“Imago Blue” by Felice Picano from Men of the Mean Streets (Bold Strokes Books, 2011). Edited by Greg Herren and J.M. Redmann.

It should come as no surprise that this author hit it out of the park again. No, really. It’s a great noir story and it takes place on another planet.

Investigator Blue Andresson wakes up inside a “Heal-All”, a sort of high tech medical cocoon, after having been the victim of attempted murder. He took bullets to both sides of his brain and various internal organs. It seems whoever did it wanted to make sure he died, but maybe they just wanted to slow him down and buy themselves some time, because in this world it’s almost impossible to truly kill someone.

Regardless, he wakes up with a bad case of amnesia and a case to solve: his own. He’s got almost nothing but questions. Who shot him, and why? Just who was he before? And who will he be going forward?

The world-building is fascinating and incorporated seamlessly into the plotting. I’ve shied away from science fiction in the past because I don’t usually like stories about futuristic worlds, but I had a great time reading this story. I loved learning about its technology while trying to figure out the mystery of Blue’s life prior to the shooting. I wonder if this is part of a novel. If so, I’d love to read it.