Koji Remote #5: The Bump
Private Eye, Koji Remote, and his partner, Peizhi, have taken a little vacation. Peizhi has gone to Tacoma to visit with her sister, Rong. Koji just wants some time to mellow out and recharge his batteries. Everything’s cool until the entire human race experiences a global mega-burp: the Bump. All manner of weirdness follows, as if the Bump has nudged everyone into a philosophical amusement park with no exit gate back to reality. Everyone has their own theory about what the Bump was, each as unverifiable, if not as loony, as the next. Is the human race headed for chaos and extinction? Or is the Bump just a little glitch that will soon enough become the new normal?
Koji Remote #4: Sovereign Domains
The Chap sisters, Ronda and Wanda, are concerned about their brother, Honda. In an attempt to determine the nature of the problem — a problem they have not been able to understand in terms more precise than ‘bad vibes’ — they enlist the help of the private detective, Koji Remote, entrusting him to insinuate himself into Honda’s confidence in order to ascertain the nature and extent of the threat. The results are comical and intriguing. Sovereign Domains is a refractive excursion into the beating heart of something echoing reality.
Koji Remote #3: Hypnotism for Hummingbirds
Playfully untethered, Hypnotism For Hummingbirds follows the incriminating twists and extenuating turns of a diabolically twisted detective story (with certain extraterrestrial implications). The object of interest is a small, metallic pyramid called a Py. No one seems to know where it came from or how it could do what it is purported to do; a state of general ignorance that only fuels the government’s determination to take possession. Enter private detective Koji Remote: His task is to find the woman who has the Py before the Feds get to her. At any rate, that’s what he thinks he is being paid to do. Not surprisingly, things are a little more complicated. For readers who like to laugh while they chew on the meaning of things.
Koji Remote #2: The Squiggly Stuff
Lacy Bultanski is missing. Involved with a group of political activists calling themselves The SMALL Concerns, Lacy has gone to France where she becomes frightened by one of her fellow activists. She calls her sister, Lucy, for help, then promptly disappears. Desperate to find her sister, Lucy reestablishes contact with an old flame, the private detective, Koji Remote. Assisted by ex-CIA operative, Harry Signage, Koji enbarks on one the most frustrating cases of his career. Clues stack up quickly and improbably, leading to encounters with a series of outlandish characters whose interest in Lacy is both mysterious and confusing. As Koji Remote’s frustrations mount, he begins to suspect that the key to Lacy Bultanski’s whereabouts may lie in an eccentric document, The SMALL Concerns Manifesto. Thought-provoking zaniness that will keep you smiling while your synapses rewire.
Koji Remote #1: 8 Remote Women
Herein lies the birthplace of the private detective, Koji Remote. The nine stories in this collection chronicle his errant, almost surreal exploits. In the opening story, The Case, Koji pursues the solution to a case that is as labyrinthine as life itself. Then, a woman fearing that her father has become a nihilist, hires Koji to determine if it’s safe to invite Dad to her wedding. A friend’s sister requires his investigative skills to locate something she’s lost in a dream. A potential client seems to want nothing more than to talk Koji’s ear off. A young man wants to be reassured that his girlfriend’s practical jokes are in fact only jokes. The apparent suicide of a halfnoid (half human, half android), compels Koji’s friends to seek his help in trying to understand this ostensibly impossible turn of events. Things turn particularly weird when Koji is inadvertently waylaid by a group of aliens from another planet. In the title story, we meet eight women who seem to exist on the far side of a gap that persistently resists Koji’s crossing. Finally, Koji is pulled back into action by friends whose dog has been victimized by a corrupt veterinarian.
Kirkus Reviews gives THE SHAKE its coveted “Star” rating: “A philosophically inclined vampire turns gumshoe and investigates an unsolved murder. Although the vampire element is obviously significant, the book is more a thinly veiled noir mystery. Nicolai’s writing is contemplative but lean and stylish, his characters cynical, the tone decidedly unsentimental. The protagonist references Zen master Aitken in one passage, remarking, “the point isn’t to clear up the mystery, but to make the mystery clear.” It’s a quote that exemplifies this intriguing narrative blend of philosophy and crime fiction. While the author doesn’t expand the vampire mythos in any significant way, he creates a story that succeeds on numerous levels—one that is simultaneously thought-provoking and relentlessly entertaining. An utterly readable fusion of vampire fiction and labyrinthine whodunit powered by a highly intelligent narrative containing deep existential speculation and numerous philosophical references; Anne Rice meets Dashiell Hammett at a Zen Buddhist monastery.”