The Dark Herald Recommends – Lost Planet HomicideThe Dark Herald
This one is a little out of my usual stomping grounds.
Lost Planet Homicide by Larry Correia is an audio play exclusive to Audible. I’ve certainly listened to his books on audio, but this piece is purpose-built from the ground up as a play. You may not, as yet, find it in any other format.
I believe this is Larry’s very first foray into hard science fiction, (unless there are short stories somewhere that I don’t know about).
As the name implies Lost Planet Homicide is a mystery. And like most mysteries, this one is very much setting-driven.
Correia has long since established his credentials as a world-class world builder with The Sons of his Black Sword and Hard Magic series. However, this setting is very much hard science fiction and it’s one Larry Niven would love.
Several centuries from today the C.S. New Beginning sets off with the most ambitious planet colonizing projects ever. The ship is a huge series of spheres that are each designed to land separately once they reach their target planet.
They never reached their target planet.
The method of FTL travel was the “hyperspace canon” trope. And the canon missed. The colonists were horrified to find they had arrived in open space. The astrogator Sevaro Cade discovered a planet that was barely reachable. The colonists renamed their ship the Roanoke and their new destination Croatoan. They also chucked Sevaro Cade out of an airlock.
Croatoan was a nightmare world. The surface was covered with acid clouds, although the atmosphere was just barely breathable on the mountain tops. However, what we would call a category 3 hurricane was a mild spring breeze. Their only hope for survival was to burrow their way into the mountains like an army of ants.
The population of Roanoke’s spheres had been divided by skills and professions. Once on Croatoan the spheres that had the professions that were most desperately needed got first dibs on the supplies. That was the sphere that landed on Mount Olympus.
The sphere with the skills that were needed least got whatever was left. That was the one that touched down on Mount Zenith. A couple of generations in and the stigma became permanent. This mountain range was named the Five Points.
A couple of hundred years later and Sevaro Cade’s descendant Lutero is a detective on the Zenith PD. He has the unfortunate distinction of being the only honest cop in his department. The Five Points are controlled from above by corporations that rule the colony as an oligarchy and from below by criminal gangs that are all nearly institutions in their own right.
If there is a murder that is sanctioned by either one then the cops just clean up the mess and collect their bribe money. Except for Lutero Cade, he only ever gets sent out on cases where neither the lords above or below are claiming credit for the killing.
But now he has a problem. His latest case is murdered cop from a domed city on Olympus and the motive for this murder will threaten the very existence of the colony.
This is top-shelf Larry Correia all the way around. It’s read by Oliver Wyman who is a one-man radio theater company. And at two hours and thirty minutes you can get through the whole thing in one sitting.
I am curious to see if this is the start of a trend for Audible and if there will be more plays in this setting.
Lost Planet Homicide is available from Audible to stream or download and that is currently it. No hard media at all. Larry has indicated that it will be available in print form in some as yet unnamed future collection but that is vaporware at the moment. The price is $13.08 (odd amount but whatever) or if you can get it for the grand total of zero dollars if you take Audible’s 30 day free trial. Your call.
In any case…
The Dark Herald Recommends with Enthusiasm