The Future is Japanese 2/13
Man was this a frustrating experience. This story started out great, even marvelous. The main character works as a proxy in basically a post-scarcity society where few people have even a job anymore. Being a proxy means breaking up people who have been married (virtually, never seen each other in real life) or in short making one of the two sign the divorce papers. There are hints that most people life in a variety of virtual worlds or layers while being in the real world and physical interactions have been pared down to the absolute minimum or become fetishized. And the main character is seen or at least sees herself as kind of a freak for even wanting to work and having to interact with other humans directly.
Really fascinating stuff and then the story drifted into a completely different, completely uninteresting direction about the future (upstream) plundering the past (downstream) and the heroine getting involved on the side of the downstreamers. If you want to see that kind of story well done, read Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers of Victory (well, only if you can handle superheroics). But man, this was an object lesson in wasted potential.