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Kiln People (Kiln Books)


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About the Author

David Brin is the author of more than a dozen novels, including six volumes in his award-winning Uplift saga, as well as two short story collections and a nonfiction work, The Transparent Society, about privacy in the electronic age. His New York Times bestseller The Postman was the basis for a major motion picture starring Kevin Costner. Brin was a fellow at the California Space Institute and at the Jet Propulsion Lab, studying spacecraft design, cometary physics, and analyses of the likelihood of life in the universe. He now lives in southern California.


In a future world where disposable clones handle humanity's day-to-day chores, Albert Morris uses his "dittos" to assist him in his job as a private investigator. When he stumbles upon the knowledge of a new technology that could alter the concept of human nature forever, he becomes part of a bloody and violent street war that threatens the fabric of society and the human race. Brin (The Postman) presents a rich, kaleidoscopic story that challenges the concepts of identity and individuality. For most sf collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Bestselling novelist Brin (Startide Rising; The Postman; etc.) restricts the action to planet Earth, but still allows his imagination to roam the cosmos in this ambitious SF/mystery hybrid whose grasp occasionally exceeds its reach. Thanks to the new technology of imprinting, people in a near-future America can copy their personalities into animated clay bodies (called "dittos" or "golems"), which last a single day. Albert Morris, private investigator, is his own sidekick as he attempts to uncover the murderer of a prominent imprinting research scientist, capture a criminal mastermind specializing in ditto copyright infringement and foil a conspiracy aimed at destroying the major ditto manufacturer and pinning the blame on several Alberts. Brin deftly explores the issues of identity, privacy and work in a world where everyone is supported with a living wage and has ready access to duplication technology. The book features the author's usual style, with a lighter touch and punnish humor abounding amid the hard SF speculation. The duplication of the "ditective" makes for a challenging twist on the standard private eye narrative, allowing Morris to simultaneously lead the reader through three separate (and interacting) plot lines. The hardboiled framework and the humor mix a bit uneasily, as does the social background of a libertarian/socialist U.S.A. The book's major fault lies in the diffusion of most of the tension as expendable dittos replace vulnerable humans for much of the action. Still, the work is brightened by Brin's trademark hardheaded optimism. (Jan. 15) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

"David Brin delivers what science fiction readers want-intelligence, action, and an epic scale" --Asimov's Science Fiction

"David Brin is a skillful storyteller . . . His novels brim with invention, and there is more than enough action to keep the story exciting." --The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Intricate plotting, unflagging inventiveness, and a judicious sprinkling of puns and in-jokes: Brin keeps the pages feverishly turning." --Kirkus Reviews

"Brin presents a rich, kaleidoscopic story that challenges the concepts of identity and individuality." --Library Journal

"Brin deftly explores the issues of identity, privacy and work . . . the book features the author's usual style, with a lighter touch and punish humor abounding amid the hard SF speculation." --Publisher's Weekly

"More than any writer I know, David Brin can take scary, important problems and turn them sideways, revealing wonderful opportunities. This talent shows strongly in Kiln People, a novel which is deep and insightful and often hilarious, all at the same time." --Vernor Vinge

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