Have you ever wished you could be in two--or more--places at the same time? That you could send one "you" to do all the boring, menial jobs, and another to do all the research for a school project, while the "real" you got to do something fun?
Well, buckle up, and be careful what you wish for...it could be more than hazardous to your health. It could be downright deadly.
David Brin's Kiln People is a terrific mix of cutting edge science fiction, all the best elements of hardboiled detective novels, subtle social commentary, and just a touch of dark humor, all pulled together into a story where no one is what he or she seems, your memories may not even be your own, and death itself need not be a permanent situation. Brin creates a late 21st Century Earth where "dittotech" makes it possible for humans to pursue multiple interests, careers, and hobbies all at the same time, by making clay copies of themselves...complete with the thoughts and feelings of their original...to do the work for them. And for private investigator Albert Morris to send ditto after ditto to do his "legwork" for him, sparing his own irreplacable organic self.
While pursuing a longtime nemesis for "copyright infringement"--"ditnapping" and making bootleg copies of a beautiful actress for sale on the black market, Morris stumbles over a revolutionary breakthrough in dittotech. The researcher who made this breakthrough is missing, his daughter believes he's been kidnapped, and a reclusive trillionaire wants Morris to find him before his research falls into the wrong hands.
Morris at first sends copies of himself to follow the clues; however, when one of them goes missing, and another gets a mind and an agenda of his own ("goes frankie"), he learns that, sometimes, there's just no substitute for doing the job yourself...
Brin is satiric without being snide, socially conscious without being preachy, and terribly, terribly imaginative. His world is gritty, dark, vivid, and in your face. One can almost smell and taste it as one gets deeper and deeper into it. This book is definitely a page-turner, so set aside some time for it...you will definitely not be disappointed.
And hang on!
Title: Kiln People