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Spin Control Mass Market Paperback – Jun 26 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Set in the same universe as Moriarty's SF debut, Spin State (2003), [her] richly textured second novel explores issues of identity and loyalty, swapping quantum mechanics for complexity theory and mystery for suspense. Arkady, an entomologist assigned to a terraforming project with his fellow clone, Arkasha, comes into possession of two pieces of information: one very valuable, the other very damaging. The pair also fall in love. Then Arkasha is kidnapped, and Arkady must travel to Earth and sell his knowledge to the highest bidder to rescue her. Through Arkady's bewildered eyes, the reader discovers a future world where America is a rogue nation and the most precious commodities are water and the ability to bear children. Moriarty, whose style has smoothed out considerably, handles such characters from Spin State as Catherine Li, a military veteran with a fragmented memory, and Cohen, an AI collective inhabiting a human body, with more finesse. Where Spin State was nominated for awards, this sequel may win them. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
RostovSyndicate A-series clone Arkady, a myrmecologist (ant biologist) who has defected to Israel with a genetic weapon powerful enough to tear humanity apart, would do anything to save fellow clone Arkasha, his partner on the ill-fated survey mission to Novalis, where they encountered the weapon. But, considered a deviant by the rigid standards of Syndicate society, Arkasha is in a "renorming" center again. Israel's not buying the weapon and instead sets off a bidding war for Arkady's secret, which involves the Artificial Life Emancipation Front, Palestine's government, and an American representative. Conspiracies abound, and in a world threatened with ecological collapse--recent aftereffects of war include the Line, a strip of land between Israel and Palestine devastated by a biological weapon that allows everything except humans to flourish--what Arkady is offering could make all the difference to the future of Earth and humanity. In Moriarty's high-stakes, tension-riddled addition to visions of the posthuman future, the characters have the complexity of motivation and backstory to make this more than just another dire-future thriller. Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In alternating sections we get the current intrigue, with Arkady's confusion at life outside the space-faring clone Syndicates, and especially on old, tired, damaged Earth, Li and Cohen's struggles with their conflicting loyalties needs, and Arkady's last months in the Syndicates, building to the secret of the weapon and the cause of his defection. In Spin State, seen mainly through Catherine Li's eyes, the Syndicates were the ominous, monolithic, threatening Enemy. In Spin Control, seen from the inside, the ominous forces are still there, but it's altogether a more complex and conflicted picture--the Syndicates in some respects (by no means all!) represent a life governed by more humane values than what the UN offers to most of those living under its rule. There's also a good deal more--call it cultural diversity, call it personality differences--among the different clone Syndicates than Li, with her constricted view of them, could suspect. And it's in that diversity of cultural values that lies both the threat and the promise of what Arkady has come to tell someone who'll listen.
Spin State was a very good book. Spin Control is a better book. Highly recommended.
Unfortunately, there are parts of the book that are also weak...or so fascinating that just by touching upon them rather than exploring them more...I was left unsatisfied and a bit perplexed. I agree with several of the reviewers that the parts of the book about the Syndicates were fascinating and desperately needed to be explored far more.
Also, the plot is almost ludicrously convoluted and the chart the characters draw up to get their own hands around the plot made me think first, Wow, neat idea, and then, Wait a minute...this is what's wrong, when's the last time I read a great book that had to include a chart of various characters and plotlines to keep me focused...? Never, that's when, and that's the fundamental problem.
The characterization is excellent, the setting perfectly spun (albeit depressing), and the writing top notch. Unfortunately, the plot spins a bit too much out of control, is too convoluted and thus ends up losing a lot of its punch...which then caused my enjoyment of the book to drop.
If you like Moriarity's earlier book, SPIN STATE, this is an enjoyable, if not great read. If this is your first look at Moriarity or this type of cyberpunk sci-fi, there are a lot better books out there to whet your appetite on.
After enjoying the complex plot and dark environs of 'Spin State', I looked forward to diving into Moriarty's next novel. 'Spin Control' did not disappoint. Its plot is much tighter, even though much of it is told through a series of flashbacks and the over-the-shoulder point of view follows several different characters rather than just the heroine of 'Spin State', Catherine Li.
In 'Spin Control' Moriarty has given herself much more freedom to roam. She leaves behind the claustrophobic mines of Compson's World and sets out to explore the larger universe she has created. In 'Spin Control' we learn a lot more about the Syndicates and their way of life and are offered an intriguing glimpse into the personal history (histories?) of the AI Cohen. Li and Korchow still figure prominently in the story, but they don't dominate.
If you like William Gibson, Iain M Banks, or Richard K Morgan, you'll enjoy Moriarty's work as well. The territory will feel familiar, and you're not likely to find much that's new or groundbreaking. However, if you enjoy the genre or enjoyed 'Spin State', you'll find 'Spin Control' worth your time.
(speaking of which, the whole point of the book is that labels like 'gay' are just stupid, and if that is the most important thing you get out of this novel, I am really sorry you missed so much.)
"Spin Control" is the immediate sequel to "Spin State", which introduced readers to Moriarity's brilliant, exquisitely-realized future of off-world post-human Syndicates allied against a United Nations comprised of human colonies and an ecologically devestated Planet Earth that is still losing its human population, centuries after a rapid ecological collapse which led to both widespread human immigration from Earth and the mass extinction of many species of animals and plants (I have not yet read "Spin State", but am eagerly looking forward to it.). In "Spin State" readers where introduced to intelligence operative - and AI-enhanced clone - Hyacinthe Cohen and UN Peacekeeper Catherine Li; here in "Spin Control", they have returned, in subordinate roles, as representatives of ALEF (Artificial Life Emancipation Front), in search of one very special prize. His name is Arkady, a "clone with a conscience", a Syndicate myrmecologist (ant ecologist), who arrives on Planet Earth as a survivor of an ill-fated terraforming mission on the Planet Novalis, and a willing defector to the State of Israel with a dangerous, potentially deadly, weapon that could change the fate of humanity; an unknown genetic weapon which he "discovered" by accident on Novalis. However, the Mossad, Israel's Secret Service, claims ample disinterest, offering to bid him to the highest bidder: ALEF, the Palestinians, even the Fundamentalist Protestant religious theocrats now in charge of the United States of America. What will follow - as deftly told by Chris Moriarty in her riveting, almost ornate, yet rather poetic, prose - may determine the future of humanity not only on Planet Earth, but also in interstellar space, and the survival of the post-human Syndicates.