I wasn’t sure about this bit of science fiction when I first started it, having read a tweet that it “was weird”, but once I was a few pages in and starting to get Marusek’s style it became a good fun read.

Counting Heads is set on a future Earth, one that is strangely – utopian, distopian, post-apocalyptic, and about to colonise space all in the same breath. And what I found interesting is that Marusek introduces all these elements breathlessly, while also writing in undertones of social hierarchy and exploitation (affluent immortals and ‘the rest’ of humanity? how will different social cultures c0-exist in a highly technology-dependent world?), a subtle treatise on the prejudice and the nature of humanity (are clones like everyone else? ), the ultimate surveillance society, and the rights of AI.

Add to this mix a ubiquitous nanotechnology, unseen but remarked upon dangers, and unseen political manipulation driving the action? A relatively rich novel. I’m already looking foward to the next book in the series.

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