Jennifer Brozek | October 2023

The Reinvented Detective Table of Contents

Cat and I are pleased to announce that we have final cover, release date, and table of contents!

December 12, 2023, The Reinvented Detective, the second installment of the Reinvented Anthology series from Jennifer Brozek and Cat Rambo, appears from Arc Manor.

The evolution of crime, punishment, and justice in the future.

What happens when time and technology change the definition of crime and punishment?

Science fiction often focuses on future technology without considering the society housing it. Social norms may change as tech changes — or not. What will criminals, investigators, judges, and juries look like in a complicated future of clones, uploaded intelligences, artificial brains, or body augmentation? What stories emerge when we acknowledge the possibilities of new laws, new police methods, and the birth of sentient Artificial Intelligence, as well as all the ways they can clash or combine?

The Reinvented Detective presents stories that complicate law and order as well as the concept of criminals, detectives, punishment, and justice for all by showing how shifting technology, the rise of sentient AIs, and shifting social attitudes may affect what is not only acceptable, but expected, within both real world and digital communities—and everything in-between. These stories reinvent detective and true crime tropes, recasting them for the 21st century, and above all, experimenting, astonishing, and entertaining.

Table of Contents

Foreword – Jennifer Brozek

Poem: That Missing C: Police Report #1 – Jane Yolen
The Best Justice Money Can Buy – C.C. Finlay
The Gardener’s Mystery: Notes from a Journal – Lisa Morton
Someone Else’s Device – AnaMaria Curtis
Coded Out – Frog and Esther Jones
Murder at the Westminster Dino Show – Rosemary Claire Smith
The Unassembled Victims – Peter Clines

Poem: Ghosts – Seanan McGuire
Agents Provocateur – Lazarus Black
Great Detective in a Box – Jennifer R. Povey
Color Me Dead – E. J. Delaney
The Unremembered Paradox – Maurice Broaddus and Bethany K. Warner
Go Ask A.L.I.C.E. – Lyda Morehouse
Request to Vanish – Lauren Ring
Overclocked Holmes – Sarah Day and Tim Pratt

Poem: Final Judgement – Jane Yolen
Dead Witness – Marie Bilodeau
We Are All Ourselves Inside Our Skins – Sam Fleming
Inside, Outside, Above, Below – Premee Mohamed
To Every Seed Their Own Body – Guan Un
In the Shadow of the Great Days – Harry Turtledove
Gum5hoe – Carrie Harris

Afterword – Cat Rambo

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Sewage Saga and Other Interesting Times

At my age, one does not want to live in “interesting times.” “Gallons of Sewage” are words you never want to hear in relation to do with your house. Ever. Whether you own the home or rent. Nor does one want to suddenly hear a “KZZZZZZAKkkk...” from the Husband’s office (everyone’s fine). Nor does one want to feel an earthquake after a bunch of plumbing work under the house was done. Here’s the time line based on my social media posts and private whining to friends about everything.

===5 Oct 2023===

Oh crapola and many swear words. There was a bad smell in the garage. The crawlspace inspector (Scott—he was very nice) found a broken sewage pipe and “gallons of sewage under there.” Need to have the pipe fixed (easy), need to clean everything out and re-lime the crawl space. Expensive. Buy my books?

===6 Oct 2023===

And the plumber had to cancel. Next appointment? Sunday. Well, this leak has been going on for months. How much worse can it get in 2 days? Especially since we won't be using the dishwasher or sink (which are the worst offenders in this grey line break).

Oh. Oh dear. The Husband's second (very old) monitor just made a horrific noise I could hear from across the house and died. The smell of burnt electronics is awful. We have no idea what just happened but it is DEAD, Jim. Very dead.

===8 Oct 2023===

The plumber came! Yay. They fixed things. All seemed well. They left. The Husband started cleaning up the kitchen and discovered sink won't drain. At all. Well then. Plumber has been called again.

Note: the plumber’s apprentice did the actual fixing of things. The plumber barely fit into the crawlspace because of his shoulders but was in good spirits about things. I don’t think he’s going to be in good spirits now.

So, they have snaked the line out to 50 feet. The blockage is farther downstream apparently. Them fixing the grey water line has revealed a different problem (the inciting incident that caused the water line failure?) It is now a slow drain and no leak. Thus, different plumber with different equipment tomorrow.

Woo! 4.2 earthquake near Port Townsend, WA. Of course, because I write horror, my first thought was: Dammit, we woke something up (due to our plumbing issues).

Note: We didn’t, of course, especially not with Mount St. Helens social media declaring: I’M BACK BITCHES

===9 Oct 2023===

New plumber came out and determined the line needs to be “hydro-jet cleaned” and didn’t have the equipment or information on timing. Needs to get the boss out to see for his opinion/quote and then to schedule. [At an additional expense and we are into 4 digits already before getting the whole crawlspace cleaned.] But, at least the sink drain slowly. Ever so slowly.

Boss plumber has come and gone. Hydro-jet cleaning will happen tomorrow or the next day and cost twice as much as the grey water line fixing.

===10 Oct 2023===

Plumbers have come and gone with the hydro-jet equipment. It’s an impressive set of kit. Gotta admit that. It was impressively loud and they ended up hydro-jetting several hundred gallons through the line to clean the blockage that was a combination of grease and eggshells. Thing I learned today: Do not put eggshells down the garbage disposal. Even ground up, the shells will catch in any seam in the line. Always toss or compost. Yes, it took decades of doing so to block the pipe, but now I know, and the more you know… It’s an expensive lesson to learn the hard way.

All that’s left is to have the literal cesspool under the house cleaned out…which is scheduled for Friday the 13th. What could go wrong?

===13 Oct 2023===

The cats were put away with a minimum of fuss. The Crawl Pros specialists arrived on time and got to work. They immediately put up plastic sheeting everywhere to protect floors, walls, furniture—which was clearly needed based on the muck I saw on it from time to time. One small problem in the grand scheme of things. The Husband and I were trapped upstairs with no way to get downstairs, more importantly, no way to get into the kitchen. At all. Fortunately, I had already had one cup of coffee and had lots of water upstairs. I hadn't planned on OMAD today but there you go.

The Crawl Pros specialists finished, leaving behind a clean house, a cleaned crawl space that has been re-limed and had new insulation put in. All that’s left is the lingering scent of cleaner and a hefty bill. But, at least it is done.

May I recommend you buy one of my books? Please?

Tell Me - Iori Kusano

I had the joy of meeting Iori Kusano by being on a podcast (about Shin Kamen Rider) with them. I found them interesting, exciting, and worth listening to. Then I found out they wrote Hybrid Heart, a novella about a pop idol pursuing fame while trying to keep the heart of who she is as a person. What Iori has to say about quitting is profound. I’ve always said it: you are allowed to stop.

I am a quitter. Jobs, romances, grad school, hobbies, gym memberships: I’ll walk out on anything. If it sucks, hit da bricks, as the skeleton says.

(photo credit: dasharezone)

 This is not a trait that the rest of the world generally considers a virtue.

In both real life and fiction, our heroes are usually the ones who don’t give up—people who press forward no matter what obstacles or opponents stand in their way, those whose determination outweighs their sense of self-preservation. A good person sticks to their chosen path, keeps chasing their dreams, follows through on their commitments.

The final structure and plot of Hybrid Heart changed considerably from my first half-draft, but I knew from the first scene that it was going to be a story about the life-changing magic of just goddamn quitting.


The Japanese entertainment industry is almost universally brutal, but pop idols have it worst: the longest hours, the strictest and most unrealistic beauty standards, the sub-minimum wages. Whether it’s legal to ban idols from dating as a condition of employment is debatable (more judges rule in favor of the idols these days), but regardless of whether it’s written down, it’s commonly understood that to be caught in a romantic relationship is a career killer.

My protagonist, Rei, has to learn how to quit because her commitment to her career is actively hurting her. When we meet her, she’s so close to breakthrough success that she can taste it. All she needs is another couple of hits to cement her place in the public’s heart. In the meantime, she has no friends, she’s dieted herself halfway to death, and she lives in a smarthome panopticon that tells her boss how many minutes she spends in the shower and how hot the water is.

I think most of us wind up in a situation like that at some point in our lives—those moments when you’ve sunk-cost-fallacied yourself so far down some road that you don’t know how you’ll ever find an offramp again. We may not have brain implants reporting our social media browsing history straight to our manager yet, but everyone eventually becomes familiar with the sweaty-palmed fear of having to admit that you made the wrong choice.

And once you’ve admitted it, how do you go about fixing it?

I wrote Hybrid Heart while I was still feeling my way through the emotional fallout of quitting grad school. I’d struggled to make that decision because it felt like I was throwing away not only my own hard work, but the effort of everyone who had invested their time and knowledge in mentoring me. I couldn’t talk myself out of believing that I was letting other people down, so I had to learn how to make peace with having done so. (Fun fact: I am still too scared to talk to my former professors!)

What I wanted to communicate with Rei’s character arc was the terrifying, empowering feeling of learning how to quit. It’s heart-level stakes, but in the moment it feels apocalyptic. How do you decide to prioritize yourself when you’re sure that doing so will overturn your entire life? I don’t think there’s a definitive answer, but with Rei I put forward my answer: flipping the proverbial table and then accepting the consequences. Like my protagonist, I had to teach myself to move forward in an irrevocably changed world with compassion for myself.

Iori Kusano is a queer Asian American writer and Extremely Ordinary Office Gremlin living in Tokyo. They are a graduate of Clarion West 2017. Their novella Hybrid Heart is available from Neon Hemlock Press, and their short fiction appears in various magazines. Find them on Twitter @IoriKusano and Instagram as iori_stagram, or at