Read the first chapter online, or scroll down to purchase KILN PEOPLE.
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.
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A limited number of autographed hardcover first edition copies of Kiln People are available at $50. Go here for ordering details.
"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 delivers what science fiction readers want — intelligence, action, and an epic scale."
"More than any writer I know, David Brin can take scary, important problems and turn them sideways, revealing wonderful opportunities. This talent shows strongly in Kiln People, a novel which is deep and insightful and often hilarious, all at the same time."
"Be careful what you wish for: being two places at once may create as many problems as it solves. David Brin unflinchingly serves up a giddy, thoughtful, and darkly comic future."
"Brin deftly explores the issues of identity, privacy and work in a world where everyone is supported with a living wage and has ready access to duplication technology. The book features the author's usual style, with a lighter touch and punnish humor abounding amid the hard SF speculation. The duplication of the 'ditective' makes for a challenging twist on the standard private eye narrative, allowing Morris to simultaneously lead the reader through three separate (and interacting) plot lines."
"I was struck by the ease with which Brin switched perspectives from one Ditto to the other, all originally from the same user. How their thoughts after initially waking into this world were all the same, and how they grew into their own personalities by the end of their life span. Each time a ditto expired...well, you're a little saddened by it, and a bit surprised by how haphazardly they are treated by both their users and by other 'real people.' That thought is the major 'meat' of this novel. Anyway, I enjoyed Kiln People. Another book that shall remain on my shelf for years to come."
"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."
"Kiln People is going to make you laugh and make you think. You will be so immersed in the world of greenies and grays and rox's and rig's that you won't have time to be dazzled by the commentary in Brin's work. That will come later, after you've put the book down and certain scenarios will prick at your consciousness — sneakily invading your own world view and thought process."
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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reviews and recommendations
"If enough people read Brin's book [The Transparent Society], or are brushed by the currents of thought in represents, then it may turn into a self-negating prophecy: a warning of dystopia that by virtue of the horror it paints helps avoid that horror. That was the function of George Orwell's 1984. That is an honorable role for anyone's book."
"I would consider Existence to be a triumphant, epic Science Fiction novel on many levels. It stayed with me after I set it aside for the day, continues to simmer in my mind now that I've finished reading it, and has opened up a gateway to Brin's novels I'd wanted to enter for a while. Brin achieved an excellent gestalt of character, big ideas, and narrative energy."