Beggars in Spain

Beggars-in-Spain-183x276Leisha Camden is genetically engineered to not need sleep. So are sixteen other children in the United States, and they are just the beginning. But the Sleepless represent a challenge to the social order: Their extra daily time and extended life span confer a built-in evolutionary advantage over everyone else. As humanity bifurcates into two separate strains, tensions grow. So do opinions among the Sleepless themselves on how to handle this: work to integrate with Norms? Create a separate, self-sufficient society? Leave the planet entirely? As violence increases, Leisha and her fellows wrestle with a basic human question: What do the haves owe the have-nots in a world where technological progress is making most workers obsolete?

Then the gene for sleeplessness is discovered to be dominant, and the next generations of Sleepless inherit the complexities their parents have caused. Miranda, a brilliant rebel and Leisha’s niece, joins forces with Drew, a Sleeper with the gift of lucid dreaming, to change the course of United States history.


“The author of An Alien Light and Brain Rose explores the nature of humanity’s fear of differences in this elegantly written novel set on tomorrow’s horizon. A priority purchase for sf collections.” –-Library Journal

“thrilling drama, compelling dialectic.” –Kirkus Reviews
”Superb . . . An exquisite saga of biological advantages.” –Denver Post
“Imagination, characterization, and command of the language.” –-Chicago Sun-Times

”A depth of imagination unusual even among science fiction writers.” –Analog

”Thought-provoking . . . raises some intriguing scientific and sociological issues.” –Publishers Weekly (This text refers to the Audio CD edition)
“Hard-edged, realistic, near-future SF with all the attention to character the field is perpetually criticized for lacking. When you finish it, you won’t want to give it away to that false friend who keeps telling you ‘sci-fi’ is for kids…so buy two copies.” –Gene Wolfe

(Avon/HarperCollins, 1993)

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