Trying to put my finger on what “feeling like 40k” while in a domestic setting actually means (to me at least). Not given this enough thought yet but it is certainly more than peppering a story with 40k phrases and words. I think it needs:
- Oppressive atmosphere
- Religion permeating everyday life and/or being in your face (permanent fear of being branded a heretic)
- Fear and mistrust of the authorities
- Ineffective and inefficient bureaucracy
- Overlapping and confusing jurisdictions
- Some Tech being considered almost magical
- Fear, hatred and persecution of mutants and psykers
There will be many more of course.
I think there is a big difference between a crime story that happens to be 40k and a 40k story that happens to be crime.
Easy for me as an armchair critic to say that of course, I am not the creator faced with that challenge. All the stories are well written and enjoyable in their own right but some seem to have nailed the 40k crime story thing better than others so far.
So using Extended Family as an example (I really don’t want this to come across as bashing J C Stearns. It is a good story but for me currently falls into the “crime story that happens to be 40k” rather than the other way around, but it is fresh in my mind).
An additional scene where Carlowe goes to Church or at least prays to the God Emperor for guidance would be pretty 40k. Not the religious act per se but the hypocrisy of a mobster justifying his career/life choices by still believing it to be in the service (certainly not against) the GE.
It’s like Michael Corleone being made Godfather to his sister’s child at the Christening while intercutting with all the assassinations he has put into motion (inc brother-in-law). He is literally being asked by the Catholic Priest whether he will bring this child up in the name of God etc just as his goons are murdering people! Talk about evil hypocrisy - quite 40k that!
Maybe that is too on the nose?
Both novels so far nailed it for me. They are crime and investigation stories sure, but they still felt distinctly 40k. Especially Flesh and Steel. That was not just down to the colour/flavour permeating the stories, but also the actions of characters and the nature of the plots. Of the shorts so far the one that comes to mind immediately as being 40k crime rather than crime in 40k was Nick Kyme’s short. That really couldn’t take place in any other setting!
Edited by DukeLeto69, 16 September 2021 - 07:37 AM.