Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Kiln People

By David Brin.

[Note: I originally wrote most of this post on 2/6, almost a month ago, but never published it. The book I read back near the beginning of January.]

This is a light-hearted "ditective" story with a sci-fi premise: dittoing. Dittoing is more than cloning: it copies a person's exact mental state into a short-lived clay golem, which can then go do all the things the person is unwilling to do with their own body. However, it's hard to take this book seriously when the tone is so light and supposed to be funny. The philosophical speculation (for example: what motivates you to keep going when you realize you're only a mayfly and everything you're supposed to do is only going to benefit your owner? Do golems have souls?), which our main character seems slightly obsessed with (he builds a compulsion to record subvocally into all his golems so he'll have a record of what happened to them if they don't get back intact so he can reintegrate their memories), takes a strange turn near the end of the book, but it still remains, in my opinion, light entertainment.

This is a fairly amusing story with some awful puns in line with the theme, and good for light reading. There is at least one risqué scene and several references to what other people use their dittoes for.

1 comment:

Martin LaBar said...

I guess you are right about it being light entertainment, but I took it more seriously. See here, if you are interested.