It is over a century since William Morris's time traveller brought back the News From Nowhere, travelling through Southern England sometime in the twenty-first Century. On his journey he encountered one group called the Obstinate Refusers, who did not accept the standards of the surrounding society.
Steve Cullen's narrator is Anne Riordan. If such things as fixed occupations or crime existed in her society, she would call herself a private detective, as her particular fancy from the bad old days is not the Wild West, nor the British Empire, but the crime fiction of the twentieth century.
She loves those cool resourceful investigators even though they never happened in real life, either inour day, or hers. But she has other interests too, like real ale, intensive horticulture, railway signal operation, where she does her local stint, and the usual computer stuff.
So she undertakes a sort of pilgrimage, as she calls it, through a future Britain of federated communes, in search of one particular obstinate refuser, the Last Capitalist. Readers are drawn into the life of the patient sleuth Riordon, for this hangover from the past, which reveals quite a lot about the shape of the future.'" Colin Ward