Beggars in Spain


«Withdraw from the beggars, you withdraw from the whole damn country. […] Beggars need to help as well as be helped.»

I never knew about Nancy Kress until I listened to the techwise episode where she was the invited guest. And although I still read the IEEE Spectrum, I somehow skipped Someone to watch over me. So I set out to check her work. And I bump into the Beggars in Spain.

Years ago I had a discussion with my good friend N. about whether sleep is a waste of time or not. I still maintain that within the day we’ve got 8 hours for sleep, 8 for work and the rest for commute and life balance. Well, the Beggars in Spain caught on me because they deal with how life could be if we did not need sleep. They deal with the creation (and introduction in our society) of a human species that does not need sleep and hence they get the 8 hours advantage. What would that mean to the economy? What would it mean to the «sleepers»? Would there be discriminations against the «sleepless»? I think I have a lot of liberal friends who would love to read the book. I find it hard to comment on the book without spoilers, but it felt like a nice vacation reading and it has been a long time since I read about science fiction dealing with genetics.

I am now waiting for Yesterday’s Kin.

4 Responses to “Beggars in Spain”

  1. Why not read then «the art of the siesta» by Thierry Paquot. It has been translated in greek as well!

    • adamo Says:

      Because it is not Science Fiction :) I am deeply interested in a world where sleep does not exist for I cut hours from my sleep in order to do stuff that I cannot otherwise do.

  2. Themos Says:

    My «dream» scifi premise was a sleepless and never hungry society, one where hotels, beds and restaurants are optional. This is the closest I have seen, I will definitely give it a try. Any idea what is the difference between the «original novella» and the plain one?


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