: our statement
Circuit of Heaven
by Dennis Danvers
Paperback ed: ISBN 0-380-79092-0
Publisher: Avon, $5.99
Reviewed by Sammi of the Courts.
The Nitty Gritty:
"'He said that when all those self-conciousnesses wake up stuck
inside some lizard body or something weird, taking care of kids
or being policemen or some other crap job, they must be pretty pissed
off. He said a Construct has three or four names at least--but the
one he tells you isn't real. It's like a brand name or something."
Lawrence: A Construct who was
genetically altered to have lizard characteristics (it's a mark
of his caste... don't ask). One of his people is British nanny,
another is a mechanic from Texas, and another is a Japanese mute
who lets the other two talk for him.
Justine: If you plan to read this
book, then don't read the rest of her description. She was technically
made from the same woman, but from three different times in her
life: an old woman, a pregnant mother, and a young girl.
Victor: The Construct in charge
of one of the uplink connections between the Bin (the digital world)
and Earth. Altered to appear feline.
Lila: A Construct inside the Bin,
made to be a Construct mistress. Much like the other Constructs,
she gets passed around as gifts and favors among those with clout.
Wendy: A Construct on Earth made
to look metallic. A tech repairer for the uploading machinery. Only
shows up for a page or two.
"'At first you're a bunch of I's, scared shitless, like
a sack of wet cats. Then you get resigned to the fact that there's
no way out of the sack. Still, you hold yourself back, you didn't
ask for this shit. These weird memories, strange ways of thinking
about things, emotions you never felt before. Hell, even the food
don't taste right.' He turned his hands back and forth. 'Even your
own hands. But after while you start living this new life, giving
up the old ones, little by little. Before you know it, you want
this life, you got things you want to do with it--all of you, together.
That's when you start saying 'we.' You might not even notice when
it first happens. It'll seem like the most natural thing in the
Circuit of Heaven has a refreshing take on multiples. In this
world of the future, artificially created humans--called Constructs--are
infused with an identity that is formed from the combination of
about three different people. While the original makers intended
for a completely new personality to be born, they found that the
pieces would divide and recover their initial identities, rather
than merge flawlessly into one. It caused no real problems, however,
so they just kept on at it.
So you have an entire world of servant-class humans who are
accepted as being three minds in one. So maybe it is refreshing
to read a book where people walk around and say things like 'we'
and 'our' for their personal pronouns! Get over the caste problem,
and there's real potential here...
We'll be honest: we mostly read this because we were interested
in the Constructs. The book itself is decent sci-fi, dealing with
future tech and digital life vs. physical life, so pick it up if
you're interested in reading about a world where most people uploaded
themselves into a mainframe. It's not bad, but nothing amazingly
"'There's two schools of thought on that.'
'Not to me,' Nemo said.
'There's two schools of thought to most everything. We're used
to having at least three most of the time.'"
Read it if you enjoy people who are unashamedly plural about themselves.
It's light, and there are some very amusing quotable moments by
some very nonchalant Constructs.