The Cooke Agency

A Lee Martinez
The Automatic Detective


The Automatic Detective by A. Lee MartinezEven in Empire City, a town where weird science is the hope for tomorrow, it’s hard for a robot to make his way. It’s even harder for a robot named Mack Megaton, a hulking machine designed to bring mankind to its knees. But Mack’s not interested in world domination. He’s just a bot trying to get by, trying to demonstrate that he isn’t just an automated smashing machine, and to earn his citizenship in the process. It should be as easy as crushing a tank for Mack, but some bots just can’t catch a break.

When Mack’s neighbors are kidnapped, Mack sets off on a journey through the dark alleys and gleaming skyscrapers of Empire City. Along the way, he runs afoul of a talking gorilla, a brainy dame, a mutant lowlife, a little green mob boss, and the secret conspiracy at the heart of Empire’s founders—not to mention more trouble than he bargained for. What started out as one missing family becomes a battle for the future of Empire and every citizen that calls her home.

Praise for A. Lee Martinez’s The Automatic Detective:

An io9 ‘10 Greatest Science Fiction Detective Novels’ selection

“Martinez tickles the funny bone in this delightful, fast-paced mishmash of SF
and hard-boiled detective story. . . .Eccentric characters, all of whom are clever twists on stereotypes, populate a smart, rocket-fast read with a
clever, twisty plot that comes to a satisfying conclusion.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A funny, innovative high-speed romp through the dystopian world of the future . . . Martinez crafts a private eye in the best tradition of hard-boiled futuristic detection.” —Booklist

“A hard-boiled, hard-wired, hard-riveted, hard-hitting blend of classic detective stories and science fiction. A. Lee Martinez has proven quite skilled at the art of turning genre conventions on their ear in the past, and with this book, he draws upon the most fascinating aspects of two very different genres to create something new and interesting.” —SF Site

“A brief description hardly does justice to this marvelous alternative world. . . This one is fun from bitter bot to brainy dame.” —The Globe and Mail

“Reformed warrior robot Mack Megaton searches for a missing family—and a moral purpose—in a city of exotic mutants. . . . Mack’s smash-and-grab mission acquires some satisfying philosophical heft.” —Entertainment Weekly

Genre/Category: Science fiction
Length: 320 pp

Chinese (complex) rights, Gaea
English (North American) rights, Tor Books
German rights, Piper Verlag
German audio rights, Lauscherlounge
Audio rights, Audible
Film rights, Legendary Films

For all other rights contact The Cooke Agency.

    A. Lee Martinez was born in El Paso, Texas.  At the age of eighteen, for no apparent reason, he started writing novels.  Thirteen short years (and a little over a dozen manuscripts) later, his first novel, Gil’s All Fright Diner, was published.  His hobbies include juggling, games of all sorts, and astral projecting.  Also, he likes to sing along with the radio when he’s in the car by himself. 

A. Lee Martinez’s website can be found at