THE FUTURE OF MULTI-TASKING?
"...where were answers to the truly deep questions? Religion promised those, though always in vague terms, while retreating from one line in the sand to the next. Don't look past this boundary, they told Galileo, then Hutton, Darwin, Von Neumann, and Crick, always retreating with great dignity before the latest scientific advance, then drawing the next holy perimeter at the shadowy rim of knowledge." -- Kiln People
Take the notion of golems -- temporary clay people (not clones!) -- and now imagine a near future when everybody can make them. Using a "home copier" you ditto your memories -- perhaps even a genuine imprint of your soul -- and off goes the duplicate to run your errands, attend your classes, or do all the drudgery work. Then, at day's end, you download the golem's memories -- if you want them.
As a citizen of this near future, you've duplicated yourself a zillion times and take it for granted, sometimes being the original, sometimes the copy. You live your life in parallel, sending expensive "study golems" to the library while cheap models clean the house and your real body works out at the gym. Two thirds of the Earth's population consists of temporaries made of clay. People seem to have even adjusted to this new way of life, until....
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AWARDS FOR KILN PEOPLE
Kiln People received four SECOND PLACE awards: the 2003 Hugo Award for Best Novel; the 2003 Locus Award; the 2003 Arthur C. Clarke Award; and the 2003 John W. Campbell Memorial Award.
"Kiln People is going to make you laugh and make you think. You will be so immersed in the world of greenies and grays and rox's and rig's that you won't have time to be dazzled by the commentary in Brin's work. That will come later, after you've put the book down and certain scenarios will prick at your consciousness -- sneakily invading your own world view and thought process." -- GuerillaBookworm.com
"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." -- 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
"This is a fun novel, rich with ideas, that examines on a very human level the ramifications and side effects of our ambitions and the things we take for granted. It's also a hard-boiled murder mystery with levels of physics and metaphysics that work your brain. But for me, as always, it's David Brin's characters that really pull me into the story and keep me up until three in the morning." -- The Barnes and Noble Review
"Be careful what you wish for: being two places at once may create as many problems as it solves. David Brin unflinchingly serves up a giddy, thoughtful, and darkly comic future." --Wil McCarthy
"I was struck by the ease with which Brin switched perspectives from one Ditto to the other, all originally from the same user. How their thoughts after initially waking into this world were all the same, and how they grew into their own personalities by the end of their life span. Each time a ditto expired...well, you're a little saddened by it, and a bit surprised by how haphazardly they are treated by both their users and by other 'real people'.
"That thought is the major 'meat' of this novel.
"Anyway, I enjoyed 'Kiln People'. Another book that shall remain on my shelf for years to come." -- Chris Mullins, Amazon.com reviews
COVERS FROM OUTSIDE THE U.S.
Here are a collection of covers for Kiln People from its foreign and foreign-language publications.