Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm

A Hugo-award winning novel. In the beginning of the book all imaginable disasters happen at the same time: pollution, climate change, plagues, radiation fallout, financial depression and universal infertility. One rich extended family has been prepared, and they move on a large area owned by the family, which has a modern research faculty. They ultimately develop a solution for infertility – cloning. But the clones aren't exactly similar than the normal people. They gradually lose all individuality and creativity, and they are practically incapable of tolerating loneliness even in slightest, to degree than being in a forest is almost intolerable. Will the mankind survive at all?
Very well written, very good book. The characterization isn't perfect, but that was probably intentional, as many of the characters are clones after all. The main irritant (well, not to badly) was very shitty science. I don't really understand, why it was necessary to have all imaginable disasters occur at the same time, and some of them with no really good reason. The infertility (which is one of the disasters which appears for no reason) also behaves pretty strangely among clones. The behavior patterns of clones are also pretty illogical as they are genetically full humans, after all. And the climate patterns change far too fast, only in a few decades. Those irritations are fairly minor points, and they weren't very import for the impact of the real story. Well deserved Hugo win.

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