This is not a ponderous overweighted tome; instead, the Reader follows along with the personality of Samson Harger, a person of about 140 according to pg 186, on pg 188, his years of life are noted as 1951-2092 through courtship, marriage, arranging for a child, all the usual relationship things. Marusek has built a solid world and paces the unfolding of corporate takeover and social mayhem so as to jeep the reader fascinated. Only Ellen, the heir to her mother's financial empire, is capable of saving Earth from complete domination plotted by the cynical, selfish, immortal rich, if she, herself, survives. And the resolution is elegant and satisfying. Counting Heads is thick with invention and has an action-filled plot, but Marusek shines in filling it with well-rounded characters.
I've heard that Marusek started as a short story writer, and after reading Marusek starts with a catchy hook and fascinating speculative scifi. I submit to you, Myren Vole, that the most painful death of all is suffocation by loneliness. Even the loss of a loved one, perhaps life's most wrenching pain, is blunted in time. This is a future society in the year 2092 where everything is planned. North America is a surveillance society dominated by the super-rich, while the poor countries have remained poor. This is a world that has conquered aging and for the most part death, through a wide variety of biological procedures. Sci-fi writers can easily fall into a trap of thinking they must explain the world they are creating; Marusek avoids this pitfall, allowing the reader to glean meaning as the s 'Show, don't tell,' is right out of Writing 101, and a good author follows this advice without the reader even noticing.
Counting Heads has every virtue of the science fiction classic it is certain to become: it's an utterly convincing and deeply troubling extrapolation of the right-now, its language and a technology at once new and weirdly familiar. I try to stay away from reviewing newer books, save for the odd exceptional work that crosses my path. Now, back to my non-social mode. It's carefully thought out, credible, and well integrated into the book. Now that he's onto novels, he's practically a force of nature.
Or perhaps that's not the problem. This author combines a tremendous imagination for his future setting with believable and admirable characters. Believe me in this; I've tried all the tricks of the lonely man. Having said that, I would still recommend it if you like futuristic world building. I haven't felt as buffeted by a book since Gibson's Neuromancer -- haven't felt more like I was reading something truly radical, new and exciting. In the future, you'll be able to wrap your Christmas presents in seamless, living orange peel that squirts fragrant juice when you tear it open.
Marusek evokes an impelling sense of wonder with an awesomely imaginative and all-too-believable future chock full of nifty details while allowing his characters to compel the novel. I knew more about the mechanical bee and wasps who never once spoke, but were clearly defined in context, if not explicitly with a purpose and motivation. The second flaw is the paper thin plot. O alta trasatura specifica societatii viitoare imaginate de scriitor ar fi prezenta clonelor umane repartizate pe categorii de munca. Sure, there are couples, but you don't see much love between them; folks have friends, but you don't see much of a bond or affection between them; you don't see them receiving emotional strength or support others. What this book is about is loneliness, and how those of us who have been left behind by a quickly advancing society can transform ourselves and escape what it is we think holds us back, to become something greater than we were.
Marusek however succeeds where Wright fails by keeping the backdrop behind the action, and not making it the central element of the story. They eat up our profits. To apply, email up to five pages typed, double-spaced of your story, along with a short statement of goals for your work, to 49writers gmail. Despots have tried all these methods through the millennia, and they're never a permanent solution. Si in plus deseori se mai scot din scena personaje, si chiar si atunci cind este vorba de un valet robotic, cred ca am merita macar o explicatie sau o detaliere mai atenta a motivelor pentru care a fost indepartat.
Marusek has created a future world Chicago especially that is intricate, imaginative and dense with great ideas and inventions. Only Ellen, the heir to her mother's financial empire, is capable of saving Earth from complete domination plotted by the cynical, selfish, immortal rich, that is if she survives. Counting Heads arrives as a science fiction novel like a bolt of electricity, galvanizing readers with an entirely new vision of the future. Interesting way to involve the reader, describe the characters fairly well and then drop them into situations. Very unsatisfactory end to Volume 1.
Their copper mine is a century-old relic from territorial days when East Coast robber barons ruled Alaska and plundered its mineral wealth. But, well, I guess I need something more. Novelty all the way to life-saving. References are made subtly and in passing, the way any of us would refer to a ubiquitous convenience like a cellphone or digital camera, and it takes you many pages to get a full glimpse of how this future society truly differs from our own, while remaining completely human and recognizable. These are real human beings, not robots, with feelings and aspirations, albeit somewhat restricted by their genetic heritage.
To confess would only cause others to pity and avoid you, afraid that what you have is catching. David Marusek is one of the best-kept secrets of science fiction, a wild talent with a Gibson-grade imagination and marvelous prose, and a keen sense of human drama that makes it all go. I'm hustling to get the paperback editions up by then as well. Maybe Marusek more because Chiang seems pretty wedded to the idea of being the next Theodore Sturgeon-type master of the short story. I took extra care to keep my copy pristine, so it'll be presentable when I hand it off to another reader who'll enjoy it as much as I did. Jennys are nurturing and often work in healthcare, Russes are loyal and work as security and bodyguards, and so forth.
Marusek gives readers the benefit of the doubt, and doesn't belabor his speculations with the boring descriptive asides that hamstring lesser sci-fi, which makes the books fly by breezily. Murder, corruption, manipulation, pull back the curtain and feudalism is alive and well. Counting Heads is a marvelous must-read from an author who must be noted as an important new voice in science fiction. I hope book 2, Mind Over Ship will fulfill the promise of the brilliant 46 pages of Counting Heads, followed by 300 pages of mostly unreadable jargon. The story, such as it is, revolves around the death of a very powerful Aff, and the fallout from that.