An Instinct For Murder

'An Instinct For Murder', Chris Boucher's novelisation of the first episode of his mini-series 'Star Cops' is now available in print for the first time.

Featuring a full colour cover by Jason Fletcher and interior art by Kevin Davies, Kathryn Andersen and Andrew Williams, this is a novel that will appeal to both those who watched Star Cops and those who missed it. (Click on the cover for a more detailed version)

Chris Boucher was script editor for the entire series of Blake's 7 and wrote scripts for both Blake's 7 and Dr Who. Many people have found points of similarity between Blake's 7 and Star Cops. These similarities show up more in later episodes of Star Cops as more characters are introduced (and Chris is willing to have his second novel also published as a fanzine if there is sufficiant interest in this one), but this first novel is worth reading as an excellent piece of detective science fiction in its own right.


The Star Cops Site has a lot about Star Cops.

The Anorak's Guide To Star Cops has a review of both Novels.

There is an interview with Chris Boucher about Star Cops (and some Blake's 7). - This is on the The Star Cops Site.

Little Green Men and Other Stories (The second Star Cops volume).

This is hard SF, not space opera. It's set in the near future and involves no FTL drives, no aliens, and no futuristic devices (apart from Box, who is remarkably reminiscent of Orac).

Nathan Spring is a policeman. He's a good one. He's happy in his job and has no desire whatsoever to go into space (especially as he gets space sick). Unfortunatly, he's been conned into applying for a job with the International Space Police Force, a body that garners so little respect that people refer to them disparagingly as 'Star Cops'.

People are dying in space. Space suits are failing. The computer says the deaths are within the limits of statistical probability; Nathan doesn't fully trust computers. But if there is a crime, what is the motive and how is it being carried out?

Although this is being published as a fanzine, it was originally written with the intention of being published as a professional novel. (I don't know why it wasn't. I suspect Star Cops was too small a series for a main-stream publisher to be interested. It certainly wasn't for want of good writing) This makes it virtually unique among zines as it is published with the full consent of the copyright holder. A portion of the cover price will go to Chris Boucher.

Although this is essentially a genzine, people should be aware that it contains a fair bit of bad language and a small amount of sex. It's greatly expanded from the episode as seen on screen and the special effects are better <grin>.

Word count 62,200 That's about 85 A4 pages of story.

Extract from interview with Chris Boucher

by Joe Nazarro

TV Zone, issue 23, October 1991.

Boucher is currently working on a novelisation of his Star Cops episodes, partly for the challenge of writing a novel, but also to restore the episodes to their original form. "There's a sort of revenge to it," he agrees. "It's going to be the way it should have been. Actually, I've done a trick I do quite frequently: I've made it so bloody complicated, I don't know where the hell I'm coming from. I've put all five my episodes into it, and how I'm going to pay them all off, I don't know. It's all a great spaghetti bolognese of plots and words and bits and bobs. I don't even know if I'm going to be able to find a publisher for it, but anyway, I've now got to finish it."

As for the future, Chris Boucher is philosophical about any upcoming projects. "I'm doing a novel because I've never done one," he states, "and what I've done one, I should be able to write another one. If tomorrow, six offers come on the blower, the novel will go straight on the back burner, and I shall turn to a more proper pursuit!"

Footnote: Sadly, Chris didn't manage to interest a commercial publisher in 'Star Cops' but as you can see, he did eventually have it published by Judith Proctor.

Little Green Men and Other Stories (The second Star Cops volume).

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Last updated on 18th of May 2006.