Sharlokh and Dr. Watt-ZENN

Since Mirrormaze has officially released, I thought I would note a few things about Sharlokh and Dr. Watt-ZENN, whose tale “The Dragon’s Nest” appears in the anthology.

Sharlokh and Dr. Watt-ZENN are an obvious SF-version of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. They are the intersection of my interest in mysteries and SH, and my own SF universe. Decades ago I had written another mystery series set in this universe which was much more action-adventure themed and superheroic. I wanted this one to be more true to its SH roots, plus more street-level, noir, and grittier than the other.

This series takes place on Carnon, which is a human-settled but independent world in the Imran Cluster. It is a large planet which is a melting pot of alien races, as it lies on the fringes of Humanspace and serves as a port and trading center to other stellar civilizations. Sharlokh and Dr. Watt-ZENN run an independent detective agency in the city of Vanceville and help solve crimes that often involve humans and aliens, which thus fall in the gray areas outside the jurisdiction of the various human and alien police agencies.

Sharlokh is Koror, an alien reptilian race which is the most powerful in the Milky Way Galaxy. The Koror were once enemies of humanity and we even had a massive Galactic War with them, but eventually a peace was reached, and now Humans and Koror work together in a mutually beneficial, albeit uneasy, peace. This series takes place during that peace, and both Sharlokh and Dr. Watt-ZENN are veterans of the Galactic War. Sharlokh is a former military police detective who has continued his work after leaving military service.

Dr. Watt-ZENN is human, a former military surgeon who was grievously injured during the Galactic War. He became a cyborg with a rare AI-brain interface. The ZENN device, which occupies half of his head, stands for Zygopleural Encephalopathic Neural Net– a supercomputer that allows him to record and access data from almost any form of computer system. This has proved a very useful tool in his detective work with Sharlokh.

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