- Paperback: 338 pages
- Publisher: ECW Press; 25th Anniversary edition (May 13, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 177041214X
- ISBN-13: 978-1770412149
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,745,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Paperback – May 13, 2014
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Showing 1-8 of 19 reviews
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He pushes many a button indeed, interweaving classic spirituality concepts and twisting our imagination into taking a new and refreshing perspective on centuries old concepts and beliefs. As plausible and reassuring as they are, one needs but the angle of anticipation to set everything straight, reminding us that we are merely dealing with beliefs.
As much as I disliked the satanic incursions for their intrusion into my previously pristine sci-fi environment they nonetheless contributed to enriching the whole. I didn't merely like it, I liked it a lot, enough to put the book on my shelf of "to be read a second time" series, right next to "Assemblers of Infinity" or "The Saga of Seven Suns" even though the latter does get an extra star.
The story behind the novel is that sometime in the future the medical process for reanimating an otherwise inanimate corpse has been discovered and put to a very profitable use. Why pay a worker every two weeks for the rest of his natural life - complete with benefits and medical insurance, when for the price of just one normal worker's yearly salary you could have a unquestioning servant to do any simple or physical work, no matter how distatestful or strenous, and never pay another penny. While this sounds great to all the employers out there, this of course causes a huge problem for all the blue collar workers who have no higher education or technical skills to set them apart from the undead servants.
With this backstory it would appear that the author is trying to create a dystopia, and while there are elements here that could create dystopia (such as all the out of work, lower caste individuals playing the part of the "proles" from the novel 1984, or the futuristic technology gone horribly wrong ala Brave New World), it never fully manifests, which unfortunately lessens the impact of the book slightly.
There are three main organizations who hold power in the universe of this novel - the first is the actual company called "Resurrection Inc." which creates the servants, the second is the "Enforcers" who are privately owned military/police who have destroyed the need for government run police. The final orginazation is the prominent religion of the time frame - Neo Satanism. Were not talking real modern day LaVeyan style satanism either, but the "ye olde" satanism where a literal devil figure is worshipped. At first glance, this seems completely out of place in a novel about the medical advances of the future, but as the novel progresses it becomes easy to understand why this element is in the book. Anderson is contrasting mankinds technological advances with their personal and intellectual advances. While the ability to create unlimited slave labor via the dead, and a vastly complicated network of computers and every day appliances have been strung together succesfully, man still remains the gullible and superstitious sheep they have been since the dark ages. As the reader will discover part-way through the book, this religion was created specifically for the purpose of separating the sheep from those who can think for themselves, and several real world examples are made (painfully so to the members of the religions mentioned). For example, when two of the people responsible for the advent of Neo Satanism are discussing how to go about creating the religion, one of them mentions how they should fake some physical evidence to back up the outrageous claims of the religion, the other person replies caustically, "Proof? We can just say the angel Moroni popped down and did away with all the evidence, it's been done before." in a reference to the very same thing occuring in the Mormon religious doctrine.
The actual main story, that of the hero of the novel, an undead servant named Danal, is an interesting read on it's own, regardless of all the social issues surrounding the story. It seems Danal, despite all odds, can somehow remember things of when he was alive - which of course raises all kinds of fun questions about life after death, the morality of slavery, the "cosmic consciousness", and all that other stuff that man will be bickering about until the end of time. *Partial spoiler ahead here* The main thing about the story that bothered me was it's ending - it was happy. Everything worked out for the heroes and all the "bad guys" got what they deserved. This completely destroys the point that the author was trying to make. The unhappy endings worked in "1984" and "Brave New World" because it showcased the themes of the novel. The happy ending in this novel cheapens the impact, as it seems to concede some ground, as though the author is saying, "Yeah, I've got this amazingly great point to make, but I'd better cave in and give the very kind of people I'm writing about a happy ending so they don't actually think about anything and start asking any questions".
Looking past the few problems the novel has, "Resurrection Inc." is an excellent read, and highly recommened, just be prepared to take some abuse if you are one of the sheep the author is writing about.
This book is a very creative Sci-Fi exploring some interesting questions concerning the human mind and how we use,abuse one another, and life after death.
Private corporations reanimates corpses fabricate phony religions and manipulate society...
Great read I will be reading this over again and again!
Much of the story was very amusing. Good read.