Free eBook KismetAuthor Watts Martin –

The River A Hodgepodge Of Arcologies And Platforms In A Band Around Ceres Full Of Dreamers, Utopians, Corporatists And Transformed Humans, From Those With Simple Biomods To The Exotic Alien Xenos And The Totemics, Remade With Animal Aspects Gail Simmons, An Itinerant Salvor Living Aboard Her Ship Kismet, Has Docked Everywhere Totemics Like Her Are Welcomeand A Few Places They Re Not But When She S Accused Of Stealing A Databox From A Mysterious Wreck, Gail Lands In The Crosshairs Of Corporations, Governments And Anti Totemic Terrorists Finding The Real Thieves Is The Easy Part To Get Her Life Back, Gail Will Have To Face Her Past And What S At Stake May Be Than Just Her Future

10 thoughts on “Kismet

  1. says:

    I read an early copy of this and really really enjoyed it Look for KISMET to take home the C yotl Award for Best Novel of 2017.

  2. says:

    This book made my heart smile in the very best of ways, as much as I was scared for those I came to care about while reading it I don t know exactly how to put this, but man, I feel that pain so deep insideThank you for the hope, and the love 3

  3. says:

    Stunning depiction of a future in which anthropomorphic transforms voluntary changes in physiology and psyche are possible through medical and genetic science This highly political thriller is quite believable as it unfolds the tension between conservatives who oppose the very existence of humans who have chosen to adopt animal characteristics and progressives who believe in peaceful cooperation and coexistence Those who have undergone transformation, either partial or complete, are referred to as totemics though no religious or spiritual connection is inferred Human civilization has spread into space, with the homeworld remaining largely conservative and the totemics colonizing other locations in the solar system When technology is developed that can either be used as a weapon to destroy the totemics by using their DNA variations or to allow them to reproduce and pass their animal characteristics and enhancements to their offspring, the corporations that created the technology become divided against each other The divisions are supported by the conservative and progressive factions through both legal and illegal means.Protagonist Gail Simmons, a rat totemic and literally a space rat who lives by running a salvage operation with her AI controlled ship, Kismet, becomes embroiled in the fight when a valuable data store comes into her hands Apolitical and unwilling, she is forced to figure out which undercover operatives want to use that data to destroy the totemic population, and which of them only want to profit by selling the reproductive capabilities it can engender This novel is fast paced and captivating not just because of the plot tensions, but because of the very real characters and emotional relationships that lie at its center I do not generally read suspense or action thrillers, but Gail s connections to her friends and the strangers with whom she must deal are very real and sadly in some cases believable The intolerance of some humans for anyone who is different from themselves is a reality we struggle with now, in real life Watts Martin has predicted a future in which that rigid intolerance has yet to be overcome In light of the current political situation in the US and the world, this novel has immediate relevance.

  4. says:

    For those familiar with Watts Martin s anthologized short story, Tow, be assured that Kismet successfully carries on the wit and creativity of its predecessor into a fulfilling, richly rendered excursion into The River and its variegated slices of culture If you have yet to read Tow, I suggest reading it for free on Martin s website, although this isn t required if you just want to start with Kismet Kismet is a tale which draws its intrigue through both the classical frontier of space and the inward, intimate intersection of identity and the physical augmentation of one s appearance and ability Here, humanity s control over its own physicality manifests in the form of diverse array of profitable consumer services, where one can opt for anything from the outwardly subtle power of implant driven strength and sensory amplification to procedures which confer a overt transformation of ability and appearance, from utterly alien to animalistic Of course, adoption of this sort of thing is far from universal in the human race, and the widespread stigmatization of such transformed members of society serves as the primary source of adversity which Gail Simmons, the zoomorphic totemic protagonist, must circumnavigate while attempting to exonerate herself from a mysterious crime she did not commit However interesting the setting, speaking too much about background here would be a bit of a disservice, as the author truly won me over through the arguably difficult feat of building all this into an exciting, decently paced page turner Martin is a skilled writer with a knack for clever dialogue and humor, and the wry and cynical, yet likable personality of the protagonist gives the story a touch of verisimilitude that s otherwise hard to find in sci fi This leads to a critical note of mine the relatively small amount of screen time the ultimate baddies of Kismet get seems like a missed opportunity, if not something which made it feel just a tad incomplete I think that Martin s aptitude for characterization would have been than suited to the job of rendering a whole, impacting portrait to the twisted brand of psyche and fear that I feel the book strives to buck against Given the central importance of this counter ideology to the story, the fact that its purveyors were tucked into an exciting, but brief finale made for an itch left unscratched That small gripe aside, Kismet was an awesome read, and I eagerly anticipate Martin s future excursions into this universe, given the quality of this debut novel length introduction.

  5. says:

    Set an unspecified time in the future, humanity has spread through the inner Solar System, and established a large number of bases and arcologies in the asteroid belt in the vicinity of Ceres This allows a certain spread out feel between some major locations in the book, but travel times are in hours instead of days or months Gail, the main character, is something of a loner, with a small ship named Kismet that she uses for a salvage business A tip off on a wreck turns into trouble that keeps getting bigger at every turn and drives the plot to a surprisingly high stakes climax.Along the way, Gail is pushed back into the unfinished business of her own life, and the novel does a great job driving the action forward, expanding the scope of the mystery, and making the situation matter and to Gail herself I actually have some trouble with some of the early pushes into the plot, but that fades fast.An interesting major theme is transhumanism as furry Totemics , people who have undergone a combination of surgical and genetic alterations to take on anthropomorphic traits, are a major part of the background There are some minor improvements to senses and the like available, as well as much capable and tempermental bio mechanical options, but most modifications are cosmetic There s a number of examples of individual forms of self expression with these mods, but the totemics are the most cohesive group, even though their own motivations behind their modifications vary There s a number of fragments of interesting philosophical arguments along the way, and one that caught at my attention towards the end dealt with the choice of form inherent in the modifying process.It all makes for a satisfying and well rounded SF novel Action, mystery, philosophy, and a glimpse of a possible future all coexist gracefully between two covers.Finally, I ll note that FurPlanet s hardcopy version has an elementary formatting mistake The body text margins are weighted on the fore edge of the page instead instead of the spine, pushing the text towards the spine Thankfully, there s still room enough that there s no real reading problem, but it gets uncomfortably close It s like they got their left right templates reversed.

  6. says:

    This was excellent I would recommend it, first of all, to aspiring writers who want to know how to escalate stakes and keep the plot moving, because this is how you do it Read Jack M Bickham s Scene and Structure as your textbook, and then read this, because it s Bickham s advice put into action I don t know whether the author has read Bickham directly, but if not, the advice has filtered through somehow Secondly, I d recommend it to anyone and there are a good many people like this who thinks that you can t have a fast moving, fun, tense, exciting, high stakes space adventure that is, at the same time, about queer furries and the politics of oppression Because you absolutely can, and this is it And finally, I d recommend it to people who enjoy fast moving, fun, tense, exciting, high stakes space adventures A couple words about the adventure politics thing I ll approach it by talking about the McGuffin A McGuffin variously spelled is a term Alfred Hitchcock used for the thing that everyone wants, which usually functions mostly as a plot driver In the classic McGuffin scenario, it doesn t matter what it is The briefcase in Pulp Fiction contains something we never find out what The point is that the characters want it and are prepared to do drastic things in order to get it Here, the McGuffin is a data store which contains information that actually is important to the plot, indeed essential to the plot, both because of why everyone wants it and because having it will eventually enable a character s life to be saved someone important to the protagonist It s inextricably entwined with the plot and the theme it couldn t be substituted with a Maltese falcon or a briefcase of unknown contents This is next level McGuffining Exactly the same thing is true of the political aspects of this novel Without them without the history of prejudice and oppression, without the main character s mother s status as a martyr, without all the questions that are raised and struggled with not necessarily answered , there is no story It s not I shall now address you on the subject of minority rights under the thin cloak of a story It s here is a story which arises organically out of the realities of what being a despised minority is like And, as already intimated, it s an excellent story, full of adventure and conflict and escapes and chases and wonderful and terrible events In short great character, excellent setting, competent prose, near flawless copy editing, and a masterful plot.

  7. says:

    Kismet has something to please both fans of Science Fiction Space Opera and Anthropomorphic Fiction And for the intersection of the reading populous who enjoy both, such as myself, this book is a gem.The world Watts has crafted is fully realized and well through through It is a living, breathing thing with its own flavors, sights and textures It is filled with lovable and hate able characters Delightful From strange artificial environments to passing mention of our own planet s precarious future, to the cold, ominous void of outer space, there is hardly a place where there is too little or too much said.The pacing is excellent The message is powerful and topical without being overbearing This world, its imagery, its characters and its underlying message will linger with me for a long time still I highly recommend this book.PS The time it took me to finish reading this book 6 months is completely related to personal circumstances and is no reflection on the accessibility or quality of the book itself.

  8. says:

    Anthropomorphic animal science fiction is not a typical read for me However, when I was asked to provide an honest review, I was happy to oblige.Gail is a totemic rat mostly human anatomy with some extra rat like features In a Firefly esque universe, Gail gets pulled into the political underworld of biotechnology companies, each trying to sabotage the other As a former con artist and the daughter of the founder of an intergalactic totemics, Gail has to call on the help of a fox tech whiz, her activist sister, and an Earth Interpol agent to save totemics everywhere.Although the book had a slow start, the plot quickens as it thickens, and the characters each have such unique personalities, none of them fitting common literary archetypes The novel s greatest strength is in its sheer emotional impact Rarely can a science fiction novel make me empathize consistently with its protagonist but KISMET just does that.Watts Martin is a delightful evocateur who paints a universe not too separate from our own that is battling progressive and conservative ideals in a way that has us siding with the reluctant activist and standing against corpocracy..and yes, I want a ship like Kismet.

  9. says:

    The first full length novel by long time short story and novella author Watts Martin, Kismet could best be described as social SF with elements of hard SF It takes place in a world of space ships controlled by AIs, city sized habitats scattered through the solar system, and humans transformed into animal form totemics But the plot could be taken from today, with fears of terrorism, anti totemic sentiment from cisform humans, estranged siblings and children trying to deal with the legacy of a famous parent.Gail, a young female rat totemic, inadvertently gets on the wrong side of a powerful corporation during what should be a routine salvage operation, and soon finds herself, her friends and her adopted sister drawn into a far reaching conspiracy Ripped from today s headlines is kind of a clich , but if you replace totemic with transgender, the things the totemic characters deal with will seem eerily familiar to contemporary readers Referring to unaltered humans a cisform just drives it home in a way that term is a bit too current and will date the book In a few hundred years I m pretty sure there will be another term in use that means the same thing The first half of the book has a lot of discussion about totemic rights between Gail, her friend Ansel the fox totemic, her wolf totemic sister and a human law enforcement officer Gail s mother, a famous totemic rights activist who was killed by a terrorist s bomb, makes Gail both a rallying point and an object of hatred, depending on which side someone is on Her trying to deal with that legacy is one of the themes that run through the story.While the action does pick up during the latter part of the book, a lot of the story is devoted to Gail s personal and professional struggles, speculations on corporate motivations as well as discussion about problems and discrimination faced by totemics.I had no problem with the prose, although the choice of some terms and names was puzzling I already mentioned that cisform may quickly be outdated, but I honestly had a lot trouble with the names of the two big corporations Keces and Quanata Why would anyone name their company something that s one letter off from feces That s what I saw every time I saw the word And Quanta is very close to the famous Austalian airline Qantas, which was also distracting because I kept thinking the characters were talking about the airline.Of course, other people s mileage may vary on how distracting they might find the names This story is definitely not the nasty dystopian SF world that seems so common now, and will appeal not only to furry readers but those interested in a SF take on contemporary social issues.

  10. says:

    While I enjoyed this book I do think that readers who haven t read the short story Tow might find themselves a bit lost in this world It s a nicely developed science fiction world but it doesn t always take the time to explain terminology and history in way that will help readers better understand the world Gail is living in It would have been nice to have the addition of a small glossary of terms in the back of the book for easy reference.When Gail is accused of stealing a databox she has to figure out how to find out who really did it while also not getting herself in deeper trouble For a good portion of the book it was simply decent but once Gail returns to her childhood home and learns what is in the databox she s trying to deal with the story gets much better.The political elements of the plot and the added complication of Gail s past mix together into a great climax and a satisfying ending that elevates the book from good to great furry fiction that shows a different world that is still struggling with many of the same problems that we do.