Forge, April 2003, 25.95, 384 pp.
In the near future, two brothers Mercer and Elias Sinclair formed a company called SimGen that spliced chimpanzees and human genes creating a new life form, Sims that is neither human nor chimp but a sterile hybrid. Sims have forty four chromosomes and humans have forty six but the most crucial difference of all is that Sims are considered property even though they can think and talk.
They are leased to individuals and corporations but SimGen owns them and this situation is very repugnant to Romy Cadman who works for a secret organization headed by Zero. He is dedicated to forcing the public to accept Sims as a branch of the human family. Patrick Sullivan is approached by a group of Sims who desire to form a union. What starts out as a task becomes a cause as the attorney comes to believe totally Sims deserve civil rights. What the public doesn't know and Romy and Patrick are only beginning to learn is that there is a shadow organization within SimGen that will go to any lengths to protect their experiments and dirty secrets.
This work is science fiction though the technology to create a Sim outside of the game world seems just around the corner. The story line is exciting, fast-paced and scientifically based raising powerful social issues that should be dealt with sooner than later. F. Paul Wilson is well known for his repairman Jack Horror novels but readers should note that SIMS is totally different but just as creative and cutting edge.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner