Manchester, 2025. Local mechanic Sol steals old vehicles to meet the demand for spares. But when Sol’s partner impulsively jacks a luxury model, Sol finds himself caught up in a nightmarish trans-dimensional human trafficking conspiracy.
Hidden in the stolen car is a voiceless, three-armed woman called Y. She’s had her memory removed and undertaken a harrowing journey into a world she only vaguely recognises. And someone waiting in the UK expects her delivery at all costs.
Now Sol and Y are on the run from both Y’s traffickers and the organisation’s faithful products. With the help of a dangerous triggerman and Sol’s ex, they must uncover the true, terrifying extent of the trafficking operation, or it’s all over.
Wildly imaginative and depressingly gritty, Hill builds a future where in typical fashion, mankind exploits technological advancement to subjugate the weak in favour of the powerful. The main characters (viz. Sol, Roy, Mel and of course, Y) are presented with such visceral clarity that one never notices that plot-wise Graft is really quite straight-forward. Hill’s future world may be inherently dystopic in nature but that never gets in the way of human beings doing the right thing and the indomitable human spirit rising above the crushing weight of greed and avarice.
Hill’s prose pulls no punches – expressive and visual – and the use of parallel non-linear narratives (primarily from the point of view of Sol and Y) is expertly executed.
Philip K Dick, William Gibson, Irvine Welsh.
Scifi at its best – a cautionary tale of tech run amuck and an insightful exposé of the sins of human trafficking – Graft would make for a thoughtful scifi movie, in the vein of Ex Machina.
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