As one of the editors of Noir Nation I have been looking for some technologically induced noir, or real 21st Century crime stories. We all use computers every day and there are many crimes perpetrated using computers and there are many psychological ailments brought about by computers that lead to desperation and crime. However I have not been seeing very many stories that have elements of higher technology than computer databases, cellphones, guns, or the legal system. (Unless one looks at cyberpunk). If you removed any topical news items, many of the stories I've been getting could just as easily have been set last century. There is nothing at all wrong with that, though I (Alan), personally would like to see more variety. I still haven't gotten a story about Identity theft, even though that happens to 10 million people in the US alone each year,mainly through technological channels.
Granted there may be good reasons for this. Techno crime may be harder to dramatize, also it may take more expertise to write, however is that not the challenge? To get in there, find a niche that hasn't been over exploited and develop the dramatic tools to make it come to life? It doesn't have to be about a hacker, it could be a soccer mom with an online shopping addiction.
So I wanted to give something back to the Crimespace community (though even in that it may be a little self serving as I hope to get more stories to publish that feel a bit more 21st century). I've been reading the book:
Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality, by Elias Aboujaoude
(And just so you know, I do not know this author or have any connection to him or his publisher whatsoever.)
This book is a treasure trove of ideas. Nearly every page has some idea how technology touches and deeply affects our lives, loves, thoughts, crimes, addictions, fetishes, egos, bank accounts, and desperation on a daily basis. All of those things can add elements and layers, motivations and turning points, to a crime story, and a writer doesn't have to be a tech wizard to be able to incorporate them. (The Steig Larson Novels did a pretty good job of this without getting technical at all.)
So, I'm just throwing this out there. If anyone is looking for a new angle, or a way to spice up a story or novel, this book or one like it might be a good place to start.
If anyone else has books to share that would help writers spice up their writing with some 21st C elemtns please comment on them. Or list some books that do a good job of this.
Eastern Hemisphere editor,
I think most crime fiction doesn't care about technology beyond what's needed to perform basic functions. Phone calls, for example, just need to happen. The author isn't going to stop the story and talk about how the phone is futuristic. The author will just write, "A called B."
Just my two cents. Interesting post.