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Beggars and Choosers (Beggars Trilogy (also…
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Beggars and Choosers (Beggars Trilogy (also known as Sleepless Trilogy)) (original 1994; edition 1994)

by Nancy Kress (Author)

Series: Sleepless (2)

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7581522,689 (3.7)12
In Beggars and Choosers, Kress returns to the same future world created in her earlier work, an America strangely altered by genetic modifications. Millions of ordinary people are supported by the efforts of handsome and intellectually superior gene-modified humans, who are in turn running scared in the face of the astonishing, nearly superhuman powers of the Sleepless, who have their own agenda for humanity. The Sleepless, radically altered humans, have withdrawn from the rest of the race to an island retreat, from which they periodically release dazzling scientific advances. Most of the world is on the verge of collapse, overburdened by a population of jobless drones and racked by the results of irresponsible genetic research and nanotechnology. Will the world be saved? And for whom? Beggars and Choosers is a rich, morally complex novel of a future world eerily like our own tomorrow. It is a major work of hard science fiction.… (more)
Member:pbeagan
Title:Beggars and Choosers (Beggars Trilogy (also known as Sleepless Trilogy))
Authors:Nancy Kress (Author)
Info:Tor Books (1994), Edition: 1st, 315 pages
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Beggars and Choosers (Beggars Trilogy (also known as Sleepless Trilogy)) by Nancy Kress (1994)

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» See also 12 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Whelp, we have black characters this book, POV characters no lessm and they are Livers. Speaking in broken english. It wouldn't matter so much if the author wasn't trying to make such a broad, sweeping statement. In light of her heavy handed 'lesson' it just feels like a slight, inspired by antiblackness. Yikes.
Plus we have Lizzie Francy in the 'magical' black trope. Sigh. Yawn. Barf.
I agree with Drew, Miranda had no right.
I find Miri's solution a cop out. She has no right to change people without asking. That's a violation of other people's autonomy.
Also her solution isn't a solution. The problem is income inequality. Now folks won't starve, but they also aren't being made equal citizens to Donkeys, Sleepless or Super Sleepless.
Why not erase wealth? Rather than alter humans, erase the system and structure that makes society unequal. This felt like Miri didn't want to feel guilty about her obscene wealth while others starved. So now that no one can starve, she can enjoy her mobey hoarding in peace.
It's a fail for me.
This author really has nothing to say or teach. She just keeps beating a dead horse and her bigotry and ignorance of the way government, capitalism, wealth and people actually function just makes her observation irrelevant and ridiculous. ( )
  LoisSusan | Dec 10, 2020 |
This is the second book in the Sleepless Trilogy. It has been a long time since I read Beggars in Spain, the first book, so I struggled to remember the finer points of the society posited by Nancy Kress. However, she actually did a pretty good job of reminding readers of the salient details. I listened to this book which was narrated by a number of people which I thought nicely delineated the different characters.
The majority of the citizens in the US (called Livers) are supported by the genetically modified elite (called Donkeys). The Livers vote for Donkey individuals who then must provide food, shelter, clothing, health care and entertainment. Presumably they also gain wealth by being in these elected positions. Then there are the Sleepless, genetically modified people who do not need to sleep and use the extra time in the day the rest devote to sleeping to research and plot. The Sleepless, lead by Miranda Sharifi, have developed a new nanotechnology called the Cell Cleaner which would enter a human body and clean up anything that didn't belong there. The Sleepless are denied a license to further test this technology and Miranda disappears. She is followed by Diana Covington ( )
  gypsysmom | Jul 3, 2018 |
LOVE it. Especially the ending. ( )
  zyphax | Dec 27, 2016 |
This book picks up about a decade after the end of BEGGARS IN SPAIN and mainly follows the path of the Super Sleepless on Earth, specifically Miranda Sharifi, the brilliant granddaughter of Leisha's nemesis from the first novel. American society has become more stratified than before, where the wealthy working class called "Donkeys" literally buy votes by providing bread and circuses for a large uneducated welfare population called "Livers". Of particular interest is the character of Drew Arlen, a young Liver who wants to raise himself above his birth and be on par with the Super Sleepless. Drew becomes involved with Miranda's plots within plots to remake society as she sees fit. ( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
Such variety in trilogies, especially with the middle book. In some the first book is by far the most dynamic and the next two seem to more or less just play out the plot that was set in it, logically and sometimes even a bit tediously. (Most noticeable with YA fiction.) In others, the first book is so complex that just setting up the premise absorbs most of it for the writer, and ditto, getting used to the complexities of the premise is the main task of the reader. Then book 2 can take off - that's how this second book feels to me. Kress's writing style is still a bit uneven somehow, but the three main characters, one held over (Drew) and two new, Diana and Billy, are fully realized and absorbing. The idea that drives the series is that gene modification once started cannot be stopped - it will proceed, in a Darwinian fashion, to some (in hindsight) inevitable outcome. The lowest level or 'Livers' - are people with no gene-mod and they have become utterly dependent on the good will of the next level up. The donkeys, gene-mod people, who still sleep, but who had various modifications making them more attractive, healthy and smart. It is their job to run everything, and they do it well and conscientiously. Then the Sleepless, highly intelligent gene-modified people are created who don't sleep, then the Super-Sleepless, created by the Sleepless - who think abstractly the way we breathe..... and they..... why they take the gene modification idea to another level...... But there are anomalies, a Lucid Dreamer who seems to have some of the conceptual abilities of the Supers, and throw-backs, a Liver who is born utterly brilliant.... and a Donkey who has a truly questioning and open mind and throws in her lot with a group of Livers.... There is scheming and counter-scheming - the overall 'plot' is quite complex - so if you are not interested in thinking it out, you won't like the books. But Kress is tackling a big issue with lots of energy and twists and turns, real 'what if' sf, so no complaints from me. ****

Seeing other reviews here, I guess there is a wide spectrum of response! The main thing to note is that this is book two of three - the next being Beggars Ride. ( )
  sibylline | Sep 26, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nancy Kressprimary authorall editionscalculated
Richeid, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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In Beggars and Choosers, Kress returns to the same future world created in her earlier work, an America strangely altered by genetic modifications. Millions of ordinary people are supported by the efforts of handsome and intellectually superior gene-modified humans, who are in turn running scared in the face of the astonishing, nearly superhuman powers of the Sleepless, who have their own agenda for humanity. The Sleepless, radically altered humans, have withdrawn from the rest of the race to an island retreat, from which they periodically release dazzling scientific advances. Most of the world is on the verge of collapse, overburdened by a population of jobless drones and racked by the results of irresponsible genetic research and nanotechnology. Will the world be saved? And for whom? Beggars and Choosers is a rich, morally complex novel of a future world eerily like our own tomorrow. It is a major work of hard science fiction.

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