cover image Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Judd Trichter. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-03602-5

The venerable science fiction theme of human/android love gets an original twist in this impressive debut novel set in late 21st-century Los Angeles. Bot-maker Eliot Lazar is indulging in a forbidden romance with android Iris Matsuo when she is abducted and dismantled for parts. Sidestepping the law, Eliot immerses himself in the shadowy underworld of rogue android trappers, chop-shop recyclers, and bot black marketers in the hope of retrieving all of Iris’s components before replacement parts permanently alter her personality. Trichter foregrounds Eliot and Iris’s intimate love affair against a meticulously worked out near future in which androids, who live in polluted ghettos as second-class citizens, are on the verge of violent revolt against the humans who exploit them for their labor. The incendiary potential of that scenario intensifies the suspense of Eliot’s desperate mission to save Iris, and drives the plot of this novel down some surprising and refreshingly unpredictable avenues. Agent: Ethan Ellenberg, Ethan Ellenberg Agency. (Feb.)