Strippers, Drugs, and Headless Corpses…
Welcome to one of the August 30th stops on the blog tour for Tropical Punch by S.C. Jensen with Audiobookworm Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, and more author guest content!
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Author Guest Post
Top 5 Film Inspirations for S.C. Jensen’s Tropical Punch
1: The Fifth Element
This has always been one of my favourite SF films, and I found myself re-watching it halfway through writing Tropical Punch just to add a bit more glittery pizzazz to my space cruiser settings. You will definitely see some character inspirations popping up, too. Chris Tucker’s gender bending character, Ruby Rhod, was in the back of my mind when I created the fashion magnate Cosmo Régale. He’s a huge personality, and I also loved the way The Fifth Element flipped gender expectations. The (to us) effeminate Ruby Rhod was the epitome of high-fashion masculinity, and I really wanted to play with the idea of gender in this series. Although The Fifth Element is more Space Opera than Cyberpunk, it really helped me visualize a lot of my high-tech settings. The glitz and glamour of the rich and famous was an important dichotomy to represent next to the grit and poverty of life on the streets of HoloCity.
2: Blade Runner/Blade Runner 2049
Blade Runner represents of the of those rare instances where I love the film as much as the book it was based on. In my opinion, this is one of the best book to movie adaptations every made. It is not 100% true to the plot of the book, but I think it does an excellent job of exploring PKD’s themes in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? in a way that stays true to the soul of the story. This is another classic in terms of cyberpunk aesthetic, too. The dark nights, neon lights, perpetual rain. It shaped the genre, in film and literature, for generations. The android Rachael is one of my favourite characters of all time and she inspired one of the characters in Tropical Punch (I won’t say who, no spoilers!). She is the ultimate femme fatale. Blade Runner 2049 expands on the success of the first film and is such a cinematic joy to watch. It is beautifully shot and scored, and the dull, throbbing ache to the emotional vibe is so cyberpunk it hurts. They are both must sees as far as I’m concerned!
3: The Ghost in the Shell
I know a lot of people didn’t like this movie. As I wasn’t familiar with the original, I didn’t really have any expectations going into it. I really enjoyed the visuals and the story and felt like it brought what I loved about Blade Runner and The Matrix, into the present day. The use of holograms in this film inspired some of the scenes in Tropical Punch. I liked the gritty use of back alley cybernetic enhancement, too. You will see a lot of parallels between this movie and my Bubbles in Space series, though Bubbles doesn’t take herself quite as seriously as Major!
4: Cowboy Bebop
Okay, it’s not a film. But this TV series is fantastic! My husband and I have been binge watching the whole thing. It’s also got a lot of Space Opera elements, but I love the way it blends in Cyberpunk themes and aesthetics. It showed me that I could mash up my favourite sci-fi genres and gave me a lot of ideas on how I might expand the Bubbles in Space series into a more traditional Space Opera. The storytelling in this series is absolutely phenomenal, and I really feel like each episode could have been expanded into a full length movie. But because they haven’t been, my imagination has been able to run wild with ideas!
5: Alita: Battle Angel
Technically I can’t call this an inspiration for Tropical Punch because I didn’t watch it until after the first book was written. However, I really love the combination of post-apocalyptic and cyberpunk settings in this movie! There are so many cool themes and ideas being explored in this film, I hope they’ll make more. Cyborg gladiators, the floating city, bounty hunters. Alita brings the high-tech, low-life vibe of cyberpunk into an even starker contrast and really pushes some of the boundaries we’ve come to expect. Here, cyberpunk loses it’s “retro” feel and steps into the future. For me, Alita really represents an evolution in the genre and I’m very excited to see what other new works it will inspire.
About the Book
Bubbles In Space Book One
by S.C. Jensen
Published 29 March 2021
Northern Edge Publishing
Page Count: 195
Publishing September 2021
Narrator: Jennifer Blom
Length: 7 hours 13 minutes
Genre: Science Fiction, Cyberpunk
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Strippers, Drugs, and Headless Corpses…
All in a day’s work for Bubbles Marlowe, HoloCity’s only cyborg detective.
What do an anti-tech cult, a deadly new street drug, and the corrupt Chief of Police have in common?
It’s a question Bubbles can’t afford to ask. Last time she got curious it cost her job, a limb, and almost her life.
She vows to stay out of police business. But with a newly minted cybernetic enhancement, a semi-legal P.I. license, and a knack for asking the wrong kind of questions… Vows are made to be broken, right?
When a seemingly straightforward contract takes a dark turn, heads literally roll. Unless she wants to take the fall for the murders Bubbles needs to cut town on the double. Too bad she’s flat broke.
And now, she’s being hunted.
In a world where dreams can be made real for the right kind of dough, nothing is as it seems. One thing is clear, though. The dream is becoming a nightmare.
As the body count stacks up, Bubbles realizes she’s made a terrible mistake.
Can she figure out who is behind the murders before she loses her head?
Warning: Don’t read this book if you hate fun, glitter, sassy robotic pigs, or hard-boiled badassery. Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett are rolling in their graves, but this is all their fault.
Get Punched! Buy it now!
My Rating: 4 Stars
Consider liking my review on Goodreads
I was granted audio ARC access to Tropical Punch as part of my participation in a blog tour for this title with Audiobookworm Promotions. Thank you to all involved in affording me this opportunity! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
I’ve been on a cyberpunk kick lately after recently reading a 5 star that absolutely knocked my socks off, and I was looking to follow it up another. I jumped on the opportunity to review Tropic Punch because it’s cyberpunk, it sounded great, and the cover art is on fire! It ended up being a little sexier than I wanted to read, but that’s on me. The opening line of the synopsis really should have let me know that.
Since I agreed to review this book having had access to all that information before hand, I did listen all the way through and enjoyed most of it. This book has great action, it has humour, and it has a very strong, fabulously sassy leading lady! Bubbles really is awesome and I can see her being an all-time favourite character for a lot of readers.
It turns out I’m not the ideal reader for this one, but I recognize that it’s potential gold and could easily be someone else’s next 5 star, so I’ll confidently call it a 4 and highly recommend this book to cyberpunk fans who want a little sexy in their adventures.
As for the audiobook performance, Jennifer’s narration is excellent. She’s easy to listen to, and while I prefer faster playback speeds (and went out of my way to figure out how to adjust playback speed in Windows Media Player because the audio ARCs were sent as a zip of MP3s) but I did end up listening to a bit of the first chapter at regular speed before I figured out how to speed it up and I do believe I could comfortably listen at regular speed. Some narrators are painfully slow or take lengthy breaks between sentences, which is how I got into the 2x habit, but not Jennifer. Her pacing is perfect!
About the Author
S.C. Jensen is a Canadian fiction writer, sci-fi enthusiast, and literary advocate. She lives on the windswept prairies with her husband, three children, and various fuzzy friends. When she’s not writing, she can be found trying to avoid mosquitoes, sunburn, and/or frostbite in the great outdoors. She loves to talk about books almost as much as she loves writing them, and is often chatting away on bookstagram @scjensen.author when she should be working. Shhh. Don’t tell her kids that’s what she does in the office all day. Visit www.scjensen.com to see what S.C. Jensen is up to. Sign up to the VIP Reader’s Club to get free books and special deals on new releases!
About the Narrator
I am an audiobook narrator and actor living in New York. I have a varied background in many fields but found my passion in the creative pursuits. I have been a junior software engineer, a technical support specialist, and am involved in theater both on and offstage. I am also a singer and love playing my Ukulele. I have studied 3d animation, game design, true crime and forensic psychology, you know, for fun. I love knowing about how the world works at a deeper level.
Besides narrating, I also run Reaping Audiobooks where I lead an all female crew in the task of post production on audiobooks. I also coach others in the art of using Reaper and efficiency in general. I love helping people find the magic and joy in technology again.
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