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.