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Spares by Alec McQuay

Approx 82 pages.

In short: Visceral, dystopian, fresh.



Spares, by Alec McQuay

Full review:

This novella reminded me of "Snowcrash" by Neal Stephenson in the way that it read. 

This novella is about a bunch of misfits in a society divided: The Lurchers and the Untouched. In a world where you cannot die, but bodies do break; the divide between the rich and the poor has become a chasm. The scene is strongly reminiscent of the slums of LA, but this stories setting is in the UK. This brings home disturbing nature of a future made possible by the very credible writing talents of this author to any British reader.

After an incident which renders one of the group out of action for a while, and a medical bill which they haven't got the funds to pay they take on a "job" to gain the means to pay for their friends repair bill. Its downhill from there for this motley crew of assembled body parts.

You kinda know where the story is going, but you enjoy the ride anyway. Written in an easy to read style (mentioned above) I found this short story/novella compelling reading. The author illustrates mans inhumanity to man, but still tries to put a human face (quite literally) on the tragedy and suffering. There is a twist at the end, that is only obvious after you finished reading it. The cliff hanger ending is either setting up a follow up, or the author wanting the reading to keep guessing what happens next. I can't quite decide which it is... 

Most heartily recommended.

Sean P Chatterton