Bear Head is an award winning science fiction novel about a settlement on Mars, a Martian junkie, a despicable politician, and an admirable Bear.
Most of the novel is told through they eyes of Jimmy Martin, the aforementioned junkie. Jimmy (Jimbles, Jimbo) is a human who travelled to Mars to help build a settlement for the future. His body and mind have been adapted so that he can survive the harsh environment, and he spends his days completing menial labor while popping ‘stringer’ to keep himself moderately content. There is a roaring black-market trade operating amongst the working class, and Jimmy turns to this trade when his funds run dry and the stringer runs out.
There are plenty of ways to make a quick buck on Mars, but the lowest effort way is to rent out part of your brain for data. Because of the ‘enhancements’ made to the colonists, people can hack unused grey matter and store all manner of naughty gigabytes in the brain of another, safely and securely.
But it turns out that the brain-pan space that Jimmy has rented out is not your typical dirty data. It’s an entire consciousness of an enhanced Bear named Honey.
In this future reality, animals have been enhanced and live among humans to do the dirty work. Weasels work in plumbing and electrics, Dogs are loyal bodyguards, and Bears are ‘the muscle’. But not Honey. Honey was a revolutionary. An academic who was trying bring greater rights to her brethren and paid the ultimate price for her advocacy…
That’s where the dirty politician on Earth comes in, and his terrible plans for the future of Animals and humanity alike.
Bear Head was an interesting book. Not too long, not too heavy. But the third act was a swing and a miss for me, and I just couldn’t accept the scenario or feel the tension as the politician’s evil plan comes to fruition. This is my second attempt at Tchaikovsky and, sadly, I think it’s just not my cup of tea.
Overall, 3 bug brooches out of 5.