Constantine.

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