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Spin Control Paperback – June 27, 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra (June 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553382144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553382143
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,971,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

From Booklist

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

Customer Reviews

The science fiction aspects play much better and with substantially more realism.
Avid Reader
I really enjoyed Moriarty's first novel, "Spin State" and eagerly looked forward to reading the "sequel".
Overall, the book is heavy on character development and dialog, but too light on big concepts and action.
T. Hooper

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Elisabeth Carey on July 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a sequel to Moriarty's 2003 Spin State, which I enjoyed very much. Catherine Li, now an ex-Peacekeeper, and her very dangerous AI lover, Cohen, are back, this time pursuing information from a Syndicate defector. The defector, a Syndicate clone called Arkady, has information about a genetic doomsday weapon powerful enough to wipe out humanity. He's defected to Israel, but the Israelis for some reason aren't buying the story, and have decided to sell it, and Ardady, to the highest bidder. And Li and Cohen have been hired to represent the interests of the Artificial Life Emancipation Front.

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.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jon M Altbergs on December 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
Not many sci-fi authors can successfully carry the banner of the hard-boiled tech noir first raised by William Gibson. Chris Moriarity of one of those few.

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.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Avellanet VINE VOICE on August 26, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
There are parts of this book, particularly the last 100 pages, that are hard to put down and will keep you reading through phone calls and well past bedtime.

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.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Phil Christensen on August 14, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
After enjoying Spin State so much and seeing many positive reviews by other Amazon readers, I was really looking forward to reading Spin Control. What a disappointment! I knew that it wasn't going to be a sequel per se, but I did expect the same interesting plot, characters and social/technical context that Spin State offered. Instead I found a very confusing plot (I'm still trying to figure out what happened and why, a couple of days after finishing the book) plus a lot of talky lectures about complex systems that left me bored and further confused. I do agree with other reviewers that the characterization is better in Spin Control and the inside-Syndicates perspective provides an interesting counterpoint, but these factors weren't enough to redeem the novel for me.

This is the first Amazon review that I've written, motivated by the need to give a minority report balancing all of the five-star ratings found here. I'm happy that those reviewers loved the book, but personally I wish I had quit reading Chris Moriarty after his excellent Spin State.
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More About the Author

Author of SPIN STATE, SPIN CONTROL, GHOST SPIN, and THE INQUISITOR'S APPRENTICE. Winner of the 2006 Philip K. Dick Award. Book reviewer for the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Owner of the most patient dog in the multiverse.

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