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The Unincorporated Man (Sci Fi Essential Books) [Hardcover]

Dani Kollin , Eytan Kollin
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 April 2009 Sci Fi Essential Books (Book 1)
"The Unincorporated Man" is a provocative social/political/economic novel that takes place in the future, after civilization has fallen into complete economic collapse. This reborn civilization is one in which every individual is incorporated at birth, and spends many years trying to attain control over his or her own life by getting a majority of his or her own shares. Life extension has made life very long indeed. Now the incredible has happened: a billionaire businessman from our time, frozen in secret in the early twenty-first century, is discovered and resurrected, given health and a vigorous younger body. Justin Cord is the only unincorporated man in the world, a true stranger in this strange land. Justin survived because he is tough and smart. He cannot accept only part ownership of himself, even if that places him in conflict with a civilization that extends outside the solar system to the Oort Cloud. People will be arguing about this novel and this world for decades.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1 edition (2 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765318997
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765318992
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.5 x 3.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,786,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"This is a bright, stimulating work that deserves a wide readership."--Gregory Benford, author of "Beyond Human: Living with Robots and Cyborgs""Reminiscent of Heinlein--a good, old-fashioned, enormously appealing SF yarn. Bravo!"--Robert J. Sawyer, award-winning author of "Rollback""Fans of SF as a vehicle for ideas will devour this intriguing debut. . . . The Kollin brothers keep the plot moving briskly despite the high proportion of talk to action. Their cerebral style will especially appeal to readers nostalgic for science fiction's early years.""--Publishers Weekly""A narrative with a strong, fascinating voice--the Kollin Brothers write like a younger, more innocent Heinlein; there's the same rare sense of personal freedom inexorably combined with personal responsibility. The characters are clear and appealing, but the real fascination is the human condition explored in their post-corporate nation world. It cries out for a sequel, and I'll read it eagerly!"--Kage Baker, author of "The Sons of Heaven"

About the Author

Dani Kollin lives in Los Angeles, California. Eytan Kollin lives in Pasadena, California. They are brothers, and this is their first novel.

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars pro-capitalist pro-market apologist 9 Feb 2013
The starting point is not new, a man from the past wakes up in a distant present. Here the twist is that the market now extends to "incorporation" of human beings from birth.

The idea is not un-interesting, but the writing is lifeless and the whole feels like a long pro-market pamphlet, and a boring one. The book felt of my hands page 128.

If you like the concept, just read the Economist.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars political philosophy 3 Dec 2010
Contrary to the previous review by B. Adams, this novel is not a propaganda piece. The point of this story is to explore one, or maybe two, distinct ideas about how society might operate, through the eyes of a figure from the modern day. The protagonist, Justin Cord, does seem like a Heinlein hero, but he is not an Ayn Rand figure: the figures populating her books are one-dimensional, because her books are indeed deliberate propaganda (as she always admitted). The Kollins' hero, like those in Heinlein, has two dimensions: a few complications, but not enough to give him a fully realized character. Instead, though he has his moments of self-doubt, his inner conflicts exist mainly as a vehicle for the authors to consider their new idea. The antagonist, Hector Sambianco, is an even thinner character, and initially feels like a true comic-book villain, with no real motive beyond his desire to do harm to the hero. However, though he never really comes into his own, he is gradually revealed to be a bit more than that: he is simply a true-believer in the value of the society which the hero opposes.

Indeed, it's hard to believe B. Adams really read, or at least understood, this book. What makes this book interesting, and worth reading despite its literary shortcomings, is that while it is rooted in this clash of conflicting ideologies, it refuses to act as propaganda for either. The big idea here is "Personal Incorporation" - it takes the current curiosity in which corporations are considered legal persons, and inverts it to present us with a world in which persons are legal corporations. This world has a unitary world state, which is a minimal state with no power of mandatory taxation. To make up for this, the state has a 5% share in each person's income.
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The Plot, the Characters and the Writing have all been taken out and examined in other Reviews - or one may even say eviscerated, it being Science Fiction and some reviewers going at it with a metaphorical blunt knife. The Publisher's blurb gives a good enough brief of the story line and the idea of a man from the past being resurrected after some time is hardly a new idea. The premise of the unincorporated man from near enough our era awakening in the all-incorporated future (which may or may not be what is in store for humanity) holds the promise of a good story. The book mostly delivers and is for Science Fiction fans quite satisfying with a Solar-System wide scope and room for development.
There is some awkwardness of style - one of the obvious pitfalls of co-authorship - and why can't SF writers do love ? Why do they even attempt to write about it ? Romance is possibly more at home in Science Fantasy stories along with magic swords, faery Princesses and the like.The unincorporated man is fortunately bereft of such flummeries though near miraculous events are not ruled out.
"They don't write Science Fiction any more" is a Truism oft heard since the Good Old Days of SF, possibly that is why book lists are crowded with Goblins, Goblets, fabled Trinkets, Mists of Magic and other Juvenilia. Perhaps the unincorporated saga will help re-dress the literary balance. I like the book, I enthused about it so much I was bought the remaining three books of the Saga and I look foreward to reading them in sequence. DJG
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