Spindown by George Wright Padgett
Rating: 5 Stars - A Must Read!
For over one hundred and fifty years, Mining Mega-Corporation Gensiid has maintained a tight grip over all the Galaxy’s energy resources, thanks to its Mining Operations on Jupiter’s largest moon, Gannymede. Clones, living out their whole, strictly controlled lives in a drug-induced stupor, have worked the mines for generations; extracting the most valuable substance in the Galaxy before
shipping it out into Deep Space to be sold on for tremendous profit. Except now, something has changed. All but a few planetary governments have been overthrown and the Galaxy is in chaos. Gensiid is no longer as powerful as it once was, though Prinox, the Artificial Intelligence that is responsible for controlling the Mining Operation, continues to carry on business as usual. When a group of Rebel Spacers infiltrate the Mining Operation with the intention of liberating the clones and granting them freedom, Prinox retaliates. They’re too late to stop a small group of the clones from becoming self-aware. For the first time ever, they begin questioning their very existence and what it means to be human as they flee for their very lives from the A.I that once protected them but now wishes to terminate them and make them “Dormant-dead” for no longer being “Productive”. Escaping through normally restricted levels of the Mining Operation in a bid to reach Prinox’s Central Control, the four clones begin forming a bond, a very troubled and conflicted relationship, as they learn to truly live for the first time ever......
When this book was sent to me, it was sent with some strong recommendations. The Executive Director of Publishing House, Grey Gecko, described this as being “one of the best Sci-fi novels I have ever read” and compared it to the works of two authors who could well be described as the founding fathers of
modern Sci-fi; namely Arthur C. Clarke and Issac Asimov. That is a very strong recommendation by anyone's standards! By heaping all of this praise on the book, could Grey Gecko’s Executive Director be setting this up for a fall? By placing it so high on a pedestal before the first page had even been turned, could he be unwittingly and unintentionally lining this book up to fail?
Thankfully, the answer to both these questions is no! Spindown is every bit as awesome and enthralling as its recommendations would suggest! Set entirely on, and never quite leaving, the Mining Operation based on Jupiter’s largest satellite. Spindown manages to be both original and highly unique in both style and content! It is exceptionally well written, its characters brilliantly conceived and Fowler 3805 is perfect as the hero of this tale, whose story we follow right through to its end. The story is action-packed with lots of tense moments thrown in and barely slows its pace for a moment throughout the whole of its journey. Inevitable questions are asked along the way and what makes this book even better is the way it makes you stop and think; to contemplate the nature of your OWN existence....
The future that Padgett has created here is a scarily believable, one where big Corporations are the ones that wield the highest power. Though we see little of that future outside of the Gannymede Moon Base
where this book is set, the reading between the lines paints a very frightening picture. Spindown is not the first book to feature clones in such a situation as is presented here, but it is certainly one of the first in a while to ask such pertinent questions as it does. Last year, C.K. Burch’s Icarus Void, which I also reviewed for TBR, was my favorite Sci-fi novel of 2012. Though 2013 has barely begun, I very much doubt that I will read any other Sci-fi this year that will be able to compare to Spindown!
Spindown is amazing, it is thought provoking, emotional and mere words fail to describe how highly I recommend this debut novel. I predict George Wright Padgett will be an author to watch in the future.