Review: Galactic Vice by Jake Bible

Galactic Vice by Jake Bible is a standalone police procedural in Space that isn’t quitecyberpunk, isn’t quite science fiction noir, and isn’t quite space opera but blends elements of all three. If I were to try and describe it, I’d say it’s a gritty crime drama that just so happens to star a bunch of aliens straight out of the Star Wars cantina. This can sometimes distract you from just how dark and edgy the material is because there’s a level of separation when a hooker being forced to work in a shady casino is a fourteen tentacled alien.

Galactic ViceThe premise of our story is that a space freighter carrying a bunch of trafficking victims is blown up by its crime lord owner in order to prevent evidence from falling into the hands of Galactic Vice. Unfortunately, for said crime lord, police are killed in the process. This creates enough backlash to warrant a case being opened on him that involves undercover work, wire taps, and the usual sting operation business. Except the person they’re putting undercover is a half-cat person. Because, yes, that’s how this book rolls.

Without getting into spoilers, Jake Bible isn’t afraid to zig when most other authors zag. Our heroes make quite a few mistakes throughout the books and some of these have dire consequences. While not quite, “Ned Stark at the end of A Game of Thrones” levels of shocking
twists, there’s some that I definitely didn’t see coming. Deals are made that probably shouldn’t be made and the book surprisingly shows dysfunctional and systemic oppression that prevents meaningful change or even momentary victories.

If I may make the obvious comparison, this is actually like the real Miami Vice versus the one that has stuck out in the cultural moment. If you actually watched the show, you’d note it was a lot darker than many people remember with the series pilot ending with the villain getting away with murdering Tubb’s brother and Crockett’s partner. Why? Because he was that rich and just bought himself a judge despite all of our heroes’ efforts. Galactic Vice is like that but it has anJabba the Hutt analog in place of a Columbian drug lord.

I really liked the setting of Jaffa, which is a planet that is depicted with all of the glitter of Las Vegas but the sleaze of Seventies New York City. It’s just, again, in space. Humans don’t dominate this vision of the future and are just one minor part of a much larger galactic community. I liked the depiction of what happened to Earth with humans having polluted it to the point of becoming an uninhabitable wasteland.

This book was released in 2017 and there’s no sign of a sequel in sight so it’s a book that can safely be said to be a one and done deal. The story left room open for further adventures from the (surviving) protagonists but I felt it wasn’t left hanging either. Crime and corruption in the galaxy are just too big for any individuals to have a serious effect on. You just have the accept the little victories and major defeats as is.

Read Galactic Vice by Jake Bible

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CT Phipps

CT Phipps

C.T Phipps is a lifelong student of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. An avid tabletop gamer, he discovered this passion led him to write and turned him into a lifelong geek. He's the author of Agent G, Cthulhu Armageddon, Lucifer's Star, Straight Outta Fangton, and The Supervillainy Saga. He is also a frequent contributor to Grimdark Magazine.

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