From the author of Remainder, and two novels short-listed for the Booker Prize, C, and Satin Island, a widescreen odyssey through the medical labs, computer graphics studios, military research centers, and other dark zones where the frontiers of potential—to cure, kill, understand or entertain—are constantly tested and refined.
Bodies in motion. Birds, bees and bobsleighs. What is the force that moves the sun and other stars? Where’s our fucking airplane? What’s inside Box 808, and why does everybody want it?
Deep within the archives of time-and-motion pioneer Lillian Gilbreth lies a secret. Famous for producing solid light-tracks that captured the path of workers’ movements, Gilbreth helped birth the era of mass observation and big data. But did she also, as her broken correspondence with a young Soviet physicist suggests, discover in her final days a “perfect” movement, one that would “change everything”?
An international hunt begins for the one box missing from her records, and we follow contemporary motion-capture consultant Mark Phocan, as well as his collaborators and shadowy antagonists, across geopolitical fault lines and through strata of personal and collective history. Meanwhile, work is under way on the blockbuster movie Incarnation, an epic space tragedy.
As McCarthy peers through the screen, or veil, of technological modernity to reveal the underlying symbolic structures of human experience, The Making of Incarnation weaves a set of stories one inside the other, rings within rings, a perpetual motion machine.