The Unincorporated Man
Cover of first edition (hardcover)
|Author||Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin|
|Cover artist||Chad Baker/Photodisk/Getty Images|
|Genre||Science fiction novel political fiction novel|
|Publisher||Tom Doherty Associates|
|Media type||Print, e-Reader, Audio Download, Audio CD, Pre-Loaded Digital Audio Player|
The Unincorporated Man is a social/political/economic novel that takes place in a utopian/dystopian future, after civilization has fallen into complete economic collapse and been revived. This reborn civilization is one in which every individual is incorporated at birth, and spends many years trying to attain control over his or her own life by getting a majority of his or her own shares—a task made all the more difficult given that modern medicine has created extraordinarily long life spans.
A successful industrialist named Justin Cord, frozen in secret in the early twenty-first century, is discovered and resurrected in the 24th century. He is given health and a vigorous younger body, as well as the promise of wealth and fame. There's only one problem: He remains the only unincorporated man in the world. Justin cannot accept only part ownership of himself, even if that places him in conflict with a civilization that extends outside the solar system, to the Oort Cloud and beyond.
Some reviewers argue that the book spends too much time extolling the idea of personal incorporation and not enough time criticising it. The book is also criticised for a lack of depth, with the plot and characters' motivations all put in service of explaining the book's primary concept instead of developing in any natural fashion.
Other reviewers have argued that the supposed protagonist, Justin Cord, makes illogical and emotion-based arguments against incorporation while the supposed antagonists and defenders of the incorporation system make sensible and logical economic arguments that the system allows humans to reach their full potential through monetizing human capital, increasing the scope for more voluntary transactions, and gains from trade. It's also odd that big corporations are the villains in this book and characters don't resent their parents who own a large block of their children's shares.