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The Unincorporated Man (Unincorporated Man #1)

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3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,423 Ratings  ·  362 Reviews
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 ...more
ebook, 496 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Tor Books (first published March 31st 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Stefan
May 13, 2009 Stefan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This novel offers a really interesting and innovative SF concept: in the future, every person is incorporated upon birth. Twenty percent of the shares go to the parents, five percent goes to the government, the rest can be sold by the owner for education, possessions and so on. You can buy and sell someone's shares as an investment, for charity, even as a hostile act. Reaching "self-majority" - owning the majority of your own shares - is similar to becoming independently wealthy in today's world ...more
Cass
Storyline: 2 stars
Character likeability: 1 star
World building:4 stars
American propaganda: -1star

Three hundred years in the past a rich man has himself cryogenicly frozen and sealed away somewhere safe. He is reanimated into a future world where every individual is incorporated. Parents own a 20% stock in there kids. Shareholders vote on major decisions for an individual.

I really like the premise. It is incredibly interesting, especially when we learn about "penny stocks" and the chairman who wa
...more
JulesQ
Jun 02, 2010 JulesQ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like science fiction and are patient
Recommended to JulesQ by: Tyler Cowen
Shelves: 2010
So, I think I liked this book a lot better while I was reading it than once I was done -- it might just be because the first half was like 42 times better than the second half. And once it was done I was left feeling very unsatisfied, and I think there are a couple of reasons for this.

The premise of the book is that in the future, people are like individual corporations which can buy and sell percentages of their earnings -- the government gets an automatic 5%, parents get 20%, and the rest you
...more
Stephen
4.0 to 4.5 stars. Excellent debut novel. It is always nice when a truly unique idea comes along and the central idea of this book is certainly that. A great piece of libertarian science fiction from a fresh new voice (or voices). I look forward to this duos next book. Recommended.
11
Sep 17, 2013 11 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glimmer-of-hope
Welcome to the world of The Unincorporated Man! It’s 350 years in the future, and most citizens are incorporated entities whose shares trade on the open market.

Do you think your class valedictorian is going to go far? Buy some of his shares today, while they’re still cheap! When he eventually becomes a hotshot executive, you’ll be entitled to dividends representing a share of his earnings!

How about those noisy neighbors next door? Can’t seem to get them to turn their stereo down? Maybe it’s ti
...more
Ben Babcock
Do you have a brick wall handy? Because hitting your head against that would be a more productive and more enjoyable experience than listening to The Unincorporated Man as an audiobook. This was the only format in which it was available through my library. Audiobooks are not my preferred format for reading. They can definitely be great if you have good material and a good narrator. The narrator here, Todd McLaren, wasn’t bad—but even he couldn’t make this book sound interesting. Even at 2.5x spe ...more
David
Nov 15, 2009 David rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A friend of mine entreated me to read a book, but I just can't slog through it. The book is The Unincorporated Man by Dani and Eytan Kollin. I made it about 1/3 of the way through.

The basic premise is that in the future, people will all be their own corporations, and their shares will be available to be bought and sold by others on the open market. Interesting!

Then, a particularly old person (Justin) comes out of cold-sleep such that he is the only person in the world who is not actually incorp
...more
Nick
First, thank you to Ayn Rand for not writing her 'economic libertarian' novels in a series, (e.g. imagine reading the last page of Atlas Shrugged Library Edition Part 2..."stay tuned for Ann's continuation of the Atlas saga, _Atlas Itched_!") The only serious disappointment was the author's inability to complete this in a single volume. Having said that, the Kollin brothers are a very clear major new voice in science fiction, very welcome. This novel could be a nominee for the nebulas or hugos n ...more
Will
Jan 29, 2011 Will rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book... made me itch.

It reads like a 1950s potboiler. The characters are cardboard stereotypes. The plot is hackneyed. And the central conceit, a system of incorporation, is a problem, because a) it's silly (WHY was this solution considered? HOW did it get introduced?) and b) social forces would have acted far sooner to challenge the central premise, without requiring the figurehead. The ridiculous figurehead.

Justin Cord is basically John Galt, frozen and petrified. The book reads like Ayn
...more
Bridget
Aug 19, 2011 Bridget rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Fascinating. While the protagonist was largely frustrating, I love that this book brought some fresh ideas to a genre largely in need of them. The concept that in the future people own shares in you & your future earnings was highly original. I love that a guy from our time who cryogenically froze himself wakes up in a future as the only person who isn't incorporated ie no one owns stock in him. The book did a great job of showing both sides of the coin for why society & individuals shou ...more
Tish
Jun 01, 2014 Tish rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The premise of the book is interesting and original: a man with a terminal illness has himself frozen and is revived 3 or 4 centuries later. Society has evolved into one of personal incorporation: at birth, people are assigned 100,00 shares, 5% of which goes to the government, 20% to their family, and they are free to keep or sell the other 75% to finance college, start a business, or whatever. The first part of the book was interesting as we learn how Justin's frozen body was discovered and rea ...more
Jane
Jan 11, 2010 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Text Addict
The literary political-social dialectic and is alive and well, and being published by Tor: The Unincorporated Man looks like a political treatise disguised as a pretty good novel. Cleverly, it sets up a conflict with one unfortunate aspect of its ideal Objectivist/Libertarian future society, and in demolishing that one aspect it leaves the rest of the socio-political structure intact and unchallenged. As I said, clever.

For those not familiar with the modern Objectivist/Libertarian strain of thou
...more
CV Rick
Jun 28, 2010 CV Rick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The Unincorporated Man is an idea story and at its heart it's a good idea forming the basis. The problem is that the novel is plagued with every writing, plotting, and character mistake for which idea novels are known.

The gist of it is that a man from our time is awakened after a three-century cryogenic sleep and thrust into a society of complete corporatocracy – where governments have no power and all the rules are made by corporations, which are so pervasive that every person, from birth, is i
...more
Tyler Quick
Aug 29, 2015 Tyler Quick rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Two stars may be generous for this book. It is a thinly veiled piece of ideological propaganda masquerading as an intellectual sci-fi thriller. It not only fails to meet its ideological goal by relying on a plethora of logical fallacies, but also disappoints artistically.

Let's begin with the ideological critique. The Kollin brothers are obviously Ayn Randites, the kind of young, intelligent, straight, white dudes that probably voted for Ron Paul and wish that "everyone would just think logically
...more
Jennie
I....can't....take....anymore. 143 pages in and so far this book has just been one huge political/economic thesis (yawn) combined with a 1950's "World of TOMORROW!" film, complete with be-spectacled narrator.

It's disappointing because the premise - billionaire has himself cryogenically suspended, then is re-awakened 300 years later (in the 24th century) to find that more than a little has changed - was promising. It could have been interesting, but alas, the authors have spent more time (way, wa
...more
Chris
I think I enjoyed this book more the second time around.

So, Justin Cord gets cancer and decides to cryogenically freeze himself until such time as medical science is able to cure him (like you do). And he wakes up in a future utopia where technology has advanced to amazing levels, the solar system is being colonized, nanotechnology means that everyone is healthy, perpetually young and can live for centuries . . . and the economy is built on buying and selling shares in people. The book focuses o
...more
August Bourré
The writing is clunky as hell (especially the women and the tendency towards clumsy infodumps/speeches), and only the premise saves it from being a 2-star book.

It seems on the surface like one brand of libertarian free-market nonsense arguing with another, but what it really is, is contemporary libertarian free-market nonsense arguing with its own logical conclusion. In addition to not really understanding people (and can I say again, women in particular... the female characters read like they'r
...more
Dan Lemke
This book was big on ideas, but unfortunately that's all it was big on. Characters and plot seemed secondary to the authors getting a chance to lecture the reader with underdeveloped thoughts on politics, economics, and society.

As the description says, this book is about a man--Justin Cord--from the early 21st century who emerges from spending 300 years in hypersleep/stasis to find a world in which everyone is incorporated at birth--that is, just as when companies go public, each person comes in
...more
Matt
Rating books with a simple 1 to 5 star system is difficult. You might give a book 5 stars because it was very enjoyable to read and another 5 stars because the subject matter is very important, and another because it is very original. The scale I tend to like the most is how much do I think about the book when I am done reading it. On that scale this is a 5 star book.

In some ways it is similar to books like the Truth Machine and The First Immortal that explore the idea of cryogenically frozen p
...more
Graham Crawford
This started out with such promise. The first third was filled with lots of interesting ideas. I very quickly realised the characters and plot were only there as scaffolds to move me from one idea to another - and I thought - OK - it's one of *those* books! I can cope with this as long as the ideas keep coming one per page. Alas the ideas ran out and I was left with emotionally adolescent characters who were at their most believable when caught stealing the last beer from the mates fridge. Write ...more
Nathaniel
Aug 08, 2010 Nathaniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, economics
This is what a science-fiction novel should be.

First of all: the book has Big Ideas. The biggest one is the idea of individual incorporation. Every human being is a corporation, and people and businesses can buy and sell stock in other people and other businesses. The authors do a great job of explaining what this system might look like along with truly creative and insightful socio-economic exploration of the consequences. That idea alone would have been enough for a novel, but they cram severa
...more
Genevieve Williams
I wanted to like this a lot more than I did. Its premise (a future where individuals can incorporate, buying and selling shares in themselves) is a really intriguing thought experiment, and I went into the book prepared to explore a world where this was a foundational element of society.

Unfortunately, I found the story unpersuasive: the future society (seen through the eyes of a 21st-century individual who has himself cryogenically frozen, and is lucky enough to have his capsule discovered by a
...more
Jamie
Feb 22, 2010 Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Ok, this was a great book.

Recommended to me by a book store employee and friend.

The sociological, political and economical implications of such a future are fascinating and experiencing these new ideas Kollin presents could not have been better suited than through someone from our own "time" and closeness to our history.

As the plot moved on, I consistently thought, near the conclusion to each subplot, that I could not truly predict where the next hundred pages were headed, and I was pleasantly s
...more
Gio
Oct 21, 2010 Gio rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ever experience travel or a good book that changes the way you look at the world? If you've read "Stranger in a Strange Land" by Robert Heinlein or even "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells then you may have experienced that out of place aura surrounding a character who's estranged from his world. Try traveling in a foreign country and you'll know the feeling of how it can estrange while exhilarate you at the same time.

The Unincorporated Man creates a fish out of water character in Justin Cord. Cord
...more
Benjamin Uminsky
Apr 20, 2011 Benjamin Uminsky rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I really would have liked to have liked this book (if that makes any sense). I just can't bring myself to give it a higher rating. The premise really caught my eye and I think if more thought and effort was put into plot and character development, you might have wound up with a pretty good story.

Here is the thing... I love science fiction because it is such a great medium to explore social criticisms and political analysis while telling a great story. Allegory and metaphor presented through scie
...more
Xarah
Sep 20, 2015 Xarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
An interesting (and kinda strange - a good strange, though) concept. I can see parts of the story actually happening (the Great Collapse) and parts that I didn't quite understand how it came about (the concept of personal incorporation). I thought it was a fun read and I'll likely pick up the others set in the same world to see how the authors continue with their idea.
J
Aug 30, 2010 J rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This book kicked my ass. It reminded me of some of the more intelligent Heinlein that I've enjoyed (Stranger in a Strange Land, Fear No Evil). And it has the political and interpersonal subtlety of Dune. But mostly it succeeds on its own merits: it's intelligent, well written, full of great action and gripping characters--all in all I highly recommend this book to anyone who find themselves intrigued by the futuristic world viewed through the lens of human politics and economics exploded outward ...more
Karel Baloun
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steve
Imagine this: Asia is obliterated. Space travel is possible.
Cars fly (finally!). There is no war. There is no unemployment. And
while you are imagining all of this, add in the fact that you are
incorporated at birth, and that in order to get a job or an
education, you must trade stock of yourself. Imagine also that you
likely do not own the majority of your own stock, thus your
investors decide where you can work and even where you can
live.

Is this slavery? Or does it encourage a person to invest in
ot
...more
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recommend 9 23 Aug 03, 2014 05:39AM  
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1004625
I'm an accidental science fiction author.
A few years back, broke, desperate and living with my wife and three kids at my in-laws, I decided to get together with my brother, Eytan and write a book. Mind you I had no idea how to go about this but I did know that Eytan had some great ideas and little tenacity and I had a lot of tenacity and a gift for knowing how to turn great ideas into a marketabl
...more
More about Dani Kollin...

Other Books in the Series

Unincorporated Man (4 books)
  • The Unincorporated War
  • The Unincorporated Woman
  • The Unincorporated Future (Unincorporated Man, #4)

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“History,” answered Justin, unfazed, “has had to deal with your kind forever. You don’t get it. The ends are the means. You are what you do and what you accept.” 1 likes
“opposing party was an offshoot of the Libertarians. They were called the Eliminationist Party, and their platform was predicated on the belief that corporate society had evolved beyond the need for government at all. For decades the Eliminationists remained a fringe party because of their shortsighted insistence on scrapping all government everywhere. Because corporate society was inherently conservative, and the party’s platform too radical, the Eliminationist movement never got off the ground.” 1 likes
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