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Speculative & Science Fiction
Surrogates vol 1
Robert Venditti & Brett Weldele
Page 45 Review by Stephen
Sometimes you have to read a series right to the end to understand how clever it is, and this is one of those.
As much a commentary on our vanity - our desperate obsession with staying young by any cosmetic or surgical means necessary - and how that affects society's set of priorities, this crime fiction science is set in a world full of Surrogates. Instead of hitting the interweb and firing up role playing games in which a weakling can pretend to be a knight, a woman can pretend to be a man, and a man can pretend to be a household pet, you can lie in your room whilst hooked up to your real-life Surrogate: an artificial body that can go out into the real world and do your job or courtship for your. Handy if you're a police officer, because it's a lot less dangerous; dodgy territory if your a police officer's aging wife, and you refuse to interact with him except through your younger Surrogate.
Weldele brings all the craft he bestowed on SOUTHLAND TALES, including some fiercely atmospheric, monochromatic colouring (think Templesmith on Ellis' FELL) to a very intelligent script, as a lone terrorist seeks to disable the Surrogates one by one and then en masse. Why would he or she do that?
"When I was a child, my father had a photograph of eleven men sitting on a steel girder. These men -- the steeplejacks as they were called -- were hundreds of feet in the air, eating lunch on the skeleton of Rockerfeller Centre. I was in awe of them. That they could dine so close to death... The strange mixture of fear and exhilaration that must've made them feel so incredibly alive. Now here you are, fifteen stories above the ground, and what do you feel? Nothing. You feel no fear, no exhilaration. You certainly don't feel alive. Because you aren't here. You have traded flesh and bone for cosmetics and alloy. You live a filtered life.
"You ask what I want? Everyone dreams of changing the world. I only want to change it back."
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