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Human Identity as a Commercial Commodity
Dr. Orville Boyd Jenkins
A review of the book by R E Bartlett
The Personifid Project. (Lake Mary, Florida:  Realms (Strang), 2005.  292p.)

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This creative science-fiction story keeps the reader's interest with engaging dialogue and action scenes.  The story moves along well, and we are caught up in the story.  I was not aware of R E Bartlett, and found this a pleasing introduction to this new female author.  This is the New Zealand author's first published book.

Bartlett presents an action adventure set in the future when artificial bodies have been developed and souls-minds can be transferred to these new commercial "personfid" bodies which never wear out.  Of course, there are the political and economic threads that introduce us to the greedy, unprincipled entrepreneurs interested only in the money.

The story also focuses the moral questions involved in manipulating human identities and devaluing persons for personal financial gain.  And then what do the individuals do with their old bodies after their souls or consciousnesses have been transferred to their new personfid bodies?

Amoral technology, indifferent government and unprotected private citizens.  All the standard fare for a sci fi adventure, put together in a satisfying package.  The story builds intrigue as the players on several levels of the story develop.  

The dynamics are well developed by Bartlett.  Industrial intrigue, underhanded business practices, assassination and other complications keep this story moving.  The protagonist Aphra is believable.  Aphra grows in her awareness of the challenges involved here, and in how to approach the moral and intellectual problems.

The dialogue is realistic, and the story moves along, carrying us with it and enabling us to consider the moral challenges this scenario would present to us.  The reader will consider along with Aphra to what degree we control our destiny.

Moral reflections add a dimension to ask that we think about the social and spiritual implications of questions of identity and freewill.  These futuristic technological developments present challenges to our concepts of human identity and moral and spiritual implications of humans as a commodity.

See related reviews and articles on this site:
[review] Shatner's Cyber-Tech World of Crime

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OBJ

First reading notes written 18 August 2009
Reviewed on Amazon 28 April 2010 and on OJTR 29 April 2010

Orville Boyd Jenkins, EdD, PhD
Copyright © 2010 Orville Boyd Jenkins
Permission granted for free download and transmission for personal or educational use.  Other rights reserved.

Email:  orville@jenkins.nu
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