A new science thriller from F. Paul Wilson, Sims has the kind of eerie credibility that can make a bestseller. Just a few hundred genes separate humans from chimpanzees. Imagine someone altering the chimp genome, splicing in human genes to increase the size of the cranium, reduce the amount of body hair, enable speech. What sort of creature would result Sims takes place in the very near future, when the science of genetics is fullfilling its vaunted potential. It's a world where genetically transmitted diseases are being eliminated. A world where dangerous or boring manual labor is gradually being transferred to """"sims"""" -- genetically altered chimps who occupy a gray zone between simian and human. At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
What started as a series of three inventive and exciting novellas by SF veteran Wilson has now become a single volume, complete with two new sections and a creepy, satisfying ending. In the near future, sims-chimpanzees enhanced with human DNA created by a company called SimGen-are used as cheap labor and medical guinea pigs while denied even the right to family. Patrick Sullivan, a labor lawyer, and Romy Cadman, an activist, team up to change the classification of sims from property to persons in order to improve their treatment and to bring SimGen's shady beginnings to light. In the fourth part, the search for the missing pregnant sim from the third novella, Meerm (2002), intensifies as further implications of her baby's nature emerge. The reader at last is able to follow the thoughts of Zero, the perpetually masked reclusive genius behind the effort to destroy SimGen, and, eventually, to learn his identity. Portero, the unreliable SimGen enforcer, finds his life spiraling out of control as Patrick and Romy continually gain ground with the help of newly discovered and somewhat disconcerting friends. Each section adds intrigue, portents of doom and layers to the characters-good and bad. While he neatly ties up all the loose ends in his frighteningly possible world, Wilson offers no simple answers. (Apr. 22) FYI: Wilson is also the author of The Haunted Air (Forecasts, Nov. 4, 2002) and other novels in his Repairman Jack series. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
January 12, 2003
Number of Print Pages*
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Sims by F. Paul Wilson
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY
A good walk spoiled, Patrick Sullivan thought as he trudged toward the rough where his slicing golf ball had disappeared. Somebody had got that right.
Patrick didn't actually hate golf, but he suffered from a condition he'd come to call GADD -- Golf Attention Deficit Disorder. Nine holes and he'd had it. Maybe that was because during his first nine holes he racked up more strokes than most golfers did in eighteen. But today he was playing with Ben Armstrong, CFO of the Jarman department store chain and a valued client, who, although even less skillful than Patrick on the links, seemed immune to GADD.
Maybe it was the clothes. Armstrong, a florid-faced fellow in his sixties, sporting a neat goatee the same steel-gray shade as his hair, had decked himself out in a blue-and-raspberry-striped shirt, raspberry pants, and white golf shoes. Patrick wasn't into sherbet shades; he wore a white shirt, navy slacks, and tan shoes.
Golf or not, he was having a good walk on a bright September day among the luxuriously verdant rolling hills of upper Westchester where the Beacon Ridge club nestled its links. The air was redolent of fresh-mown grass and money.
Christ, he wanted into this place. Not so much for the golf, but because golf was such a great way to do business.
Like today. Armstrong, a club member, had asked Patrick out for a two-some. Wanted to get caught up on the upcoming negotiations with the sales-clerk union. Patrick's specialty was labor law, and though he worked both sides, lately he'd found himself billing more and more hours to the management end.
Beacon Ridge was packed with heavies like Armstrong. A goldmine of potential clients and billable hours. Patrick's firm loved billable hours -- little else mattered at Payes & Hecht -- and if he could tap into this mother lode...
A sudden screech from ahead and to his left drew his attention. His caddie was pointing at the ground. "Here, sir, here! I find! Here!"
"Good eye, Nabb," Patrick said as he walked over.
"Yessir," Nabb said, his head bobbing as he grinned broadly at the praise. "Good eye, good eye."
Typical of the Beacon Ridge caddies, Nabb was an average size sim, about five-three, maybe 130 pounds; he sported a little more facial hair than most sims. Armstrong's caddie, Deek, was a bit different -- beefier, and seemed taller, although that might be due to better posture. They looked like hominids yanked from the Stone Age and wrestled into the Beacon Ridge caddie uniform of lime green shirt and white pants, but they moved with a certain grace despite their slightly bowed legs.
Beacon Ridge had introduced sim caddies a couple of years ago, the first golf club in the country to do so. Caused quite a stir at the time, but the club members seemed to enjoy the status of being pioneers in the transgenic revolution. Other clubs soon followed suit, but Beacon Ridge remained famous for being the first. By now sims were practically part of the scenery around the links.
"Come on, movie star!" Armstrong called from the green. "You can do it!"
Movie star... on their first meeting he'd said Patrick reminded him of Axel Sommers, the latest digital heartthrob. Patrick figured Armstrong needed glasses. Sure, they both had blue eyes and slightly wavy blond hair, but Sommers looked just a little too pretty for comfort.