Genre: science fiction
Length: 284 pages
Setting: a future Earth
Interest: It’s the third book in a series that I started reading so long ago that I don’t have book reviews for. I’m sure I started it in the first place because the series is written by Carl Sagan’s son. I’m finally getting around to finishing it.
Summary: The Posthumans have discovered a cure to Black Ep (a fatal disease that was killing off the population, so scientists genetically engineered humans to survive the disease and come up with a cure for it) and have started thawing out humans. They try to set up a new government free of many of the problems of the past. Unfortunately, most of the humans who could afford to be frozen were high status, rich people who don’t want to do the grunt work necessary for rebuilding humanity. The Posthumans are driven out of the U.S. and into Europe, where they watch the U.S. split into factions. Fantasia manages to come up with a gene hack to make cooperation linked to dopamine and oxytocin release so everyone starts to get along. Unfortunately, the patch is temporary. Also, Halloween keeps dreaming that Black Ep was sent by aliens (the Free) trying to cull the wheat from the chaff on a galactic scale.
Final thoughts: This book was more about rebuilding civilization than anything, and therefore wasn’t as interesting to me as the previous books. The Posthumans set up the Doctrine to get everyone to work together, but it fails (as expected). People are only able to cooperate when Fantasia re-engineers their genome to drug them into cooperation. I was all set to be annoyed that everything worked out so perfectly, but luckily Sagan included an epilogue that showed problems cropping up. I also wished he wrote more about the Free – that was much more interesting than government rebuilding. All in all, not a very satisfying end to the series
Title comes from: It fits the pattern of the titles in the series (Edenborn and Idlewild were the first two in the series) and is related to the hypothetical aliens.
Reading challenges fulfilled: 43/100 in the Read-a-Latte Challenge