SpeculativeFiction


Kiln People


The creative exercise in this book is the cheap and easy creation of human 'dittos', copies of one's mind complete with a body, albiet one that only lasts 24 hours. Once the life of a ditto is nearly over, its creator can inload its memories, effectively allowing people to experience multiple lifespans. Even the poorest people can create at least one ditto a day to earn a wage as an unskilled laborer. Others do more interesting things with their copies, anything from selling them as specialized courteseans, to experiencing thrills much too risky for a real body, to creating a team of hyper-focused detectives.

The latter is the MO of Albert Morris, whose various selves independently stumble onto some disturbing happenings that seem to be unrelated at first - but when the creator of the primary dittoing technology, his chief scientist, and the scientist's daughter are all involved, things get interesting quickly.

Like Brin's other works, Kiln People starts at a reasonably fast pace and maintains it for the entirety of the story. This is especially impressive since his four first-person points of view are of Albert and his three dittos, and the entire book only spans a handful of days. The book is also nice and long, the paperback weighs in at a meaty 567 pages. Brin continually delights with little details of how dittotech has impacted society, though his prose is nothing special and I was not particularly attached to any of the characters. All in all, a good solid speculative work of science fiction.


This entry was published Mon Jul 17 01:36:40 CDT 2006 by tsarren@infodancer.org and last updated 2013-08-14 08:31:38.0.

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