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Spin Control by Chris Moriarty

Spin Control

by Chris Moriarty

Other authors: Stephen Youll (Cover artist)

Series: Spin Series (2)

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392741,557 (3.78)18
  1. 00
    Spin State by Chris Moriarty (mummimamma)
    mummimamma: Loosely connected series

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This is a loose sequel to Spin State, features many of the same characters, but its plot doesn’t follow exactly on from the earlier plot. There are references to earlier events, but Spin Control can be read without having read Spin State. That, however, is the least of its problems. And, to be fair, its major problem is hardly its fault, it’s something that recent events have made problematical. Because Spin Control is set mostly in Israel. And this is an Israel that’s back at war with the Palestinians. The treatment of the Palestinians is certainly sympathetic (if not overly lionised) – and the treatment of Americans, Moriarty’s nationality, certainly not – but there’s still that whiff of admiration for Israel that is endemic in US culture. Which is a shame, because there’s a pure science-fiction thread to the narrative that seems mostly wasted. On the one hand, you have a defector from the Syndicates (genetically-engineered sort of communist clones) who is taken to Jerusalem to sell his secrets to the highest bidder – Mossad, its Palestinian equivalent, or the Americans – and which drags in some of the surviving cast of Spin State. But it’s all a plot, of sorts, to uncover a Palestinian mole, called Absalom, within Mossad. On the other hand, told in flashback, there’s the story of that same defector as one of the survivors of a Syndicate survey mission to a terraformed world. But there’s something weird about what they find – not just the fact it has been terraformed, since most terraforming attempts by humanity have failed, but also because there are weird things happening in the DNA of the flora and fauna. And when the survey team all come down with a fever, they work out that it’s caused by a virus which is using biology as a “Turing soup”, a sort of computational engine seeking an optimal terraforming solution. However, there’s a side-effect to the fever… and when this is revealed… well, Absalom’s identity seems pretty trivial. The survey mission narrative is nicely done, even if first contact puzzle stories are a genre staple; and marrying it with a near-future spy thriller is a nice touch. The setting of the latter is handled well, and each side is treated sensitively, but time, and geopolitics, has imparted something of a whiff to the Israeli-set sections and it’s hard to read them in light of recent events, or indeed the reader’s existing sympathies in the situation. Moriarty has shown she’s not afraid of tackling difficult subjects, both sfnal and real-world, and she’s good at it. It’s a shame she’s not better known. ( )
  iansales | Sep 18, 2018 |
Started rereading this one for the 2nd time.


04.17.12 I initially gave this 3 stars, but upon my 2nd reading, I decided to bump it up to 4. I found that at first, I was too wrapped up in one thread of the story, but it's actually quite tertiary to the entire thing. Rereading it, I gained a special appreciation for the two main story threads. ( )
  fabooj | Feb 3, 2015 |
While there was lots of interesting ideas in the book, the execution was a bit flat. Maybe I need to reread the first in the series to appreciate it more. ( )
  gregandlarry | Dec 29, 2010 |
As in the prequel, Spin State, the plot seems unnecessarily convoluted. I found myself thinking there has to be a quicker way to resolve the problems the characters were facing, and there was... but had to wait 200 pages till it happened. The relationship between Earth and the Ring seems alittle implausible. Still, Catherine Li as well as Cohen are memorable characters... although you never really get to know Cohen as anything more than a melancholic dandy. ( )
  betula.alba | Aug 9, 2009 |
Outside the plot, this is an amazing look at what people do with the information they have, the information they think they have, and with the information they know they don't have. Also, an amazing variety of definitions can be applied to the word "people" in that sentence - which is delightful.

That we get this interaction along with dangers, and emotional entanglements, of all sorts just makes it that much more satisfying a read. ( )
  storyjunkie | Oct 23, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Chris Moriartyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553586254, Mass Market Paperback)

Call Arkady a clone with a conscience. Or call him a traitor. A member of the space-faring Syndicates, Arkady has defected to Israel with a hot commodity: a genetic weapon powerful enough to wipe out humanity. But Israel’s not buying it. They’re selling it–and Arkady–to the highest bidder.

As the auction heats up, the Artificial Life Emancipation Front sends in Major Catherine Li. Drummed out of the Peacekeepers for executing Syndicate prisoners, Li has now literally hooked up with an AI who has lived many lifetimes and shunted through many bodies. But while they have their own conflicting loyalties to contend with, together they’re just one player in a mysterious high-stakes game….

From the Trade Paperback edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:00 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In four hundred years, how will humans, post-humans, clones, and AIs coexist? This book explores those issues and throws in a bit of spy thriller, myrmecology, terraforming, complexity theory, Jewish culture, religious politics and much, much more.

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