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Counting Heads #2020

Counting Heads Counting Heads is David Marusek s extraordinary launch as an SF novelist The year is and the Information Age has given rise to the Boutique Economy in which mass production and mass consumption

  • Title: Counting Heads
  • Author: David Marusek
  • ISBN: 9780765312679
  • Page: 424
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Counting Heads By David Marusek, Counting Heads is David Marusek s extraordinary launch as an SF novelist The year is 2134, and the Information Age has given rise to the Boutique Economy in which mass production and mass consumption are rendered obsolete Life extension therapies have increased the human lifespan by centuries Loyal mentars artificial intelligence and robots do most of society s work.Counting Heads is David Marusek s extraordinary launch as an SF novelist The year is 2134, and the Information Age has given rise to the Boutique Economy in which mass production and mass consumption are rendered obsolete Life extension therapies have increased the human lifespan by centuries Loyal mentars artificial intelligence and robots do most of society s work The Boutique Economy has made redundant ninety nine percent of the world s fifteen billion human inhabitants The world would be a much better place if they all simply went away Eleanor K Starke, one of the world s leading citizens is assassinated, and her daughter, Ellen, is mortally wounded 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 Her cryonically frozen head is in the hands of her family s enemies A ragtag ensemble of unlikely heroes join forces to rescue Ellen s head, all for their own purposes Counting Heads arrives as a science fiction novel like a bolt of electricity, galvanizing readers with an entirely new vision of the future It s the debut of the year in SF.

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      David Marusek

    1 thought on “Counting Heads

    1. I was caught by the premise and what can I say I love hi tech future Earth stories, especially when they don t automatically deform into the dissolution of society, but rather, they discuss important issues in sometimes humorous, sometimes disturbing, sometimes just plainly WTF.This one is definitely all of the above.The entire novel is extremely rich in wonderful world building ideas in the grand, nearly overwhelming sense that it s all over the place, from nanotech everywhere, to domed cities [...]

    2. enjoyable and perplexing in equal measures despite the hyper futuristic setting, warm humanistic values are carefully embodied by every major character a welcome surprise for a novel with so many inventions and so much jargon flying at the reader willy nilly especially enjoyable are the clone couple, adorable in their basic clone personality templates but increasingly intriguing as they begin to push at the boundaries of their existence the central character of the nearly senile, curmudgeonly, w [...]

    3. I m not a connoisseur of Coen Brothers films, but there are two I love Fargo and Burn After Reading Both of these bleak yet comic films have in common their stellar ensemble casts and strong, interwoven stories Neither has a single, clear protagonist following a simple, linear plot That would be boring Instead, each film presents a complicated set of narratives in which everyone is the protagonist of their own life even as they antagonize others.Counting Heads is a bit like these Coen Brothers f [...]

    4. What an interesting and intriguing book Ideas about society are outlined in detail, but it s not boring or tiring to read 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.Sam is a packaging artist his wrapping papers will excite you both in interesting [...]

    5. Frederik Pohl once said, A good science fiction story should be able to predict not the automobile but the traffic jam David Marusek has taken this to heart with COUNTING HEADS, an incredible extrapolation of the future of human community and the joys and troubles that come with it.The biggest fault with COUNTING HEADS is not the novel itself, but its billing While the dust jacket sells the book as an adventure story, it s really a throwback to the great social explorations of Robert Silverberg [...]

    6. Samson Paul Harger was born in 1951 and died in 2092 Unfortunately, he still has over 40 years left to live watching his body deteriorate at a rate normal for that of a man living in the 20th Century is only going to prolong his sense of injustice In Samson s lifetime, mortality is of a distant bother than a reality Humanity has experienced a technological boom, ne a renaissance of medicine, cloning, and that ever elusive font of youth immortality.Shortly after getting married to his second wif [...]

    7. I simply loved this book and loved exploring the politics, ethics and economics of Marusek s remarkably plausible century from now world The only thing keeping me from giving it a full 5 stars is that the book in the end is remarkably unfinished in terms of plot, and while the plot remains the least compelling thing about the book there is likely to be some frustration for readers in the sudden pulling of the plug here Fortunately the sequel, MIND OVER SHIP, is there to keep you going j

    8. Counting Heads Vanatoarea de capete vine sa completeze si sa dezvolte mai mult o veche povestire a scriitorului David Marusek, We Were Out of Our Minds with Joy 1995 De altfel, aceasta este si incorporata in primul capitol al romanului, cu adaugiri si corecturi minore, si este cea care a si atras atentia publicului In 1999 romanul sau, The Wedding Album , a fost rasplatit cu Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award si a fost nominalizat la Nebula Award, categoria cel mai bun roman Counting Heads a fost [...]

    9. Marusek s debut novel is set in a futuristic Earth of nanotechnology and cloning Society is divided up roughly into four groups Affs are the very rich, practically immortal beings who seem to spend their time spinning webs of power Free Rangers are the middle class, living often in Charters, a sort of communes The lower class is made up of clones, everything from Russes to Evangelines to Jennys, bred for their dominant traits Jennys are nurturing and often work in healthcare, Russes are loyal an [...]

    10. Best book I ve read in a while it s a massively complex story being told through at least half a dozen different perspectives that don t really coalesce until the very end in a spectacular way It s the future Disease is mostly gone, except for virulent nanomaterials that salted the Earth in the last war Civilization is ordered, and humanity is experiencing a marvelous renaissance through technological salvation Except when it doesn t Murder, corruption, manipulation, pull back the curtain and fe [...]

    11. How do we tell good science fiction from bad By the rhapsody of language and scientific ideas Counting Heads flickers us into the 22nd century in a fast paced narrative of cascading tech extrapolations that actually drive the story It s exhilarating This is arch science fiction flexible as music Keenly imagined future science is the eerily beautiful femme fatale of this noir portrayal of our mercantile culture as a murder mystery where the victim is the human soul A masterful work.

    12. If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.Non Flash in the Pan SF Counting Heads by David Marusek I am not pouting, and I am certainly not indulging in self pity, as Eleanor accuses me In fact, I am brooding It is what artists do, we brood To other, active people, we appear selfish, obsessive, even narcissistic, which is why we prefer to brood in private In Counting Heads by David Marusek SF stories often regurgitate medieval themes and settings, including wars, sword fightin [...]

    13. I can tell from lower star reviews that a lot of people didn t like having to infer the meaning and uses behind a lot of the technology in this story, but I have to say that s a big part of what made Counting Heads a challenging and interesting read for me although initially frustrating, this is a case where you just have to trust that you ll figure out the differences between holo projections and clones and nano bugs and robots and so forth the world building is endlessly fascinating and fami [...]

    14. I gave up on this book halfway through I almost never give up on books like that but in this case, the book never connected with me.The story, to the extent that there is one, is set on a future Earth that has been devastated by nano and biological weapons People live in cities, which serve as enclaves to protect them from remnants of past wars We have a massive class divide, with cloned humans serving as virtual slaves and affluents who rule the world, all living in a police state set up in res [...]

    15. On March 30, 2092, the Department of Health and Human Services issues Eleanor and me a permitThere was a baby in a drawer in Jersey with our names on it We were out of our minds with joy The first paragraph of this book may go in my top ten all time opening paragraphs, it s so good I haven t read a good sci fi book in a long time, so this was really, really satisfying I m finding myself sort of at a loss to describe it, even though I enjoyed it so much It s almost exciting, I think, to pick up [...]

    16. This is one of those science fiction novels that is full of plausible descriptions of customs and gadgets and governments that really make you think about where the future is headed For example, people live hundreds of years due to life enhancement technologies, and they have loyal mentars essentially personal concierge nano robots that are implanted into their bodies and speak to them inside their heads It s worth reading just for the vivid imagination of the author, but be prepared to struggle [...]

    17. Marusek starts with a catchy hook and fascinating speculative scifi But the story quickly degenerates into almost uncountable plot threads It seems as if Marusek had a beginning and an ending in mind, and then invented a myriad of ideas and characters to get from A to B Unfortunately, many of those ideas and characters, which seem like they will be important, never amount to anything, and remain unresolved at the end I ve heard that Marusek started as a short story writer, and after reading Coun [...]

    18. As a first novel I found this book to be less than satisfying While it s densely packed with all sorts of futuristic scenarios and interesting technological stuff , the plot is hard to parse Partly due to a glaring lack of clear delineation of terminology he uses in the book Perhaps if one has followed his other writings in various anthologies and such some of it would be clear, but if you re looking for an introduction to Marusek s writing this isn t the one to start with The plot structure wa [...]

    19. This is the best post singularity novel I have read to date This author combines a tremendous imagination for his future setting with believable and admirable characters This is an emotionally warmer book that the other post singularity works I have read by other authors and I am looking forward to reading the second novel in the series, Mind Over Ship Not since reading Donald Kingsbury s Psychohistorical Crisis have I been so entertained by a SF novel Some aspects of the universe of Counting He [...]

    20. I was underwhelmed I ve had this on my to read list for a long time, influenced by many positive reviews, and was excited to finally find it in e book form But while I finished the book, I found it really hard to lose myself in like I do with almost any book I enjoy The best science fiction books are often initially difficult initially, and take a while to accept the author s fictional world premise characters but then you are caught up and immersed in their stange and wonderful creations, and t [...]

    21. This is a novel I bought on publication four years or so ago, and tried to read many times and stopping after the brilliant novella introduction told by Sam, when it just degenerates in cold jargon that meant nothing to me.Since I got an arc of book 2, I decided to get over once and for all with this book, so I fast read the second, larger part and it s such a waste of a great setup I hope book 2, Mind Over Ship will fulfill the promise of the brilliant 46 pages of Counting Heads, followed by 30 [...]

    22. I was really looking forward to this one, so I m sorry to report that Counting Heads falls into the interesting failure class The novel as a whole, well, fails to cohere Worse, I kept falling asleep reading it.I ve been very impressed with Marusek s short fiction, such as his astonishing The Wedding Album 1999 , and We Were Out of Our Minds with Joy 95 , reworked as the opening section of this book.

    23. This book was both horrible and good at the same time, I m not sure how that is possible, but hey I guess it is Great concept, poor execution Then the ending, I will not even call it an ending It didn t end it just stops.

    24. An engrossing view of the future where the fascinating technological wonders that Mr Marusek created drive the story forward but don t detract from the complex relationships between the clones, humans and sentient machines that populate this well imagined world.

    25. Poorly handled transition from volume this to volume next Major plot lines introduced late and abandoned Characters change then reappear unchanged Very unsatisfactory end to Volume 1 Actually reads as if you finished a chapter, except the author decided he had given you enough this book so it will be another 20 or whatever to see what happens next Interesting way to involve the reader, describe the characters fairly well and then drop them into situations It allows the reader to fill in the blan [...]

    26. Show, don t tell, is right out of Writing 101, and a good author follows this advice without the reader even noticing From the first page slang of A Clockwork Orange to the immediate drop in worlds of a George Saunders short story, a writer s self confidence and trust in the reader makes for an engrossing partnership.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 story u [...]

    27. Certainly a fascinating and imaginative look into the future rejuvenation clinics that produce near immortals for a price , clone populations that fulfill nearly all of society s maintenance occupations nurses, guards, cops, etc and nearly omnipotent AI mentars personal assistants.The gap between present technology and all this future tech can make the story difficult to follow, as the crevasse is SO wide that many of the advancements are too far fetched to comprehend A widespread cast of charac [...]

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