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TCS Book Club - Kiln People discussion

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
*** Spoiler Alert *** This thread is to discuss the book Kiln People by David Brin, the TCS book club selection for November. It is very possible the discussion will give away plot elements and story lines, so don't read any further if you plan on reading this book and don't want to know what happens!

So how did everyone do on Kiln People? I finally finished it last weekend. I really enjoyed this book - I like science fiction, but for some reason don't read a lot of it, so I probably wouldn't have read this book if not for the TCS book club.

I have to admit I really didn't know where the book would end up for sure - that's one of the things I like about science fiction - the endings don't necessarily end up the way you would expect. I was very surprised by the Ritu/Beta connection, I have to admit I never saw that coming. But I really don't understand exactly what was happening at the very end, so any help would be appreciated.

Another thing I liked about this book were the philosophical questions it posed on what it really means to be 'real' and 'alive.' Philip K. Dick asked some of those questions very well in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (the book upon whicht the movie Blade Runner was based), and I think Brin did a very good job of asking them in Kiln People also.

OK, I'll shut up for now and let someone else jump in.
post #2 of 6
I'm actually doing my Master's thesis on David Brin's book(s), Glory Season for sure, possibly taking Kiln People into it as well.

In general I find his books very thought provoking, he always deals with an important topic, but in a surprising and fun way.

Even though KP isn't really about cloning (Brin says), I personally see it as a commentary on that subject anyway, or at least on the technology-society aspect. This book is one of his best, I think, a different kind of scifi book, sort of in a detective story style.

I jumped in even though I don't know anything about the TCS book club, hope you don't mind, but understandably I think a lot about Brin's books!
post #3 of 6
I couldnt finish, not in the traditional sense of reading every page, but rather after the first half just kind of skipped along. I think he rambled too much and dragged things out way too much. I formed a connection of Ritu and Beta as soon as he wrote the scene where the main character finds the xerox copy in the chute. I just didnt really didnt like it. also, everything seemed too made up, too contrived. This is just my opinion though. This one was one of my selections but the summary on amazon didnt really capture what this book has in store for the reader.
post #4 of 6
I could not read this book. Sci Fiction books confuse me and hold no interst. JMO
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by Fluffy'sMom
I could not read this book. Sci Fiction books confuse me and hold no interst. JMO
I know there was someone else who said they just couldn't get into the book earlier on another thread - I THINK it was Kellye. I think science fiction is an interesting genre, but I know a lot of people who read a lot, but don't care for science fiction.

I read pretty much anything - I can only remember two books that I just couldn't get into, and I think I would be able to get into them if I got into the right frame of mind. One was called Gravity's Rainbow by (I think) Thomas Pynchon, and the other was one of Karl Marx's books. I thought I could just pick up the Marx book for a fairly easy read, didn't really understand at that time the challenge in reading social and political philosophy (I think I was 19). With no frame of reference, and no real understanding of what I was even trying to read, I never had a chance with that one.

Raquel, it's too bad you didn't care for the book that much. I think we're 2 for 2 now on the person who PICKED the book didn't care for it that much. But that happens to me a lot, I think I will like a book then find out it's not what I thought it was.
post #6 of 6
I read pretty much everything too, although I'm big on scifi and fantasy. I think for me the attraction is that even though the surroundings are fantastic and imaginative, human nature stays the same. I enjoy picturing the alternative worlds and going for the "what if" ride, it's always thought provoking for me, even if the idea is far-fetched. Like Brin said about one of his books (Glory Season) is that it was a gedanken experiment, a thought experiment, about what kind of a world it would be, and how people would live in it. The best scifi, IMO, is like that.

And I have to say that after studying Sociology, Psychology and Social Policy, I've gotten much more out of books like this.
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