The Killswitch Review

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9780982470404: The Killswitch Review
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In the tradition of Blade Runner and Brave New World comes a terrifying postmodern vision... Steven-Elliot Altman and Diane DeKelb-Rittenhouse ignite a powder-keg of scientific and religious controversy in THE KILLSWITCH REVIEW as they explore, and explode, the arguments over prolonged life through Stem Cell technology as it heralds America into a new class system offering forced sterility, birth restrictions, mass unemployment, and a final solution through government sanctioned, technology-assisted suicide. Along with DeKelb-Rittenhouse, Altman, best known for his War Of The Worlds style faux medical epidemic that he launched with his best-selling novel DEPRIVERS, and his critically acclaimed (all proceeds dedicated to AIDS and Cancer research) anthology THE TOUCH, has again touched every societal sore spot imaginable in this exploration of the not-to-distant future (where many of us are still alive, and no one looks a day over thirty), and showed no fear in taking on both sides of the heated scientific and religious debates that are clearly headed our way, and that most of us have yet to even consider... Imagine living forever or, if not forever, indefinitely always looking the age you want to, with all your vitality intact. Medical progress and technology have eliminated disease. The only reason to die is because you choose to (most frequently the result of boredom, loneliness or bankruptcy), and then there is a simple, efficient, legally mandated way to do it. The problem is that while the world s population has increased, its natural resources have diminished. Species once essential to human survival are now extinct. All food is cloned. The United States has closed its borders. For the rest of the planet, poverty and disease are everyday realities. To save itself, India has allowed its people to have computers implanted in their skulls that permanently connect them to cyberspace, to serve as fortunetellers for bored U.S. citizens entertainment. Sex with androids is acceptable. In the U.S., forced sterilization is a matter of law. Couples must apply for permission to have children. But only the right couples need apply, and those approved can bear only one child. Now imagine you are one of those children, growing up without brothers, sisters, aunts or uncles in a place where no one who has work will voluntarily leave it. Opportunities are nonexistent unless you choose to be mutated and participate in violent arena sports guaranteed to kill you if the mutation doesn t do it first. At least you ll die rich and famous. For the rest of Generation Zero (as the youth of America self-proclaim themselves) there is nothing but time. Time to wait. Time to despair. Time to lose yourself in oblivion. Imagine a place where an entire generation might just decide they re better off dead and a system that might agree. All it needs is a trigger. Welcome to NewVada. By the year 2156, stem cell therapy has triumphed over aging and disease, extending the human lifespan indefinitely. But only for those who have achieved Conscientious Citizen Status. To combat overpopulation, the U.S. has sealed her borders, instituted compulsory contraception, and made technology-assisted suicide readily available. Yet in a world where the old can remain vital forever, America's youth have little hope of prosperity. Jason Haggerty is an investigator for the government agency responsible for dispensing personal handheld devices that record a citizen's final moments. When three teens stage an illegal public suicide, Haggerty suspects their deaths may have been murders. Now he must uncover proof and prevent a nationwide epidemic of copycat suicides. Trouble is, for the first time in history, an entire generation might just decide they re better off dead and a system that might agree. All it needs is a trigger.

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About the Author:

Steven-Elliot Altman is a bestselling author, screenwriter, and most recently a successful videogame developer, having won multiple awards for his new online role playing game 9Dragons. His novels include Captain America is Dead, Zen in the Art of Slaying Vampires, Batman: Fear Itself, The Irregulars and Deprivers. Steven's also the editor of the anthology The Touch and a contributor to Shadows Over Baker Street, a collection of Sherlock Holmes meets H.P. Lovecraft Stories. Most recently, Steven penned the screenplay of his novel Zen in the Art of Slaying Vampires, soon to be a major motion picture. Once upon a time he also worked the night shift on a suicide prevention hotline. Diane DeKelb-Rittenhouse spent several years in Manhattan as an actress before marrying her college sweetheart and returning to the Philadelphia area where she had been born. Diane first worked with Steven-Elliot Altman when they created the acclaimed, Publisher's Weekly Starred-Review anthology The Touch: Epidemic of the Millennium, in which her story Gifted appeared. Diane has published a number of other critically acclaimed short stories, most notably in the science fiction, murder, and horror genres. Her young adult fantasy novel, Faerie Rings: The Book of Forests, is forthcoming.

Review:

I've always considered Steven-Elliot Altman one of the most provocative voices in modern fiction, and KILLSWITCH, his collaboration with Diane DeKelb-Rittenhouse, once again confirms this conviction. --Stephen Susco, screenwriter of The Grudge

In the tradition of Philip K. Dick, Altman and DeKelb-Rittenhouse keep the action coming even as they measure the psychosocial toll of tomorrow's technology. --Winston Engle, Editor & Publisher, THRILLING WONDER STORIES

In the tradition of Philip K. Dick, Altman and DeKelb- Rittenhouse keep the action coming even as they measure the psychosocial toll of tomorrow s technology. --Winston Engle, Editor & Publisher, THRILLING WONDER STORIES

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