Tuesday, April 04, 2006

book 16: Counting Heads by David Marusek

This book has gotten alot of press, mostly from the unfortunate NYT Book Review Column. Despite what you my have read, this book is all around fantastic. Every sentence belongs, which is a hard task in a full-length novel.

Counting Heads
is set in a far future, where humans have discovered the key to immortality, clones are used to satisfy the whims of the rich, and various cooperative communities have risen and fallen to sustain the poor. The main character is a man born before immortality. He adjusts, as all the rich do, and his artistic life flourishes and falters. When he is marginalized by an attack on his politically promininent lover, he ages, with all that entails in his society. His story entwines with that of a clone that begins to questions the "genetic" emotions and behavior of his race, the russes, cloned from a Secret Service agent who gave his life for a president.

Counting Heads has everything, really. The world is fully imagined, there is cool new tech, there is love and sex and there is an absence of annoying "space" lingo, or whatever, that makes a crappy novel much crappier. The characters are full and complex people that fit into the tiers of society that Marusek has created in a way that illuminates that society and also makes it feel organic.

Read it, my friends, especially if you love the SF. If you don't, this might be a gateway book for you.

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