Mark Pantoja's Reviews > Beggars in Spain

Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress
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's review
Jun 02, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: reviewed

A classic. Yes, the characters are but pawns and plot points, most lacking real depth, but it's a multi-generational drama. It's like Silverberg/Assimov's "Bicentennial Man," but for biotech/genetics. The only wrangle I had was:

My, how stupid smart people can be.

It's pretty laughable that any group of hyper-intelligent, and then Superbright hyper-intelligent people would be swayed by such a philosophically bankrupt ethos that just allows the rich and powerful to feel justified and revel in their subjective superiority. That and the preposterous notion that any group of highly intelligent people would be so easily cowed and controlled over generations by any fascist leader such as Jennifer Sharifi. I would agree that technical persons can be project oriented, and that their theory of mind lends itself to consensus, but the ranks would be filled with dissension and hyper-critical opinion, this is what happens when you get a room full of intelligent people together: they all have the right answer. That's a generalization, but I think you get the point.

At any rate, was a great ride and Kress really delivered on the challenge (for the most part) of writing people who were smarter than herself. Kudos, Kress.
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