cover image Revimore


Ciel Dexter. Pink Narcissus, $12 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-939056-18-4

Dexter’s debut brings thoughtful sensitivity to a familiar science fictional “what if.” In the near future, the London-based Revimore corporation offers grieving families “very realistic replicants, programmed and designed to your specifications” of late loved ones. Dexter explores the myriad reactions to this program through three female perspectives. Tilda, a teen on a gap year in Australia, balks at her mother’s desire to “revive” Tilda’s father as a robot, expressing her outrage in a series of emails and teaming up with her childhood neighbor, whose widowed mother had the same idea, to investigate the company. Antonia, an “AI Technology Psychologist” at Revimore, writes up case notes on a dying woman who buys a replicant of her younger self to act as her hospice nurse. The peculiarities of the case and imploding corporate dynamics within Revimore cause her to second-guess her chosen career. And aging actor Shirley Hamilton buys a composite replicant, a handsome man based off of no one in particular, to keep her company, sparking drama in her neighborhood. Dexter raises all the standard questions about AI rights, sentience, and ethics, but the close, personal lens on the issue provided by her three captivating heroines adds depth and nuance to these themes. It’s a well-done meditation on humanity, companionship, and grief. (Sept.)