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I think I read this around 20 years ago, but I may be off on that.

It's a series about a future human society where people can go into tanks to regrow their bodies according to various commercial templates. The templates have largely replaced other types of fashion and status symbol. IIRC the protagonist is a detective of some kind who investigates unlicensed and illegal templates. There's a key plot point around some kind of illegal form (possibly giant lizards?) being found at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

marked as duplicate by TheLethalCarrot, Bellatrix, DavidW, starpilotsix, Vanguard3000 Mar 29 at 1:28

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That would be Sight of Proteus, by Charles Sheffield. The main character works in the office of Form Control that regulates (and investigates, where it has been misused) purposeful Form Control.

An early plot involves 'Monsters' found, as you mentioned in the Mariana Trench that turn out to be regular humans (spacers) who were infected by a virus from one of the other planets in our solar system; when they went into change units for a quick refreshing, the virus took control, and tried to turn them into it's proper host -- the system being geared to handle humans, they died partway through.

  • That's the one, thank you. – Dave Mar 28 at 23:10
  • FAST!!! Good job +1 – Stormblessed Mar 28 at 23:17
  • 1
    @Stormblessed - Thanks; but I had an advantage -- as you will see in the possible dup link; I answered that one too, although that was 5 years ago :) – K-H-W Mar 28 at 23:29

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