Sam Drift is a college dropout who spends his days smoking pot, writing movie reviews, wallowing in the betrayal of the only girl he ever loved, and watching old noir flicks with his beloved cat, Audrey Hepburn. Life is perfect. But when Sam’s editor forces him to write an article about the death of an exotic dancer outside an unpopular strip club, he suddenly finds himself tangled in a web of local politics and criminal enterprise.

The plot thickens when Sam’s ex-girlfriend comes to town to premiere a movie at a local film festival. A movie she’s starring in. A movie based on a script she stole from Sam before she ran off to Hollywood with Sam’s best friend. Can Sam solve the mystery of the dead stripper and win back the love of his life? Or is Sam’s delusional THC-riddled brain just acting out a Humphrey Bogart fantasy that doesn’t actually exist?

Part Big Sleep and part Big LebowskiThe Mean Reds is a quirky small-town mystery told by one of the most unreliable narrators ever known.



Texas A&M University Press

Barnes & Noble



Smart, funny, and slightly sideways, Dale Bridges’ The Mean Reds is a rollicking, entertaining read about a passion for the movies, small-town crime, and untapped ambitions. Readers won’t forget the original first-person voice of Sam Drift. For all of his brokenness and drunkenness, there is much to admire about Sam—and this refreshing debut novel.  – S. Kirk Walsh, author of the national bestseller The Elephant of Belfast

Falling somewhere in the middle of the crime genre spectrum that shimmers between Dashiell Hammet’s Maltese Falcon and Edgar Cantero’s Meddling Kids, The Mean Reds taps our hapless protagonist’s silver-screen obsessions to reveal just how valiantly a drug-bedraggled schlub of a journo can rise (or, yeah, fall) when death, dames, and destiny come a-calling. You might be able to put this archly cinematic novel down for a minute—like, for a quick swig on a double-strength Old Fashioned or because you need to pass along the candy blunt you’ve been hitting—but, friend, I’d bet you a purloined Oscar that you’ll pick it back up again ASAP.    – Austin Chronicle

When you recommend a book to a friend, you want to say, “This book is like this other book that you enjoy!” The Mean Reds is going to make you want to say, “This book is kind of Augusten Burroughs, but kind of Chuck Palahniuk, but kind of Christopher Moore, but kind of Kurt Vonnegut.” You’re going to want to say that because a) you WILL want to recommend it to your friends; and b) your brain will be wrestling with the truth: The Mean Reds isn’t like anything you’ve ever read before. It’s a truly unique debut novel, full of broken people and unreliable narration and cringe-inducing situations, all told in Bridges’ distinctive, masterful prose. It’s goddamned glorious.   – Dr. Christopher Bell, Skydance Animation 

Dale Bridges’ debut novel is a hilarious bourbon-soaked, hash-toned slacker noir with an unforgettable, stumbling cinephile at its heart. Bridges is natural at crafting worlds and populating them with wild, endearing, outrageous, and utterly believed characters. Expect conspiracies, parties, drugs, and more classic movie references than you can shake a weed pipe at. Also expect the unexpected. This book will surprise you!  – Owen Egerton, author of Hollow and the writer/director of Mercy Black

Packed with highly caffeinated observations on pop culture and classic film icons and an unreliably hungover writer protagonist, The Mean Reds announces Dale Bridges as a hip, smart, and wickedly funny writer.   – Jesse Sublett III, author of Last Gangster in Austin


“Daring, surreal, and darkly dystopian.” -The Daily Camera

Imagine a future where orphan children are adopted by international corporations and forced into indentured servitude, where zombie viruses are spread through heterosexual intercourse, where Osama bin Laden is cloned by the thousands for public execution. Welcome to the world of Justice, Inc. No one is safe. Nothing is sacred. And all sales are final.

To order a copy, contact me a bridges.writer@dalebridges

Read a sample chapter of the book.

Watch a weird book trailer.

Get a copy from your local bookstore: BookPeople, Boulder Book Store, Half Price Books

To order a copy, contact me a bridges.writer@gmail.com

Here’s what people are saying about Justice, Inc.:

“There is something immediately charming about Dale Bridges’ prose. He is playful, but not unseriously so. He is experimental, but not in a way that ignores meaningful human interaction. I admire Bridges as a thinker — and he does think in his fiction, which is rare — and I do envy the range of his intelligence and talent. This first book is a shot across the bow of our culture. He will write many more, but read this one first.”

Okla Elliott, author of The Cartographer’s Ink and From the Crooked Timber


Justice, Inc. may seem to be about robots, zombies, and clones, but it’s actually about you and me. In the grand tradition of Tom Robbins and Christopher Moore, Bridges’ wonderful collection of short stories brings to life fantastical worlds that let us laugh and cry about our own.”

Joel Warner, co-author of The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny


“If artists are the antennae of the race and Bridges is the voice of reason, it’s clear we’re all damned. In the age of slick formula fiction, the author breathes refreshing new life into the short story form. These are bizarre times, and Bridges attacks them with a brutal sense of humor and a savage pen. Here’s an original writer who’s going places.”

Ben Corbett, author of This is Cuba: An Outlaw Culture Survives


“Dale Bridges writes not with a pen but a skewer, piercing the absurdity of our cosmic sitcom with clarity and humor. Justice, Inc. is philosophical satire in the vein of Kurt Vonnegut and George Saunders—fellow madmen who have stared into the abyss and come away laughing. Be warned that there is a fifth steed of the apocalypse, and its name is Justice—and Bridges is lashing the whip, breathing fire, and coming for us all.”

Vince Darcangelo, editor of Transgress Magazine and the literary blog Ensuing Chapters


Justice, Inc. is a book that I wish I had written, a book that George Saunders could have written, and book that Dale Bridges did write. The characters in these stories are people pushed to the limits of their existence by a future we never expected, a world where technology and capitalism have pushed them against the wall. Bridges captures that conflict perfectly. I hope I’m dead and gone before Bridges’ world becomes truth—it’s already happening.”

Jason Hardung, author of The Broken and the Damned and The Names of Lost Things


“Dale writes with humor and wit about society’s grim future. He examines our moral compass with a keen eye, throwing zombies, clones, and robotics at an apathetic world that has lost its way.”

The Masters Review


“I read the entire collection in one feverish sitting, marveling as shit just kept getting weirder and weirder, and by the end, I felt like I was reading a dystopian masterpiece.”

Ariana D. Den Bleyker, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ELJ Publications, LLC and author of Hatched from Bone, My Father Had a Daughter, Naked Animal, and many, many more collections (click here to read the full review)


“Welcome to the future. Ubiquitous… Ruminative… Baleful. Three words that people almost never say in real life, but whose meanings apply rather nicely to this book. In Justice, Inc. Dale Bridges looks into present day society vs. the fate of humanity and deals out a mighty helping of ‘What If’ stories, plunging pen first into futuristic pools to explore the big ticket items like mortality, where babies come from, and the endless complications involved with having a girlfriend. Sturgeon’s Law states that 90% of pretty much everything is friable crap. (Long Live Statistics!). Triumphantly, Justice, Inc. lives on the flipside in that remaining 10%.”

Rob Geisen, author of The Aftermath etc, by Get in the Car, Helen.


“The setting of Justice, Inc. is a terrifying near future where babies come in boxes, girlfriends are assembled, giant retailers adopt orphans, and people live forever. Bridges examines the full consequences of these alternate futures with vivid characters, sparkling dialogue, and beautifully constructed plots. Bridges brings both a gallows humor and a sense of desperation to these tales that only heightens our awareness that the intersection of our fears and our technology just might bring us into this world.”

Arsen Kashkashian, Kash’s Book Corner


“Funny, vivid, brutal — who knew the next godpiss George Saunders was living in Texas and working at a used bookstore? p.s. I hope the future doesn’t look remotely like this.”

Steve Knopper, author of Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age and freelance writer for the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Wired


“So if it’s out-of-the-box thinking you’re looking for and a wry, gritty observational tone that skirts the edges of social offense and humor, Justice, Inc is just the ticket. Expect the unexpected, for it’s the norm in each story of Dale Bridges’ hard-hitting collection.”

Diane Donovan, Senior eBook Reviewer at Midwest Book Review (click here to see the full review)


“Bridges’ new collection is daring, surreal, and darkly dystopian.”

The Daily Camera


“Dale Bridges attacks the hollow pillars of consumerism and does so with the sharp know-how of a wizened satirist. This book will keep you laughing and force you to question the society you inhabit.”

-David Accomazzo, Phoenix New Times


“Bridges not only infuses an element of wry humour into his stories, he also keeps them very human, and just a little bit familiar.”



“Justice, Inc. lives up to its billing. Dale Bridges has channeled his acerbic vision of American corporate dystopia into enjoyable satire.”

The New Podler Review of Books (click here to read the full review)


“Dale Bridges’ story collection is a surreal blast of ridiculous mortals in post-apocalyptic situations, reminiscent of Saunders. It is rich and humorous, capturing unmitigated humanity at its most absurd. Strange, magnetic, and irresistible: Get a copy!”

Meg Tuite, author of Bound By Blue and fiction editor at Connotation Press


“If you’ve read and understood works by Etgar Keret, Julio Cortazar, or Philip K. Dick you’re bound to fall in love with Justice, Inc.”

Anthony Ilacqua, author of Undertakers of Rain and editor-in-chief of Umbrella Factory Magazine


“If this is the future of dystopian fiction, the future is looking damn good!”

Kelly Smith, book reviewer at Kelly Smith Reviews


All content copyright © Dale Bridges


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