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Diaspora by Greg Egan
(03-01-2018, 05:20 AM)stevebowers Wrote: Statics are ordinary humans, who seem to be quite low-tech and even luddite in nature.

I didn't get the impression the Fleshers were luddites as opposed to part of a long running recovery from a past catastrophe. The book mentions but never really goes into something called the "Introdus" which occured around 2100, the word is the antonym of "exodus" and likely refers to the droves of people uploading into the virtual world. The details aren't entirely clear but my interpretation was this period was a cataclysmic one defined by radical climate damage, overpopulation and eventually economic collapse (precipitated by large swathes of humanity migrating into solipsist virtual worlds).

The Fleshers we meet live in a very different Earth to our own. Their "city" is near the ruins of Atlanta in a rainforest where the daytime temperature is 45°C. That's significantly above safe temperature for most organisms, it's more like what you'd find in a desert. It's pretty clear that the ecosystem, potentially the entire biosphere, has been heavily genetically engineered and cultivated. The plants actually move out of the way for humans expressing the correct pheromonal keys. The Fleshers also talk about how they're still tweaking their crops for the local area to sustain a larger population (they're not even from the region but came from the mediterranean and found the region empty due to plague.

The technology the fleshers have is impressive (they casually mention being biologically immortal and self-augmentation seems routine) but the backdrop of the Earth seems like its been one of centuries of painstaking recovery, one unaided by the virtual citizens who rarely interact with the outside and the Gleisner robots who all left to live in space.

One thing I did love about the Fleshers was their mission; to reunite the various tribes of biological beings who have mentally diverged the group we meet consciously alter themselves so that they fill all the gaps. The diversal mental architecture of the Bridger population means that no sentient biological being is ever more than four people away from the most mentally different sophont. This is a cool concept and one I've thought about before for OA. It was good to see it crop up later in the book when a former Flesher turned upload copies himself with each copy being slightly mentally different until the chain can communicate messages to an alien intelligence.

Quote:I might cook up a polity based on the Gleisner concept one day, although we have used the idea in various forms in a number of articles already.

Whilst the Gleisner and virtual citizens originated as uploads I get the impression that the vast majority of them in the year 3000 are natural borns. It certainly seems like the three decendent kingdoms of terran sophonts are diverging more and more, having less to do with each other, until the events of the plot force them all to interact again.
OA Wish list:
  1. DNI
  2. Internal medical system
  3. A dormbot, because domestic chores suck!

Messages In This Thread
Diaspora by Greg Egan - by Rynn - 02-28-2018, 10:23 PM
RE: Diaspora by Greg Egan - by stevebowers - 03-01-2018, 04:57 AM
RE: Diaspora by Greg Egan - by stevebowers - 03-01-2018, 05:20 AM
RE: Diaspora by Greg Egan - by Rynn - 03-02-2018, 11:32 PM
RE: Diaspora by Greg Egan - by stevebowers - 03-03-2018, 03:51 AM
RE: Diaspora by Greg Egan - by Drashner1 - 03-03-2018, 04:05 AM

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