NESFA Members' Reviews


by Linda Nagata

Bantam Spectra, ISBN 0-553-56926-0, 1995, 368pp, US$4.99

A book review by Evelyn C. Leeper

Copyright 1995 Evelyn C. Leeper

This is Nagata's second novel, and it is set in a more accessible future than her first (THE BOHR MAKER)--at least for one thread. In TECH-HEAVEN, the story revolves around cryonic suspension: the freezing of the dead in the hopes of reviving them when a cure for their disease or injury is found. Nagata takes the current discussion of this subject and uses it for a fairly straightforward future thriller sort of novel. This thread does not get much beyond the questions being asked already: Is it fair to spend millions to preserve the dead rather than to improve the lot of the living? What about the legal issues of rights and property? Is a frozen person really dead?

It's the last question than Nagata expands on in her other thread, which follows the "soul" of the main character's husband, who has been frozen. Some may find this intriguing, but I found it unconvincing and difficult to follow. (Maybe the two go hand in hand.) The main plot is full of convenient characters and familiar concepts. For example, one powerful member of the main character's family is opposed to cryogenics, giving Nagata a ready-made conflict. Nanotechnology is the solution to the problems of thawing people out, as it seems to be to every problem these days, and so on. It's not completely predictable, but it's not full of a lot of surprises either.

While this will undoubtedly be of interest to someone who already have an interest in cryogenics, I can't say that it did much for me.

%T      Tech-Heaven
%A      Linda Nagata
%C      New York
%D      November 1995
%I      Bantam Spectra
%O      paperback, US$4.99
%G      ISBN 0-553-56926-0
%P      368pp

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