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Cosmos Incorporated Paperback – May 20 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
In this labored vision of a future dystopia, amnesiac Sergei Plotkin finds himself torn between the mission planted in his brain by unknown overlords and the desire to protect his creator. As he travels through computer-controlled UniWorld, Plotkin slowly regains conflicting memories and learns he is meant to kill Grand Junction spaceport's mayor. While plotting homicide and investigating illegal Christians, Plotkin meets Vivian McNellis, whose genetic abnormalities give her an angel's power to rewrite the world. Learning that Vivian created him and is now dying from exposure to her metaphysical opposite, Plotkin abandons his mission, determined to eliminate the threat and save Vivian's life. Dantec, winner of France's Prix de I'Imaginaire for Les racines du mal, writes harsh, choppy prose—not improved by Kover's translation—and the convoluted plot often grinds to a halt amid technical jargon, discourse on society's devolution and abstruse narrative philosophy. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Maurice G. Dantec was born in Grenoble in 1959. A former advertising executive and songwriter for a French rock group, he is a shameless lover of science fiction, crime novels, metaphysics, and rock and roll. He has published "The Red Siren", "The Roots of Evil" and "Villa Vortex" as well as three huge journal essays, "Theatre of Operations".See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The Russian-American Mafia assigns Red Star Order assassin Sergei Diego Plotkin to travel from Russia to Grand Junction, but to do so he must cross security checkpoints where his memories would betray his mission to kill the town mayor Orville Blackburn. Thus much of his recall is erased as the mob needs to make an example of the mayor for breaking his pledge to them. He arrives in Grand Junction, site of one of the last operating cosmodromes where one can purchase a Golden Track (ticket) on a space ship to the Orbital Rim, Mars or Luna colonies. Plotkin and his AI Melatron plan the scheme including who will take the fall for the assassination. Then he meets dying Vivian McNellis; he revises his mission to get her to the rim though his employers will come after him.
This post apocalypse tale plays two themes. First there is the paid hitman who will remind readers of the Schwarzenegger character in the movie Total Recall; Vivian makes him a better person, but she also is much more and much less than she seems. Besides the lead characters with a support cast that showcases the pair and their environment, there is also an overarching somewhat in the background theme of a dying earth. Readers will relish this deep look at a grim future yet there remains a glimmer of hope that a Divine Plan is at work.
This is (imho) without doubt Maurice Dantec's best work, along with Grand Junction, the following novel which closes the story (although each can be read separately and there is by no means a "to be continued" effect at the end of Cosmos Incorporated).
There are some obvious influences and tributes here, like William Gibson and Philip K. Dick, but also a lot of less obvious, less popular ones, and maybe much more enriching, like Gunther Anders, Michel Houellebecq, Jean Baudrillard or Moebius&Jodorowski, and even Duns Scott.
This is not your typical mass market science-fiction/crime fiction novel. It features a complex plot with a staggering richly textured and coherent universe, where not a single detail is missing; geography, geopolitics, moeurs, neologisms, quotes; they all help to actually feel the world of 2057 Dantec is bringing to us.
This a breaking work, outstanding and almost defying categorization;
I would say it is one of the best science-fiction books I've ever read; definitely a novel worth reading, and a cornerstone of true 21st century original literature.
Traslation is good. Great book, great autor; i hope Dantec works are translated to spanish soon.
I read a lot of Sci Fi. I love Sci Fi. But this book took 200 pages just to finally define the premise it is based on. You have a person who has no history coming to a city where he is supposed to assassinate someone. Then he finds out he was created from someone's mind when she conjured him up as part of her effort to move herself and her brother from some prison camp in Asia to a city in North America. She dreams it and all of a sudden she is not longer in the prison camp and has moved into a hotel halfway around the world.
Besides this ridiculous premise, there are pages and pages of prose that make no sense. Save your money.