I read the book more than 10 years ago.

It's about a detective, set in a futuristic setting where humans have developed the ability to genetically alter their body. I remember that the book would talk of bird humans, and there was a somewhat main character that was altered to be like a gorgon (or Medusa), she flirted with the detective or something.

I remember there were a lot of murders happening, and I think it was mainly murders of the altered humans. There may have been separate groups of them, as I think a few of them was wrapped up in crime syndicates or something.

Other details I can remember is it was sold at Dollar Tree, and had a gun on the cover and I think a flower (maybe). The title was two or three words I think.

I've seen some questions similar to this one, and it is not Orphan Black.

  • How old is the book? Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 11:17
  • 1
    This reminds me of the work of Ron Goulart (goodreads.com/author/list/43248.Ron_Goulart), which is full of catpeople, birdpeople, frogpeople, etc, but most of his works are from the 1970s and 1980s, so that would probably be too old for you.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 15:35
  • Details that can help: when did you read this novel? Was it new then? What language did you read it in? Was it originally in that language or translated? Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 15:48
  • Sean, It could of been from that era, the cover design was a little like novels from that time. avner I dont think it was new, as I said above it had an older design to it, It was a small paperback, in english, was reading this early 2000s
    – Jacob Alan
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 12:35
  • Your description reminds me of The Automatic Detective, the cover is different though. The main character was a robot, but there were plenty of mutants.
    – Schorsch
    Commented Jan 5, 2016 at 12:51

2 Answers 2


Jonathan Lethem's "Gun With Occasional Music" (1994) is a murder mystery featuring a crime syndicate, a hard-boiled detective, and biotech-created animal-human hybrids. At least one cover image featured an actual gun:

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As a longer shot, the part about bird humans reminded me of a short story called "The Parrot Man" by Kathleen Ann Goonan (available here) --I'm not sure if it was ever expanded into a novel.

  • The bird man was just a described character not a big one. And I dont think that is it, I was looking for other covers of that book and none of them were it. I remember that the process the people went through to genetically alter themselves was described as painful, and I also remembered that the altering didn't stop at just animals. I remember also the cover was fairly simple. literally just this gun and a few other things and a very short title.
    – Jacob Alan
    Commented Jan 4, 2016 at 22:34

Some of what you mentions puts me in mind of Charles Sheffield and his Proteus series of books: Sight of Proteus, Proteus Unbound, and Proteus in the Underworld. People have Form control - the technology which allows manipulation of the human form using biofeedback techniques allied with computers. With this, you can manipulate the human form however you want. You have some that evolve into an alien species but much more intelligent. The whole process is policed to make sure certain changes and forms are not used, people die, etc.

Proteus in the Underworld has a character named Bey Wolf who, according to Wikipedia has "detective's instincts".

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