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Harmony by Project Itoh
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Harmony

by Project Itoh

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1189102,161 (3.94)2
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  1. 00
    In Search of the Miraculous: Fragments of an Unknown Teaching by P. D. Ouspensky (Lucy_Skywalker)
    Lucy_Skywalker: Some interesting thoughts on consciousness and memory, contesting egos and wishes etc. I wouldn't be surprised if Itoh Project had read it.
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» See also 2 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Didn't read all of this, some interesting ideas ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
Thanks to nanotechnology and medical implants, getting sick is a thing of the past. Death doesn't really happen. Overly-emotional states are detected and biofeedback is utilized to calm a person, so people stay on a relatively even keel. Miach wants Out of this system, and she makes a suicide pact with her two best friends, the three of them starving themselves in order to beat the system. Only Miach succeeds, and more than a decade later, another finally finds her way out, as part of a global suicide epidemic. Tuan is the only one left, and her work with the WHO has her investigating exactly what happened on that day when nearly three thousand people managed to take their own lives. In her research, she learns that she was not the only survivor after all, and that she has some deep family ties to the recent suicides. Someone is planning to take down the system, and they're going to get Tuan's help, whether she knows it or not.

Dystopian for the nanotechnology and physical surveillance (see also: Rash, Pete Hautman; Little Brother, Cory Doctorow), and for parts of the ultimate resolution that I won't get into here. The last third seems more noir-mystery than sci-fi/dystopia, but I can see elements of both. Mostly a book for young adults (by which I mean roughly 20-35 years old) but I can see this appealing to certain jaded, disaffected high school juniors and seniors. ( )
  librarybrandy | Mar 31, 2013 |
How can one feel alive without knowing the pain of living? Does disease and suffering create our consciousness and our sense of humanity? Harmony creates a world in which human ingenuity has eradicated illness through the use of medicules, a clever injection of molecules that police our bodies and report our health to world authorities. With tailored diets, expert fitness routines, and regular psychological assessments, all of humankind have traded an individual-driven existence in order to live healthy, well-balanced lives. Declining population rates in the aftermath of nuclear fallout have made the human body the world's most precious commodity. The health and continuation of our species outweighs the selfishness of the individual—and yet, suicide rates among those born into this system are on the rise each year. Three girls come of age in this world, and each girl must decide whether to abide by the self-sacrifice of harmony or to rebel against the insulated lives the world expects them to live.

Hard science fans will find ample content to rejoice in—biological tyranny and terrorism combine for a thrilling chemistry of cutting-edge literature. In fact, tech nerds might even find the book's message can be enhanced through e-reader technology—HTML codes are embedded within the text for good reason, folks. Project Itoh delivers an astounding science fiction work that walks a fine line between utopian ideals and dystopian disillusionment, and provides ample brain candy for readers of all backgrounds.

Ideal for: Hard science aficionados and disease thriller diehards; Readers who like a female lead (or three!) in their science fiction; Dystopia worshippers who'd like a taste of the end of the world from a Japanese standpoint.(less) ( )
  MizMoffatt | Jan 2, 2012 |
This book is a great addition to the current trend of teen dystopian novels that seem to be flooding the market since the success of The Hunger Games. In Itoh's world, every aspect of human life is controlled by a nano-technology program called WatchMe. The sole purpose of WatchMe is to make sure that you are in supremely healthy conditions at all times in order to protect a resource that has now become precious and limited - the human race. At times the narrative gets snarled in unnecessary scientific jargon that doesn't add much to the story, but the overall picture is a chilling work that slowly unfolds the magnitude of the issues it presents until it concludes in an awesome OMFG realization at the end. Recommended for sci/fi readers, dystopian lit lovers, and alternate history aficionados. ( )
  lovejoy_rat | Sep 22, 2011 |
I liked this book, but didn't really feel passionate for the premise itself. The story was of a society where people's bodies are public properties. Our health, emotions, vital stats are constantly being monitored, data sent to admedistrations and relevant personnel who are to help you live the most efficiently and as healthily as possible. The society is stifling and sanitised and wrong and this book - the mood of it - also felt stifling, bland to me, just like the characters' way of life. Perhaps this is purposeful and the book did communicate the desperately hollow, robotic feel of how people live in that world. But really I found I didn't connect with any of the characters of the plot itself. ( )
  spectralbat | Jun 5, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
One of the things this novel made me think was: why hasn't the clinic featured more largely in SF and Fantasy?
 

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Project Itohprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, Alexander O.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
In the future, Utopia has finally been achieved thanks to medical nanotechnology and a powerful ethic of social welfare and mutual consideration. This perfect world isn't that perfect though, and three young girls stand up to totalitarian kindness and super-medicine by attempting suicide via starvation. It doesn't work, but one of the girls--Tuan Kirie--grows up to be a member of the World Health Organization. As a crisis threatens the harmony of the new world, Tuan rediscovers another member of her suicide pact, and together they must help save the planet...from itself.
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