Mind Over Ship
Tor, Feb 2009, $24.95
In 2034 the sabotaged rocket crash left financier Eleanor Starke dead while her adopted daughter Ellen’s life is saved when her preserved cryogenically frozen head was grafted on to the body of an infant (see COUNTING HEADS). Over the next year Ellen insists her mom is alive while everyone scoffs at her.
At the same time she demands control over the Starke business while other executives want her out of the way as the daughter may have been adopted but is a chip off the old block of her late mom with her desire to help those below the Boutique line. Instead her enemies are more interested in the bottom line even devastating a space colonization scheme to improve the life of the masses. Eleanor’s fanatic husband Sammy Harger, who pushed the failed plan to move some of the fifteen billion off a planet over-populated with clones and AIs too, wants a piece of his daughter’s head.
This sequel is a timely frightening futuristic science fiction thriller that extrapolates much of what is happening in technology, on Wall St and in DC to paint a dark nightmarish world that makes Malthus’ prediction look naively understated. Ninety-nine percent of the populace lives in poverty while the avaricious remainder manipulates events to obtain larger portions of the pie. Ellen is terific as she struggles to take control of her mom’s empire, but her adversaries are diabolical and sleazy as they control the convergence of science, money, and politics at the expense of the many. Though reading the first tale helps the audience understand what COUNTING HEADS is, this second act is a terrific thought provoking thriller that extrapolates the Bush years into the next century.