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Mind Over Ship (Counting Heads) Hardcover – January 20, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Marusek's wide-ranging and creative imagination is very much in evidence in this ambitious second novel. In 2007's Counting Heads, a rocket ship crash, apparently sabotage, killed powerful financier Eleanor Starke and left her adult daughter, Ellen, gravely injured. Ellen, whose damaged head has been grafted onto the body of an infant, insists her mother is still alive, an apparent delusion that complicates her efforts to assert control over the family business empire. As clones and artificial intelligences begin to redefine humanity and sentience, powerful executives derail a space colonization plan for their own profit. While newcomers might wish for a short prologue or a glossary, those omissions don't significantly detract. With ambitious narrative scope and small moments of perfect prose, this tale of 22nd-century politics repays the close reading necessary to follow its many interweaving plots. (Jan.)
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From Booklist

Ellen Starke’s head, recovered from the crash that killed her mother, Eleanor, has a lot to deal with. She has a clone, but its body is a baby’s; she’s responsible for the teetering empire her mother created; she’s surrounded by people plotting against her; and she believes Eleanor can’t be dead. Applied People’s corporate fortunes are about to take a tumble, partly because Fred Londenstane’s on trial for his part in Ellen’s rescue. Andrea Tiekel, head of E-Pluribus, is maneuvering to take over the clone market and, in fact, angling for control of even more, including Heliostream and the entire extrasolar colonization plan. Heliostream CEO Merrill Meewee, one of Eleanor’s loyal agents, discovers some very interesting fish while skipping rocks in a pond on the Starke Enterprises campus. Intrigue, plotting, adventure, and bizarre conspiracies abound in this eminently satisfying follow-up to Counting Heads (2005). Marusek has built a solid world and paces the unfolding of corporate takeover and social mayhem so as to keep the reader fascinated. And the resolution is elegant and satisfying. --Regina Schroeder

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Product Details

  • Series: Counting Heads (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (January 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765317494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765317490
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,440,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm a science fiction writer who lives in a cabin in Fairbanks, Alaska. I don't spend much time promoting myself online, and the time I do spend usually goes to my web site www.marusek.com or my blog countingheads.blogspot.com. Please visit me there for all the latest news about my work.

I do check in here occasionally, however, and I will gladly join any discussion and answer questions submitted here.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Gold on January 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In the very early 90's, just as I was hitting puberty, I read Neuromancer, and it changed my life. It brought home to me the reality of the world I would be growing up in, living in as a man. It was dark, yet exciting.

A few years later I encountered Snow Crash, and it also helped inform my views of the world that was quickly taking shape around me. And, despite (or maybe because of) the absurdity of it all, it infused my worldview with humor.

It's some years later now, and in many ways we're living in the "future" world we were all imagining a decade or two ago. And last year I stumbled across Counting Heads, and now its sequel, Mind Over Ship, and once again my imagination is ignited, and I can begin to envision the world just around the bend, one I may or may not see later on in my life. And it is the most bizarre and jarring view I've yet seen, in many ways, of a world that on all levels still screams believable, if not downright likely.

Mind Over Ship is the absolutely amazing followup to Counting Heads, and it is with certainty I say that these novels, and any more Marusek writes down the road that further this tale of humanity coming to terms with life in a more-or-less post/trans-human world, will go down as classics right up there with Neuromancer and the Sprawl Trilogy, and Snow Crash/Diamond Age. Marusek's books are simply a joy to read -- funny, dark, confusing, familiar. They are both hard sci-fi and action-adventure novels, comedies and tragedies. It's difficult to think of praises that are glowing enough to do them justice.

"Post-cyberpunk" lit has a new standard for others to attempt to live up to.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I read a lot of speculative fiction, and despite finding most of it only average in quality, I keep trying, hoping for that diamond in the rough so infrequently come across. Dave Marusek's books are like those diamonds in a sea of coal. His writing and world creation are astonishing and very original. His latest book follows up on Counting Heads and is an excellent continuation of the story. You need to read Counting Heads before this book or you will probably not get the most out of it.

The best way I can describe the settings in these two books is Asimov meets Huxley in a kind of nightmarish "Brave New World" but with a wholly realized and plausible super-advanced technological environment. The books are very well written, funny, scary, page turning, and they really get into your head. There are only a handful of spec fic writers whose books I will purchase in hardback as soon as they are released. Marusek is one of them.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on February 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In 2034 the sabotaged rocket crash left financier Eleanor Starke dead while her adopted daughter Ellen's life is saved when her preserved cryogenically frozen head was grafted on to the body of an infant (see COUNTING HEADS). Over the next year Ellen insists her mom is alive while everyone scoffs at her.

At the same time she demands control over the Starke business while other executives want her out of the way as the daughter may have been adopted but is a chip off the old block of her late mom with her desire to help those below the Boutique line. Instead her enemies are more interested in the bottom line even devastating a space colonization scheme to improve the life of the masses. Eleanor's fanatic husband Sammy Harger, who pushed the failed plan to move some of the fifteen billion off a planet over-populated with clones and AIs too, wants a piece of his daughter's head.

This sequel is a timely frightening futuristic science fiction thriller that extrapolates much of what is happening in technology, on Wall St and in DC to paint a dark nightmarish world that makes Malthus' prediction look naively understated. Ninety-nine percent of the populace lives in poverty while the avaricious remainder manipulates events to obtain larger portions of the pie. Ellen is terrific as she struggles to take control of her mom's empire, but her adversaries are diabolical and sleazy as they control the convergence of science, money, and politics at the expense of the many. Though reading the first tale helps the audience understand what COUNTING HEADS is, this second act is a terrific thought provoking thriller that extrapolates the Bush years into the next century.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Duke on September 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
To say that Marusek's follow-up novel to Counting Heads is high-concept, complex science fiction would be an understatement. Any attempt to describe the intricacies of his futuristic vision would take at least a dozen blog posts, because one cannot possibly understand how detailed his world is without actually reading the books and being immersed in it. That said, Mind Over Ship is the answer to all those that think science fiction has run out of ideas, because Marusek sure as hell is not short on them at all.

Having said that, I am going to use the blurb from the jacket of the book to describe Mind Over Ship, because I can't describe the book any better without going on for a week:

The year is 2135, and the international program to seed the galaxy with human colonies has stalled as greedy immortal power brokers park their starships in Earth's orbit and begin to convert them into space condos. Ellen Starke's head, rescued from the fiery crash that killed her mother, struggles to re-grow a new body in time to restore her dead mother's financial empire. And pre-Singularity AIs conspire to join the human race just as human clones, such as Mary Skarland and her evangeline sisters, want nothing more than to leave it.

Marusek has earned his place in my book of amazing science fiction writers with this piece. While Mind Over Ship is not an easy read, once you get past the initial "culture shock" it is truly gorgeous in its design. The story itself is remarkable in how it can be both insanely complex, but yet approachable and fascinating. The characters, each of them with unique plot arcs, all woven together like a fine carpet, are each equally interesting.
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