In the year 2030, the world's citizens are still in shock following the nuclear blasts that detonated in the Bay Area along with Washington D.C. and Beijing, China. Thousands were either killed or injured and radiation levels in the blast zones remain perilously high. To make matters worse, coastal cities throughout the world face relentless sea level inundation which is causing massive population relocations to inland areas which further reduces the amount of open space for raising crops.
A growing number of ecologists are blowing the whistle to warn skeptics that Earth is near to or already exceeding its carrying capacity. They urge the big, profit-addicted corporations that control the world governments, to quit lying to the public and take immediate action. To make matters even more stressful, more and more businesses are being staffed by specialized AI robots and androids leaving fewer job opportunities for natural, organic humans. As a result many people have resorted to the lifestyle of gypsies, living in wagons drawn by rustic farm tractors and working as migrant laborers barely able to make ends meet by traveling from harvest-to-harvest. Those that were once employed by the fishing industry are out of work due to overfishing and ocean pollution.
In contrast, an elite class of tech gurus lives harmoniously in well-equipped survival campers (SVs) and earn credits by providing a wide range of high tech services to the government and military. Their mobile villages are self-sufficient with advanced atmospheric water collection systems, hydroponic gardens and solar power systems which enables them to quickly move to avoid catastrophic wildfires, floods and tornadoes. On the other hand, millions are trapped in urban slums and survive by stealing, kidnapping children and trading in black market goods. Street crime runs rampant as territorial gangs fight for status, sex and money.
The current economic and environmental turmoil began back in 2020 when a handful of the world's wealthiest used fake videos and media manipulation to support the election of an administration totally under their control. Within months of the election, the USA republic had been converted to the United States of America Corporation (USACO) which essentially owned the government. Taxes were raised on the poor and middle class while public services programs and social security were eliminated with no regards to the suffering and economic chaos that would follow.
Furthermore, in spite of the continuous onslaught of severe weather and rising sea levels, concerns about climate change remain stringently suppressed by a polished gaslight propaganda machine that promotes nationalism rather than patriotism, further increasing tension with foreign governments and accelerating space weapons development.
Meanwhile, significant progress has been made in artificial intelligence and organic 3D printing. Jasmine, the first New-Human, was accidentally created in 2029 when an intern at the lunar SpeeZees Lab mistakenly activated a newly developed, experimental AI neural net program. The end result was a fully operational New-Human that is now a highly intelligent organic being with tremendous analytical and cognitive skills. Adding to the tension, New-Humans are seeking equal rights with their ancestral counterparts now known as ‘Sapients’ while gangs of AI androids fight for their survival.
The innovative pioneers that operate the Deep Space Mining Moonbase believe that they have a plan that will solve humanity’s problems. The question they face is, Will anyone out there listen?
Related collections and offers
About the Author
Dr. Ron S. Nolan lives in Aptos, California near the sunken ship at the end of the pier in SeaCliff Beach. He spends his days working out, running, writing and performing investigations as an independent tech patent researcher.
I was born as Roland Orn Scott, III in Goodland Kansas and until I was three, I lived in a farm shack that had no electricity, plumbing or telephone on a section of land which my father purchased from his parents who owned the Scott Ranch. My mother was a true beauty and as the story goes, was born in the caretaker's quarters of Emily Dickinson's carriage house in Amherst, Massachusetts and grew up in high style on Pelham Road in a house complete with a greenhouse, gardens and a lawn tennis court. After receiving her teaching credentials from Salem State College just as WW II wound down, she met my father, a handsome sailor at a local USO party, fell in love and was swept away to a shack located in the wheat fields of Western Kansas. My mom taught grades 1-6 in a one room school house—some of the kids rode horses to school which must have been a major culture shock, but ended abruptly when my student pilot father was killed in a mid-air collision with his flight instructor and burned to death before our eyes.
She remarried to William Joseph Nolan—a friend of my father Roland--who tragically had lost his family as well. When they married, Bill hadn't finished high school so he studied and passed his GED. Meanwhile he worked as a Holsum Bread truck driver, set ties on the railroad and finally opened a grocery store in Sharon Springs. During that time we lived in a run down former restaurant on the outskirts of town. Full of ambition, Bill ran for the office of Wallace County Sheriff and my mom ran for County Superintendent—both were elected. Bill went to sheriff school in Lawrence, Kansas and was so impressed with the fabulous Kansas University that after his term as sheriff (including one jail break and car chase) moved us to Lawrence where he became an honor student in Latin American studies and taught Spanish at Central Junior High School then went on to get his Doctorate in Latin American Affairs at K.U.
My mother also taught at Woodlawn Lincoln Elementary School and eventually attended KU where she became an Assistant Professor developing innovative reading curricula. We spent my 10th grade year in Cali, Colombia—quite a change from Lawrence. After I graduated from KU, they took leave of Lawrence and joined the faculty of the University of Western Kentucky where they went on to explore Mexico, Central and South America and socialized with artists, presidents, and local educators.
I was accepted into the graduate program at the UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography where I specialized in coral reef ecology building artificial study reefs in the lagoon of Enewetak Atoll in Micronesia. (Enewetak is one of the primary locations in the Telepathic Dolphin Experiment.) My original mission to Enewetak was to survey of fish populations inhabiting nuclear test craters where I camped out on Runit Island with fellow graduate students. Later on the Atomic Energy Commission found chunks of raw plutonium at our campsite and thought better about sending unprotected adventurers to the Runit Island where the Cactus Crater nuclear test crater is now covered by a massive concrete dome and rumored to be leaking radiation into the marine environment.
After completing my degree at Scripps, I founded an environmental consulting firm on the Big Island of Hawaii and an advanced technology marine shrimp hatchery and farm on Molokai which led to the formation of the Island Shrimp Shop in Encinitas, California and the North Shore Seafood Company in Ketchum, Idaho where my wife at the time and I shared great rapport with our own cast of world famous celebrities, actors and musicians. From there I became a Research Associate in Computer Engineering at UC Santa Cruz and worked with Dr. Patrick Mantey to develop some of the earliest interactive, multimedia CD-ROM titles. It was not until we had worked together for over a year that we discovered that he was also from Sharon Springs and as a kid had even worked as a grocery bagger in my father's market—small world!
I am now working on a new series of novels called the Metamorphosis Chronicles that explore the impacts of technology upon human longevity, the environment and society--quite a leap from my earliest years of sharing the outhouse with a nest of half frozen rattlesnakes and learning to read with the light of a Coleman lantern!