Mickey7

A Novel

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Pub Date 15 Feb 2022 | Archive Date 01 Mar 2022

Description

The Martian meets Dark Matter in Edward Ashton's high concept science fiction thriller, in which Mickey7, an "expendable," refuses to let his replacement clone Mickey8 take his place.

Dying isn’t any fun…but at least it’s a living.

Mickey7 is an Expendable: a disposable employee on a human expedition sent to colonize the ice world Niflheim. Whenever there’s a mission that’s too dangerous—even suicidal—the crew turns to Mickey. After one iteration dies, a new body is regenerated with most of his memories intact. After six deaths, Mickey7 understands the terms of his deal…and why it was the only colonial position unfilled when he took it.

On a fairly routine scouting mission, Mickey7 goes missing and is presumed dead. By the time he returns to the colony base, surprisingly helped back by native life, Mickey7’s fate has been sealed. There’s a new clone, Mickey8, reporting for Expendable duties. The idea of duplicate Expendables is universally loathed, and if caught, they will likely be thrown into the recycler for protein.

Mickey7 must keep his double a secret from the rest of the colony. Meanwhile, life on Niflheim is getting worse. The atmosphere is unsuitable for humans, food is in short supply, and terraforming is going poorly. The native species are growing curious about their new neighbors, and that curiosity has Commander Marshall very afraid. Ultimately, the survival of both lifeforms will come down to Mickey7.

That is, if he can just keep from dying for good.

The Martian meets Dark Matter in Edward Ashton's high concept science fiction thriller, in which Mickey7, an "expendable," refuses to let his replacement clone Mickey8 take his place.

Dying isn’t any...


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ISBN 9781250275035
PRICE $27.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 61 members


Featured Reviews

Mickey7 Oh Mickey Barnes, what a character you are! Your verbalized thoughts are amusing but, usually, spot on the situation you’re in. The dilemmas you find yourself in are when your humanity comes into play and is not totally understood by others….and your intentions are good. The whole concept of an Expendable is one brought on by necessity for a dying planet yet is a perfect solution to the problems of space travel. Visualize an Expendable as a human version of Star Trek Next Generation Commander Data, a resource to be used in unusual, meaning lethal, circumstances but able to be re-used over and over. I really enjoyed this book as I found the plot entertaining, progress of the tale moved along promptly and didn’t ask a reader to stretch the imagination too much

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I cannot emphasize enough how much I enjoyed Mickey 7, which I read in one sitting. Good pacing, good dialogue, a well defined main character(s), good love story, and classic SF problem story. It certainly uses traditional SF tropes - recorded consciousness, cloning, colonization - but inventively. I liked the world building, for example, the explanation for the prejudice against “multiples”. The narrative is initially tricky as you sort out Mickeys but proceeds smoothly and compellingly. The flaws for me were a two-dimensional villain and too pat an ending, but not enough to detract from my strong positive reaction.

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Mickey7 is that interesting cross between “hard science” fiction and space opera that has become popular with books like “The Martian”. The titular character is an “expendable” on a new colony of humans seeking to build a city on a planet they can Nelflheim. As an “Expendable” Mickey’s consciousness, experiences, and memories are uploaded to a central system, ready for download into a newly printed body when he is terminated. In practice, this simply means that Mickey is assigned to tasks which can easily be turned into a situation where he dies easily. What is really interesting about the story, is how the author managed to blend the dangers of space exploration and colonization of other planets with underlying social commentary about religion, colonization in general, and what we define as sentience and intelligence. There is also some subtle commentary aimed at those in the military who often try to turn grey area situations into black and white solutions. Highly recommended to fans of Andy Weir’s books.

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What a wonderfully original sci-fi novel! A thousand years from now, mankind will possess the technology to take years-long journeys to the farthest reaches of the universe to colonize planets deemed habitable by long-range reconnaissance. Colonization begins with a “beachhead mission” comprised of several hundred colonists, the embryos needed to build a society, and an “expendable” person to undertake any mission posing a significant risk of death. Of course, it’s no big deal if the expendable dies. Mankind has developed the technology to fully replicate human beings. In trouble on his own homeworld, Mickey Barnes volunteers to be the expendable for the mission to colonize Niflheim, a planet that long-range scans find habitable, but which turns out to be a snow-and-ice-bound hell with a barely breathable atmosphere and gigantic, hostile, metal-eating creatures living below the surface. Over the course of the mission, Mickey has died and been recreated six times, which is why he’s now called Mickey7. When Mickey7 falls into a tunnel inhabited by the creatures, he is presumed to have been killed and Mickey8 is created. But Mickey7 is not dead and there’s a strict prohibition against two duplicates living at the same time. Both being fully human, neither Mickey7 nor Mickey8 is willing to die. But in a cramped outpost where food is strictly rationed, how, and for how long, will they keep their secret? Author Edward Ashton has done a wonderful job imagining and building the world of Niflheim and its fledgling human colony. He’s populated that colony with terrific characters, especially Mickey7, who narrates the tail with a charmingly cynical kind of gallows humor. Ashton’s descriptions are clear and evocative. His dialogue is realistic and engaging. And while he’s telling his very good story filled with risk and adventure, not to mention romantic entanglements, Ashton also manages to impart several messages about humanity’s foibles without being preachy or hitting readers over the head.

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I absolutely loved this book! I received an advanced reader’s copy and was hoping that, as a debut novel, it wasn’t going to be a real stinker! I was very pleasantly surprised! This is probably the best sci-fi I have read since Hugh Howey’s Wool. Mickey is a down and out man who joins an interstellar colonizing expedition as an Expendable meaning just that. He will do all the potentially major life threatening or clearly lethal work on board the interstellar ship and the new planet, meaning he will surely die… multiple times. There is a reason he chooses to do this crazy thing which you find out about early on. The upside is that should he and when he dies he can be replaced by an identical iteration of himself as they have all his genetic information saved, memories included, as long as he can upload them before he dies. (He has an implanted ocular that records all he does.) As the book opens he has died 6 times and is currently Mickey7. Things go a bit awry at this point. The planet doesn’t seem as habitable as they thought and contains native lifeforms that appear extremely dangerous. What happens after that is well…crazy! This is a very well written debut novel with engaging characters and plot, sharp dialogue and witty moments that make you laugh out loud. There is also a lot of scientific information dispersed throughout the novel as well as historical background on the Diaspora as Mickey is somewhat of a lay expert in history. Ethical and moral questions are raised throughout the book as well as the usual questions surrounding immortality and individuality. I loved the nod to Norse mythology and also Alice in Wonderland. Is it all a dream? Lol! I can’t wait for Ashton’s next book! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher St. Martin’s Publishing Group for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. There are few typographical errors in the text and the need for further editing is minimal in my opinion.

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Throughout my read of Mickey7, a multi-layered and thought-provoking sci-fi novel, I was struck by how effortless author Edward Ashton made it seem. He tosses up weighty topics like the meaning of life and what humanity advancing into the stars will likely look like without bogging down or derailing an entertaining and fast-paced story. This review is based on an advance copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley for that purpose. The book will be available on February 15, 2022. Set in a ‘beachhead colony’ of humans who’ve carved out a tenuous toe-hold on a new planet after a nine-year journey from an established colony, the titular Mickey serves as the group’s sole “expendable.” His skill set is limited (his job interview for the position is hilarious), but Mickey’s the guy if you have a job that will likely lead to death or dismemberment. That’s because Mickey’s consciousness and memories can be backed up and downloaded into a new replica of his body, something that’s happened six times already — hence the 7 attached to his name. While it may seem like a great idea having this sort of immortality, there’s only one expendable for good reason. Besides the obvious moral/ethical questions raised by the concept of recreating a human, the process is resource-intensive and beachhead colonies tend to exist on a razor thin margin. As Mickey points out early on, you won’t find any chubby colonists. A realistic look at the costs and tradeoffs associated with colonizing another planet is a subtle through-line to the story that I appreciated. My only quibble, and it’s a minor one, is the ending resolved everything but seemed a bit abrupt. Perhaps there will be more stories about Mickey and his iterations. If so, great, but either way Mr. Ashton’s next book is already on my To Read List.

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Great writing, great pacing and awesome world building - what's not to love? Mickey (#7) is an Expendable - a type of person who can be regenerated with a new body and all memories that have been downloaded (if this is a reference to the cloud and my books/photos - I would have 0 memory!). This Expendable has been taken on a mission to explore a previously uninhabited planet needed for a new colony. 6 Mickeys have already existed when Mickey 7 is out exploring a world for his crew when he falls down a crevasse so deep he is presumed dead. Big surprise when he arrived back at the home base to find Mickey(#8) in his berth. As many on his ship are religious and find expendables sacrilege, Mickey 7 and 8 need to keep a secret. This proves difficult when interacting with his best friend and girlfriend. The big question, however, is how did Mickey 7 survive the fall? And who, honestly, is the real Mickey? Loved the premise and the entire romp through the ship and planet. I do think the author missed some opportunities to more than touch on topics of religion and self but I loved every bit that he wrote. If. you like Science Fiction, you cannot go wrong with this book! #NetGalley #Mickey7

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I DEVOURED this book in about 2-3 days. I couldn't get enough of it. In fact, after I finished, the first thing I did was go and buy Ashton's other two novels. This is a fast and frantic science fiction read that's full of both space opera and hard sci-fi elements. It's got plenty of action, plenty of deaths, and even some fascinating ruminations on the nature of human consciousness and life itself. So yeah, pretty much the perfect book. Buy it. Read it. And then join me in begging this guy to write twenty more novels, stat, so you have something as good as this on your to-be-read shelf. Wholeheartedly recommended.

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Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martins Press for an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review. 5 stars I loved this book! It was so different and really made me think. This was a fast paced novel with fascinating technology, space colonization and exploration. Mickey7 is an expendable--his job on the mission to colonize the planet Niflheim is to do all the dangerous jobs. When he dies, his clone is given his memories. On a mission, Mickey7 is presumed dead and so Mickey8 is created. The two Mickey's try to hid that there are two of them and to figure out how they can survive. Mickey7 is a great character. He's funny and irreverent. Mickey7 reminds me of Nelson DeMille characters.

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While I don't agree with the description that this book is a mix between Dark Matter and The Martian, it does contain some similar elements to both books, but is mostly a fun, smart space colony story, that was very easy to read.

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Mickey's job is to die. As an expendable, he is sent on dangerous missions by the colonist, where his chance of survival is nil. Once he dies, his body is reprinted and his memories uploaded to the new iteration. When sent on a routine mission, he falls into an underground tunnel system and is presumed dead. Before he can rejoin the colony, a new Mikey is printed. Duplicates are both feared and loathed, causing Mickey7 and Mickey8 to hide for fear of being recycled. Terraforming is going poorly, calories are limited, and the local lifeforms seem to be attacking the colony. Just when things can't get worse....they do. This was an extremely dynamic story. The world was well formed and developed and both the society and technology seemed believable. I would love to read more from this author. 5 out of 5 stars.

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I don't read a lot of science fiction. So much of the genre is space-operish. Mickey7 is different. Yes, there are alien life forms and interstellar travel, but the book doesn't make these aspects the main theme. Mickey7 is an Expendable, a person whose main function is to perform the most dangerous and deadly jobs in the colony. When, not if, he dies, he is regenerated with all the memories and quirks of his just dead predecessor. Mickey7 is the 7th such iteration. The fun begins when he is dropped into a chasm and presumed dead. When he works his way back, he has already been replaced. I liked the pace and writing of this book. The author provided a nice mix of science and alternate history as Mickey7 struggles with his role. I think even readers who don't like Sci-Fi would enjoy this one. As about the closest thing to a real life Expendable, I felt a true connection with Mickey7. He kept on keepin' on in spite of the disdain felt toward him by most of the other colonists.

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