Market Forces is a science fiction thriller novel by British writer Richard Morgan. Set in 2049, the story follows Chris Faulkner as he starts his new job as a junior executive at Shorn Associates, working in their Conflict Investment division where the company supports foreign governments in exchange for a percentage of the country's gross domestic product. Contracts are awarded, promotions are given to employees, through driving duels in which combatants race vehicles on empty roads and kill their opponents. With the Shorn-supported Colombian dictator Echevarria expected to transfer power to his son, supported by a competing firm, Chris allies Shorn with a rebel group to overthrow the government, though other executives attempt to sabotage his plans. First published in 2004 by Victor Gollancz Ltd, the book is Morgan's third novel, the first two being part of the Takeshi Kovacs series. Market Forces satirises corporate practices and globalisation and carries the theme of competition throughout the story.
Violence is used as a metaphor for the mechanisms underlying capitalism and assumptions about haves and have-nots are challenged. It won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel in 2005 and was nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award. Though book reviewers gave it a mixed reception, Morgan's descriptive writing and action sequences received praise. Market Forces was science fiction author Richard K. Morgan's third novel, his first two novels, Altered Carbon and Broken Angels, were the first two parts of a trilogy completed with Woken Furies. That Takeshi Kovacs trilogy, hardboiled detective fiction set in the 25th century, gave Morgan a reputation for writing excellent action sequences along with a Philip K. Dick Award. Before the third part of the trilogy was published, Morgan worked on his idea for Market Forces, which he conceived of as a short story developed as a film script as a novel. At the time, Morgan was 38 years old living in Scotland, he has sold the filming rights to Altered Carbon to Warner Bros. allowing him to leave his job as an English teacher at the University of Strathclyde to focus on his writing career.
In 2049, Chris Faulkner is recruited by an investment firm in London. There he befriends a fellow junior executive in the "Conflict Investment" division. Conflict Investment provides resources to incumbent or rebel factions in exchange for promised share of the nation's gross domestic product. CI members toast to continued "small wars" as their primary source of income for themselves and their investors. Executive advancement in 2049 is not based on merit or politics alone, rather executives can issue challenges to each other which are held on highways emptied of cars and fought to the death, in a fashion similar to Mad Max, a source cited as inspiration by the author in the acknowledgements of the book. Chris Faulkner gains recognition and small celebrity for a brutal win over a much older and more seasoned member of his firm, from which he is head-hunted by Shorn to join their team. Within the media landscape, business executives have fame on the order of sports stars or movie actors and their driving duels are analysed and covered as sporting events.
Chris' wife Carla is his mechanic, a vital role where an executive's car is the difference between promotion and death. She is not a fan of the way he makes his living, but they have an strong relationship. During a night out in the one of the Zones – the cordoned off zone of decaying ghettos surrounding the City of London – Mike introduces Chris to journalist Liz Linshaw, Mike's former mistress. Before they leave the Zones, Mike brutally executes several gang members who attempt to steal his car. Back at work, Mike brings Chris in to use contacts and analysis from his prior firm to assist into a project regarding propping up the ageing Colombian dictator General Hernan Echevarria. With Shorn's contract due for renewal they are challenged by competing agencies Nakamura and Acropolitic; the challenge is settled by a driving duel in which the Shorn team eliminates the two competing teams. Chris' profile is increased with this victory, including appearances on TV and magazines as the latest star from a line of Shorn executives.
As Chris becomes famous for his driving performance, he begins an affair with Liz Linshaw. With Echevarria's son, aligned with a competing American firm, preparing to take over, Chris believes that a long-time rebel leader might be a better option than Francisco. Vincente Barranco, the rebel leader chosen by Chris, is signed to a contract with Shorn and brought to London to shop for arms to bring his small force the resources they need to overthrow Hernan before Francisco takes over. However, other Shorn executives sabotage Chris's efforts by arranging for Barranco to overhear a Shorn executive negotiate with the Echevarrias; when challenged by Barranco that he is not committed to his cause, Chris reacts by spontaneously beating Hernan to death in a conference room. Shorn pins Hernan's death on an otherwise unknown terrorist group; the killing is concealed from most of Shorn's employees, but the senior partner of CI agrees that while a unorthodox act, it's the sort of rule bending, sometimes needed to return the maximum for their clients.
While his actions convince Barranco that he is in fact committed to his side, Chris is removed from the Colombia job, handed over to a senior partner, who takes a more pragmatic view and moves to align with Hernan's son. As it is clear that the demands of his job are taking a toll on Chris, Carla becomes uncomfortabl
Timothy Thomas "Tim" Powers is an American science fiction and fantasy author. Powers has won the World Fantasy Award twice for his critically acclaimed novels Last Call and Declare, his 1987 novel On Stranger Tides served as inspiration for the Monkey Island franchise of video games and was optioned for adaptation into the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film. Most of Powers' novels are "secret histories", he uses actual, documented historical events featuring famous people, but shows another view of them in which occult or supernatural factors influence the motivations and actions of the characters. Powers adheres to established historical facts, he reads extensively on a given subject, the plot develops as he notes inconsistencies and curious data. Powers was born in Buffalo, New York but has lived in California since 1959, he studied English Literature at Cal State Fullerton, earned his B. A. in 1976. It was there that he first met James Blaylock and K. W. Jeter, both of whom remained close friends and occasional collaborators.
Powers and Blaylock invented the poet William Ashbless. Another friend Powers first met during this period was noted science fiction writer Philip K. Dick; when Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was retitled Blade Runner to tie-in with the movie based on the novel, Dick dedicated it to Tim and Serena Powers. Powers' first major novel was The Drawing of the Dark, but the novel that earned him wide praise was The Anubis Gates, which won the Philip K. Dick Award, has since been published in many other languages. Powers teaches part-time in his role as Writer in Residence for the Orange County High School of the Arts and California School of the Arts in San Gabriel Valley in the Creative Writing Conservatory, Chapman University, where Blaylock teaches. Powers and his wife, Serena Batsford Powers live in Muscoy, California, he has served as a mentor author as part of the Clarion science fiction/fantasy writer's workshop. He taught part-time at the University of Redlands; the Skies Discrowned Powers, Timothy.
The Skies Discrowned. Toronto: Laser Books. ISBN 0373720289. Revised as: Powers, Tim. Forsake the Sky. New York: Tom Doherty Associates. ISBN 0812549732. An Epitaph in Rust Also published as Epitaph in Rust; the publisher's cover blurb describes a tale that "follows young Thomas from his escape from a rural monastery into the wilds of a future Los Angeles. There he joins a theater company where the play is not the thing – revolution is – and he finds himself in the middle of it; the mayor has been blown up and his android guards are determined to end insurrection. But the theater company has other ideas..."The Drawing of the Dark The siege of Vienna was a struggle between Muslim and Christian magicians over the spiritual center of the West, which happens to be a small inn and brewery in Vienna. The "dark" is a beer, brewing for centuries, which the Fisher King will drink; the Anubis Gates Philip K. Dick Award winner, 1983. Dinner at Deviant's Palace Philip K. Dick Award winner, Nebula Award nominee, 1985 Unusually for Powers, this is set in the future, in a postatomic America in which an extraterrestrial psychic vampire is taking over.
In 2001 the group Cradle of Filth released a song entitled "Dinner at Deviant's Palace", the Lord's Prayer backmasked. On Stranger Tides Locus Fantasy and World Fantasy Awards nominee, 1988 Set in the 18th century Caribbean. In September 2009, Tim Powers confirmed that Disney optioned the novel around April 2007, in order to incorporate elements of it into the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film, released on May 20, 2011; the Stress of Her Regard Locus Fantasy and World Fantasy Awards nominee, 1990 and winner of the 1990 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. Concerning the dealings of the Romantic poets – Byron and Shelley are major characters – with vampire-like beings from Greek mythology, François Villon being mentioned as minor character. Reprinted in 2008 with Tachyon Publications. Fault Lines series Last Call Locus Fantasy and World Fantasy Awards winner, 1993 A professional poker player finds out that he lost far more than he won in a poker game played with Tarot cards two decades ago. Expiration Date World Fantasy Award nominee, 1996.
Earthquake Weather BSFA Award nominee, 1997. Declare World Fantasy Award winner and Locus Fantasy nominee, 2001.
The Road is a 2006 novel by American writer Cormac McCarthy. It is a post-apocalyptic novel detailing the journey of a father and his young son over a period of several months, across a landscape blasted by an unspecified cataclysm that has destroyed most of civilization and, in the intervening years all life on Earth; the novel was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction in 2006. The book was adapted to a film of the same name in 2009, directed by John Hillcoat. A father and his young son journey across post-apocalyptic America some years after an extinction event, their names are never revealed in the story. The land is covered with devoid of life; the boy's mother, pregnant with him at the time of the disaster, committed suicide at some point before the story begins. Realizing they cannot survive the winter, the man takes the boy south along empty roads towards the sea, carrying their meagre possessions in their knapsacks and a supermarket cart.
The man knows he is dying. He assures his son that they are "good guys" who are "carrying the fire"; the pair have a revolver, but only two rounds. The father has taught the boy to use the gun on himself if necessary, to avoid falling into the hands of cannibals; the father and son evade a traveling group of marauders. The father uses one of the rounds to kill a marauder, they flee the marauder's companions. When they search a house for supplies, they discover a locked cellar containing captives whom cannibal gangs have been eating limb by limb, flee into the woods; as they near starvation, the pair discovers a concealed bunker filled with food and other supplies. They stay there for several days, regaining their strength, move on, taking lots of supplies from the bunker with them in a new cart, they encounter an elderly man with. Further along the road, they evade a group whose members include a pregnant woman, soon after they discover an abandoned campsite with a newborn infant roasted on a spit.
They soon run out of supplies again and begin to starve before finding a house containing more food to carry in their cart, but the man's condition is worsening. The pair reaches the sea; the man recovers supplies, including a flare gun, which he demonstrates to the boy. The boy becomes ill, after spending some time on the beach recovering, their cart is stolen and they look for it and those who took it, they find a single man with the cart, the father threatens him and forces him to strip naked. This distresses the boy causing the father to return and leave the man's clothes and shoes on the road, but the man is nowhere to be found. In a town inland, the father is shot in the leg with an arrow by a wife. After the father kills the husband with the flare gun, the pair move further south along the beach; the father's condition worsens further. The father weakens, after several days he realizes he will soon die, he tells the boy he can talk to him in prayer after he is gone, that he must continue without him.
After he dies, the boy stays with his body for three days. He is approached by a man carrying a shotgun, who has a wife and two children, a boy and a girl, he convinces the boy he is one of the "good guys", after helping the boy wrap his father in blankets in the woods, takes him under his protection. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, McCarthy said that the inspiration for the book came during a 2003 visit to El Paso, with his young son. Imagining what the city might look like fifty to a hundred years into the future, he pictured "fires on the hill" and thought about his son, he took some initial notes but did not return to the idea until a few years while in Ireland. The novel came to him and he dedicated it to his son, John Francis McCarthy. In an interview with John Jurgensen of The Wall Street Journal, McCarthy described conversations he and his brother had about different scenarios for an apocalypse. One of the scenarios involved survivors turning to cannibalism: "when everything's gone, the only thing left to eat is each other."
The Road has received numerous positive honors since its publication. The review aggregator Metacritic reported the book had an average score of 90 out of 100, based on thirty-one reviews. Critics have deemed it "heartbreaking", "haunting", "emotionally shattering"; the Village Voice referred to it as "McCarthy's purest fable yet." In a New York Review of Books article, author Michael Chabon heralded the novel. Discussing the novel's relation to established genres, Chabon insists The Road is not science fiction. Entertainment Weekly in June 2008 named The Road the best book, fiction or non-fiction, of the past 25 years and put it on its end-of-the-decade, "best-of" list, saying, "With its spare prose, McCarthy's post-apocalyptic odyssey from 2006 managed to be both harrowing and heartbreaking."On March 28, 2007, the selection of The Road as the next novel in Oprah Winfrey's Book Club was announced. A televised interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show was conducted on June 5, 2007 and it was McCarthy's first, though he had been interviewed for the print media before.
The announcement of McCarthy's television appearance surprised his followers. "Wait a minute until I can pick my jaw up off the floor," said John Wegner, an English professor at Angelo State University in San Angelo and editor of the Cormac McCarthy Journal
Andrzej Sapkowski is a Polish fantasy writer. He is best known for The Witcher, his books have been translated into about 20 languages. In an interview he said that being a businessman at the time and thus familiar with marketing, he knew how to sell, indeed, he won the 3rd prize; the story was published in Fantastyka in 1986 and was enormously successful both with readers and critics. Sapkowski has created a cycle of tales based on the world of "The Witcher", comprising three collections of short stories and five novels; this cycle and his many other works have made him one of the best-known fantasy authors in Poland in the 1990s. The main character of "The Witcher" is Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter trained for this since childhood. Geralt exists in a morally ambiguous universe, yet manages to maintain his own coherent code of ethics. At the same time cynical and noble, Geralt has been compared to Raymond Chandler's signature character Philip Marlowe; the world in which these adventures take place is influenced by Slavic mythology.
Sapkowski's books have been translated into Czech, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Slovak, Serbian, Italian, Turkish, Estonian and Swedish. An English translation of The Last Wish short story collection was published by Gollancz in 2007. From 2008, the Witcher saga is published by Gollancz; the English translation of Sapkowski's novel Blood of Elves won the David Gemmell Legend Award in 2009. In 2001, a television series based on the Witcher cycle was released in Poland and internationally, entitled Wiedźmin. A film by the same title was compiled from excerpts of the television series but both have been critical and box office failures; the Polish game developer, CD Projekt Red, created a role-playing game series based on The Witcher universe. The first game, titled The Witcher, was first released in October 2007; the sequel, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was released in 2011. The third and final game in the trilogy, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, was released in May 2015. In May 2017, The Witcher was picked up by Netflix to be adapted as a television series.
Sapkowski will serve as a creative consultant on the project. Sapkowski is a recipient of numerous awards from Polish fandom. Sapkowski has won five Zajdel Awards, including three for short stories "Mniejsze zło", "Miecz przeznaczenia" and "W leju po bombie", two for the novels, Krew elfów and Narrenturm, he won the Spanish Ignotus Award, best anthology, for The Last Wish in 2003, for Muzykanci, best foreign short story, same year. In 2003 he was nominated for one of Poland's most prestigious literary prizes Nike Award for his novel Narrenturm, he received several Russian fandom awards. Since 2008 he has been an honorary citizen of the city of Łódź. 2016: World Fantasy Award—Life Achievement 2014: Silver medal Gloria Artis, Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland 2012: Silver medal Gloria Artis, Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland 2010: European Science Fiction Society "European Grand Master" honorary award 2009: David Gemmell Legend Award 1997: Polityka's Passport award, awarded annually to artists who have strong prospects for international success 1996: European Science Fiction Society Hall of Fame: authorIn 2005 Stanisław Bereś conducted a lengthy interview with Sapkowski, published in a book form as Historia i fantastyka.
The Witcher, 5 stories. Sword of Destiny, 6 stories. English edition: 2015 The Last Wish, 7 stories. English edition: 2007; the short story "Spellmaker" in A Polish Book of Monsters is another translation of the short story "The Witcher" from The Witcher. Something ends, Something begins, 8 stories. Maladie and other stories, 10 stories. Blood of Elves. English edition: 2009. Time of Contempt. English edition: 27 June 2013. Baptism of Fire. English edition: 6 March 2014; the Tower of Swallows. English edition: May 2016. Lady of the Lake. English edition: 14 March 2017. Season of Storms. English edition: 22 May 2018 – set between the short stories in The Last Wish. Narrenturm. Warriors of God. Lux perpetua. Viper, a stand-alone novel set during the Soviet–Afghan War; the Eye of Yrrhedes, roleplaying game. The World of King Arthur. Maladie, essay and an illustrated short story set in Arthurian mythology. Manuscript Discovered in a Dragon's Cave, fantasy encyclopedic compendium. Science fiction and fantasy in Poland Stanisław Lem Jacek Dukaj Janusz A. Zajdel Award Andrzej Sapkowski's official site Andrzej Sapkowski on IMDb Andrzej Sapkowski at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database Andrzej Sapkowski at Culture.pl Canon of fantasy literature, by Andrzej Sapkowski
Andreas Eschbach is a German writer of science fiction. His stories that are not in the SF genre feature elements of the fantastic. Eschbach studied aerospace engineering at the University of Stuttgart and worked as a software engineer, he has been writing. His first professional publication was the short story Dolls, published in 1991 in German computing magazine C't, his first novel was published in 1995. Seven of his novels have won the Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis, one of the most prestigious awards in the German SF scene. Four of his novels have won the Deutscher Science Fiction Preis, his novels have been translated into a number of languages, including English, Italian, Serbian, Polish and Japanese. In 2002, his novel Jesus Video was adapted for German television. In 2003, his novel Eine Billion Dollar was adapted for German radio, his only novels translated into English were Die Haarteppichknüpfer, published in 2005 as The Carpet Makers, Herr aller Dinge, published in 2014 as Lord of All Things. Die Haarteppichknüpfer, ISBN 3-7951-1371-7, translated as The Carpet Makers, ISBN 0-7653-0593-3 Solarstation, ISBN 3-7951-1406-3 Jesus Video, ISBN 3-7951-1797-6 Kelwitts Stern, ISBN 3-7951-1624-4 Quest, ISBN 3-453-18773-3 Eine Billion Dollar, ISBN 3-7857-2049-1, translated as One Trillion Dollars, ISBN 978-3-8387-5312-6 Exponentialdrift, ISBN 3-404-14912-2 Der Letzte seiner Art, ISBN 3-404-15305-7 Der Nobelpreis, ISBN 3-7857-2219-2 Ausgebrannt, ISBN 978-3-7857-2274-9 Ein König für Deutschland, ISBN 978-3-7857-2374-6 Herr aller Dinge, ISBN 978-3-7857-2429-3, translated as Lord of All Things, ISBN 978-1-47784981-1 available as audiobook in English language Todesengel, ISBN 978-3-7857-2481-1 Der Jesus-Deal, ISBN 978-3-431-03900-9 Teufelsgold, ISBN 978-3-7857-2568-9 NSA - Nationales Sicherheits-Amt, ISBN 978-3-7857-2625-9Young Adult novelsPerfect Copy: Die zweite Schöpfung, ISBN 3-401-05425-2 Das Marsprojekt, ISBN 3-404-24332-3Das ferne Leuchten, ISBN 3-401-05749-9 Die blauen Türme, ISBN 3-401-05770-7 Die gläsernen Höhlen, ISBN 3-401-05867-3 Die steinernen Schatten, ISBN 978-3-401-06060-6 Die schlafenden Hüter, ISBN 978-3-401-06061-3 Gibt es Leben auf dem Mars oder Das Marsprojekt – der flüsternde Sturm, ISBN 978-3-401-06366-9 Die seltene Gabe, ISBN 3-401-05461-9 Out-SeriesBlack*Out, ISBN 978-3-401-06062-0 Hide*Out, ISBN 978-3-401-06587-8 Time*Out, ISBN 978-3-401-06630-1 CollectionsEine unberührte Welt, 2008.
ISBN 978-3-404-15859-1StoriesContributions to the Perry Rhodan series#1935 Der Gesang der Stille #2295 Die Rückkehr #2503 Die Falle von Dhogar Stellaris #25 Ein unbedeutender Mann #2700 Der Techno-Mond #2812 Willkommen im Tamanium! #2813 An Rhodans Grab Anthologies Eine Trillion Euro, a winner of the 2004 Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire. Das Buch von der Zukunft: Ein Reiseführer, ISBN 3-87134-476-1 Sonja Fritzsche: Eco-Eschbach. Sustainability in the Science Fiction of Andreas Eschbach, in: Detectives and Poplit. Studies in Modern German Fiction, ed. Bruce B. Campbell, Alison Guenther-Pal, Vibeke Rützou Petersen. S. 67–87. ISBN 978-1-57113-593-3 Official website Dutch fansite with book cover images Andreas Eschbach at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database Story Behind The Carpet Makers – online essay by Eschbach Andreas Eschbach at Library of Congress Authorities, with 3 catalogue records
Snow Crash is a science fiction novel by American writer Neal Stephenson, published in 1992. Like many of Stephenson's other novels it covers history, anthropology, religion, computer science, cryptography and philosophy. Stephenson explained the title of the novel in his 1999 essay "In the Beginning... Was the Command Line" as his term for a particular software failure mode on the early Apple Macintosh computer. Stephenson wrote about the Macintosh that "When the computer crashed and wrote gibberish into the bitmap, the result was something that looked vaguely like static on a broken television set—a'snow crash' ". Stephenson has mentioned that Julian Jaynes' book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind was one of the main influences on Snow Crash; the book presents the Sumerian language as the firmware programming language for the brainstem, functioning as the BIOS for the human brain. According to characters in the book, the goddess Asherah is the personification of a linguistic virus, similar to a computer virus.
The god Enki created a counter-program which he called a nam-shub that caused all of humanity to speak different languages as a protection against Asherah. Snow Crash was nominated for both the British Science Fiction Award in 1993, the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1994; the story opens in Los Angeles in the 21st century, an unspecified number of years after a worldwide economic collapse. Los Angeles is no longer part of the United States, as the federal government of the United States has ceded most of its power and territory to private organizations and entrepreneurs. Franchising, individual sovereignty, private vehicles reign supreme over the landscape. Mercenary armies compete for national defense contracts while private security guards preserve the peace in sovereign, gated housing developments. Highway companies compete to attract drivers to their roads and all mail delivery is by hired courier; the remnants of government maintain authority only in isolated compounds where they transact tedious make-work that is, by and large, irrelevant to the dynamic society around them.
Much of the territory ceded by the government has been carved up into sovereign enclaves, each run by its own big business franchise or the various residential burbclaves—suburban enclaves that were inspired by the quasi-sovereign gated communities legalized in California by the Davis–Stirling Common Interest Development Act. This arrangement resembles anarcho-capitalism, a theme Stephenson carries over to his next novel The Diamond Age; as described in both novels and the short story "The Great Simoleon Caper", hyperinflation has sapped the value of the US dollar to the extent that trillion dollar bills—Ed Meeses—are nearly disregarded and the quadrillion dollar note—the Gipper—is the standard'small' bill. Hyperinflation encouraged people to use electronic currency, exchanged in encrypted online transactions and is hence untaxable. For physical transactions, they resort to alternative, non-hyperinflated currencies such as yen or "Kongbucks". Hyperinflation has negatively affected much of the rest of the world, resulting in waves of desperate refugees from Asia who cross the Pacific in rickety ships hoping to arrive in North America.
The Metaverse, a phrase coined by Stephenson as a successor to the Internet, constitutes Stephenson's vision of how a virtual reality-based Internet might evolve in the near future. Resembling a massively multiplayer online game, the Metaverse is populated by user-controlled avatars as well as system daemons. Although there are public-access Metaverse terminals in Reality, using them carries a social stigma among Metaverse denizens, in part because of the poor visual representations of themselves as low-quality avatars. Status in the Metaverse is a function of two things: access to restricted environments such as the Black Sun, an exclusive Metaverse club, technical acumen, demonstrated by the sophistication of one's avatar. Hiro Protagonist is a pizza delivery driver for the Mafia, he meets Y. T. A young skateboard Kourier who refers to herself in the third person, during a failed attempt to make a delivery on time. Y. T. completes the delivery on his behalf and they strike up a partnership, gathering intel and selling it to the CIC, the for-profit organization that evolved from the CIA's merger with the Library of Congress.
Within the Metaverse, Hiro is offered a datafile named Snow Crash by a man named Raven who hints that it is a form of narcotic. Hiro's friend and fellow hacker Da5id views a bitmap image contained in the file which causes his computer to crash and Da5id to suffer brain damage in the real world. Hiro meets his ex-girlfriend Juanita Marquez, who gives him a database containing a large amount of research, positing connections between the virus, ancient Sumerian culture and the legend of Tower of Babel. Juanita disappears; the Mafia boss Uncle Enzo begins to take a paternal interest in Y. T. Impressed by her attitude and initiative, he offers her freelance jobs. Hiro's investigations and Y. T.'s intelligence gathering begin to coincide, with links between the neuro-linguistic viruses, a religious organization known as Reverend Wayne's Pearly Gates and a media magnate named L. Bob Rife beginning to emerge. Juanita's research showed that the ancient Sumerian ur-language allowed brain function to be'programmed' using audio stimuli in conjunction with a DNA altering virus.
Kim Stanley Robinson
Kim Stanley Robinson is an American writer of science fiction. He is best known for his Mars trilogy, his work has been translated into 24 languages. Many of his novels and stories have ecological and political themes running through them and feature scientists as heroes. Robinson has won numerous awards, including the Hugo Award for Best Novel, the Nebula Award for Best Novel and the World Fantasy Award. Robinson's work has been labeled by The Atlantic as "the gold-standard of realistic, literary, science-fiction writing." According to an article in The New Yorker, Robinson is "generally acknowledged as one of the greatest living science-fiction writers." Robinson was born in Illinois. He moved to Southern California as a child. In 1974, he earned a B. A. in literature from the University of California, San Diego. In 1975, he earned an M. A. in English from Boston University. In 1978 Robinson moved to Davis, California to take a break from his graduate studies at UC San Diego. During this time he worked as a bookseller for Orpheus Books.
He taught freshman composition and other courses at University of California, Davis. In 1982 Robinson earned a Ph. D. in English from the UC San Diego. His initial Ph. D. advisor was literary critic and Marxist scholar, Fredric Jameson, who told Robinson to read works by Philip K. Dick. Jameson described Dick to Robinson as "the greatest living American writer." Robinson's doctoral thesis, The Novels of Philip K. Dick, was published in 1984 and a hardcover version was published by UMI Research Press. In the 1980s Robinson spent time with a National Science Foundation team at a research base in Antarctica. In 2008, Time Magazine named Robinson a "Hero of the Environment" for his optimistic focus on the future. In 2009, Robinson was an instructor at the Clarion Workshop. In 2010, he was the guest of honor at the 68th World Science Fiction Convention, held in Melbourne, Australia. In April 2011, Robinson presented at the second annual Rethinking Capitalism conference, held at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Among other points made, his talk addressed the cyclical nature of capitalism. Robinson was appointed Muir Environmental Fellow in 2011 by the John Muir College, University of California San Diego. Sheldon Brown described Robinson's novels as ways to explore how nature and culture continuously reformulate one another. All of Robinson's novels have an ecological component. In the Mars trilogy, one of the principal divisions among the population of Mars is based on dissenting views on terraforming. Colonists debate whether or not the barren Martian landscape has a similar ecological or spiritual value when compared with a living ecosphere like earth's. Forty Signs of Rain has an ecological thrust, taking global warming for its principal subject. Robinson's work explores alternatives to modern capitalism. In the Mars trilogy, it is argued that capitalism is an outgrowth of feudalism, which could be replaced in the future by a more democratic economic system. Worker ownership and cooperatives figure prominently in Green Mars and Blue Mars as replacements for traditional corporations.
The Orange County trilogy explores similar arrangements. Tim Kreider writes in the New Yorker that Robinson may be our greatest political novelist and describes how Robinson uses the Mars trilogy as a template for a credible utopia. Robinson's work portrays characters struggling to preserve and enhance the world around them in an environment characterized by individualism and entrepreneurialism facing the political and economic authoritarianism of corporate power acting in this environment. Robinson has been described as anti-capitalist, his work portrays a form of frontier capitalism that promotes egalitarian ideals that resemble socialist systems, but faced with a capitalism, maintained by entrenched hegemonic corporations. In particular, his Martian Constitution draws upon social democratic ideals explicitly emphasizing a community-participation element in political and economic life. Robinson's works portray the worlds of tomorrow in a manner similar to the mythologized American Western frontier, showing a sentimental affection for the freedom and wildness of the frontier.
This aesthetic includes a preoccupation with competing models of political and economic organization. The environmental and social themes in Robinson's oeuvre stand in marked contrast to the right-libertarian science fiction prevalent in much of the genre, his work has been called the most successful attempt to reach a mass audience with a left wing and anti-capitalist utopian vision since Ursula K. Le Guin's The Dispossessed. Robinson's work features scientists as heroes, they are portrayed in a mundane way compared to most work featuring scientists: rather than being adventurers or action heroes, Robinson's scientists become critically important because of research discoveries and collaborat