The Killswitch Review
Steven-Elliot Atman and Diane DeKelb-Rittenhouse
Yard Dog Press, Dec 12009, $16.00
By the year 2156, America is a radically different place than it was circa 2009 thanks to incredible scientific breakthroughs. People live for centuries, which lead to overpopulation that makes the Malthusian model understated. Fortress America closed all borders as no immigration is legal. Natives receive full citizenship at thirty years old and junior citizenship at age twenty-five. Anyone younger is considered a child who has not been issued their KV (a Kevorkian type device).
People have the right to commit suicide and are encouraged to do so by using their KV device that is with them at all times.. Jason Haggerty is press review agent of the Government of who sees thelast moments of a suicide’s life to make sure that person chose to die and was not murdered. He hooks up with Regina who sees at a Jesus Clone concert a triple press suicide by three of their underage fans. Jason takes the case and ends up almost being the most wanted man on the Federal Government’s most wanted list because manufactured evidence incriminates him in all sorts of heinous crimes. He does not who he should trust as he conducts an investigation on o who framed him and to prevent the horrific scheme of mass murders disguised as suicides that seems about to occur.
This futuristic science fiction is loaded with plenty of action, but not at the cost of strong characterizations. Jason is about to use his KV device when he is called on a case that leads to his being on the run from authorities and a new understanding of how precious life is. He also comprehends that Generation Zero may have to wait until their seventies to enjoy citizenship, but Jason’s immediate goal is prevent the mass suicides that are planned even if he must die to achieve his objective. He is an anti-hero who has found something worth living and dying for that turns him into an admirable hero even if he fails.