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The Case of the Notorious Roboticist


Not for me 😔

Even though this format didn’t really work for me, I’d still like to see the story onscreen or perhaps even the screenplay itself.

The Case of the Notorious Roboticist by David Hearne sounded like it would have been exactly my cup of tea. The concept behind it is brilliant and there is so much potential, but it never quite worked for me or lived up to my expectations. I must admit that I’m total sucker for anything noir or noir adjacent and if there are elements of science fiction or cyberpunk involved that’s all the better in my opinion. Since this short novel includes all of those, I absolutely expected that this would be a total shoo-in for me, but like I said it just never quite worked for me as well as I would have liked.

My favorite aspect of The Case of the Notorious Roboticist is its world-building. The novel is a short and quite fast-paced read, but we do get a decent amount of world-building. That said, though, the world-building fairly spare. We get what we need to know before moving on, but I wish we got to see a little more when it comes to experiencing a wider-angle view of the world Moroz and company inhabit. The world-building could be described as much more functional rather than anything else. That also makes it a bit of a weak link in my eyes. With this story, I didn’t feel like I could walk into world these characters inhabit. Regarding the characters, our lead Moroz is the figure I had my eye on. He’s the private eye of the story and I could appreciate his determination. Overall, though, I wasn’t very invested in anyone we met in the story. The way the story is told, there’s an extra buffer between the reader, the cast of characters, and their world. I didn’t feel like I was meeting the characters or visiting their world but seeing it all through a small window from behind a glass wall.

According to the description of this novel, the author actually adapted this novel from his own award-winning screenplay. Even though the novel format didn’t really work for me, I’d still like to see a filmed version of the story or perhaps even the screenplay itself. Honestly, I think that a good deal of my issues with David Hearne’s The Case of the Notorious Roboticist is one of format. The missing links may easily be filled in with the noirish cyberpunk visuals and actually seeing actors breathe life into Hearne’s characters. Overall, if you’re interested in noir, cyberpunk, or AI, you may want to try this novel because it does have a lot of potential to be built up into something great. Perhaps one day, we’ll have the opportunity to see it on the big screen.

Reviewed by

I am completely addicted to reading and I particularly enjoy fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and YA. I love the fact that being a blogger (and a librarian) helps feed my addiction and allows me to interact with other book lovers on a daily basis.

About the author

David resides in Brisbane, Australia, holds a diploma in journalism and has completed the writing cluster of the Advanced Diploma of Screen through QPIX. He has had two short films made, written four books and many screenplays (including some award winners). view profile

Published on April 30, 2020

Published by

40000 words

Genre: Science Fiction

Reviewed by