BARNES, JOHN SERIES:

Orbital Resonance

Orbital Resonance

Barnes, John

Barnes, John

Melpomene Murray's concerns are those of any teenager: homework, friends, dates. But Melpomene lives on the Flying Dutchman, an asteroid colony located thousands of miles from an Earth almost destroyed by disease, war, and pollution. She and her spaceborn classmates are humanity's last hope, and Mel's just starting to realize how heavy a responsibility that is. Her parents and teachers have trained her from birth to lead mankind into the future.What they never realized is that Melpomene might have plans of her own...
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Kaleidoscope Century

Kaleidoscope Century

Barnes, John

Barnes, John

The author of the best-selling and highly acclaimed Mother of Storms presents the story of future war, social breakdown, and a man with a specially engineered virus that allows him to live several lives in succession. **From Publishers Weekly A stunning evocation of humanity's violent downward slide, Barnes's fourth SF novel is set on Mars during the early part of the 22nd century, in a universe chimerically similar to that of his first, Orbital Resonance. The novel consists primarily of a series of escapades undertaken by narrator Joshua Ali Quare, whose violent career path under the aegis of the Organization, a successor group to a super-efficient amalgam of KGB/Communist Party, is the ultra-leftist equivalent of many Heinlein protagonists. Born in 1968, Joshua had been recruited by the KGB in the late 20th century, which infected him with a virus that incapacitates him in a near-coma every 15 years, from which he awakens, rejuvenated, 10 years younger each time, but nearly amnesiac. Joshua has been ruthless in pursuit of his missions, most of which have concerned scientific discoveries. Like others around him, he has lost almost all human feeling: he voices only the occasional expression of regret after "serbing" a sorority or defiling his father's grave. The environment Barnes creates is appalling: Josh and his cohort-in-crime, Sadi, appear to delight in their repeated antisocial actions and attitudes. Josh spouts such homilies as "if you don't want a brain to think the wrong thoughts, the surest way is to put a hole in it." Whether or not one is put off by the pervasive cynical mentality, as a picture of the degradation of society in the 22nd century, the novel is gripping. Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Library Journal In Barnes's latest, a tailored virus allows a man to live for centuries. Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. 
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Candle

Candle

Barnes, John

Barnes, John

Currie Culver is about fifty-five years old, in good health, living in a comfortable retirement in the Rockies with his wife. In the wake of the Meme Wars that swept the planet two generations before, Currie, his wife, and almost everyone on Earth have in their minds a copy of One True, software that grants its hosts limited telepathy and instills a kind of general cooperation. In his younger days, Currie hunted "comboys"--people who had unplugged from the global net in order to evade One True, and who hid in wilderness areas, surviving by raiding the outposts of civilization. Now Currie is called back into service to capture the last comboy still at large, a man who calls himself Lobo. With his high tech equipment, thoroughly plugged into the global net, Currie sets out to bring Lobo in. Instead, Lobo captures Currie, and manages to deprogram him. Thrown back on the resources of his own intelligence, courage, and wisdom for the first time in twenty-five years, Currie finds himself in a battle of minds with his captor . . . with results that will change the lives of everyone on Earth. In the best tradition of John W. Campbell and Robert A. Heinlein, Candle is a novel about individualism and society that will leave readers breathless, arguing, and demanding more. **Amazon.com Review It is the near-future, and in the wake of the Meme Wars, the world's population is much reduced, although, thanks to One True, the winning software meme, humankind is now a cooperative, noncompetitive species. One True manages the survivors by controlling both memory and the autonomic nervous system, and a copy runs in the mind of everyone on earth. Or almost everyone. Occasional cowboys, such as the one known as Lobo, purge themselves of One True, unplug from the global network, and survive by raiding civilized settlements. Currie Culver is the bounty hunter who brought Lobo down--killing him, he believed, years ago in the Rocky Mountains. When One True informs Currie that Lobo survives, Currie must ride out once again on Lobo's trail. What follows is a splendid mix of Western, moral argument, and philosophical treatise. In a skirmish, Currie's copy of One True is damaged, and he is taken to a hideout where the wily Lobo begins to deprogram him. All, of course, is not as it seems. It could be said that Barnes, best known for the juvenile space novel Orbital Resonance and the decidedly adult disaster tale Mother of Storms, occasionally allows his characters to degenerate into talking heads, but for most readers the meat of the matter will be the hugely enjoyable (if rather basic) examination of that place where the interests of the individual, society, and human identity collide. --Luc Duplessis From Publishers Weekly In a multitextured narrative that explores issues of free will and of the virtues and dangers of forced utopia, Barnes (Finity) portrays a world in which humanity is linked like a computer network under the "One True." The victor of the devastating war of the Memes--computer viruses able to operate in mind and machine alike--One True is working toward rebuilding Earth and keeping all of its humans happy. Through a program called Resuna, which is installed in individual brains, One True allows anyone to download the experiences and talents of anyone else. Resuna also keeps bad feelings and memories from harming its host. Living outside this overly happy society are the "cowboys," who operate under their own free wills until they are caught and "turned" to One True. Barnes's protagonist, Currie Curtis Curran, was once a cowboy hunter. His final hunt was disastrous, however, ending in the death of members of his party as well as of his quarry--or so he thought. When the elusive cowboy once again appears on One True's radar, Currie is sent after him but is himself captured. The cowboy shuts down Currie's Resuna and, with it, his link to One True. He then shows the hunter the parts of his mind that he has been missing. Much more than a simple parable in tribute to freedom, Barnes's new novel will continually have readers questioning who is in control and who is in the right. Creative science; the creepiness inherent in the phrase "let overwrite, let override," which allows Resuna to take complete control of a person's mind; the complexity of Currie's character; the futuristic slang that sparkles throughout--all add up to a full, rich vision of the future, albeit one compressed expertly into 240 pages. (Feb.) Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. 
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