The Surrogates caught me by surprise when it came out a few years ago. Here was a book with a unique premise, which appealed to the Sci-Fi fan in me, as well as the crime drama/mystery fan. The story was fairly unique to me: In the future most people will not leave their houses at all, they do all their business and interactions through the use of realistic looking robots called Surrogates. These surrogates have changed all aspects of society: cops don’t have to worry about being killed in the line of duty; gender roles are easily switched by using a surrogate opposite of the users actual gender; and body image is no longer a problem, since your surrogate can be as good looking as you want it to be. All of this changes when someone begins to go around destroying other people’s surrogates. What follows is an examination of how we interact with each other in an online world, the role of religion verses technology, and really just a well crafted mystery.
The original Surrogates mini-series, by Robert Venditti is an interesting piece of work. It’s one of the most thought provoking series that I have read over the last few years. The world we live in today is one where people can go years without actually meeting people they interact with every day. You can keep up with complete strangers via any number of message boards, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, or a million other social networks. You can raid a dungeon in World of Warcraft with someone who could be half a world away, or they could be your next door neighbor, and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. The Surrogates takes the concept of this isolation that many people live their lives in today, and asks what would happen if no one had to leave their house if they didn’t want to. The best thing it does though, is take this interesting concept, and wraps it up in an also interesting murder mystery.
Whenever I go to a convention like New York Comic Con, I’m typically on the movie coverage beat. I spend most of my morning waiting on a lengthy line to get into whatever the big theater where all the movie panels are held and new footage from upcoming films is previewed. I then spend the rest of my day in said theater typing away on my laptop, then later I type away in the press room.
All of this means and barely eat or pee or see the light of day and when I do get a chance to break away, I head right to the Con floor to snag some freebies, check out some of the awesome costumes, and peruse through the enormous selection of books, comic books, and trades. Because while I’m obsessed with movies, I WANT BOOKS!!!
I was fortunate enough to gets lots of wonderful freebies, too many to mentioned here. Therefore, here’s a list of 7 noteworthy books plus 7 single-issue comic books (and a few honorable mentions) that I delightfully snagged at the Con.
I saw the little Quirk Books sign and instantly recognized them as the publishers of The Indiana Jones Handbook, which I reviewed back in June. So of course I ran right over and proceeded to salivate all over their selection of titles. While I wanted pretty much all of them, I decided on Dracula’s Heir, an interactive mystery based on the lost chapter of Bram Stoker‘s Dracula which takes place 10 years after the events of the classic novel. What adds to the coolness of the book (and the Quirk’s other “Interactive Mystery” titles) is that it comes with a bunch of removable clues like newspaper clippings and journal entries and once you’ve solved the mystery, there’s a final sealed up chapter at the end of the book that you break open — love it!!!
A brand new viral website has been released for the upcoming comic adaptation The Surrogates, which is directed by Jonathan Mostow (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, U-571).
The Surrogates is a comic series that shows us a world where people are able to create perfect, in-shape, attractive replicas of themselves called “surrogates” to go and do all of their day-to-day stuff and communicate with other people’s surrogates while they remain safe and securely at home. One day, surrogates start getting murdered and this sets in motion a cop named Agent Greer who sends out his replica to find out what’s going on before having to actually go out himself to try and figure it out; as well as trying to put an end to surrogates in general.
The movie will star Bruce Willis as Agent Greer, as well as Radha Mitchell as Agent Peters and Ving Rhames as The Prophet. The movie is set to release on September 25, 2009.