From Publishers Weekly
The year is 2054, and the Central Georgia Metropolis is held in a grip of fear by a series of crimes committed by the mysterious lightning-wielding techno-terrorist dubbed Steeplejack. His attacks stem from an agenda that seeks to disconnect humanity from its dependence on "surrogates," androids that the consumer can link with and allow to carry out the user's life, acting as a full-time stand-in. For investigating detective Harvey Greer, Steeplejack's anti-surrogate rampage unearths possible connections to a fanatical prophet. Years earlier, this prophet incited riots while preaching a gospel of returning society to a time when people actually lived their lives instead of merely experiencing them, a point of view that Greer is slowly coming to agree with. Basically a straight police procedural laced with science-fiction trappings, Venditti's script offers a convincing future in which mankind doesn't realize that the virtual reality of the surrogates is potentially worse than any narcotic. This quietly bleak scenario is capably illustrated by Weldele in a straightforward style reminiscent of film storyboards. As a change of pace from typical superheroic fare, this volume comes heartily recommended. (July)
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In 2054, everybody in the Central Georgia Metropolis who can afford one owns a surrogate to go out and do things while its owner transmits all the decisions and receives all the effects safely at home. But someone or something is frying surrogates with megavolt electrical charges, and police lieutenant Harvey Greer has to find out who or what. The prime suspect is the Prophet, the quasi-Rastafarian leader of a cult that rioted against the surrogates 15 years ago. It soon seems, however, that the actual, physical perp is a supersurrogate, and the Prophet wouldn't ever use any kind of surrogate. Venditti fills this police-procedural sf scenario with tech-savvy-sounding dialogue and serious satire of humanity's love of gadgets, ingeniously supplying backstory via documents (academic paper, TV transcript, etc.), not flashbacks or exposition. Weldele gives the tale exceptional gravitas by drawing figures and settings more or less sketchily and memorably conveying emotional effect by tinting each scene or sequence in its own peculiar set of hues of just one or two colors. Ray OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved