Usually someone running a Control model is doing it because they need it. Not her, though. She doesn’t need control; she excretes it. Even in her admission of ignorance she manages to emit pure power.
“But all your power means nothing. This morning I saw a four-year-old running a Control for Kids Model 6, hitting a cat with a stick. You’d be surprised, Control. Up top, the world you’re shaping. They dress like you, like gods. But they still act like animals.
At 20 odd pages The 13th Prophet is just a half hour read. But what a read. A dystopian noir detective story, if you will. It’s a world where people wear personality traits like fashion and, like fashion, discerning consumers always need the latest Solitude, Passion, Care or whatever style they choose to inhabit. Each personality trait is derived from 12 individuals known as Prophets. But something is wrong. One of the prophets, Defiance, is dead. Mulligan Burke is a private detective charged with finding the murderer.
I really, really liked this. Earle’s prose is stripped down to the bare bones, like a hardboiled detective story should be, but it has a tone and rhythm all its own. There is the social overtone you’d expect with a dystopia but the political and anti-consumerism undertones were very welcome additions to the plot. The concept and the execution are fantastic. If anything I wanted there to be more of it.
“It’s planned obsolescence,” he says.
“What do you mean?”
“The Personality imprint is designed to deteriorate,” he says. “After three years they start to malfunction, and bad. I mean these things pretty much crash once the end comes around. Sometimes sooner. It keeps the market buying. The last Defiance model was released in February, three years ago.”
I picked this up on Kindle for $0.98 and thoroughly enjoyed it. Do yourself a favour – get something new to read in your lunchbreak.
The 13th Prophet, T. Lucas Earle: four stars.
Read it when: you want something different you can finish in your afternoon commute.