Series: The Nanotech Succession
Humanity, it seems, is being squeezed between these two prongs of an incredibly ancient civil war with weapons lingering on even after the civilization that wages it is long gone. The plot picks up with four characters — Nikko, Lot, Urban, and Clementine, all human — on a starship called the Null Boundary heading into Chenzeme space. Bantam Spectra editions; covers by Bruce Jensen. The characters and technology make the novel, which for the majority of the plot is simply an extended chase scene, so memorable.
Nikko is something so advanced as to at times seem barely human, a centuries-old intelligence inhabiting the ship and taking embodied form at will, distant from his humanity but trying not to lose it completely. If a body dies or is damaged beyond repair, a new one is synthesized because the Null Boundary is advanced enough at a molecular level to synthesize anything, even aspects of its own structure.
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If characters have to leave a planet, they can leave a conscious aspect of their persona — a copy — behind. Death and leave-taking have been transcended, but Nagata explores the implications and costs of this throughout.
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Lot also gives the author the opportunity for imagining the nanotech of the far future. And that technology, painted in rich descriptions that make the prose of Vast glitter, is in the microcosm, in the cells and their chemical communications. This is more difficult than it sounds, as the Chenzeme ships interact like living bodies, mating and dropping dust to exchange molecular memories and signals. Even their propulsion systems are generated at a cellular level, formed by a sort of mitochondrial engine that has colonized the ship.
Lot is the fulcrum of all this, with his crewmates forming a counterweight to his internal craving to spread the cult virus. Nagata is masterful at using these characters to create an isolated society on the Null Boundary , even as they procreate, grow, and have children who age into new characters — and ultimately find a lost colony of humanity so rich with its own characters, settings, life forms, and culture that Nagata could easily spin off into another entire novel. Linda Nagata. Nikko is the first true "post human"-a man genetically engineered to survive in the airless void of space-but the research permit that allows his existence is about to expire.
His body has already begun an insidious, pre-programmed failure that will end in his death. He attempts to steal the Maker from the archives of the Commonwealth police, but his plan goes awry. The device escapes into the wild, infecting a young woman named Phousita who lives in an impoverished slum where nanotechnology is regulated only by the black market. Her senses are enhanced, and she gains extraordinary powers of healing, but like Nikko she has become a fugitive.
- The Bohr Maker (Nanotech Succession, book 1) by Linda Nagata.
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- The Bohr Maker (The Nanotech Succession, #1).
- The Bohr Maker (The Nanotech Succession Book 1) – NanoScience Center.
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