Love in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
By Judd Trichter
Despite its title, Judd Trichter’s debut novel has nothing to do with either Walter Benjamin or Internet porn. Instead, it tells the story of Eliot Lazar, an android salesman in the late twenty-first century who believes a little too much in his own product.
The androids are much like the replicants in Blade Runner: indistinguishable from humans but for the power hook-ups in their navels and the spinning noise their engines make. They also form a restless and threatening proletariat, stuck with all the lousy jobs humans can’t or won’t do for themselves and imbued with a growing class consciousness.
This makes it dangerous when Eliot falls in love with a C-900 model named Iris. And things get worse when Iris is dismantled and sold for spare parts on the android black market, forcing Eliot to run around trying to collect all her pieces and put her back together again while trying to stay in one piece himself.
There’s both love and adventure in the choking air of neo-noir L. A. as Eliot gathers the limbs of Isis. But what really makes the book stand out is the thorough job Trichter does imagining a future economic and political structure based on android technology.