"This is a fun novel, rich with ideas, that examines on a very human level the ramifications and side effects of our ambitions and the things we take for granted. It's also a hard-boiled murder mystery with levels of physics and metaphysics that work your brain. But for me, as always, it's David Brin's characters that really pull me into the story and keep me up until three in the morning." — The Barnes and Noble Review
Read the first chapter online, or scroll down to purchase KILN PEOPLE.
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In a perilous future, disposable duplicate bodies fulfill every citizen's legal and illicit whim. Life as a 24-hour "ditto" is cheap, as Albert Morris knows. A brash investigator with a knack for trouble, he's sent plenty of clay duplicates in to deadly peril, then "inloaded" memories from copies that were shot, crushed, drowned... all part of a day's work.
But when Morris tackles a ring of crooks making bootleg copies of a famous actress, he trips into a secret so explosive it incites open warfare on the streets of Dittotown.
Professor Maharal, a brilliant researcher, has vanished on the verge of a revolutionary breakthrough in the art of people-xeroxing. Maharal's daughter thinks he's been kidnapped, and the silvery copy of a mysterious trillionaire offers lavish rewards for locating Maharal — before awesome power falls into the wrong hands.
To uncover the truth, Morris sends one ditto after another... then his irreplaceable organic self... into a high-tech, nightmare world of "ghosts" and golems where nothing — and no one — is what they seem, memory itself is suspect, and the line between life and death may no longer exist.
Kiln People received four SECOND PLACE awards: the 2003 Hugo Award for Best Novel; the 2003 Locus Award; the 2003 Arthur C. Clarke Award; and the 2003 John W. Campbell Memorial Award.
Bookshop.org US: paperback
Powell's Books: paperback
A limited number of autographed hardcover first edition copies of Kiln People are available at $50. Go here for ordering details.
See a mention of Kiln People (and 11 other great reads!) in "12 Memorable Times Science Fiction Books Sent in the Clones."
"It is not for Man to set boundaries, or to define the limits of soul.
"Once, human beings were as children, needing simple tales and naive visions of pure truth. But in recent generations the Great Creator has been letting us pick up His tools and unroll blueprints, like apprentices preparing to work on our own. For some reason, He's permitted us to learn the fundamental rules of nature and start tinkering with His craft. That's a fact as potent as any revelation.
"Oh, it is a heady thing, this apprenticeship and the powers that go with it. Perhaps, in the long run, it will turn out to be a good thing.
"But that doesn't make us all-knowing. Not yet."
"...where were answers to the truly deep questions? Religion promised those, though always in vague terms, while retreating from one line in the sand to the next. Don't look past this boundary, they told Galileo, then Hutton, Darwin, Von Neumann, and Crick, always retreating with great dignity before the latest scientific advance, then drawing the next holy perimeter at the shadowy rim of knowledge."
Kiln People has been translated into Bulgarian, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. Here are some of the covers of the foreign and foreign-language publications.
David Brin's science fiction novels have been New York Times Bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula and other awards. At least a dozen have been translated into more than twenty languages. They range from bold and prophetic explorations of our near-future to Brin's Uplift series, envisioning galactic issues of sapience and destiny (and star-faring dolphins!). Learn More
Short stories and novellas have different rhythms and artistic flavor, and Brin's short stories and novellas, several of which earned Hugo and other awards, exploit that difference to explore a wider range of real and vividly speculative ideas. Many have been selected for anthologies and reprints, and most have been published in anthology form. Learn More
Since 2004, David Brin has maintained a blog about science, technology, science fiction, books, and the future — themes his science fiction and nonfiction writings continue to explore. Learn More
Who could've predicted that social media — indeed, all of our online society — would play such an important role in the 21st Century — restoring the voices of advisors and influencers! Lively and intelligent comments spill over onto Brin's social media pages. Learn More
David Brin's Ph.D in Physics from the University of California at San Diego (the lab of nobelist Hannes Alfven) followed a masters in optics and an undergraduate degree in astrophysics from Caltech. Every science show that depicts a comet now portrays the model developed in Brin's PhD research. Learn More
Brin's non-fiction book, The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Freedom and Privacy?, continues to receive acclaim for its accuracy in predicting 21st Century concerns about online security, secrecy, accountability and privacy. Learn More
Brin speaks plausibly and entertainingly about trends in technology and society to audiences willing to confront the challenges that our rambunctious civilization will face in the decades ahead. He also talks about the field of science fiction, especially in relation to his own novels and stories. To date he has presented at more than 200 meetings, conferences, corporate retreats and other gatherings.Learn More
Brin advises corporations and governmental and private defense- and security-related agencies about information-age issues, scientific trends, future social and political trends, and education. Urban Developer Magazine named him one of four World's Best Futurists, and he was appraised as "#1 influencer" in Onalytica's Top 100 report of Artificial Intelligence influencers, brands & publications. Past consultations include Google, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, and many others. Learn More
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