The Future That Never Was — A Cyberpunk/Space Western book series

The Future That Never Was — A Cyberpunk/Space Western book series

by Space Pickle

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

WELCOME TO THE RETROFUTURE!

The Future That Never Was is an extended universe where Mars was terraformed before the Beatles sang Penny Lane, the Soviets colonized the asteroid belt and pirates plundered the rings of Saturn. In this alternate space age, humankind couldn't dream of a brighter future. Alas, the minute Earth turned into a nuclear wasteland, shadows already conspired from the heart of the Moon to the mysterious Planet Nine—and maybe beyond...


The book series includes numerous R-rated titles. All of them will be uploaded on Royal Road. Check the Index or the list below for the main stories.


🐈  KITTY KITTY - START READING

Join sassy space cat Lee and his Desert Eagle-toting, soda-swigging human partner, Ali, in a future stuck in the late 80s/early 90s. Board the dynamic duo’s ship, the mythical Kitty, as they bounty-hunt their way through a dystopian solar system—so lock and load, and shout Cowabunga! because it’s crime-fightin’ time! 


🪐  PACHINKO BLUES - Fall 2022 - LEARN MORE

Amid the chaos of the Rings Civil War, a disgraced pilot called Miles finds itself tangled in a vast vendetta involving a Lunar corporation, android mercenaries and data-cartels. From Saturn’s Plastic Fields to the fringes of Kuiper, Miles’s violent redemption is an 80s-esthetic space western filled with tears, blood and... ducks?


Other stories related to the first arc of The Future That Never Was:

RADIO FREAK - Standalone short story featuring Ali Koviràn, the Data Maiden and Bill Murray.

STELLAR PATRIOTS - Special episodes with Braun Kamirov, linking KITTY KITTY to the upcoming DATA dilogy and CYBER MACHO.

• DATA ONE & DATA ZERO - 2023

• CYBER MACHO - 2023

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Space Pickle

Space Pickle

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Table of Contents
83 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
WARNING ago
INTRODUCTION ago
CURRENT STATE & TIMELINE OF THE BOOK SERIES ago
KITTY KITTY (3 episodic novels - In progress) ago
PACHINKO BLUES (regular webnovel - Fall 2022) ago
SHORT STORIES, SPIN-OFFS, EXTRAS & WEB EXCLUSIVES ago
ORBITAL TROUBLEMAKERS (Videogame - Christmas 2022) ago
To our beloved friend ago
KITTY KITTY Season 1 ago
KK1 - #01 RETRO COSMOS (1/2) ago
KK1 - #01 RETRO COSMOS (2/2) ago
KK1 - #02 THE TWISTED HEIST (1/3) ago
KK1 - #02 THE TWISTED HEIST (2/3) ago
KK1 - #02 THE TWISTED HEIST (3/3) ago
KK1 - #03 INELUCTABLE DUEL (1/3) ago
KK1 - #03 INELUCTABLE DUEL (2/3) ago
KK1 - #03 INELUCTABLE DUEL (3/3) ago
KK1 - #04 THE MELLIFLUOUS CAVERNS (1/3) ago
KK1 - #04 THE MELLIFLUOUS CAVERNS (2/3) ago
KK1 - #04 THE MELLIFLUOUS CAVERNS (3/3) ago
KK1 - #05 LORD OF THE TANKS (1/3) ago
KK1 - #05 LORD OF THE TANKS (2/3) ago
KK1 - #05 LORD OF THE TANKS (3/3) ago
KK1 - #06 HONOR AMONG THIEVES (1/3) ago
KK1 - #06 HONOR AMONG THIEVES (2/3) ago
KK1 - #06 HONOR AMONG THIEVES (3/3) ago
KK1 - #07 LITTLE MUTANT ON THE PRAIRIE (1/3) ago
KK1 - #07 LITTLE MUTANT ON THE PRAIRIE (2/3) ago
KK1 - #07 LITTLE MUTANT ON THE PRAIRIE (3/3) ago
KK1 - #08 THE RED FORTRESS (1/3) ago
KK1 - #08 THE RED FORTRESS (2/3) ago
KK1 - #08 THE RED FORTRESS (3/3) ago
KK1 - #08.5 BEFORE THE STORM ago
KK1 - Shout-outs and infos ago
RADIO FREAK ago
RF - #01 TALES FROM THE WATER TANK ago
RF - #02 LITTLE ARCADE OF HORRORS ago
RF - #03 ALI & ZEPHYR’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE ago
RF - #04 THE NEVERENDING TROUBLES ago
RF - #05 M.H.U.D (MUTAGENIC HUMANOID UNDERGROUND DWELLERS) ago
RF - #06 STRANGE SCIENCE ago
RF - #07 CARNAGE MUTANT NINJA FREAKS ago
RF - #08 A MOUSE CALLED JUNE ago
RF - Shout-outs and infos ago
KITTY KITTY Season 2 ago
KK2 - #09 DANCE WITH THE ROBOTS (1/3) ago
KK2 - #09 DANCE WITH THE ROBOTS (2/3) ago
KK2 - #09 DANCE WITH THE ROBOTS (3/3) ago
KK2 - #10 THE LEGEND OF PURPLE HEART (1/3) ago
KK2 - #10 THE LEGEND OF PURPLE HEART (2/3) ago
KK2 - #10 THE LEGEND OF PURPLE HEART (3/3) ago
KK2 - #11 NOAH’S ARK (1/3) ago
KK2 - #11 NOAH’S ARK (2/3) ago
KK2 - #11 NOAH’S ARK (3/3) ago
KK2 - #12 THE HANGED MEN CARNIVAL (1/4) ago
KK2 - #12 THE HANGED MEN CARNIVAL (2/4) ago
KK2 - #12 THE HANGED MEN CARNIVAL (3/4) ago
KK2 - #12 THE HANGED MEN CARNIVAL (4/4) ago
KK2 - #13 APOCALYPSE RINGS (1/3) ago
KK2 - #13 APOCALYPSE RINGS (2/3) ago
KK2 - #13 APOCALYPSE RINGS (3/3) ago
KK2 - #14 THE GHOSTS OF BABYLON (1/3) ago
KK2 - #14 THE GHOSTS OF BABYLON (2/3) ago
KK2 - #14 THE GHOSTS OF BABYLON (3/3) ago
KK2 - #15 CHILD’S PLAY (1/3) ago
KK2 - #15 CHILD’S PLAY (2/3) ago
KK2 - #15 CHILD’S PLAY (3/3) ago
KK2 - #16 OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (1/3) ago
KK2 - #16 OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (2/3) ago
KK2 - #16 OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN (3/3) ago
KK2 - #16.5 ROARING LEGACY ago
KK2 - Shout-outs and infos ago
STELLAR PATRIOTS ago
SP - #01 OPERATION CONDOR ago
SP - #02 THE MADMAN’S TRUTH ago
SP - #03 TECHNO DECADENCE ago
SP - #04 PARIAHS OF CALLISTO ago
SP - #05 THE DEATH OF YOSSEF BRAUN KAMIROV ago
SP - Shout-outs and infos ago
KITTY KITTY Season 3 ago
KK3 - #17 SAFARI ON JUPITER (1/3) ago
KK3 - #17 SAFARI ON JUPITER (2/3) ago
KK3 - #17 SAFARI ON JUPITER (3/3) ago

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Consistent Milk
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A new advanced review. Truly a celebratory matter.

Reviewed at: KK1 - #07 LITTLE MUTANT ON THE PRAIRIE (1/3)

This fiction has so many positives! It's really hard to compress it into a short review. It is so good in fact, that I can think of no specific bad thing to point out to readers who want to read it, except for one thing that might just be a subjective critique. Highly recommend to Sci-fi fans and Cowboy bebop fans. 

The Review

The Premise - A story about a space bounty hunter is not something new. Yet this feels like something very new and refreshing. A major portion of the story, upto what I have read, is narrated by Lee the space cat . This cat is something else. At first, I was very skeptical about this seemingly preposterous concept, and thought that it might not end up as something I would like. What a cognitive dissonance that was.

The Moment:

“What an injustice! What a misery! What a suffering!” - Space cat Lee

Story: This is actually a collection of some awesome short stories or as the authors call them, 'episodes'. All the stories though are told in the same world, and are centered around the main protagonists, the Space cat Lee and his Human Ali. Each of the episodes I have read has a distinct, well crafted story and memorable characters. The reason why I am not giving that half star is that there is no overarching plot up to where I have read. This would have been a major dealbreaker for me personally, if the episodes and characters weren't so well written.

STYLE - This is where this fiction truly shines. The writing style is one of the best I have come across. This title oozes atmosphere. I forgot the last time I came across a fiction which had managed to engulf me with an atmosphere of its own. I don't know much about the writers, but this is quite extraordniary. The references to various old school stuff makes it even more awesome. I have read quite a lot of stories on this site recently. Some go too fast, some too slow, some barely manage to hold it together. This on the other hand nails it perfectly in each of its episodes. The episodes up until now has progressed smoothly in a natural way and in nowhere did it feel forced or unnecessarily lengthy. 

Grammar: Couldn't find anything wrong with grammar that broke my immersion or disturbed my reading experience.

Character: Another strong point of this story. I can safely say is that anyone who gets a reading flow will absolutely love Lee and Ali. Even the side characters that are introduced in each of the episodes are well written. 

In conclusion, except for the lack of an overarching plot up to where I have read, this is one phenomenal work that deserves more popularity. 

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.

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!

Louis Bulaong
Overall

So far this is an amazing story. The dialogues were witty, funny, and the world was unique and lively, perfectly capturing what the last frontier could be if we ever finally get space travel. Love the pop culture references here and there too.

This story reminds me so much of my favorite sci-fi series like Outlaw Star and Brett Maverick. Although Cowboy Bebop also comes to mind, I kinda see the humor here being more akin to Gene Starwind and the wacky shenanigans him and his crew have to go through. It's not a perfect novel, since there's also some weird sentences here and there (or more likely, phrases written as a sentence). But still, the hilarious banters and conversation makes up for it.

If you like space westerns and basically hilarious stories, you should give Kitty Kitty a try :)

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.

AliceBSullivan
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Reviewed at Chapter 3: Fresh & Super Fun!

Reviewed at: #3 - THE INELUCTABLE DUEL

I read up until episode three of this bounty hunters in space story, and I must say, it delivers. It has such good oner-liners that I can't help but chuckle or laugh! It's a fresh perspective (Lee the cat), and I'm living for it. Here's a breakdown of my scores:

Style: I love the style. The narrative voice surely matches that of which I imagine my personal pet cats, and I'd hope so, because the narrator is a cat! The author does a good job sticking with the character's personality in the style. This story is also episodic, and I think it suits it well. I can appreciate it, and I've enjoyed it thus far.

Grammar: This story was translated from French to English, so of course, things won't be perfect, but any errors don't hinder the experience, and for being translated, they've done a really good job. The story and sentences still flow nicely! Well done.

Story: As stated before, this story is episodic, and I think it fits nicely. I have no qualms about this choice of story-style because I can appreciate the continuing story or a story containing separate stories each episode. I think this style is handled well.

Character: I do love Lee. His personality and one-liners get me every time. The only beef I have with characters has to be with Ali. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate her character: snarky& badass/kickass; however, sometimes I feel as if she's a little over-sexualized, which sort of makes the charcater a little superficial at times. Maybe it's just personal preference. These isntances happen a few times, but she's still the cheeky badass when it comes to fighting, which I appreciate and enjoy. I didn't hate her character by any means. She has her own one-liners and depth. Just a few moments where it felt like she's only eye-candy for the story, which happens often with female characters. By no means is it overexaggerated the entire time. Like I said, she carries her weight, and she's already carrying a heavy weapon, which she uses flawlessly. She's still a good character in her own right!

Overall: Please, please read this story. It's witty, action-packed, and humerous. You'll enjoy it!

Elijah Menchaca
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Alternatively, The 1980s Called; They've Decided They Look Cooler in Space.

The Future that Never Was is a sci-fi comedy set in, realistically, the late 1980s in spaaaace, and its a glorious satirical adventure, featuring guns, tits, and a talking cat.

Style (5/5): The utterly irreverent sense of style and humor with which TFTNW carries itself with is an utter treat, constantly evoking smiles and chuckles. It's also packed with 80s references, with everything from New Coke to Take on Me making appearances.

Actually the amount of 80s needledrops in the first episode alone is almost Guardians of the Galaxy-esque, and I mean that in the best way.

Story (5/5): The story of the first book, Kitty Kitty, follows a pair of Cowboy Beebop-escent space faring bounty hunters: Lee, the space cat, and Ali, his human. The twoof them roam the stars, perpetually broke and hunting down criminals with surprising competence and efficiency, which makes you wonder how they stay constantly broke until you see Ali go on just one shopping spree.

Grammar (4.5/5): Basically everything's where it's supposed to be. The words "this" and "that" get used in place of each other in weird spots sometimes, but honestly my brain probably auto-corrected most of the instances of that without me noticing it, and that was really the only thing I even noticed.

Character (5/5): Lee is that perfect blend of insufferably smug and adorable that has led to humans keeping cats around all this time, and makes for an excellent POV character. Ali is exactly the kind of philandering, gun toting badass you'd expect in a story like this. The two of them have a great dynamic, with each of them clearly thinking that they're the main character and the other is the sidekick.

The Swallow (for the spaceship is always its own character in these stories) is perfectly summed up by the phrase "a next generation engine from sixteen generations ago," and is exactly the sort of ship you'd expect these two to travel in.

Also, the cat is the pilot.

I say again. The cat is the pilot. And he's addicted to nicotine.

So anyway, welcome to your new favorite sci-fi comedy.

Shomin
Overall

It started with a witty fun tone with a kitty narrator, but the real protagonist of the story was its human Ali. The narrator did give the story a fun perspective to a darker space travel adventure story. Which is something refreshing. It is not a Futurama or a Cowboy Beepop. It is uniquely Kitty Kitty. One have to read several chapters to get into the core of how the story actually aiming at. Although there were lots of fun scifi fantasy elements in the beginning, it leads to a more serious plot in the end of a chapter. There are dramas, not just pure comedy.  If you love a well mixed salad, this is a story suitable for you.

The sentences and style are well writen for YA readers. 

AwakenedMuse
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Overall

This quirky and charming story has a LOT of character. This is a mature story about a spacefaring cat and his human as they travel the universe as bountyhunters. It's reminiscent of Guardians of the Galaxy in the best ways. I fell in love with our two main characters in the pilot episode, and will continue following along to see what misadventures they get up to next! 

Style

This author has a consistant writing style with lots of flair and jokes. Very unique and by turns offensive and hilarious. This story does not take itself too seriously while dealing with very serious interactions and issues. Each chapter is written as a seperate episode, but I recommend reading together and in order as this is building toward a larger plot. 

Grammar

This is the weakest part of the story. It's very readable, but there are errors throughout. It's my understanding this story was translated from French, and I'm impressed by how well the humor carries through. Don't let some grammar errors stop you from enjoying!

Story

The story is wholly unique. It carries common space-adventure themes, but delivers them in new ways, with unexpected twists and characterizations. I'm excited to see what this tale brings us in season 2.

Character

First off, I love that the main perspective character is a cat. Lee is so cute. His affection for his sapiens is heartfelt. Ali and Lee go through a lot together throughout season 1, and clearly have been through even more before the season began. They are well developed characters with stories and personalities gradually explored each episode, building up to a very intense season finale. The side characters they meet each episode are well developed as well, with several recurring characters. The author explores these side characters well enough that you feel their loss when some inevitably die in the hard world Lee and Ali live in. 

Tomato In The Street
Overall

A cyberpunk story about a cat engaging in war... Wow, never see that kind of weird and punchy premise these days. Anyways, the grammar is very nice and I really understood every bit of what's happening, leaving me to think that the words are kind of fluid and flows enough well in your mind, isn't It? That kind of style is nice, I think? I only read 2 chapters but this story has great potential to do whatever the hell It wants, keep up the good work