Aristoi

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In the far distant future, humanity has created a glittering interstellar empire, where need and sickness are unknown. All is made possible by advanced technology - bioengineering and nano-machines, virtual reality and the harnessing of the force of gravity. But not everyone can handle all this high tech. Not every person is capable of mastering the arts of programming on the fly in the virtual world, or manipulating the microscopic matter of biotech and nanotech. For most people, the idea of being in more than ...
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Overview

In the far distant future, humanity has created a glittering interstellar empire, where need and sickness are unknown. All is made possible by advanced technology - bioengineering and nano-machines, virtual reality and the harnessing of the force of gravity. But not everyone can handle all this high tech. Not every person is capable of mastering the arts of programming on the fly in the virtual world, or manipulating the microscopic matter of biotech and nanotech. For most people, the idea of being in more than two places at once is more than a little disorienting. So a special kind of human has evolved - men and women who can handle both the virtual world and the realized world. Who can do two and more things at once, who are smarter and more creative than average. They are the Aristoi, the Best, and as in Plato's vision, they have the care of the Demos, the people, foremost in their minds. The Aristoi control technology and all its fruits. They terraform planets, and when they are done, they choose the people who can emigrate to the new world. They are the absolute rulers of their spheres of creation, but they are benevolent rulers. What can trouble Paradise? The answer is an Aristos gone mad. An Aristos so committed to a genetic theory that he makes a whole world in secret, cut off from the Hyperlogos that records all knowledge and all actions, in order to test his theories. And who will kill to keep his secret safe.

"In this complex and rewarding novel, Williams has created a future which features many of the wonders sf has been promising us for years: virtual reality, genetic engineering, faster-than-light travel, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, telepathic links with computers, and more."--Publishers Weekly.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this complex and rewarding novel, Williams (Days of Atonement) has created a future which features many of the wonders SF has been promising us for years: virtual reality, genetic engineering, faster-than-light travel, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, telepathic links with computers, and more. Perhaps most interesting is that people have control of their daimones, different aspects of personality that are given specific names. The class system remains: the aristoi are the seemingly perfect humans who wield power and influence; in fact, some worship them as gods. An aristos named Gabriel discovers a conspiracy among three others of his class, who have created several worlds that are barbaric, with little technology and rampant disease and sickness. They have also killed other aristoi to cover their tracks and violated the sanctity of the Logarchy, the massive, open computer network that links all humans. In a nice touch, Williams renders several scenes in two columns of text on the page, the left describing the action, the right Gabriel's internal dialogue with his daimones. And in one delicious scene Gabriel has sex with two different women at the same time--one in virtual reality, one in real space. (Sept.)
Library Journal
In the far future, an elite class of individuals--called aristoi--rules an interstellar empire through the benign, disciplined mastery of advanced technologies. Beneath the facade of universal prosperity, however, lurks a tide of dissension and madness that can only be fought from within. Williams ( Voice of the Whirlwind , LJ 5/15/87; Days of Atonement , LJ 3/15/91) tests the borders of imagination in a novel that combines brilliant hard science and speculative vision with a firm grip on the central humanity of his characters. A priority purchase for sf collections.
Roland Green
Optimism about the potential of science and technology to improve society is sufficiently rare these days that one almost suspects it has been declared politically incorrect. Williams does not truckle to such conventional wisdom in his latest novel. Written with care, intelligence, and grace, it depicts a future society based on highly developed computers and biological engineering, the key skills of which are controlled by an elite known as the Aristoi. This world is depicted meticulously and vividly, and so is the near war of all against all that is unleashed when one of the Aristoi falls prey to the corruption of power. A fine, thoughtful work, highly recommended; Williams seems to grow with each book.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312851729
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 8/9/1992
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.45 (w) x 9.53 (h) x 1.38 (d)

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