Originally published in the May `91 issue of Aboriginal SF, this novelette has proved to be Wil McCarthy’s most successful short fiction effort thus far. It was a semifinalist for the Nebula award, and has been reprinted in Britain (Interzone magazine) and Germany (lead story in an anthology called DIE LETZTEN BASTIONEN). There was even talk at one point of turning it into a movie.
The story, whose title means “The American Blues,” concerns a murder investigation in an American ghetto in 21st century Tokyo. Not even death can stop Americatown cop Nick Tanner, whose memories have been encoded in a “personality overlay” drug that allows him to mobilize the city’s junkies in a massive investigation to solve his own murder. But drugs wear off — no high is permanent, and even seventy-odd Tanners, tough and streetwise and having literally nothing left to lose, may not be enough to pierce the veil of corruption and prejudice before this deadly biological clock runs out.
“A crackerjack SF mystery story. I earnestly hope McCarthy turns this story into a novel.” — Barbara Paul, Mystery Scene
The full text of the story is available here.
Keep in mind, this story was written in 1988!