For over a hundred and fifty years, the rarest and most valuable substance in the solar system has been mined from the only location where it exists in significant quantity: Jupiter's largest moon, Ganymede.
For all of this time, the remote mining outpost has been serviced by clone slaves who are drugged into mindlessness, and all of it has been monitored, controlled, and administered by the artificial intelligence known as Prinox.
But what happens when a failed rescue mission causes a small band of escaped clones to begin questioning their lives, their society, and their very existence? Hunted by deadly killing machines, confused and scared, these renegade slaves are about to find out-for better or worse - just what it means to be human.
©2013 George Wright Padgett (P)2013 George Wright Padgett
Very thought provoking, but mixed with enough action to keep everything moving.
Asimov, and Clarke stories
Without giving any spoilers, I was moved by Fowler & Sholve's final scene at the superintendent station.
Buck's explanation at the dock of the spacecraft and Roon's choice to return to a housing compartment
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First thoughts about the cover for Spindown? Oh look, planets! I wonder if there are going to be spaceships. Or aliens! Aliens with tentacles worry me though.
The main character is Fowler 3085 for the most part. He is a clone. Most of the characters in this book are either clones or machines. There are a few non-clones, but they are few and far between. What’s awesome about this story is the clones at first remind me of the machines more humans. As the story goes on, Fowler learns what it is like to be more human with each passing moment.
This story focuses on the clones trying to escape the machines making them ‘Dormant Dead’ by getting to the Superintendent. It is a rather interesting take on what being a human will be, could be, and should be. Before the clones start realizing what they are, who they are, they think about themselves as almost one person per clone type. This is very obvious when they are in a killing chamber and see some of their clone selves dead on slabs.
It is an interesting take on clones, future technologies, and living on a different planet. The clones are the workers that are mining the planet for this rare ore. From start to finish they are in charge of the whole process. The only none-clones are in Superintendent Quarters. The Superintendent is little more than a hostess for anyone that visits the planet, and to watch to make sure the shipments get shipped off planet on schedule.
The narrator is Andrew Mcferrin. His voice is calm and melodic. I like his different voices he uses for the females in this story. Even when they’re thinking to themselves he uses ‘their’ voices. Sholv’s voice had me forgetting that it is a man saying her voice. This book has a lot of graphic scenes. It is a very good read and/or listen. I wouldn’t recommend it to a young audience though. The author is George Wright Padgett. This book is 17 hours and 32 minutes long.
This book left me thinking about the future mankind is creating for itself. Will we eventually make clones of ourselves? Fix our flaws we see in ourselves in each clone we make? Will we consider them ‘people’, family, friends…us? Or will we consider them property, things, tools, and disposable? What’s that thought say about humanity?
Audiobook provided for review by the Publisher.
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Spindown concerns a mining operation on Ganymede operated by clone slaves and overseen by an artificial intelligence (AI). The tale commences with a "Greenpeace-like" activist group who attempt to intervene to liberate the clones only to be killed by the AI's defense mechanism. What follows is the ordeal of one clone to avoid "reduction" or destruction due to his contact with these outside individuals. This clone treks to safety with a slowly dawning, but incomplete recognition that his worldview is so limited as to be essentially infantile in nature.
The setting is obviously futuristic with both cloned human beings that can survive by transdermal skin packs as well as some settlement and exploitation of the solar system. There's also the AI that is sophisticated enough to eliminate the need for intelligent humans to oversee. Most of the story is tedious and slow moving with the listener understanding far more than the protagonists most of the time. Problematic however is the vague references to a system running on automatic pilot, but without any explanation as to why this has evolved. If the original rationale for this endeavor was the presence of a rare mineral (only found of Ganymede), why has operations been abandoned and largely forgotten? Someone should have bought up the rights even if the company no longer exists.
The narration mirrors the slow pace and tedious nature of the tale. Voices are rendered more than adequately, but the lack of actual progress by the characters does not engender empathy for any of them. Perhaps a sequel might answer some questions and offer a more compelling tale.
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