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Lovelock by Orson Scott Card


by Orson Scott Card, Kathryn H. Kidd

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Mayflower Trilogy (1)

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Lovelock is set in a near-future in which mankind is preparing to send out its first interstellar colonization ship, called the Mayflower. Lovelock, a genetically- and cybernetically-enhanced Capuchin monkey relates the story in the first person. Lovelock serves as the "Witness" for Carol Jeanne Cocciolone, meaning that his job is to record every waking moment of the life of a prominent member of society. As the Gaiaologist of the Mayflower, Carol Jeanne is responsible for managing the extensive terraforming their new planet will require, integrating the terrestrial species needed for the colonists' survival with the planet's existing ecology. In the speculative future describes by the novel, a new field of science, Gaiaology, has come into existence, based on the Gaia Hypothesis. Like every Witness, Lovelock has been indoctrinated to love and obey his owner unconditionally.

[edit] Plot summary
When the book begins, the Cocciolone family is packing for their new life aboard the Mayflower. The family consists of Carol Jeanne, her husband Red, their daughters Lydia and Emmy, and Red's parents Mamie and Stef. They take a shuttle to the Ark, during which Lovelock is ashamed of his primitive, terrified response to free-fall.

Aboard the Mayflower, the Cocciolone family begins to integrate themselves into the society of the Ark. When Lovelock meets a scientist who attempts to communicate with him via sign language, Carol Jeanne explains that she hadn't taught her Witness sign language because she didn't want him "chattering to [her] all the time."[1] This event marks Lovelock's first feelings of furious rebellion.

Lovelock begins to long for a mate, and children of his own. After learning about a supply of cryogenically frozen capuchin monkeys, he steals a young female monkey and hides her in the low-gravity poles that support the Ark. Unfortunately, she grows up stunted and sickly. Lovelock, realizing that should his actions be discovered he would be put to death, begins to write his story in a hidden file on the Ark's computer.
  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
Reminded me a lot of Card's later Ender books. Although the action takes place in an exotic setting (on a colony ship, just about to set off in search of a suitable planet) the action really has to do with small-town dramas. (leaving one's old life behind irrevocably is very traumatic to relationships, Card theorizes). Against this background, our protagonist, an "enhanced" monkey, gradually comes to a sense of self-awareness - and a desire for respect and equality.
( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Hmmmm. Orson starts this with what I take to be a concern about the reduced quality that can arise from some collaborations. How appropriate this turns out to be. I've not read any of Kathryn Kidd's work that I can recall but this is definitely well below what I expect of Orson Scott Card on his own. i seriously doubt the subsequent two books in the series will ever be written and I suspect that might well be for the best as it will allow both authors to get on with something worthwhile. I can only hope that this paid some bills. and yet... I think I would read the sequels if they came out.
The biggest hurdle with these books is that the main protagonist and narrator is so completely unsympathetic. Critical and hate-filled how could you feel any sympathy?

I suspect this was meant to be an introduction to the evils of slavery and the mistreatment of animals as servants of people but ... Lovelock is so scathing even of other animals in his position that it seems the be a perpetuation of the evil.... and perhaps that is meant to be part of the point - but it just doesn't work. and yet I will probably look up other works by Kathryn Kidd and I know I will keep a sympathetic eye out for work by Orson. Perhaps this really is only as variable as many other works by Orson. ( )
  wodfest | Jan 23, 2012 |
Zero stars. In my opinion, the dumbest book Card ever wrote. This has everything that is bad about his post-Ender fiction in spades. I'm not a fan of the so-called Homecoming Saga either, and this shares some of the insipidity of those books. Just way worse.
  scootm | May 3, 2011 |
This was the first book of Orson Scott Card's that I read, many years ago. I looked for more and discovered his voluminous writings - Kathryn H. Kidd didn't write with him anymore (or finish this story) but she is still a reader of his (see his dedications - she's thanked a few times). I loved this story. I don't care that the trilogy wasn't finished, this book is well written, clever, and interesting. ( )
  LeeHallison | Dec 28, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Orson Scott Cardprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kidd, Kathryn H.main authorall editionsconfirmed
Giancola, DonatoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To our good friends the Childs,
Dennis, who has the right tool for suitors and sheep,
Carla, with a soft shoulder and a warm heart,
and Derek▬welcome home.
First words
If I had known what Mayflower held for me, I might have stayed in New Hampshire.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812518055, Mass Market Paperback)

On the Ark, a colony ship bound outward across the stars, not everyone is a volunteer-or even human. Lovelock is a capuchin monkey, engineered from conception to be the perfect servant: intelligent, agile, and devoted to his owner. He is a Witness, privileged to spend his days and nights recording the life of one of Earth's most brilliant scientists via digital devices implanted behind his eyes.

But Lovelock is something special among Witnesses. He's a smarter than most human's; smart enough to break through some of his conditioning. Smart enough to feel the bonds of slavery-and want freedom. Like "Speaker for the Dead" and "Xenocide," "Lovelock" probes the provocative interface between humanity and another sentient species, set against the awesome scope of interstellar space.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:15 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The transformation of a monkey from slave to rebel. He is Lovelock, a genetically enhanced animal serving as personal secretary to a famous woman planetologist on the colony spaceship, Mayflower. A look at animal rights from a futuristic perspective.

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