The Future That Never Was

The Future That Never Was

by Quentin R

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Content
  • Traumatising content

WELCOME TO THE RETROFUTURE!

"The future that never was" is an action-driven science-fiction book series borrowing from different sub-genres such as space opera, space western, cassette futurism and cyberpunk. Its different stories focuse on a unique and deeply retro universe. Because, in this uchronia, the Soviets planted the Red Flag on the Moon in 1955. Since then, mankind has relentlessly pushed its colonies to the ends of the solar system. It devotes all its scientific and industrial resources to it. Thereby, its cultural codes seem frozen in an alternative timeline where Floppy disks are kings and David Hasselhoff is the ultimate galactic superstar; robots do all the work and the packs of cigarettes are cheaper than ever! Yet, as humanity is expanding through the Kuiper Belt and the New Worlds, the overly consumerist society is slowly collapsing because of the never-ending corpo-wars and the blatant technocratic corruption.


KITTY KITTY (3 books including 24+ episodes)

Join sassy space cat Lee and his Desert Eagle-toting, soda-swigging human partner, Ali, in a future that never was. Board the dynamic duo’s ship, the mythical Kitty, as they bounty-hunt their way through a lawless solar system where the Soviets got to the Moon first, cats talk and pizza comes in can. It’s a historical future as only the 80s could have built it—so lock and load and shout Cowabunga! because it’s crime-fightin’ time!

Project Schedule:

• Part 1: Episodes 1-08 -- Available on amazon right here! - The first episode is free on Royal Road

• Part 2: Episodes 9-16 -- July/August 2021 (Publishing October 2021)

• Part 3: Episodes 17-24 -- Spring 2022 (Publishing April 2022)


Other projects in the pipe:

CLOUD CASTLE - short novel taking place between KITTY 1 et KITTY 2 (late 2021)

METAL RAIN - short novel taking place between KITTY 2 and KITTY 3 (mid 2022)

KITTY HUNTER - KITTY KITTY prequel (late 2022)

HOUSE OF PAIN  - KITTY KITTY sequel (2023)


Want to learn more? Check my website!

Authors: Quentin Raffoux & Aliénor Rossi

Artist: Théo Saragas

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Quentin R

Quentin R

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ScoobySnack
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Story
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A brilliantly orchestrated lovable mess!  

Reviewed at: #4 - THE MELLIFLUOUS CAVERNS

I follow Quentin since the first edition of KITTY KITTY in French and already read all the 24 episodes. I wanted to see what was new with the English edition and, for the moment, Quentin and Aliénor do deliver the unrated extended version I was waiting for! With 0 filters!

KITTY KITTY is an episodic novel which means that every chapter is actually a stand-alone short story. And it works that way very well. The more and more you discover about this duo of bounty hunters, the more you plunge into their past and the struggle of their daily life. A main plot and different subplots will emerge with the return of different supportive characters but for now, the story focuses on the worldbuilding (a sci-fi-fi world stuck in the ’80s) and the fun (the omnipresent jokes, the relation between Lee and Ali, the action-driven adventures).

The worldbuilding is clearly the first strength of the story. A lot of details and references are to be found everywhere: TV, cinema, videogames, music. This is a nostalgia rain! I also loved the hard SF concepts such as the ring stations using artificial gravity. Even if the setup is crazy, Quentin and Aliénor tried to keep things scientifically plausible and legit. Well … not every time … because KITTY KITTY is also about a bunch of crazy stuff: Human/Animal mutants, singing rocks, rogue IAs, etc. Nothing is ever entirely serious, even in the darkest episodes.

The characters are the second strength point. Lee is perfect. Ali is crazily badass and free as a bird. The supporting roles and (later) the recurring characters are also well done. You will love some, and really hate others to the gut… Anti-heroes and morally gray villains will cross the Kitty!

The style is different from what I used to read in English but it captures the pompous personality of Lee so well (even better than in French)! That cat is smarter than you and he knows it! We are in Lee’s head, from the start to the end and I really loved all the little comments, sometimes aimed at the reader. I’m not sure the 4h wall is broken. I think Lee is just an egomaniac and believes he’s the star of some weird TV show. Maybe a TV show about the craziest bounty hunters of the solar system!

The episodes are also pretty fast paced and let room for the reader to conceptualize a lot of elements by himself. The depictions are short but precise. Like the action scenes.

I haven’t seen any grammar mistakes nor typos.

KITTY KITTY has its share of sexual content (mostly Ali) but it’s never too much. It’s a good thing since the story is from Lee’s point of view. Otherwise, it would have been weird. Also, characters swear a lot (mostly Ali), drink a lot (Ali again) and smoke a lot (for once it’s Lee). It’s still perfectly balanced and justified, like the violence which can be very graphic. The future that never was is a violent and merciless world! But so funny…

I’m looking forward to discovering the next episode in English. It works very well and the little extras are really worth it! Can’t wait!

Wishing you all my best! KITTY KITTY is such a brilliantly orchestrated lovable mess!  

Elecham
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Cat Bounty Hunter IN SPAAAAAAACE

Reviewed at: #4 - THE MELLIFLUOUS CAVERNS

If you read the synopsis, you know exactly what you're in for. Quentin delivers. This morsel is so good, so tasteful, and yet so itself that I'm still amazed at the sheer character of the prose, the setting.

Style: 
Best part about the series. The author knows the aesthetics he's going for, and he knows how to achieve them. Each sentence drips with humor and character, space desperados and asteroid world-trees. The amazing thing isn't even how well it all meshes together, but how fun it is. 

Story:
Episodic. The plot is aimed somewhere, but that is (I think) a distant prospect that I never felt particularly concerned with. What I want is more. More Lee, more Ali, more space, more 80s, and I'm sure there's a lot of that yet to come.

Characters:
Also great, and so intertwined with the universe they're in that they do feel like another of its moving parts. There's a whole solar system where shit is constantly going down, and this is the slice of it we have access to, with all the blood and neon and credits being won and spent. Ali kicks ass.

Grammar:
My one hang up with the story is that it needed a good round of language edits. I know the author isn't a native speaker, and the story definitely flows well its current state, but those grammar tweaks would still make a world of difference.

Conclusion:
KITTY KITTY is a mess of a fun romp through space that I can't wait to get back to. It reads like a good episodic show and it sticks to your brain like a good vibe you don't want to shake. Worth it is saying little.

TheReaperKing
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Disclaimer: Review is upon request. This makes my review subjectively less valuable then otherwise random reviewers who've reviewed without prompt. Still, I hope this review is enlightening to your potential enjoyment of the story.

Grammer: I must say, I'm impressed. The grammer is easily within the top 10% percentile of the medium it's posted within. With graceful and fluid writing and intelligent word choice; it's a sight to see. If a story makes you question your own capacities as a author, you know it's well written. My only concern, this chapter was clearly thought out to the highest degree. I personally would struggle to maintane such high degrees of careful planning over exstended periods of time. Story quality degradation is a risk, yet I can still imagine in such a extreme scenario it would still be a enjoyable story to read.

Style: I feel this is easily the selling point of this story. With a older, well tested style of writing. It has little room for failure. Comedic aspects combined with clever writing within a cyberpunk / space cowboy setting. It's a very popular style and for good reason. I hope the author does it justice.

Story: Likely to be the weakest link within the story. Not for failings of the author, but simply because this is a popular story style. And with all popular story styles; similarity's between them can often take away from the enjoyment of the story. But I find the interesting twist of a sentient cat really brings life to the story.

charector: Another well done aspect. A aspect I personally struggle with. The charector within feel lively, realistic and jovial. A light hearted tune permeates this aspect of the story. I can appreciate charector such as this and I hope they grow through the story. 

Final thoughts: This story is promising. I noticed a large amount of world building, souly through passing conversation. A advanced and rather difficult skill to master. I happily give this my star of approval. If all future chapters maintane such quality I can easily see this being a marketable story.

personally it's not what I would normally read. I will check it out occasionally; noting its positive quality's alone.

I hope this review helped with informing potentially viewers if the story is of interest to them.

 

 

Seongkotic
Overall

As of writing this review, there's only two chapters to read, but it seems like a very unique story. It's fun to read, and the descriptions are vivid which make it easy to understand what's happening. The MC is a cat, which is amazing. The grammar is solid and flows well.

Publius Decius Mus
Overall
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Story
Grammar
Character

What the hell, this is really good!

Reviewed at: #6 - HONOR AMONG THIEVES

Picaresque cyberpunk with cats? What is there not to love about this!

I have to admit that in the last times Royal Road has given me quite a few pleasant surprises, and this book was one of the most pleasant ones! I think picaresque as a genre is way too underrated, so it is always good to see a well-written example of it. I hope it will be as successful as it deserves!

Style:

The first person narrator happens to be a cat, and in my opinion the style really nailed the aristicratic and arrogant outlook on the world that is the epithet of our furry overlords. The humour is really well done, and augments the plot superbly.

Story:

As we are talking about picaresque adventures basically every chapter is a whole on its own. The writer had a plethora of great ideas, for me every single chapter was 5/5 so far!

Grammar:

There wasn't anything that hurt my eyes, though take my words with a grain of salt, as I am not a native speaker.

Character:

The main characters, especially the narrator really shine, but there also some damn enjoyable and memorable side-characters.

All in all I recommend this novel to everyone, and for those who like picaresque, it is simply a must read!

DanielC
Overall

It's a fun sci fi bounty hunting story. The MC is a mutant cat with an attitude, and along with his human companion, they hunt down the Universe's worst criminals.

From the get go, the story comes off as highly imaginative and original. The setting is excellently describes, and you truly feel immersed in the corner of the Galaxy the MC is visiting. 

The bigger plot remains to be seen, but it's clear the story is well thought out and has great potential. Can't wait to read more!

Almaranth
Overall

I love this first chapter. It's nice to have the story from the view of Lee, a pretty haughty cat, partner to a badass bounty hunter, Ali. The universe is original, between references to the '80s, cyberpunk and western vibes. I'm eager to read and discover the next adventures of Lee and Ali!

Donegal
Overall

Original science fiction

Reviewed at: #1 - RETRO COSMOS

Original story told from the point of view of Lee the arrogant and proud cat, a cat as we like them! I liked reading this short story mixing humor, violence and friendship. Lee and Ali are a wonderful pair taking us to promising adventures   . I look forward to reading the next one !

chimneyantelope
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Pure 1980s Sci-Fi Space Bounty Hunters

Reviewed at: #7 - LITTLE MUTANT ON THE PRAIRIE

tldr; fun story with a setting ripped straight out of 1980s flashy neon-light cyberpunk sci-fi. Reads like a hammy (in a good, deliberate way) TV show you would catch on air every week; jump in any chapter and you'll be drawn into the setting immediately

Style: Basically perfect for what this story is. Punchy, irreverent, full of snide remarks courtesy of Lee and blending humor with beats of nail-biting action. Worldbuilding expertly weaved in from Lee's perspective, and new terms are always introduced with natural context. There are stakes and there are deaths, as you would expect from a story about space-bounty-hunting. When villains are shot, the details are gnarly enough to feel the oomph of the situation, but not so gory it would turn you off; likewise, when a character on Ali and Lee's side gets butchered, it accentuates the grief and tragedy of their death. (VAGUE SPOILERS CHAP 7) I would have enjoyed a bit more prose on those deaths at the end of chap 7, because I feel it would be apt for Lee to break away from his usual to-the-point narration and linger a bit more on the moment where he actually died. I feel like the aftermath is well done, but the actual event itself was a little short. Nevertheless, still excellent style.

Story: Like a TV show that ran at 9pm every Thursday, KITTY KITTY's chapters are all standalone episodes of their own with a different place in the galaxy and a whole new problem for our cast to deal with. Also like a TV show, there are recurring characters and callbacks to previous chapters, but not so much that if you picked it up with a few months' gap in between you would be totally lost. Those shows were scripted so you could sit down and be drawn into the world no matter what episode it was, and KITTY KITTY achieves this wonderfully.

Grammar: Nearly immaculate, and definitely better than 99% of Royal Road fare. Clear editing and proofreading to make sentences flow wonderfully. There are a few errors that can likely be attributed to the story originally being in French (I think, seeing the author's Amazon), but they're few and far between. Furthermore, they never once obstructed the meaning of the sentence or broke the flow at all.

Character: Great. The story follows the exasperated straight-man cat Lee and the impulsive, guns-blazing crazy-lady Ali, who are just as hammy as you would expect from a TV show-esque story like this. You get a feel for their characters immediately, from Lee's deadpan, judgmental narration to Ali's irreverence towards almost everything (and especially Lee). Yet it's clear they also care for each other, defending one another in combat and, during the heavier scenes, showing support for one another.

Conclusion: If you like the sound of any of that, give KITTY KITTY a try. Absolutely solid story, quick to the point, full of action, VERY HAMMY but that's what this whole space-bounty-hunter-cowabunga schtick is all about.

FantasyBliss30
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Cheeky, Well-informed, Action-packed, Sassy

Reviewed at: #5 - LORD OF THE TANKS

The author is clearly great wth words. You will know from the get go. I can just sit there and read an essay from them, and I would not mind. This story is cheeky. Their is an undercurrent of sass and sarcasm flowing. Styling of the story is brilliant. Every moment feels like you ARE in an intergalactic universe. The writing style is very mature, vocabulary consistent, although I worry that the sophisticated nature prose may be somewhat esoteric to a casual reader or those who do not culture advanced english literature. 

As for the drawbacks, these are more on the general nature of the genre and not specific to this story:

1. Episodic nature: Since the chapters are episodic, it might impede the arc of the protagonists. I am reviewing at Chapter 5, mind you. So, I am sure there is still a lot to come. And I look forward to how Ali and Lee grow with their adventures.

2. The Non-sass side of characters: We do not see a lot of this. I felt throughout the reading, that somehow Ali and Lee are afraid to open up to their readers. There is one action set-piece after another, but it is as if these two are only running from themselves. I am sure at some point they will have to fact whatever insecurities they have and I look forward to that moment.

Now, go and enjoy this delicious nutrigel of a story, will ya?