Review Blog

Nov 14 2014

Crash by Sean Williams

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Twinmaker series, bk 2. Allen & Unwin, 2014. ISBN 9781743316474
(Age: 16+) This sequel to Jump sees Clair Hill infamous - as the girl who killed d-mat. D-mat is the technology that can create, replicate and teleport any object (clothes, food, humans) and that not only eliminated famine and pollution but was also permitting self-improvement and enhancement.
Clair, a reluctant hero, is reunited with Jesse at a time where Earth is in crisis. Clair is conflicted by seemingly incompatible (pro- and anti-d-mat) philosophies that complicate her decisions and demand the taking of sides.
'Once the law makers and peacekeepers started dividing people up into different types, regardless of what they had done, couldn't people then get away with anything just as long as they belonged to the right type?'
Claire is caught between Peacekeepers, dupes, RADICAL (activist group) and WHOLE (anti-d-mat terrorist group) who all have their own agendas and are intent on capturing Q (an artificial intelligence) to achieve their ends. Claire struggles with ethical and moral dilemmas as the world around her erupts in violence and her life is put at risk.
Sean Williams presents an opportunity to explore the ethical and moral consequences of technological innovation and the use of violence. It lends itself to comparison with other novels (such as The giver) that explore societies that have eliminated aspects of our current society in the pursuit of a perfect and convenient life. Crash has its own Twitter hashtag (#crashland) that readers can follow and this sequel also attempts to present the challenges and benefits of a world of individuals linked in instant communication. There are no definitive answers given throughout the story, so there is scope for genuine philosophical discussion.
While the technologies discussed in the novel are not part of our current scientific landscape, the Baikal Superdeep Borehole and Mesaieed (Qatar) are places mentioned in the novel that do exist. Mesaieed will host the World Cup 2022.
The Twinmaker website allows fans of this series to learn more about the books, comment on blogs and enter competitions.
Linda Guthrie

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