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Stone Hardcover – 1 August 2002
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About the Author
- Publisher : Gollancz; 1st edition (1 August 2002)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0575070633
- ISBN-13 : 978-0575070639
- Dimensions : 16.2 x 2.7 x 24.2 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from other countries
The story is the monologue (as told to a stone) of a prisoner, and how he came to be where he is. The prisoner, Ae, is given a mission in return for his freedom; a mission to commit murder. What makes Ae special is that he is capable of murder - in this future murder is almost unheard of. Life is peaceful, there is no scarcity, and, thanks to nanotechnology, humans may live for many hundreds of years.
What unfolds is a linear story of Ae's mission, and this could be a very ordinary sci-fi tale. Why makes it otherwise, is an intelligent and entertaining writing style.
Compared to Salt, this novel has more and better science, and richer characterisation. It does lack complexity and originality, and to some readers these will be critical shortcomings, but to me it was a solid and worthwhile read.
Nicely bleak/nasty in places too - my comparison with Egan and Banks wasn't meant to suggest it's derivative of them - it just fits in well with someone who likes both.
One thing that didn’t make sense was that in this future society, people can change their sex at will through the use of technology, but their brains are specifically untouched and unaffected. But since sex is directly related to your brain, it doesn’t make sense that you could change genders and still be equally attracted to either (or the same) gender without serious modifications to the brain as well. Everyone being bisexual or homosexual and equally attracted to all other beings doesn’t seem very realistic.
I liked how the central character was portrayed. The sociopathic lack of empathy was well written, and even a bit frightening. It’s a good book, overall.