The Kiln People by David Brin

The Kiln People

David Brin

Billed as a futuristic thriller, and completely justified, this bizarrely imagined novel contains many thrills, not least the discovery of a method of duplicating people by creating an animated clay replica, thus enabling individuals to go and live a different life, if only for a day. The story is told by the various incarnations of the ditective(correct spelling) main character. Satisfyingly weird!

Extract

What was happening was death. A crowd milled near the entrance to the Rainbow Lounge. All sorts of garishly colored dittos - specialized and home-modified for pleasure or ritual combat - shifted and murmured in confusion, denied access to their favorite hangout by ribbons of glare tape that shimmered to eye-hurting rhythms, sending KEEP AWAY messages straight to the golem fibers threading their clay bodies.

A female shaped red stood in the entryway. Wearing dark glasses. Explaining patiently as Palloid and I drew near.
Let me say again, I'm sorry but you cannot enter. The club will soon be under new management. Till then, you must find another place to pursue your frantic pleasures.

I looked her over. Exaggerated curves seemed to cry out SLUTTY WAITRESS while recessed needles under the nails indicated a bouncer's capacity to enforce order, whenever customers got rowdy.

Parallels
  • Prelude to Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  • Vitals by Greg Bear