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Inherit the Earth (Emortality) Mass Market Paperback – July 15, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Emortality (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Science Fiction (July 15, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812584295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812584295
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,379,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

All Damon Hart wanted was to be his own man. Being the son of Conrad "Savior of Humanity" Helier didn't leave a lot of room for Hart's own life, so he abandoned his family, his heritage, and his money. But when the past starts catching up with him, and the people he loves start getting hurt, Hart has no alternative but to accept the responsibility of his ancestry. Was his father, the inventor of the artificial womb, a savior or an evil madman? And who is the self-appointed judge executing retribution on everyone related to Helier?

Inherit the Earth begins with a good solid mystery that gets more involved and more involving as the complexities of the story pile one atop the next. Unfortunately, Brian Stableford is reworking ground that Bruce Sterling handled better in Holy Fire. Moreover, the plot is often lost in lengthy explications of future history that seem derivative, either of Sterling's work, or Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age.

With the exception of Hart's pain-in-the-ass ex-girlfriend Diana (who is a pleasure from start to finish), the characters fail to evoke much interest. It is a testament to the strength of the plot that the book carries through to the end, which unfortunately fails to deliver on the strong buildup. For the most part it's a good gripping story, with gems of beautiful language and flashes of brilliance, but it's not the ultimate science fiction book on nanotechnology and longevity. --Blunt Jackson

From Publishers Weekly

Best known in the U.S. for his stylishly written horror novels and alternate histories, Stableford (The Hunger and Ecstasy of Vampires; The Carnival of Destruction), who began his career as an SF writer, returns to his roots with a complex, hard-SF tale of nanotechnology and life extension. Having barely survived the Plague Wars of the 21st century, humanity has supposedly entered a Utopian era, one in which the average life span is at least 150 years and immortality may be imminent. Damon Hart, posthumous son of Conrad Helier, the much venerated scientist who saved humanity from extinction during the plagues, wants nothing to do with his father's legacy and has cut himself off from his father's colleagues and their research. Then Damon's life is disrupted by the Eliminators, terrorists who begin to publish Net-based attacks on Helier, proclaiming that the scientist was in fact responsible for the plagues and was therefore an enemy of humankind. They also claim that Helier, supposedly 50 years dead, is still alive; eventually, they insist that Damon is Helier in disguise. Secrets and lies abound in a future where all evidence, even a dead body, can be falsified though the skillful application of computer- and nanotechnology; in time, Damon discovers that virtually nothing he has been told is true. This futuristic thriller, which contains provocative speculations about the effect of extreme life extension on society, isn't Stableford's best, but it's an enjoyable and challenging piece of work nonetheless.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Edward Alexander Gerster VINE VOICE on November 12, 1998
Format: Hardcover
If you have read any of Brian Stableford's previous works, you know that he creates wonderfully drawn characters and has a highly inventive mind. He proves himself again in this 22nd century science fiction tale of mankinds fate after a century or two of nanotechnology and biotechnology being driving sociological and monetary components of society. Artificial (virtual) reality and computer interfacing are de rigeur, and there are plots within plots, and conspiracies galore.
The plot is nicely developed, but the conspiracies get a bit thick and hard to follow. Unfortunately the themes of immortality and *emortality* are discussed ad nauseum and leave the storyline a bit flat.
Overall a very good read, but I'd advise you supplement your reading of this novel with James Halperin's "The First Immortal", which discusses similar issues through it's storyline.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peter D. Tillman VINE VOICE on January 19, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
______________________________________________
Set in the bioengineered nanotech future of Les Fleurs du Mal and
the eponymous novella, Inherit the Earth is a taut and well-drawn
thriller. Life-extension internal technology (IT) is good enough that
the people who put the world back together after the Crash and
Plague Wars some 75 years before still rule the world, albeit behind
the scenes. Stableford is exploring a familiar sfnal question:
If rich, powerful people get life-extension first -- as they will -- how
do you ever get shed of them?
Stableford's writing and characters, at their best, are as good as
anyone's in the business. Here's Silas Arnett, a hundred-twenty-
something, entertaining his young lover Cathy:
'She was wearing nothing but a huge white towel, wrapped twice
about her slender frame. The thickness of the towel accentuated
her slimness -- another product of authentic youth. Nanotech had
conquered obesity, but it couldn't restore the full muscle tone....
"It must be strange," she said, insinuating her slender and naked
arm around his waist, "to look out on the sea and the sky with eyes
that know them so well...."
She smiled at him, as innocently as a newly-hatched sphinx.'
Stableford acknowledges his editor, David Hartwell, for "suggesting
that I rewrite the final section so drastically as to obliterate any
lingering similarity to the ending of the earlier version..." Perhaps
Stableford should have stuck to his guns -- the last couple of chapters may
remind you of Asimov or Heinlein at their most dialogorrheous.
Skim. The path from novella to novel is fraught with peril... To be
fair, the actual *ending* is crisp and satisfying.
Read more ›
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book because it seemed like it might have a good hard sci-fi plot and an interesting hard sci-fi society, but it was extremely difficult to read. I finally gave up even though I had only 2 or 3 chapters to finish it - by that time it was obvious the plot was going to fail. The writing was sometimes unbearable to read - the dialogs were incredibly unrealistic; people saying stuff like, "As you know, in 2180 the Fertility Wars lead to the death of 100 million people, until Conrad Helter's invention saved the day." Like, that should be narrative, not dialog, and it also shouldn't be repeated over and over again. The only reason I stuck with this book as long as I did was because, despite the bad writing, the plot was at least somewhat suspenseful, but as I got near the end, it was obvious the main questions the plot raised weren't going to be answered. This is one of those books that might be good if the author re-wrote it.
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