Sci Fi

In the year 2012, invisible aliens visit the earth. "I don't see anything unusual!"  They replace certain people with robot replicas.  The robots behave just like real people.  Indistinguishable from those around them, they infiltrate society. "Wassup" "Hey man" Anyway, no one notices, and eventually the robots die very realistic natural deaths. Leeroy: "Worst movie ever." Bartholemew: "Agree."

They didn't even do autopsies.

Oh look, a comic!  What a surprise!

I blame Dysaniak for at least some of the delay.  He gave me a sci-fi story to read, see.

The book is called The First Immortal, by James L. Halperin, and it is available free online for you unscrupulous sorts.  It’s quite an ambitious book, covering a span of 200 years; about 100 into the past and 100 into the future.  The focus is on the technology of cryonics, which, in its current manifestation, allows us to freeze the recently deceased at liquid nitrogen temperature in the hope of reviving them later once medical science becomes sufficiently advanced.  The book delves deeply into the technological, societal, and ethical implications of cryonics and certain other oft-hypothesized future techs like nanotechnology, cloning, and commercially-available immersive virtual reality.  It’s a great introduction to the kind of technology that may become feasible in the relatively near future, and I recommend it solely for that reason.  As a work of fiction, it’s actually pretty lacking.  The characters are shallowly drawn, and whenever some sort of interpersonal issue actually arises, you wish they would just stop whining about it (a good example is the implausible resentment between the main character, Ben, and his son, Gary, which drags on ad nauseum.)

It’s also quite amazing how many of the world’s problems just get swept aside as soon as future hypothesizing starts, presumably to make room for Halperin’s darling cryonic technology.  He completely ignores the unrest in the Middle East, the global warming crisis, the widespread famine and poverty all over the world, and the not-quite-dead struggle between capitalism and socialism, especially in China.  Rather than work these issues into a compellingly detailed vision of the future, Halperin cursorily sketches a single world government (created without conflict!  what a trick!) that secures perpetual peace and is scarcely mentioned again.

So yeah, that’s what I’ve been up to.


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