Read Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress Online

Title : Beggars in Spain
Author :
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ISBN : 12991321
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 98 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Beggars in Spain Reviews

  • Kimberly Hughes
    2019-05-05 10:32

    I read "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand at 17 during my freshman orientation at UT. I knew nothing about Ayn Rand or objectionism and read it because I had it and loved it because I was a bitter young girl and a huge fan of dystopian fiction. I could identify with the characters and I found it intriguing, but I did not take it as dogma. I read it as fiction the way I read other dystopian fiction or science fiction. Later that year, when I learned a little about the author and her philosophy, I vehemently objected to that.I read Beggars in Spain and it's sequels when they first came out shortly after. I also loved them. That was two decades ago and I recommended the series to my brother-in-law so I decided to get them for him for Christmas and was surprised to find out that they were no longer available. So I purchased the original novella that they were based on to give to him and decided to read it myself before passing it on.In reading this version (which seems like the first part of the novel that I remember), the thing that struck me was how much of objectionism is in the book. The difference is that the main character has feelings and empathy and understands that those that have gifts should share them and not write off those without. It is almost an answer to Rand's selfishness.Putting that aside, after reading the novella, I can see why the novels are no longer in print. Even this small short story is riddled with things we know not to be true now (both the psychology and hard science). That doesn't deter from a fairly engaging novella that is a quick, easy read. I imagine that it was much easier for me to relate to as a minority in the early 90s than it would be to a young person of current day because while we still have racism and hatred and the fear that results from that, it isn't any where near as prevalent as it has been in the past. Reading it again now, I enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as I did reading it the first time.

  • Иван Величков
    2019-04-30 05:21

    Винаги подхождам с известен страх към книги които са ми препоръчали голямо количество познати. Отлагането на прочита им, обаче понякога ми играе лоши шеги. С „Безсмъртни в Испания” точно така стана. Сигурен съм, че ако бях я подхванал преди 15 години щеше да ми хареса много повече.В едно достоверно бъдеще генното инженерство е достатъчно напреднало. Нова технология позволява да се раждат неспящи деца, които са много по-интелигентни от спящите. Тези еволюирали хора много бързо започват да се сблъскват със страх, агресия и остракация. Когато взимат живота си в свои ръце, се налага да правят редица нелеки морални избори.Книгата е много добре написана и прогностичната и част за бъдещето на Америка удря право в десетката. Както и ислямските конфликти, съсредоточаването на световния капитал в шепа хора и др. и др.Издразни ме, обаче явната и поприкрита пропаганда, която извират от страниците на книгата. Единствената „неспяща”, която направи по-радикален избор спрямо „нормалните” хора, някак си се оказа мюсюлманка, беше споменато един път, но после се набиваше с името и облеклото постоянно. Сравняването на свръххората с евреи също не ми обегна. Новата свръхкапиталистическа етична система наречена Ягаизъм си беше откровено зло. А благият финал тип Америка над всичко съвсем ми скапа настроението. С едно съм съгласен – без монопол върху нов вид евтина енергия Щатите наистина ще отидат по дяволите.Пак да кажа, прогностиката е на много високо ниво, ако се абстрахираме от пропагандата (нещо на което отдавна съм се научил от книгите от другата страна на конфликта), та смятам, че който е харесал един „Водосрез” примерно ще се влюби в тази книга. Не беше моята бира.

  • Gwenn Desliens
    2019-05-01 09:29

    Je l’ai dévoré en une nuit, et il entre directement dans mes romans (de SF) favoris. Preuve sur papier qu’on peut faire court et riche. Tout est en haute qualité et détaillé sans être redondant. On a une famille, des personnages secondaires qui se croisent, de nouvelles technologies mais aussi les dérives idéologiques qui sont nées avec elles. Des icônes, des stars, des espoirs, des craintes, des crises médiatiques: le temps de 150 pages nous entrons entière dans son univers. Pour Nancy Kress, il est ironique qu’il y ai si peu d’enfants en SF, car ils représentent notre avenir. Et la protection de l’enfance trouve une place de choix dans L’Une Rêve, l’Autre Pas. Jetez vous dessus sans attendre !

  • aPriL does feral sometimes
    2019-04-23 05:32

    After I finished this marvelous novella, I read other reviews to see if anyone else thought it was a literary response to the philosophy in Ayn Rand's 'Atlas Shrugged'. Not only did I see a review that saw what I saw in the story, but I found it be a really terrific review! Roger Camden and his wife Elizabeth want a child, but not just any child. He has contacted Dr. Ong to arrange for a genetically enhanced baby. She must have green eyes, blonde hair, a slender build and be tall when she grows up. The Camden's also want musical ability and intelligence. But in particular, she must be 'sleepless'. Since creating Sleepless humans - humans who stay awake 24/7 - is a top secret beta program, Ong is annoyed by their request. However, the financial inducements and a threat to sue for discrimination that Roger Camden presses on Ong overcome his annoyance and Elizabeth's eggs are changed genetically as directed. Unexpectedly, after implantation the couple learns they will have twins; however, only one will have the enhancements. The other will be a normal 'sleeper', born of a naturally implanted egg from a normal monthly ovary release. Elizabeth Camden is overjoyed by the normal baby. Roger only wants the enhanced child. An abortion would remove both fetuses, so they continue the pregnancy.Leisha is a superior human being in every way: smarter, faster, stronger - and she never sleeps. Alice is normal in every way, a lively baby - but her father barely takes any notice of her. He lavishes every attention on Leisha. The girls love each other and play together until their natural gifts separate them. Leisha goes to a private school, while Alice finds happiness in an ordinary public school. The Camdens divorce, unable to agree over Roger's intense and deep belief in Yagaiism and his pushy preference for Leisha.Roger as a Yagaiist and a personal friend of Kenzo Yagai believes that Excellence supported by individual effort is all that counts. Truth and individual meritocracy, and the equality of trading favors are all that's of value to society and in relationships. Man should rely only on himself for dignity and worth, and not what he thinks other people should do or feel. ""The basic tool of civilization is the contract. Contracts are voluntary and mutually beneficial, as opposed to coercion, which is wrong."" ""Only freedom--the freedom to achieve, the freedom to trade freely the results of achievement--creates the environment proper to dignity and spirituality of man."" Force is not honorable in any circumstance. There is no distinctions made between the strong and the weak, so nothing will be available to the weak if they have nothing to trade. (Later, the Sleepless discuss Yagaiism as extrapolated to 'Beggars in Spain', or anywhere in the world, along with the deformed, the handicapped, the sick, and the lazy - should they be taken care of? Is there any obligation or any circumstances people with nothing to trade should be helped?)As Leisha becomes an adult, she meets other Sleepless - most as young or younger than herself. Only 19 Sleepless are older. Altogether they total several thousand. The social consequences are as varied as are people's reactions as the existence of such people becomes known, but generally people become frightened. Even some of the parents who paid to have a Sleepless child are unable to finish raising their Special child because of unforeseen issues such as 24/7 fussing or jealousy of the extraordinary mental talents their children exhibit.Eventually more violence towards the Sleepless builds and they must decide how to protect themselves until more Sleepless are born and until state laws settle down into consistent rationality (irrational and discriminatory laws are passed everywhere reducing the rights of the Sleepless). A hopeful sign of unintended consequences is Sleepless genes are dominant, so only one parent need be Sleepless for Sleepless children to be conceived.This is a wonderful story. Many ideas are explored and yet it is a high quality read and an interesting plot. I read it straight through, tense with hoping everyone would survive!(view spoiler)[ I'm happy that Leisha has a rethink about Yagaiism through the courage of her normal sister Alice, who saves a Sleepless child selflessly, sacrificing her career without concern of a trade of equal benefit! I despise Ayn Rand's books. > (hide spoiler)]

  • Oni
    2019-05-03 10:26

    There are two version of this novel, the original novella, and the expanded novel. This is the review of the original novella.I am beginning to like Nancy Kress very much. Her idea of a sci-fi novel is always interesting. She always has something new inside her pocket and she presented it beautifully. She stands at the pinnacle of the "what-if" sci-fi. Unfortunately, she also almost every time fails the final execution. Just like you already dribble the ball beautifully, but fail the final shot. I am not saying that the ending ruin everything, but I certainly hope that she can write a better ending.The big "what-if" in this novella is a genetic engineering. A high-end research succeeds to bring a new human generation, that DO NOT REQUIRE ANY SLEEP. Wow, how cool is that! I always think that my sleeping time is too much. And the side effect is even more shocking! (view spoiler)[Those sleepless human do not just require no sleep, but they are emotionally and intellectually more advanced than average human. Therefore, they are super-mind human. Imagine them like mutants, X-Men, and their power is that they are super bright and calm. (hide spoiler)]Nancy Kress that go deeper by bringing all the social consequences because of this genetic engineering. Politically it creates an upheaval. And finally the Sleepless has to defend their own position, if they want to survive. Here the story begin to falter.The strong point is the science, and how science can change our human society. The weak point is the politics. Many reviews said that this novel is written as a counter to Ayn Rand's novel: Atlas Shrugged. We can see clearly that the ideology of the Sleepless, Yagaiism, is a form of libertarianism. I haven' read Ayn Rand, so I cannot comment on that. Nancy Kress, in this case, is still below par if you consider the other sci-fi political commentator: Ursula K. Le Guin and Robert A. Heinlein.So, just 4 star.

  • Patricia J. O'Brien
    2019-05-10 10:33

    Beggars in Spain is amazing. I'm giving it five stars for being both smart and engaging. I read the original award-winning novella of Beggars in Spain, not the later series of novels that expands the story. The novella version was first published in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction magazine and went on to win Hugo and Nebula awards.The characters grabbed me from page one. Nancy Kress made them so real I felt like I was in the room with them and then she dropped the bombshell that the couple talking to the doctor have come to order a genetically-modified baby--one who never has to sleep.The conflict of this story centers on the divide between 'haves' and 'have-nots,' which in this case are the high-performing and high-achieving Sleepless versus the ordinary Sleepers whose resentment grows into violence.Nancy Kress manages in 98-pages to create characters I care about who face a thought-provoking moral question as well as a real danger. In this world, the main character Leisha believes, as her father taught her, that a successful society is based on individual achievement. So she works hard and is joyful in her advancements and mystified by resentment she sometimes gets in return. The title of the story comes from a heated debate Leisha has with another Sleepless that a reasoned societal contract can not stand up to the reality of people who have nothing to work with, whether by choice or otherwise.Kress does not solve the world's problems at the end, she lets her character grow and understand and take what action she can. That's the best kind of storytelling.

  • Nicolas
    2019-05-20 04:39

    Dans cette très longue nouvelle, ou ce très court roman, on suit la jeunesse et une partie de la vie de Leisha Camden, une fille éprouvette conçue "sur plans", c'est-à-dire avec des demandes particulières. Une de ces demandes est, évidement, qu'elle ne dorme pas. Du tout. Jamais. Ou, comme le dit à peu près la quatrième de couverture "Qu'est-ce que vous feriez de plus si vous ne dormiez pas ?".Le récit est intéressant pour plusieurs raisons.Il y a d'abord un postulat transhumaniste intéressant. Parce que bon, le sommeil, comme résidu évolutionnaire, ça se pose là. Et celui-ci sera bien exploré durant la croissance de Leisha, mais aussi après pour ses études.Il y a également un postulat sociétal : le contrat comme base de la vie en société. Ca m'a rappelé certains excès à la Ayn Rand. Mais ça laisse aussi la place à quelques beaux moments.Il y a enfin un postulat purement social, avec l'opposition entre les dormeurs et les non-dormeurs, et le haine de l'autre qui en découle.Tout ça est assez chouette, et particulièrement renforcé par l'humanité que met l'auteure dans ses personnages. Leisha est exemplaire avec son idéalisme, son intelligence et sa volonté de changer le monde. Mais sa soeur jumelle, Alice, est également un beau personnage en lutte, terrien, réaliste, et parfaitement complémentaire.Avec tout ça, on a un beau récit, accompagné qui plus est d'une bonne interview de l'auteure. Mais je n'ai pas été totalement séduit. Et le pire, c'est que je ne sais pas trop pourquoi.

  • Cathy Douglas
    2019-04-27 06:21

    This was pretty great. It's about genetically engineered kids, focusing on how their superiority separates them from others as they grow up and become adults. It turns out their differences set them apart enough to make them hated and feared, so that in the end they have to separate themselves from the world that created them.I kind of wish that instead of piling on extra super powers toward the end, it had just stuck to not needing sleep, and all the ramifications of that. Then again, I suppose in the real world, doing without sleep would just give most of us more opportunities to be stupid, whereas the kids in the book are all super-geniuses. Still, having a few extra hours a day would be helpful in a lot of ways. It's interesting to think about.

  • Maria Arazo
    2019-04-27 11:32

    This is quite an interesting story, not only for the initial idea of having some people that don't need to sleep, but also for the characters and the troubles they have to face for being different. In specially liked how Kress depicts Leisha's inner landscape in contrast to the world that surrounds her.

  • Scott Danielson
    2019-05-22 11:15


  • Alyssia Cooke
    2019-05-02 10:20

    My main complaint is how short this is... I can't mark it down however as that comes with the territory of novella's. It's also easily fixed; I have bought the full novel which also comes with sequels. Happiness indeed.Either way, really interesting premise, well written with engaging characters. The length means it isn't as well explored as it could perhaps be and the characters could be more developed, however in light of the constraints of the form, this is a mighty fine read!

  • Jayne Rossetti
    2019-05-12 11:26

    Another book outside of my genre. I found it fascinating. In retrospect I could see a bit of Ayn Rand's style.

  • Kevin Hull
    2019-05-11 06:25

    Solid, thought provoking novella focusing on a genetically enhanced girl and how society reacts to her and those like her. The ending is a bit weak and cliched, but well worth reading.

  • L'ours inculte
    2019-05-05 08:41

    Imaginez que vous n’avez plus à dormir, que votre corps s’en passe très bien. Imaginez toutes ces heures gagnées pour vous attaquer à cette pile de bouquins qui ne cesse de gonfler, pour regarder les 45 séries que vous avez en retard ou encore pour refaire Dragon Age une 5ème fois. Quoi ? Travailler ? Et puis quoi encore…Je vous parle de ça car c’est justement le pitch de départ de L’une rêve, l’autre pas de Nancy Kress paru chez actuSF et qui revient dans leur collection Hélios (les popoches des indés de l’imaginaire). Oui, la même Nancy Kress que Le nexus du Dr Erdmann, et ça c’est un très bon point. Mais revenons au présent ouvrage : Nous ferons ici la connaissance de Roger Camden, un homme riche et puissant, assez riche et puissant pour bénéficier d’un traitement génétique très récent permettant à ces chers docteurs de « programmer » les gènes de sa future fille qui est en cours de fabrication dans le bidon de madame. Son choix est de virer tout besoin de sommeil de l’enfant, lui permettant de bénéficier de toutes ces heures perdues pour devenir encore plus brillante.Plus tard, on s’aperçoit que madame Camden attend en fait deux filles, dont l’une n’aura donc pas bénéficié du traitement. Et c’est en partant de là que Nancy Kress va nous guider dans ce court récit (grosso modo 150 pages) à travers l’enfance et la vie de jeune adulte de Leisha Camden, jeune prodige « Non-dormeuse » à qui tout réussit. Le roman va explorer les conséquences de telles modifications dans la vie de ces presque X-Men, dans leur rapport avec les dormeurs. Leisha n’est pas la seule à avoir subi ces changements, ils sont toute une bande et devront vivre avec leur différence, plus ou moins acceptée selon les cas.L’auteur arrive brillamment à nous donner une image réaliste et crédible de l’impact d’une telle technologie sur le monde, en soulevant pas mal de questions, que ce soit dans la vie personnelle de Leisha ou dans la société en général. En effet, 8 heures de plus par jour pour étudier, s’entrainer au sport, travailler ou simplement s’instruire, ça crée fatalement un avantage et les dormeurs ne voient pas tous ça d’un bon œil. On voit aussi des détails auxquels on ne pense pas forcément dans la vie de tous les jours : Par exemple, demandez à n’importe quel parent s’ils aimeraient avoir un bébé qui ne dort jamais, ils iront chercher une corde pour se pendre dans les 3 minutes.A travers la vie de Leisha, ses relations avec ses parents, sa sœur et ses amis, on croisera toutes ces problématiques en passant de la sphère familiale au milieu scolaire puis dans les médias et la vie en général. La fille Camden est très attachante et tout ce qui lui arrive apparait au lecteur comme logique et fort bien vu de la part de Nancy Kress. On a un récit prenant et vraiment intelligent qui explore l’intolérance et la jalousie, les difficultés que pourraient croiser de tels prodiges dans notre monde pas toujours tendre avec les personnes différentes. Mon parallèle avec les X-Men n’était pas juste pour la vanne, on retrouve un peu le même sentiment mêlé de crainte et d’admiration de la part du reste de la population pour ces « freaks » qui sont plus évolués et donc « meilleurs ». Comme pour les mutants marveliens, toutes ces tensions vont finir par partir en vrille bien comme il faut.Y’a un petit détail qui m’a semblé un peu plus flou, c’est tout ce qui concernait les discussion des personnages sur le Yagaiisme, une espèce de doctrine philosophique qui voit le monde comme une série de contrats entre individus. Y’a matière à creuser mais j’ai trouvé que c’était le truc en trop, trop vite abordé pour vraiment être bien développé et pas forcément utile à la trame globale. Pour autant, ça ne gêne pas vraiment la lecture et ne nuit pas à la qualité globale de ce court roman qui reste une fort jolie découverte, pleine d’intelligence et de sensibilité.L’une rêve, l’autre pas a ensuite été remouliné sous la forme d’un roman plus long, Beggars in Spain, ainsi que deux suites qui forment la trilogie Sleepless. Le potentiel du sujet en plus étendu est très intéressant mais la série n’est toujours pas traduite chez nous, on se dit que forcément, ça serait une idée sympa de la part d’ActuSF.

  • Amie's Book Reviews
    2019-04-24 04:40

    BEGGARS IN SPAINAuthor: Nancy KressType of Book: eBookLength: 98 pagesGenre: Science FictionRelease Date: 1991Publisher: Phoenix Pick - An Imprint of Arc Manor Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This story first appeared in 'Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.' If you are interested in free books like this one visit Firstly, I feel compelled to mention the fact that this novella was written over 25 years ago. Seriously, think about that! The author sets her story in a future that should be taking place NOW: in present day 2015. Obviously some of her ideas have come to pass, there are people manipulating genes, but so far we have (thankfully) not yet reached the stage where we can custom order our children. Elizabeth and Roger Camden want a daughter. They visit the best facility that offers genetic modifications of the baby. Their requests seem fairly standard: they want their daughter to have a predisposition for musical ability, to be blonde, to have green eyes, to be tall, to have a genetic disposition towards a slender build, "the full array of corrections for any potential gene-linked health problem," and they want her to have no need to sleep. The 'no sleep' modification is not general knowledge. It is new and still in the testing phase, but Roger Camden does not care. He wants his daughter to have that modification and he is willing to do or pay anything to ensure that she gets it. After the successful IVF treatment Elizabeth becomes pregnant. When the doctor informs her that she is carrying twins and that only one of the twins will be genetically modified, Elizabeth is elated. It turns out that she had not wanted an altered child, she wanted a natural child. Though this novella only consists of less than 100 pages, it is able to contain a huge storyline and a wealth of information.It is my understanding that the author took the ideas and story from this novella and expanded them into a series of novels. Those novels are definitely being added to my TO READ list.I have read some recent reviews that state that the ideas in this novella are old and stale. I disagree. This book was written in 1991. The ideas and concepts contained in this story were very much innovative for their time. I am rating this novella based on the fact that it was written so long ago as 5 out of 5 stars.I love the idea of sleepless people. They would definitely have an advantage over the rest of us "Sleepers." I also enjoyed the fact that Nancy Kress explored human nature. It is so true that people tend to hate and/or fear those who are different from the rest of us. She also acknowledges the envy people feel toward the "Sleepless" and people's desire to destroy anything or anyone that they perceive as better than themselves.This novella has won multiple awards including The Hugo Award and the Nebula Award. This is a great short read and I encourage all Science Fiction fans to read this original novella.

  • Ptitelfe
    2019-05-01 07:35

    J'ai acquis ce livre lors d'un salon en 2012, et lorsque Jérome Vincent d'actu SF me l'a présenté, je n'ai pas pu resister à ce spitch très original! Je pensais découvrir uniquement un roman de fiction qui raconte la vie de ces jumelles, et ne m'attendais pas à découvrir une reflexion sur la société et le rôle de chacun.Camden, un riche financier, décide d'avoir un enfant Non dormeur, et va donc choisir les facultés de sa fille avec sa femme, un peu plus réticente, et l'institut qui insémine les gênes pour modifier les foetus. Pour cet homme, seule la réussite dans la vie compte, et dormir n'est qu'une perte de temps. Il veut une fille absolument parfaite! Mais lors de la grossesse, ils vont se rendre compte qu'il y a deux foetus, et que le second est "normal", ce sera une dormeuse. A partir de là, on va découvrir la vie de ces deux filles, l'éducation de chacune, les difficultés rencontrées notamment par Alice qui souffre de l'intelligence de sa soeur. Leisha est toujours de bonne humeur et va très vite devenir surdouée, passant ses nuits à étudier etc... Puis à l'adolescence, elle va enfin rencontrer d'autres personnes comme elle et trouver ainsi sa place dans la société.Le style de l'auteur est très bien travaillé, très fluide! A travers ces 150 pages, elle arrive avec maîtrise à nous faire découvrir l'enfance et l'adolescence de ces filles, les personnes importantes dans leur vie, et l'évolution de chacune. On découvre comment Leisha occupe son temps libre la nuit, et en parallèle comment réagit Alice au réveil ou quand elle est trop fatiguée et a besoin de dormir. Puis on se penche plus sur le récit de Leisha une fois qu'elle découvre le groupe et à partir de là, Nancy Kress pousse le lecteur à une réflexion sur la société, la place de chacun dans un groupe, l'individualisme et la peur et rejet du "hors norme". Ici, on a affaire à des non-dormeurs, mais on peut facilement imaginer d'autres groupes de personnes en difficultés, comme les mendiants, d'où le titre en VO "Beggars in Spain".J'ai beaucoup aimé ce livre que je classerai comme une novella. On s'attache aux personnages, ces deux petites filles jumelles mais différentes et leur parcours différent.

  • Rinne
    2019-04-26 11:39

    Pour tout avouer, je ne m’attendais pas vraiment à ça en débutant cette histoire. Je ne sais pas pourquoi, je pensais à quelque chose de moins terre-à-terre. Néanmoins, j’ai beaucoup aimé ce roman et les réflexions qu’il déclenche au fil des pages.Comme beaucoup, j’ai souvent rêvé d’avoir des journées plus longues pour pouvoir faire toutes les choses que je n’ai pas le temps de réaliser (ou juste pour bouquiner tranquillou, cela dépend des fois !). Ici, pour Leisha, ne pas dormir n’est pas un rêve mais est sa réalité. Une réalité qu’elle n’a pas demandé et qui lui a donc été imposée à la naissance. Justement car son père voulait qu’elle ait le temps de faire toutes ces choses que le commun des mortels n’a pas le temps de réaliser en devant dormir.Mais si Leisha ne peut pas dormir, Alice, sa sœur jumelle, est une enfant parfaitement normale. Nous découvrons donc dans ce roman le parallèle entre ces deux gamines qui, si elles sont jumelles, n’en sont pas moins génétiquement très différentes. J’ai d’ailleurs regretté que ce parallèle ne soit pas plus prononcé car on s’intéresse ici presque exclusivement à Leisha. Cependant, le roman s’attache à la manière dont les adultes comparent les traitent les deux enfants et on débute donc cette histoire avec la différence pointée du doigt.Le roman ne s’arrête pas à ce fait de pouvoir dormir ou non mais s’intéresse à la marginalité de ces enfants qui deviendront des adultes et qui seront donc différents du reste de la société. Comment cette dernière va-t-elle réagir ? Saura-t-elle les accepter ou en aura-t-elle peur ? Saura-t-elle les intégrer ? Nancy Kress pose la question du rejet ou de l’acceptation d’une société qui voit des êtres « anormaux » l’intégrer. Mais qu’est-ce que la normalité après tout ?Le courant de pensée de Kenzo Yagai propose aussi une vision du monde très intéressante, basée sur les échanges et sur la volonté de donner aux autres ce que l’on sait faire, pensant que ces autres donneront en échange ce que eux savent faire. Cette notion de communautarisme se heurte à l’individualisme de certains et propose des réflexions et des dialogues parfaitement d’actualité.En bref un roman qui pousse à la réflexion sur la place de tout un chacun dans la société et qui mérite d’être lu et analysé.

  • Martina Frammartino
    2019-04-23 11:34

    “ – perché non iniziate col dirmi a quali mutazioni genetiche siete interessati per il vostro bambino?” chiede il dottor Ong ai coniugi Camden (...)Camden ha richieste ben precise su sesso, aspetto (bionda, occhi verdi, alta e snella, ma perché per essere belle bisogna per forza essere bionde?), intelligenza, predisposizione al rischio, talento musicale, modificazioni per evitare problemi di salute (e questa è l’unica cosa che potrei forse accettare, ma io sono sempre molto diffidente quando si tratta di genetica. Meglio trovare un sistema per curare le malattie a mio giudizio), e infine “– desidererei che non avesse bisogno di dormire”.(...) Dopo un piccolo diverbio sulla segretezza del programma e sull’eventualità di applicarlo alla figlia di Camden, la Kress dedica quattro pagine a parlare del sonno con spiegazioni che mi lasciano un po’ perplessa ma che prendo per buone per amore della trama. E qui c’è un punto nodale, quando l’anonima signora Camden, forzata dal marito ad acconsentire alle modifiche, chiede “– A quale costo?” La dottoressa Melling, pur avendo potuto studiare i bambini già sottoposti al trattamento per soli quattro anni, non ha dubbi nel rispondere “– Nessun costo. Non ci sono effetti collaterali”. In questo caso però la donna succube del marito vede più a lungo di lei, perché dichiara senza esitazione che “– Ogni cosa ha un costo”. E uno dei costi lo avevamo visto poche pagine prima, quando avevamo saputo che uno dei venti bambini sottoposti all’esperimento era morto, ucciso involontariamente dalla madre incapace di sopportare per ventiquattro ore al giorno il pianto ininterrotto del neonato. Direi che già questo è un costo, e pure molto alto.Le modifiche genetiche vengono effettuate, ma sorge un piccolo problema collaterale. (...)Per conoscerlo, e per conoscere la mia opinione, il testo prosegue sul mio blog:…

  • Rachel
    2019-05-03 06:29

    Kress' novella addresses some intriguing questions, but she does so by eliminating most of the nuance from them. Questions of privilege are significantly less intriguing if your characters are measurably superior; a community of joyful geniuses with 8 extra hours in a day and a longer lifespan are, of necessity, going to achieve a lot more than "the Sleepers," as they call us. That scenario reads like the rich, straight white man's fantasy of why he has more privilege than others rather than an actual grappling with privilege.I wasn't particularly impressed with Kress' characterization, either. There was a lot of telling rather than showing, particularly in Susan's impressions of Camden, which had me rolling my eyes right at the outset. The story felt more like a lecture-in-metaphor than like a compelling narrative from which I might glean questions and lessons. Leisha was basically a blank slate; aside from being beautiful, brilliant, and "joyful" (which I never particularly saw evidence of, aside from the fact that she didn't get angry while living her perfect, charmed life in which she was favored over her sister), I can't think of any characteristics specific to her. Alice was a far more fascinating character, but we did not spend much time with her, and she was so oversimplified that I could only be interested in her through glimpses and asides.Beggars in Spain was a quick, easy read, and I mildly enjoyed it while it was in my hands, but I won't be picking up the full version.

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    2019-04-22 07:25

    Original impressions (I feel like I need to flesh this out more later) - Because of advances in science, subgroups of people are genetically engineered not to need to sleep. Sometimes this ability is added to other traits, such as superior physical ability. I felt like Ayn Rand could have been in this book, with the Yagaiism, a renaming of objectivism, as the idea of individual effort and accomplishment was highlighted as the main advantage of not needing to spend any time sleeping. I thought Kress made interesting choices as far as how society dealt with the sleepless group, as well as the longterm effects on the people (I expected that to go differently). I'd be interested in reading the fully fleshed out novel that she turned this into.Other books that kept coming to mind - Sleepless by Charlie Huston, although in that book they were trying to cure sleeplessness, not cause it on purpose; and The Girl with the Silver Eyes, a book about a group of "special" young adults who end up with special abilities, and seek each other out so they feel less alone. I read that book a hundred times when I was young.

  • Francesco
    2019-04-27 12:45

    Delusione.L'idea che la perdita del sonno aumenti l'intelligenza a discapito dei "dormienti" è arbitraria, infondata, insostenibile e rivelatrice di una matrice di pensiero organicista, tipicamente made in USA, che esclude l'importanza dell'irrazionalità e dell'intuizione nel processo creativo e nella definizione stessa dell'intelligenza. Il sonno, in quanto espressione della fantasia (immagini oniriche/sogni) aumenta la creatività e la sua soppressione ridurrebbe perciò qualsiasi tipo di intelligenza, determinando peraltro una drammatica diminuzione e non certo un impensabile aumento (come ipotizzato dall'autrice) della durata media della vita umana. Trovo che simili idee provochini veri e propri danni culturali: pensare che l'evoluzione umana (nel senso del miglioramento e allungamento della vita) passi per la perdita del sonno significa pensare che il sonno sia inutile se non addirittura dannoso. Ciò ha evidenti ricadute su molti altri campi dell'essere umano, fantasia, arte, creatività ecc., che proprio come il sonno rappresentano espressioni del pensiero inconscio. Quell'inconscio che secondo gli americani, empiristi fino al midollo, non esiste o se esiste non conta. E' una cultura deteriore, che purtroppo si manifesta anche nella FS.

  • Skyler
    2019-05-21 04:32

    If I didn't have to sleep, you can bet your ass I wouldn't be spending that extra time working and studying. Nope. It'd be spent reading, binge watching tv shows, playing video games, baking. That would be the 'dream' (insert emoji here). The characters in Beggars in Spain definitely have other ideas of what to do with their extra sleepless time...It's a pretty terrific concept that is set up well but fumbles in the last act. Twenty minutes into the future, a group of children are genetically modified such that they never need to sleep (dubbed the 'Sleepless') - they grow up to be super intelligent and mutant-like, and basically the plot of X-Men happens.I have a theory (not actually) that this story was born when the author saw the movie, "Sleepless in Seattle", and wrote a sci-fi story that literally interpreted the title. The phrase "Sleepless in " occurs multiple times, making me believe the entire novella was a build up for a Seattle showdown. Alas, no. This, pitted against Ayn Rand's Anthem, would be a great individualism showdown in a classroom setting.

  • Natalia
    2019-05-01 10:22

    I was excited to read this, but the entire novella is based on such a flawed premise. Give someone 50% more time and they would only use it to study? I just don't buy it. Even knowing that the sleepless children belonged mostly to families that valued education, I cannot buy it. Sleep is not the thing that keeps people from being productive; people keep themselves from being productive. I found it rather silly. I couldn't get myself to suspend enough disbelief to enjoy this one. And I do expect my biological science fiction to have more biology in it, but that's not always a fair expectation.While I'm at it, the characterization in this book was severely lacking. It was impossible to relate to the protagonist, which might be fair considering she's inherently different from "sleepers" like me. The writing was also very simple, which is also fair, considering it's a novella. But if I can't buy the concept, can't identify with the character, and can't even find any pretty prose to revel in, there's nothing for me here.

  • Outis
    2019-05-14 10:21

    An unsubtle pamphlet evidently written for the denizens of a parallel universe. Maybe it works for them. For us though...In spite of superficial similarities (language, names and so forth), it seems few things work in a familiar way in that universe. The title for instance: Spain was chosen because in that universe it is a poor country where one is wont to encounter many beggars. Maybe that's because Spaniards aren't Protestants or because they don't speak English. There was no introduction or appendix to explain it all.If not for Poe's law, I might have said the author does a good joob of making the narrator and most other characters appear revolting and deluded without biasing the narrative against them. But considering the lack of characters that might serve as a sane counterpoint and the narrative's lack of distance from the setting's insanity, I suspect the novella was written by the parralel universe version of the author. Or maybe our version of the author merely pretends to share some of her characters' delusions while unsubtly condemning others... but to what end?

  • Saretta
    2019-05-10 12:20

    Nel romanzo si ipotizza il progresso dell'ingegneria genetica fino ad arrivare a creare bambini che non hanno bisogno di dormire.Data questa ipotesi, la scrittrice affronta la crescita di una bambina insonne, prima all'interno della famiglia e poi nel mondo esterno.Il romanzo affronta, usando come spunto la modificazione genetica, il tema del diverso, in questo caso sempre più brillante dei coetanei "normali".La lettura è scorrevole, purtroppo, data la brevità del romanzo, la caratterizzazione dei personaggi non è sempre dettagliata, un peccato visto che questo romanzo ha una forte componente sociologica.

  • Camilo EmilianoRosas Echeverria
    2019-05-17 09:38

    Can't understand how this book won so many awards: must have been a weak year for sci-fi. Weak ideas, old and stale, and the philosophy embraced by the majority of characters is plainly ridiculous for self-styled geniuses. A moderately smart high school economics student would have picked the "genius intuition" of the main character during the first expositions of the antagonist theories. Maybe the charm is in that, but in that case is just too little material for a novel.I dropped it around 66%, out of boredom.

  • Steven Ormosi
    2019-05-21 04:43

    Set in the near future where biological engineering has created a small section of society who does not need to sleep, Beggars in Spain is a great study in the hierarchy of knowledge. While the people of the story themselves sometimes feel a bit stilted, this novella asks important questions about how we view ourselves, especially in light of our own (self-induced) evolution.Edited to Add: I hate this cover, the woman with crazy green eye shadow conjures a 1970s pastiche of 1950s sci-fi. Plus it creeps me out a little bit.

  • Stig Edvartsen
    2019-05-14 07:32

    What happens if we genetically design our kids to not need sleep and it gives them a pretty good advantage over "sleepers". On the surface of things - that's what this book is about. Below the surface it seems to be a kind of response to or exploration of objectivism, the same way The Dispossesed was an exploration of a socialist utopia. It's kind of neat, but for me it stumbled in some of the sleep science and in the way relatively smart people had trouble arguing against the self-centered philosophy of several of the characters.

  • Cathie
    2019-05-21 06:41

    mild sexual situations, swearingthird-person POVscience fictionNovella written in 1991, eventually expanded to a "trilogy." My husband thought it was an interesting extrapolation -- if we didn't have to sleep, what would happen? I felt it was more of an allegory, like Animal Farm. We've learned a lot more about sleep since this was written.Through genetic manipulation, babies are created via in vitro fertilization that require no sleep. These children are happy, smarter, and healthier than normal people. Eventually the normals (Sleepers) rise up against the Sleepless.

  • Grianne
    2019-04-27 09:29

    Romanzo breve davvero notevole, pieno di spunti di riflessione in un così basso numero di pagine.Attraverso la manipolazione genetica vengono creati gli "insonni", cioè persone che non hanno bisogno di dormire. Ne risultano individui più intelligenti, più sani, più equilibrati, con più tempo a disposizione rispetto al resto delle persone. Ne risultano individui che generano invidia, paura, inquietudine. Nancy Kress esplora le potenziali reazione della società occidentale ad una razza potenzialmente superiore, forse immortale, e lo fa in maniera delicata e affascinante.