Last Days of an Immortal

Overview

In the distant future, Elijah is a member of the "Philosophical Police," who must solve conflicts that arise out of ignorance of the Other. Two species are fighting a war with roots in a crime committed centuries ago, and Elijah must solve the crime and bring peace between their species, while also confronting his own immortality in a world where science provides access to eternal life. In a world where death no longer exists, why do so many want to give up on life?

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Overview

In the distant future, Elijah is a member of the "Philosophical Police," who must solve conflicts that arise out of ignorance of the Other. Two species are fighting a war with roots in a crime committed centuries ago, and Elijah must solve the crime and bring peace between their species, while also confronting his own immortality in a world where science provides access to eternal life. In a world where death no longer exists, why do so many want to give up on life?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Subtle, mature, and inventive, French team De Bonneval and Vehlmann deliver deliberate science fiction that evokes the classic books of the 1950s and 1960s, with a particular kinship to Michael Moorcock’s Dancers at the End of Time series. On the future Earth, populated by humans who choose to be immortal through cloning bodies and mirroring minds, the Philosophical Police are charged with ensuring that all the alien races around the universe figure out how to get along and not kill each other over misunderstandings of local customs. The story centers on Elijah, who walks through his investigation of a death and ensuing political disputes with a sense of malaise that infects every aspect of his existence as he ponders the endless officiousness of immortality and contends with the diplomatic travails of hilarious, creepy, and imaginative aliens, such as a race of vibrations and a species consisting of one creature. De Bonneval’s art cleverly recalls Artzybasheff and other “googley” ’50s SF masters, while the story mirrors that era’s sly social satire, which investigated how technology affected our psychology and relationships and, in turn, where that brought culture. Vehlmann’s story expands on this heritage with a smart new twist. (Dec.)
Library Journal
In a future where immortality is assured through memory transfers of cloned human echoes, some still cling to death. Humanity has joined an interstellar community where the Philosophical Police deal with conflicts between humans and members of other races with vastly different cultures and viewpoints. Elijah, a highly successful and famous but overworked member of this agency, is asked to arbitrate a dispute between two alien races who share one planet: one humanoid and one composed of slow-acting, noncorporeal sentient waveforms. Elijah and his echoes juggle his responsibilities while dealing privately with issues of stagnation and change and an inevitable side effect of extended life: the loss of one’s oldest, and sometimes dearest, memories.

Verdict De Bonneval’s accomplished black-and-white cartooning is simple and disarming, while Vehlmann’s humor is laced throughout. Together, they lend a welcoming charm to a deeply thoughtful story exploring complex philosophical issues, resulting in highly compelling sf. Nudity and explicit depiction of sex justify the “Mature readers: 18 and up” label on the back cover.—Steve Raiteri, Green City P.L., Xenia, OH

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781936393442
  • Publisher: Archaia
  • Publication date: 11/27/2012
  • Edition description: Mature Readers (ages 16 and up)
  • Pages: 152
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Fabien Vehlmann is a French comics writer best known for GREEN MANOR and SEULS. Yvan Delporte dubbed him "The René Goscinny of the third millennium".

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