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25 February 2012

The Future Is Now


Culminating in the street date appearance of Michael Grant's BZRK, we have been hearing a lot of science fiction stuff happening NOW.  I especially liked hearing (however incidentally) about Jen-Hsun Huang's work on graphics and how the ultimate test is the human eye.  I was also tickled to hear more about nano technology right about the same time - making transistors from a single atom.

The future was predicted so many times so many years ago, like by E.M. Forster in The Machine Stops, William Gibson's titles, like Idoru, which talk smoothly about cyberspace, avatars and nanotechnology, and even Eric Flint & KD Wentworth's The Course of Empire, which among other items talked of personal comm boards.

There is something especially fascinating and horrifying about little, tiny things, smaller than can be seen by the naked eye. 
Ten years ago, Michael Crichton introduced us to micro-robots with Prey., and, even after death, Michael Crichton is able to entertain, enlighten and engender fear and horror with Micro which was subsequently finished after Crichton's death by Richard Preston, a best-seller science fiction and non-fiction writer in his own right (the only non-physician to win The Centers for Disease Control Champion of Prevention Award).  In Micro, the little, tiny things are miniaturized humans, battling the terrors of giant ants and other creatures to say nothing of the obstacles of mere giant dirt particles.

In Michael Grant's BRZK, the world of gaming meets the world of nano science, where "nano" means the being in and on the giant world of the human body while "macro" means the real world in which humans live in full-size.  The little "'bots" must navigate around cilia waving around like giant trees and watch out for the waterfall of eyedrops administered by wearers of contact lenses.  There are so many opposite forces, like yin and yang, good and evil, we have miniature machines run by humans versus biological extensions of humans run by their flesh and blood creators' mind, those who are fighting for a greater good and those who are doing it for the thrill of victory.  It's hard to say that this is simply a Young Adult book, except that most of the main characters are between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five.  Like most science fiction, there's action, incidental human relationships explored and a bit of futuristic technology to titillate.  It's a good read.  And who's to say if this future is not happening right now?

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