Over time I’ve used my blog site as a sort of shadow world to post thoughts on my current deep project which has been for several years a dystopian nightmare novel of the near future…
Strangely one imagines a dystopian/utopian fable (depending on which side of the divide one is on?) future in which humans are so stratified that reproduction is denied to physical humans who have become sexless due to CRISPR initiatives during the Age of Overpopulation in the Twenty-Second Century when population reached thirty billion with billions starving every year due to climacteric and agricultural depletion, drought, famine, pestilence, etc.
A time when reproduction is allotted through biotechnological overview and synthetic adaptation through a lottery system controlled by elite enhanced citizens who live in intelligent environments (i.e., the so called smart cities). The separation of enhanced, cyborgian, and naturals becomes the tripartite division of the social strata of this era. Dark days indeed…
With artificial wombs and most humans neutered and non-reproductive clones (i.e., the new bioslavery of the future) one imagines this dark cladistics and caste based civilization with technological and enhanced citizens inhabiting the more refined and decadent off-world and paradisial cities, while the remaining naturals and clones living in the enforced Megacities and favelas of the last remaining worker hives.
I’m taking the extreme notion of our current neoliberal oligarchic and plutocratic worldview to its extreme finality (if there is such a thing), in which automation, robotics, superintelligence, biogenetics, information, surveillance and security, and social control have become enmeshed to the point of no return: a static society of machinic life under the rule of enhanced elites of wealth, intellect, and enhanced biogenetic stratification. A world where climate change has flooded most of the Old Earth and what remains is a dark realm of City States based on Corporotacracy. One imagines Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World updated to the convergence technologies of our moment: NBIC – nano, biotech, Information and Communication tech, with total surveillance society and apartheid mentality. For about four years I’ve been working with different aspects of this triptych near future novel which is finally taking on a story of adventure and obviously revolutionary resistance to such an extreme world. Still lots of work to be done… and most of my blog writing has been but a shadow of this other work I’ve not spoken about too much.
As one imagines how the elite have used every means at their disposal to depopulate the earth and replace humanity with an automated society it becomes more than disturbing. In some ways such a extreme future entails even a more disastrous vision than even most conspiracy theorists would consider as anything other than an inferno, because it extrapolates from known scientific and philosophical speculation of our current moment which is based solidly in material infrastructural and superstructual elements. I’ve always felt one needs to push the pessimistic line of argument to have a chance to see the hopeful alternative that a resistance movement to such a dark world might bring about. My problem was to set forth the complex relations among various stratified worlds of human and non-human dimensions that would spark a true rebellion and transformation into a brighter future. Using the standard triptych or trilogy to spread the dystopian world and its transformation into a more hopeful future seems relevant to such a large undertaking. Throwing the reader in media res – into the middle of the action without a clue of what came before or where things are going seems like the best way to begin a anti-novelistic dystopian novel, one that takes the standard unreliable narrator and anti-hero as the point of view for the creature neither fully human or non-human; an ambiguous creature unsure of its own ancestry or place within the machinic phylum within which it finds itself. A being that seeks to find its way among the leavings of our ancient human civilization, who like Dante’s self-wandering creature discovers its Vergil among the rubble who will like a Sancho Ponzo of the end times will guide our wandering anti-hero through the strange realms and dimensions of this dark inferno.
What if Social Darwinism and Eugenics and Fascism/Nazism underlies our late capitalism era? What if the current neo-Darwinian, biogenetics, nanotechnology, ICT informational ontology of Superintelligence, Internet of things, robotics, and automatic society is an outgrowth of Social Darwinist principles and axiomatic, and inhuman to the core in its push to displace humanity and enslave a neo-workerist society of clones, robots, and cyborgians? What if one pushed all this to the extreme dystopian limits of imagination and out the other side as something else emerges in the form of freedom beyond this violence – a form of collective awakening that is finally inclusive of both human and non-human dimensions of existence?
I probably have always been writing the same book over and over – adding bits and pieces of detritus, bones of my travels, artifacts and haunted objects from the dark pages of my life to this ongoing book in my mind. Some things have to have a conclusion, a finish line, a point when enough is enough, and I hope to make this one a doozy… let’s face it to bring together all the complexity of our current situation on earth is formidable in itself, but to offer some type of hope in the midst of despair as we face the harsh truth of our current neoliberal dark comedy is almost unbearable. I’ve always admired the Mnemppiean works of the past, the great satires full of stuffing from every aspect of existence, high and low, full of tragic, comic, farce, and parody: works that seem to overflow their boundaries, flood into the readers mind and overwhelm them with strange relations. And, yet, that’s just what is needed in our time: a sort of black comedy, a dark farce that can take a Dantean journey into the heart of darkness of our era in a more resilient form than Conrad did in his early novel. One that is adept at both current technological tendencies as well as the dystopic take of our current globalist agendas in Russia, China, India, EU and the U.S.A.. If I don’t go mad first I hope to have this beast done within a couple years… I’ve been working and re-working it for some time, but it’s time to get it done since I’m not getting any younger. Combining Pynchon and P.K. Dick, Gunter Grass and Mark Twain, Lovecraft and Shakespeare, Cervantes and Milton… a flight of fantasy and a dark realist vision that is at once both our world and its shadow. Something different, and alive.