Just about everyone's had a day when they've wished it were possible to send an alternate self to take care of unpleasant or tedious errands while the real self takes it easy. In Kiln People, David Brin's sci-fi-meets-noir novel, this wish has come true. In Brin's imagined future, folks are able to make inexpensive, disposable clay copies of themselves. These golems or "dittos" live for a single day to serve their creator, who can then choose whether or not to "inload" the memories of the ditto's brief life. But private investigator Albert Morris gets more than he, or his "ditective" copies, bargain for when he signs on to help solve the mysterious disappearance of Universal Kilns' co-founder Yasil Maharal--the father of dittotech.
Brin successfully interweaves plot lines as numerous as our hero's ditectives and doggedly sticks to the rules of his created dittotech while Morris's "realflesh" and clay manifestations slowly unravel the dangerous secret behind Maharal's disappearance. As Brin juggles his multiple protagonists and antagonists, he urges the reader to question notions of memory, individualism, and technology, and to answer the schizoid question "which 'you' is 'you?'" Brin's enjoyment is evident as he plays with his terracotta creations' existential angst and simultaneously deconstructs the familiar streetwise detective meme--complete with a multilayered ending. Overall, Kiln People is a fun read, with a good balance of hard science fiction and pop sensibility.
I love David Brin. This is an interesting take on future where we solve not having enough time by making temporary copies of ourselves. Cool Sci-fi.
In the future, people are able to implant their memories in clone-like copies of themselves. They then send these copies (dittos) to do errands they do not want to do themselves. Copies are programmed to only live a day and have their memories downloaded back into the original person- but someone is changing the rules....
This is without a doubt a 5 star book. I'm not that into science fiction but I LOVED this one. The writing is not hard to understand like many sci fi books. You really care about the characters, even the ones who are short lived "dittos" and the mystery keeps you guessing until the end.
I was hoping for something along the lines of his Uplift tales. This is VERY different . . . A fast moving tale of a future earth with disposable people.
This book is fantastic, and original! The story is very surprising. It is set in the future, andexplores a darker side of advancement.
I loved this book! The idea of "kiln people" or a ditto that goes about your more mundane tasks and melts at the end of the day is GREAT!
This book was a little slow to start, but it was a story that really drew me in. I must admit I skimmed parts toward the end that were all the "techno mumbo-jumbo" of the "science."
David Brin delivers what science fiction readers want-intelligence,action,and an epic scale.-Asimov's Science Fiction
David Brin is the author of more than a dozen novels, including six volumes in his award-winning Uplist 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, studing spacecraft design, cometary physics, and analyses of likelihood of life elsewhere in the universe. He now lives in Southern California.