The Beggars Trilogy
Nancy Kress, one of the leading writers of science fiction today, has written a number of provocative and award-winning stories and novels. But it is with the Beggars trilogy that she has reached the pinnacle of her success.
Kress, a writer who had been appropriately compared to H.G. Wells and Aldous Huxley, deals with evolutionary forces, genetic engineering, technological progress, and social and class conflict, confronting enduring issues that face human society in this century and the next.
Born in 2008, Leisha Camden is beautiful, extraordinarily intelligent . . . and one of an ever-growing number of human beings who have been genetically modified to never require sleep.
Once she and “her kind” were considered interesting anomalies. Now they are outcasts—victims of blind hatred, political repression and shocking mob violence meant to drive the “Sleepless” from human society . . . and, ultimately, from the Earth itself.
But Leisha Camden has chosen to remain behind in a world that envies and fears her “gift”—a world marked for destruction in a devastating conspiracy of freedom . . . and revenge.
In Beggars and Choosers, Kress returns to the same future world created in her earlier work, an America strangely altered by genetic modifications.
Millions of ordinary people are supported by the efforts of the handsome and intellectually superior gene-modified, who are in turn running scared in the face of the astonishing, nearly superhuman powers of the Sleepless, who have their own agenda for humanity. The Sleepless, radically altered humans, have withdrawn from the rest of the race to an island retreat, from which they periodically release dazzling scientific advances. Most of the world is on the verge of collapse, overburdened by a population of jobless drones and racked by the results of irresponsible genetic research and nano-technology.
Will the world be saved? And for whom?
The Sleepless and the SuperSleepless, two generations of genetically modified superhumans, are now in conflict with each other, and with the spectrum of normal humanity, whose radical division into the rich and poor has made a parody of democracy in the twenty-second century. Human civilization has been transformed. Now it may be destroyed. And if it falls, what kind of world is left, what kind of humanity?