From the Publisher
“From a stew of greed, biomilitary secrets, and genetic engineering, he has created a Frankenstein for our era.” David Morrell
“As a timely warning of what we mustn't do, where we mustn't go, this is a must read.” Brian Lumley
“Creepy, satisfying. . . . Each section adds intrigue, portents of doom and layers to the characters – good and bad. While he neatly ties up all the loose ends in his frighteningly possible world, Wilson offers no simple answers.” Publishers Weekly
“Wilson turns some pretty good phrases . . . [and] keeps the intrigue up nicely.” The Union-Tribune [San Diego, CA]
“[Wilson uses] his medical background to create a memorable plot . . . . grippingly detailed [and] credible.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Sims does what good a narrative should do: it provides an interesting and suspenseful story involving characters deserving of the spotlight shone upon them. And for this reviewer, at least, the novel does something equally important: it encourages the reader to think.” The Laissez Faire Electronic Times
“F. Paul Wilson is a writer's writer, and I grab anything he's written with enthusiasm. Sims is no different.” Joe R. Lansdale
What started as a series of three inventive and exciting novellas by SF veteran Wilson has now become a single volume, complete with two new sections and a creepy, satisfying ending. In the near future, sims-chimpanzees enhanced with human DNA created by a company called SimGen-are used as cheap labor and medical guinea pigs while denied even the right to family. Patrick Sullivan, a labor lawyer, and Romy Cadman, an activist, team up to change the classification of sims from property to persons in order to improve their treatment and to bring SimGen's shady beginnings to light. In the fourth part, the search for the missing pregnant sim from the third novella, Meerm (2002), intensifies as further implications of her baby's nature emerge. The reader at last is able to follow the thoughts of Zero, the perpetually masked reclusive genius behind the effort to destroy SimGen, and, eventually, to learn his identity. Portero, the unreliable SimGen enforcer, finds his life spiraling out of control as Patrick and Romy continually gain ground with the help of newly discovered and somewhat disconcerting friends. Each section adds intrigue, portents of doom and layers to the characters-good and bad. While he neatly ties up all the loose ends in his frighteningly possible world, Wilson offers no simple answers. (Apr. 22) FYI: Wilson is also the author of The Haunted Air (Forecasts, Nov. 4, 2002) and other novels in his Repairman Jack series. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
A big medical thriller about genetics and Dr. Wilson's most intriguing tale since The Keep (1981). Wilson turns away from his evil age-old entities and other malignant beings in order to draw instead on what many of his readers really enjoy most, his medical background, to create a memorable plot while revising what may become a new word in the language: sims. Because chimpanzees share 98.5 percent of the same genes as humans, the brothers Mercer and Ellis Sinclair refine and patent a new genome for a half-human/half-simian creature they call their "product" and sell to the world as an advantageous new workforce. Sims walk upright, speak, have an enlarged but limited intelligence, have no libido, and work more cheaply even than humans in the Third World labor force. Off-hours, sims live in barracks, eat leftover human food, watch television, and are raised to have no interest in money. Labor relations lawyer Patrick Sullivan, who works both sides of the street, management and labor, is guesting at a fancy golf course when Nabb, his sim caddie, asks to see him alone. Nabb and the 20 sims who work at this country club want to unionize, not for money but for the comforts of family life. Cynical at first, Sullivan, after being insulted by a club member who has blackballed him three times, decides to take up the sims cause. The sims offer him all the money that may come in. Soon vilified, Sullivan finds himself attacked, his other clients lost, home burned, and fired by his firm. Wilson's latest competes with David Ambrose's The Discrete World of Charlie Monk (p. 100), a much shorter, more amusing, though less grippingly detailed-or credible-treatment of the theme of altered simian genes. Weawait a social satirist-a Sinclair Lewis, G.B. Shaw, or Aldous Huxley-to take up this timely subject with moral wit minus the melodrama. Large sales loom.
Read an Excerpt
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY
A good walk spoiled, Patrick Sullivan thought as he trudged toward the rough where his slicing golf ball had disappeared. Somebody had got that right.
Patrick didn't actually hate golf, but he suffered from a condition he'd come to call GADDGolf Attention Deficit Disorder. Nine holes and he'd had it. Maybe that was because during his first nine holes he racked up more strokes than most golfers did in eighteen. But today he was playing with Ben Armstrong, CFO of the Jarman department store chain and a valued client, who, although even less skillful than Patrick on the links, seemed immune to GADD.
Maybe it was the clothes. Armstrong, a florid-faced fellow in his sixties, sporting a neat goatee the same steel-gray shade as his hair, had decked himself out in a blue-and-raspberry-striped shirt, raspberry pants, and white golf shoes. Patrick wasn't into sherbet shades; he wore a white shirt, navy slacks, and tan shoes.
Golf or not, he was having a good walk on a bright September day among the luxuriously verdant rolling hills of upper Westchester where the Beacon Ridge club nestled its links. The air was redolent of fresh-mown grass and money.
Christ, he wanted into this place. Not so much for the golf, but because golf was such a great way to do business.
Like today. Armstrong, a club member, had asked Patrick out for a twosome. Wanted to get caught up on the upcoming negotiations with the salesclerk union. Patrick's specialty was labor law, and though he worked both sides, lately he'd found himself billing more and more hours to the management end.
Beacon Ridge was packed with heavies like Armstrong. A goldmine of potential clients and billable hours. Patrick's firm loved billable hourslittle else mattered at Payes & Hechtand if he could tap into this mother lode…
A sudden screech from ahead and to his left drew his attention. His caddie was pointing at the ground. "Here, sir, here! I find! Here!"
"Good eye, Nabb," Patrick said as he walked over.
"Yessir," Nabb said, his head bobbing as he grinned broadly at the praise. "Good eye, good eye."
Typical of the Beacon Ridge caddies, Nabb was an average size sim, about five-three, maybe 130 pounds; he sported a little more facial hair than most sims. Armstrong's caddie, Deek, was a bit differentbeefier, and seemed taller, although that might be due to better posture. They looked like hominids yanked from the Stone Age and wrestled into the Beacon Ridge caddie uniform of lime green shirt and white pants, but they moved with a certain grace despite their slightly bowed legs.
Beacon Ridge had introduced sim caddies a couple of years ago, the first golf club in the country to do so. Caused quite a stir at the time, but the club members seemed to enjoy the status of being pioneers in the transgenic revolution. Other clubs soon followed suit, but Beacon Ridge remained famous for being the first. By now sims were practically part of the scenery around the links.
"Come on, movie star!" Armstrong called from the green. "You can do it!"
Movie star…on their first meeting he'd said Patrick reminded him of Axel Sommers, the latest digital heartthrob. Patrick figured Armstrong needed glasses. Sure, they both had blue eyes and slightly wavy blond hair, but Sommers looked just a little too pretty for comfort.
Patrick waved and turned to Nabb. "Let me have the five wood."
The sim's dark brown eyes shifted between the ball nestled in the rough against a broad-leafed weed, and the green a hundred yards away atop a slope. "Seven better, sir."
"That five's especially made for rough"Christ knows I'm in it enough"and this is as rough as it gets."
Nabb pulled out the seven and handed it to him. "Five too far, sir."
"What makes you think you know my game?" Patrick said, trying to keep his annoyance out of his tone. He'd take golf advice from just about anyone, even a sim, but he knew his own limitations. "This is the first time you've caddied for me."
Nabb watch Mist Sulliman before."
"Really?" He didn't get to play here all that often. How could this creature know his game?
The sim thrust the iron forward. "Seven."
Patrick snatched the club. "Okay. We'll do it your way. But ifI should say, whenit falls short and rolls back down that hill, I'm gonna have your hide."
Nabb said nothing, simply stepped back to give Patrick room.
Patrick took two practice swings, stepped up to the ball, and whacked it. The ball sailed high, sailed straight, and plopped out of sight somewhere atop the slope.
Armstrong started clapping. "Nice shot! Less than a dozen feet from the |hole!"
Patrick turned to Nabb and had to laugh when he saw the huge grin on the sim's apelike face. "Don't say you told me so!"
"Nev say, sir. Just want Mist Sulliman win."
Wants the nonmember to win? Odd. But who could figure what went on in an animal's head.
Patrick one-putted and birdied the holean event rare enough to warrant a victory jig, but he resisted. Armstrong's caddie seemed as pleased as Nabb.
As they strolled toward the next tee, Patrick noticed swelling and bruising around Deek's right eye.
"What happened to you?"
"Bump door, sir."
"Deek ver clums," Nabb said. "Always bump self. Not watch where go."
"Quit jawing with the help, Patty," Armstrong said. He laughed. "Next thing you know you'll be trying to unionize them."
Nabb dropped Patrick's golf bag.
"Sorry, sir," he said as he knelt to gather up the clubs. "Sometime Nabb too ver clums."
Copyright © 2003 by F. Paul Wilson