After New California’s founder committed suicide, two men vied to rule the colony.
Ashwin George, supported by the colony’s elite and Tián Quán, the Chinese company whose hyperdrive ships and intelligent robots dominated half the settled galaxy.
Desmond Park, nanotechnology engineer, armed with a shrewd intellect, the loyalty of the colony’s disaffected youth, and the most formidable weapon of all.
A single idea.
- The term “selfish gene” is sometimes misunderstood. It’s not the concept that our selfishness is genetically fixed. Instead, it means that genes build individual organisms for the gene’s benefit, not the individual’s. In other words, our genes don’t care if we’re happy, or even if we stay alive, as long as more copies of our genes get propelled into the future.
- I’m not Gnostic, but selfish gene theory fits with the Gnostic conception of the world, that God made our souls but the Devil, or some other evil demiurge, made the world in which our souls are trapped. Substitute “our genes” for the Gnostic demiurge.
- By random chance, as I’m typing this, my music shuffle is playing the Iron Maiden song “Montsegur,” about the crusade against the Gnostic heretic Cathars in the south of France in the 1300s.
- Desmond Park’s “single idea” is using neuroengineering tech to rewire our urges away from what our genes want to what we want.
- This book is one of my few titles that includes intelligent robots as major characters.
- Robots and AI have selfish genes too. What code modules get used as the basis for the next iteration of the OS and apps?
- Finally, I had a lot of fun finding Chinese and Mexican-Spanish words borrowed into New California English. One excellent resource: a website devoted to translating the Chinese words used in the 2002 space adventure TV show Firefly.