Friday, September 10, 2010

Kiln People - Book Review

Kiln People is a novel by David Brin.  It takes place in a future where people can copy their souls into clay golems called Ditos or Dits.  These golems only have a life span of about 24hrs and their experiences can be uploaded back into the original. 

I found the novel exceptionally good.  Brin does a wonderful job of world building here.  I picked the hardback up at a Dollar Tree or Dollar General Store a couple of years aga and wasn't expecting much. 

The novel follows Albert, a detective, as he is trying to track down Beta, a person that makes illegal copies of well known people.  The two have a history with each other and Albert can never really catch up with Beta, although he does manage to throw a monkey wrench in his plans from time to time.  Eventually Albert finds his dittos involved in something world changing. 

The science in the novel is fictional but is presented in a well thought out manner.  Brin does an excellent job of researching golems and totems througout history.  Nestled into the book are pretty real questions about what constitutes life.  The book can be very funny at times as well.  The ending gets pretty deep and philosphical just before the climax.  It went pretty starchild and I am not sure I enjoyed that as much as I did the rest of the book. 

I would recommend this book to science fiction readers and those interested in the moral debates on cloning.  Non science fiction fans may like it as well but may get bogged down a little by some of it.  Well worth a read, and I am sorry it took me this long.
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Dempsey Sanders said...

love science fiction books, sounds right up my street :)

Budd said...

It was pretty good. I hadn't read any of Brin's other work, so was surprised.

Pat Tillett said...

It sounds like a pretty interesting concept. I'll try to find it and check it out. Thanks!