Requiem of the Human Soul

The human race is on trial. At stake… Its continued existence

Columbus Day? How about Hitler Day?

If Germany began celebrating Hitler Day every year to commemorate the rise to power of the murderous Nazi regime, the world would quite rightly be outraged.  It would be unthinkable.  And yet, every year, millions of citizens across the United States celebrate Columbus Day, commemorating the beginning of the greatest genocide ever witnessed in human history.

Columbus’ discovery of the New World in 1492 led to centuries of  appalling crimes against humanity throughout the two continents of North and South America.  In most regions, 95% of the original population was decimated within the first few generations.  The majority of the hundreds of millions who died were most likely wiped out from the diseases brought by the Europeans to which the indigenous people of the Americas had no resistance, but that doesn’t discount the atrocious and continuous acts of murder, enslavement and brutality carried out by the Europeans against the inhabitants of the New World.


Columbus' discovery of the New World set off an American holocaust.

Columbus himself knew just what he wanted from his expedition: conquest and domination.  Here’s an excerpt from his journal about the indigenous people he discovered when he first landed in Hispaniola:

They have no iron or steel, nor any weapons….They have no other weapons than the stems of reeds…on the end of which they fix little sharpened stakes. Even these they dare not use….they are incurably timid…. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.

Our global values have come a long way since that fateful day in 1492.  Nowadays we at least pay lip-service to notions of liberty and self-determination.  While genocides still tragically occur, most of the civilized world reacts with horror, even if we generally do very little to stop them.  So why do we still insist on glorifying a brutally ambitious murderer each year, and celebrate the beginning of unimaginable suffering for hundreds of millions of native Americans?

In my novel, Requiem of the Human Soul, there’s a terrorist group called Citizens Seeking Global Justice which  detonates a nuclear bomb in Columbus, Ohio on Columbus Day in 2063, incinerating downtown Columbus and killing over a hundred thousand citizens.  For this group, the symbolism of Columbus is irresistible.  His day represented the continued domination of the rich world over the impoverished and disenfranchised masses who continued to be trashed by the sweep of globalization and progress.  The nuclear devastation of Columbus sets off an extreme reactionary movement in the United States, leading eventually to constitutional amendments restricting individual liberties and the rise to power of the ominous Department of Homeland Security.

While I personally vehemently oppose any violence against innocent people for any reason, I think we owe it to the countless millions who died in the New World from European genocide and disease to question the premise of Columbus Day.  Why do we celebrate such horrors?  Why not turn the day into a celebration of the very cultures that were devastated?  Why not observe the day in honor of those who suffered and died as a result of European aggression?  For starters, let’s call it something else.  How about First Nations Day?  Or Native Americans Day?  Anything, just not Columbus Day.  And for that matter, not Hitler Day, either.

October 7, 2010 Posted by | American holocaust, Nuclear terror, The 22nd century | , , , | 6 Comments

Living off garbage: the future is now

Humans fighting each other over filthy scraps of garbage just to stay alive.  In my book, Requiem of the Human Soul, the hero Eusebio is disgusted to see this happening in the squalid dirt of Shaktigarh, a city in India in the late 22nd century inhabited by Primals, those humans who never got genetically enhanced and became the global underclass.  In my novel, the human race has bifurcated into two human species by the late 22nd century: the Primals and the d-humans.


Man foraging in a garbage dump in Venezuela - New York Times

The future setting of the novel was partly designed to show where our global society is heading us if we extrapolate today’s trends out over several generations.  But as far as the massive disconnect between the lives we live in the West and the squalor of the those who got left out of the joyride known as Progress, no need to look any further than this disturbing article in the New York Times from September 18, 2010, entitled “Left Behind in Venezuela to Piece Lives Together.”  The dystopian future of my book is already happening in the slums of Ciudad Guyana in Venezuela.

Those who argue that globalization increases wealth across the board are offering a self-serving perspective that belies reality.  What do historical trends tell us?

What do historical trends tell us?   Since the Industrial Revolution, there’s no question that the disparity in   virtually any measure – income, health, infant mortality, longevity – shows a massive increase between the West and the rest of the world.    In the past couple of decades, the story gets a little more complex.   The economic rise of China and Southeast Asia has improved the lot of billions of peoples, (both in absolute and in relative terms).   However, the problems experienced in Africa have meant that the poorest people in the world are now even farther behind the wealthiest than ever before.

”] OK, but what do these rising income disparities mean?   What’s the real difference today in lifestyle between the wealthy countries (destined to become mostly d-humans) and the poor countries (destined to remain mostly Primals)?

Well, to quote a recent report by the World Health Organization , “A girl born today can expect to live for more than 80 years if she is born in some countries—but less than 45 years if she is born in others.”

Researchers J P Ruger and H-J Kim conducted a study in 1996 comparing the best-off nations, the mid-level nations and the worst-off nations.   Here’s what they found…

Inequalities in child and adult mortality are wide and growing

The countries with the highest adult and under-five mortality have multiple deprivations:

  • Fourfold higher percentage of people living on $1/day
  • Twofold higher female illiteracy rate
  • Less than 1/6 the income per capita
  • One fifth the outpatient visits, hospital beds and doctors

Source: J P Ruger , H-J Kim. “Global health inequalities: an international comparison.” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2006; 60 :928-936.

Rising Inequality Within Nations

Things are changing as we enter the 22nd century.   It’s not that the disparity is decreasing – it’s changing its form.   Increasingly, the income disparity is growing within countries, rather than between countries.   That means that figures showing poorer countries catching up in their GDP can hide another story: that within the country, the rich are getting richer but the poor are getting poorer.

Picture of Jakarta: shanty town on the river and modern high rise in the background

Glenn Firebaugh, Sociology professor at Pennsylvania   State University, has described this new dynamic in his 2006 book entitled The New Geography of Global Income Inequality :

…a new geography of global income inequality… refers to the new pattern of global income inequality caused by the recent phenomenon of declining inequality across nations accompanied by (in many places) rising inequality within nations.

This phenomenon, which began in the last third of the twentieth century and continues today, results in a ‘new geography’ because it represents the reversal of trends that trace back to the early stages of Western industrialization…

Global income inequality…is gradually shrinking from inequality across nations to inequality within nations.

– Glenn Firebaugh, The New Geography of Global Income , Harvard University Press, 2006.

With these current perspectives, it’s disturbingly easy to visualize how, by next century, genetic engineering will finalize the job our civilization’s been working on for centuries, and establish the ultimate gap between rich and poor, establishing them as two separate species: Primals and d-humans.

September 20, 2010 Posted by | The 22nd century | , , , | Leave a comment

The face of 22nd century warfare… happening today

According to the American military, 23 Afghan civilians were killed in February by a group of people sitting at a console in Creech Air Force Base in Nevada.  How could that happen?  Because these people were operating the Predator drones that have caused such controversy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Predator drones: heralding the face of 22nd century warfare

Look out,world… this is the way warfare is going to be conducted in the future as increasingly advanced technology allows more sophisticated interfaces to be developed.  The logic is powerful.  Why should you risk the lives of your own people when you can accomplish the same ends by technology?  It’s the same logic that leads to the use of robots when possible in examining and disarming suspected terrorist bombs.

But, sensible as the logic may be, we’re going to enter a world where the lives and deaths of civilians will ultimately be decided by the cost/benefit trade-offs of programmers working away in the abstract world of mathematics, completely divorced from the reality of the ground.

In my book, Requiem of the Human Soul, there’s a scene that portrays the face of 22nd century warfare.  The troops fighting the terrorists are called GE troopers, (standing for GALT  Enforcement – a 22nd century global treaty to limit human aggression by genetic means).  They’re fighting the Rejectionists, people who reject this global treaty on religious grounds.  And, plus ca change, the fighting is still going in the Pakistan/Afghanistan border, this time in a little community called Pannakot, in the Chitral Valley.  But the GE troopers aren’t really there – they use virtual reality units (or VRUs) which they’re operating from the comfort of Nashville, Tennessee.

And it’s a lot more comfortable when you’re fighting from your home town.  As one of the troopers tells the book’s hero, Eusebio:

Sure, pal, that’s where the whole 4-21 regiment is located.  We have a giant virtual reality center outside Nashville.  We’re all there right now, in our skins, hunting down Rejos in the Chitral Valley.  It sure beats doing it in person.  At the end of the day, we go have a drink with the guys, enjoy our kids at home.  I’ve got a six-year old.  I wouldn’t miss him growing up for anything.

Eusebio, is there with the GE troopers in the Chitral Valley virtually, wearing a VRU himself.  He’s on a mission to see what is really going on in the sanitized world of genetically enhanced humans.  And what he sees disgusts him.  It’s the face of warfare in the 22nd century.

Click here to read the excerpt from the book in a pdf file.

May 29, 2010 Posted by | The 22nd century | , , , | 1 Comment

The yellow brick road to d-humans

Many readers of my novel, Requiem of the Human Soul, tell me that the 22nd century scenario it paints of genetically optimized humans controlling our world is disturbing precisely because it seems so realistic.  I wasn’t trying to create a dystopia in the novel – a gloomy future scenario of our world – but rather a realistic portrayal of where our global society will end up if we continue on the our current trends.

I see three stages of evolution towards the full blown genetically optimized d-humans in the late 22nd century.  In the book, they’re referred to as d1, d2 and d3, as follows:

D1 humans could be with us as soon as 2030, only a couple of decades from now.  They’re simply babies that have been screened for genetic diseases, and who have had their genes optimized for good health when a troubling gene is discovered in the very early stages of fetal development.

[Click here to read an article (excerpted from the novel) in the New York Journal, September 29, 2044, called “Matterhorn Insurance plays genetic favorites.]

D2 humans begin to emerge a couple of generations from now.  They represent the commercialization of genetic enhancement, when genes are optimized not just for health, but also for intelligence, beauty and physical prowess.  In the novel, the first designer babies are produced in offshore havens, where the stricter rules against designer babies that exist in most countries can be circumvented.  Then, as they get increasingly popular, domestic rules are relaxed and it becomes the norm for well-to-do middle-class parents to design their babies in advance.

[Click here to read an article (excerpted from the novel) in Wealth Monthly, June 11, 2069, entitled “The New Offshore Baby Boom.”]

Finally, d3 humans come on the scene around the beginning of the 22nd century.  In addition to all the d2 designer-baby enhancements, they’re also neurologically optimized for enhanced character and better personalities.  Only, d3 humans come with strings attached.  In the early 22nd century, the world is just recovering from the Great Global Wars, the worst devastation in human history, that arose from the ravages of climate change.  Everyone agrees “never again,” and this time they can actually do something about.  So a UN law is passed that d3 humans must have their gene-sets for aggression and doctrinal beliefs subordinated in the gene expression hierarchy – thus creating a world that, theoretically at least, will never cause the destruction that we unenhanced humans – or Primals – have unceasingly brought upon ourselves.

[Click here to read an article in Harper Atlantic Magazine, dated February 2117, featuring a speech from Juan Jose Gonzalez, the newly appointed Chairman of the United Nations Governing Council, on the new way forward for global peace and prosperity.]

The graphic below shows the three stages of how humans evolve into d-humans.  Click it for a larger version, or click here for a pdf version.

The three stages of evolution from human to d-human

May 11, 2010 Posted by | genetic engineering | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear terror attack devastates Columbus, OH in 2063

“We are drifting towards a catastrophe beyond comparison,” said President Obama on Tuesday, quoting Albert Einstein to a session of 47 heads of state and other dignitaries convened for the first time in history to combat nuclear terrorism.  Obama has identified the possibility of nuclear terror as the greatest threat to the security of the United States, and my novel, Requiem of the Human Soul, describes a scenario showing how this awful catastrophe could actually play out.

In Requiem, by the middle of the 21st century, the threat of Al-Qaeda has long been forgotten.  But that doesn’t mean that the threat of nuclear terror has evaporated.  Instead, by mid-century, the world is embroiled in an escalating battle between the haves and the have-nots of the globalized world community, as the effects of climate change put the kabosh on global stability and squelch the expectation of rising prosperity for the billions of middle-class consumers in developing countries.

The oil industry is sued for leaving lakes of oil where once there was arable land

The Class Action to Rectify Global Injustice, or CARGI, filed in the International Court of Justice in the Hague, becomes the central rallying cry for those who have been left out of the global bargain as access to natural resources begins to deteriorate.  A rash of lawsuits is filed against the United States and European nations for allowing their multinational corporations to commit crimes against the less developed people of the world.   The oil industry is sued for leaving lakes of black oil where there had once been arable land.   The bottled water industry is sued for buying up all the fresh water rights, drying up reservoirs and leaving local people without water to drink.

Meanwhile, the United States will have none of it.   They threaten to pull out of the United Nations, the World Bank and just about every other global institution unless all charges against their multinationals are dismissed.   Americans can no longer travel to developing countries without armed guards.   The Europeans try to broker a middle ground but fail.

Downtown Columbia is devastated by a terrorist nuclear explosion in 2063

That’s when disaster strikes.   In October 2063, as Columbus Day is being celebrated and the people of Columbus, Ohio enjoy their long weekend, digging into their brunch or settling down to watch the sports on TV, a nuclear bomb explodes in their downtown.

Over fifty thousand people are instantly killed.   A hundred thousand others wounded and devastated by radiation sickness.   The shining towers and proud skyscrapers of downtown Columbus are incinerated into a red-hot, radioactive crater containing two square miles of melted steel and pulverized concrete.

The Citizens Seeking Global Justice, a group nobody had heard of before or since, claims responsibility along with an awful threat: if the United States don’t recognize and participate in the CARGI lawsuit, an even bigger nuclear explosion will take place in a major city exactly one year later.

[Read the ultimatum sent by Citizens Seeking Global Justice to the people of the United States after the nuclear explosion at Columbus]

The US announces it will no longer avoid CARGI at the International Court of Justice in the Hague

The Department of Homeland Security does everything imaginable to find the perpetrators.   Everyone in the U.S. has to register with the Department and wear a tag so they can be monitored by satellite wherever they go.   Every financial transaction, no matter how small, is registered and analyzed.   But they are never found.

In solidarity with the United States, the International Court of Justice suspends all CARGI hearings for a year.   Terror grips the people of the United States as the anniversary of Columbus draws near.

A week before the year is up, the United States announces they will no longer boycott the International Court of Justice.   They have  re-joined the global community.   The United States has blinked.   They never hold the same power in the world from that day on.

[Read more about the Class Action to Rectify Global Injustice on Requiem‘s official website.]

April 14, 2010 Posted by | Nuclear terror | , , , | Leave a comment

Avatar and Requiem: the comparison

A number of people have told me that Requiem of the Human Soul reminded them of the movie Avatar.  So I finally got up my courage, put on the 3D glasses and went to see for myself.

I loved the special effects, and like so many others, I got caught up in the Pocahontas-style storyline.  But now, what’s that all got to do with Requiem?  Well, of course there’s the obvious fact that in the late 22nd century world of Requiem, everybody uses virtual reality in the same way they do in Avatar.  My vision of 22nd century virtual reality is similar to James Cameron’s, but in my technology, you put on a kind of diving suit with millions of little electrodes, so when you want to move your avatar, you don’t just think about, you actually move your hand or foot and the avatar’s hand or foot moves with you.   Here’s a link to the novel website that describes Requiem‘s virtual reality in more detail.

But, I think when people compare Requiem to Avatar, it’s the vision of the world-spirit, the animistic sense of connectedness that they’re talking about. Avatar offers a beautifully blended metaphor of a plugged-in universe, where technology, environment and spirituality all fuse together.   I’ve published a post on the companion blog to this, Tyranny of the Prefrontal Cortex, calledAvatar: A 21st Century Aspirational Cosmology,” where I suggest that part of Avatar‘s popularity arises from it offering an easy techno solution to our modern spiritual longing.

In Requiem, though, things aren’t quite as easy.  The Nobel Prize winning neuroscientist, Julius Schumacher, discovers that the human soul is interconnected through our DNA with all other life on earth.  It’s a moment when science and spirituality have the potential of coming together in a way where they can infuse meaning in each other.  Here’s how his protege, Brian Chang, describes it:

“You know Julius’ analogy about the soul, how it’s like an orchestra?” Brian started speaking after lots of humming and herring and clearing his throat nervously.   “You know, how over five hundred million years of evolution, as life on earth began branching off into plants, reptiles, mammals, a shared harmony existed between the DNA of every living object on earth?”

“And as creatures became more diverse, the harmony between their DNA and the DNA of other creatures became more complex, but it never disappeared.”   Brian’s voice was taking on more authority with every sentence.   “Julius theorized that the soul is not something that can ever be tangibly identified, but it exists as a series of relationships, patterns, vibrations, between different elements of a living creature’s DNA and RNA.”

“So Julius saw the origins of the soul to be the Earth itself.   The relationship between man and the Earth is integral to the existence of the soul.   In fact, Julius believed this was the basis for the immortality of the soul.”

But in Requiem‘s 22nd century world, this didn’t lead to the happy harmony of Pandora.  Instead, genetic engineering may have destroyed the soul, like changing the shape a musical instrument would destroy the music.  The thing is, even without genetic engineering, the human race hasn’t done such a good job of exploring its connectivity with Nature.  On the contrary, we’ve spent at least two thousand years pulling it apart.  In the novel, Julius founds a Humanist community, where a century later, Eusebio Franklin, the novel’s hero is born.  But the Humanists remain a small, isolated, group in an increasingly genetically-optimized, soulless world.

Avatar may be a lot of fun to watch, but I think part of its popularity arises from its vision of an easy techno-organic solution to our world’s problems.  Sorry guys, but Requiem doesn’t offer that solution.  It might, however, help you to see some of the real issues we face as we go hurtling through this century of climate change and unsustainable onslaught on our so-called natural resources… and as we pursue our intimations of immortality through genetic engineering.

March 31, 2010 Posted by | The Soul | , , , , , | Leave a comment

How the d-humans took over the world

In Requiem of the Human Soul, our world is ruled by the d-humans, designer humans who are healthier, better looking and smarter than us mere Primals, or unenhanced humans.  The book’s set in the late 22nd century, over 150 years from now.  But how do we get there from our present world?

In these extracts from the PEPS archives (not found in the novel), the novel’s hero, Eusebio, tells us how Naomi, (his d-human advocate), first told him about how the d-humans had taken over the world from the Primals.

Because he’d spent his whole life in the “time capsule” of Tuckers Corner, Eusebio knew virtually nothing about recent history.   Although he was a history teacher, his topics were the indigenous groups of the world before they were conquered by the West.

But Naomi Aramovich soon brought him up to date…

North America

“In North America, Primals are no more than 15% of the population.  The majority live in inner city ghettoes, and are virtually all either black or Hispanic.  They couldn’t afford the early genetic optimization technologies that began to define the d-human species.  The gap quickly became unbridgeable.   The same was true for the predominantly white Primal communities in the less developed parts of North America, such as the Appalachian mountains and the bayous of Mississippi, as well as other marginalized communities such as American Indians still living on their reservations.

The few other Primal societies that still existed in North America were groups that had chosen to opt out of the d-humanization of society.   Most were driven by fundamentalist religious philosophies.   There were various Christian sects, who had split with the mainstream of their religion when, one by one, their established Christian denominations had proclaimed that the genetic optimization of the human race was consistent with Christianity.  There were the extreme right-wing survivalists and conspiracy theorists in Idaho and South Dakota who refused to participate in the d-humanization of their offspring.   There were the extremists of the other side of the political spectrum, who lived off the land, maintaining environmentally-friendly communities.   Then there is my own community of Humanists.”

China

“In China, Naomi explained, over 90% of the population was d-human.   Primal communities consisted mostly of backward groups in remote rural locations, or some ghettoes in the major urban areas such as Shanghai and Beijing.   In the mid-21st century, the Chinese government had been the first to institute a national program of enforced d-humanization.  Western countries began to view the Chinese policy as a threat to their global political power, in much the same way that the USSR’s Sputnik space flight technologies in the twentieth century led the USA to re-think its approach to space.

China’s began to enforce the d-panel on all couples in the name of social health and welfare.   It became illegal to have a baby without using the d-panel.   Within a couple of generations, China had succeeded in virtually eliminating many diseases from their society.   This was considered to be one of the greatest steps forward that humanity had ever made.

Later, the government began to enforce the d2 technology: each couple had to choose from a small set of “minimum standards”.   So, new generations of Chinese children grew up who all shared optimal features for a particular socio-economic group – farm-workers’ offspring would be born with greater physical strength and endurance; factory workers’ children would be born with a greater capacity for patience.

As a result, the majority of China’s population are now d2-humans.  The ruling and wealthiest classes in China, perhaps 10% of the population, had the resources to use d-3 genetic enhancement for their children.”

India

In India, the move towards d-humanization had been much more chaotic.   The initial advances were made by the elite, urban, educated classes.   As the d-panel became available on a mass scale, there were efforts by the Indian Government to apply the technology to the entire population, following China’s example.   However, in India’s case, the application was not so successful.   As a result of corruption at the regional level, and conflicts between different villages and castes at the local level, only about 40% of India’s population succesfully used the d-panels.   This led to an ever increasing gap between the living standards of the d-humans and those who were to become known as the Primals.

To make matters worse, many poor families tried to purchase the d-panels on the black market, but received pirated, faulty versions.   This created a new group in Indian society of terribly deformed people, with limbs and organs frequently misshapen.   These people were without a home, abandoned by both the Primals and d-humans alike, forced to wander the countryside, begging for food.

Within a couple of generations, boundary lines became increasingly firm between the d-human towns and villages, and those communities that had never gained access to the d-panel.   These boundaries quickly became embedded in the social structure and caste system.   The two groups began to have less and less to do with each other.   If a Primal entered into a d-human area, he would most likely be lynched, and vice versa.

The d-human communities became increasingly advanced and disease-free.   The wealthier groups  began to utilizing d2 technology to optimize the features of their children.   Meanwhile, the Primal communities stagnated.   Disease became ever more rampant in the society.   Education and social standards declined as the authorities allocated more of their resources to the d-humans.   Corporations would only employ d-humans in their factories and offices, wanting to maintain basic health and efficiency and avoid conflict.

As the difference in living standards widened, the economic gap also widened.   A d-human worker in rural India now earns about twenty times more than a Primal worker in a comparable job.   As a result, Primals are unable to afford to purchase the d-panel technology for their children, even if they were to desire it.

This has led, Naomi explained to me, to the current situation where the two groups, the d-humans and the Primals, share the same country, but share nothing else.   D-human Indian society is a thriving, modernized place, where healthy people pursue their work and culture efficiently and productively.  There is an increasingly large elite class that’s d-3.  Primal Indian society has degenerated to the point of squalor.   The Primal areas of India are ridden with disease and emanate massive pollution.  Their agricultural land is highly inefficient, producing about one tenth of the possible food that d-humans produce from their land.   The Indian cities are divided into d-human and Primal sections.   In the Primal sections, the basic infrastructure has broken down.   Sewage washes through the streets; hunger is everywhere; vermin share the garbage with the impoverished beggars.   Violence is endemic while basic family structures have disintegrated as a result of the hunger, disease and hopelessness of the population.

As the gap between the d-humans and the Primals widened, so did the sense of a shared humanity.   At first, the Indian Government attempted to provide welfare and assistance to those who had failed to access the d-panel technology.   However, within a few generations, the political will to assist the Primals evaporated.   The governing classes were all d-human, and they had been voted into power by d-humans.   It became increasingly expedient and ethically acceptable to regard those who had missed out on the d-panel as a different species, as the Primals, and therefore not deserving the compassion and economic investment that one reserves for ones own species.”

Asia, Africa, South America

While India is the most extreme example of the vast gap between d-humans and Primals, the same is true of most of Asia, Africa and South America, even though significant differences exist country by country.

In Japan, for example, virtually the entire population is d-human; there are almost no Primals to be found.   Singapore is perhaps the only country in the world where there’s literally not a Primal to be found – it’s rumored that those who had not participated in the Government-sponsored d-humanization campaign had been secretly sterilized by the Government.

In the rest of Asia, the situation is similar to that in India, where a massive gap has arisen between d-human and Primal societies.   The d-humans consist of the elite classes and the more prosperous peasants and working classes.   The Primals represent those who had never had the money or political clout to gain access to the original d1 technology, and receive an ever-diminishing share of their country’s resources.   The Primal societies in each country are disease-ridden, overcrowded, violent, polluted and produced barely enough to keep their populations away from starvation.

The same situation exists in the countries of Africa and Latin America.   In each country, the ruling elite is highly advanced and has access to the latest d3 technology.

A significant middle-class enjoys the benefits of d2 technology, where they can customize the features of their offpsring.   Among the working-classes and peasants, the more prosperous have access to d1 technology, and are free of the vast bulk of diseases that had afflicted mankind for time immemorial.

And, in each country, a big minority of the population, lacking the financial resources and outside the circle of corruption and power, labor in their original human form, suffering from disease and hunger, outcasts in the race towards the ever-increasing development and prosperity of the d-humans, who were once their fellow human beings.”

Middle East and Europe

“The Middle East, Naomi explained to me, took a different path.   During the period of d1 genetic enhancement, most of the Arab and Muslim countries had distributed the d-panels through the mosque, rather than through the Government.   From the outset, however, many local imams and mullahs rejected the technology, believing it was part of a Western conspiracy to undermine their genetic make-up, and against the tenets of their faith.

So, although the ruling elites of every country adopted genetic enhancement as it became available, many regions of the Arab world remained completely human.   In more recent generations, a more disturbing development occurred…

When the leaders of the Arab nations and other Muslim countries unanimously adopted GALT , along with all other members of the UN, many d-human Muslims disagreed so profoundly with the principles of this treaty that they vowed to lead an insurrection against their d-human leaders.   These people, who became known as the Rejectionists, viewed the human Muslims in their countries as natural allies.

Finally, Naomi turned to Europe, where the problems were less severe than elsewhere.   Fewer than 10% of the European population were Primals.   As in North America, most Primals comprised inner-city racial minorities in inner cities who had failed to take advantage of the genetic enhancements offered to them by the state.   In Europe, d1 technology had been made  available to everyone through the pan-European national health services.   D2 and d3 technologies were available to all those who could afford it, which was the majority of the population.

Europe is exceptional in one respect, Naomi explained.   It is the only part of the world which continues to offer a full array of health and welfare services to the Primals.   These populations are kept strictly apart from the rest of the d-humans, for public health reasons, but they’re treated relatively humanely.   In Europe, the Primal question has been transformed into an economic problem: over 30% of the region’s GDP is spent on maintaining the Primals, who account for less than 10% of the population.”

March 24, 2010 Posted by | genetic engineering, Synopsis | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Requiem of the Human Soul a finalist in ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards

Well, fresh from coming in second place in the Reader View awards, I was very excited to get the news that Requiem of the Human Soul has made it to the finals in the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year AwardsRequiem is there along with 12 other finalists in the science fiction category, so it’s going to be a challenging final stretch.

ForeWord says the winners will be announced at a special program at BookExpo America in New York City on May 25.  The finalists, they say, “are examples of independent publishing at its best.”

Wish me luck!

March 19, 2010 Posted by | News Updates | , , | Leave a comment

Requiem wins second place in Reader Views Literary Awards

I was excited to hear the news that Requiem of the Human Soul came in second place in the Reader Views Literary Awards for the Science Fiction category.

Here’s the link to the Reader Views awards announcement.

Congratulations to Kelly Beltz, who beat me to first place with the novel Beyond the Stars: Kataria.

March 17, 2010 Posted by | News Updates | , , | 1 Comment

Requiem of the Human Soul – check out the official website

The official website of Requiem of the Human Soul has a lot more going on than one of your traditional author websites.  In addition to offering book excerpts, it explores in detail some of the main themes of the book, such as the long-term impact of human genetic engineering on our society, and thoughts about what the idea of “the human soul” really means.

Want to explore the website but not sure where to start?  Check out the options below…

The Plot. If you want to know more about the story of Requiem of the Human Soul before reading the book for yourself, click here to find out how Eusebio gets pulled into his terrible dilemma.

The Humanists. Eusebio comes from a small community of Humanists.   Founded by Dr. Julius Schumacher in the 21st century, the Humanists are a group whose members chose never to optimize their children genetically because of the possibility that they might lose their souls in the process.   Click here to find out more about them.

The Characters. Requiem of the Human Soul is filled with other unforgettable characters beyond Eusebio Franklin.   There’s Harry Shields – Eusebio’s merciless prosecutor – and of course Naomi Aramovich, the Primal Rights activist.   There are Eusebio’s family and the people he meets on the way.   Not to mention the great Dr. Julius Schumacher and the other people involved in the founding of the Humanist community.   Click here to meet them all.

The Primals/d-Humans. In the 22nd century there’s not one, but two, human species.   Most people are d-Humans, genetically enhanced in both mind and body.   Then there are the Primals, un-enhanced humans, just like us… Click to find out more about the Primals and d-Humans.

The Soul. It’s called Requiem of the Human Soul, but what soul are we actually talking about?   An immortal soul that goes to heaven?   Or something completely different?   Click here to investigate.

The Prefrontal Cortex. What’s a part of the brain doing in a website about a novel set in the late 22nd century?  Well, Dr. Julius Schumacher had a theory about how the dominance of the prefrontal cortex is a major factor in world history (as well as our future history).  Click here to see what he’s talking about.

The Future Timeline. How did we ever get from here to Eusebio’s world of the late 22nd century?   The Future Timeline will show you the path we’re on…

Future Articles. It all seemed so reasonable at the time… Check out the future magazine and newspaper articles to see how the different steps from here to the future all seemed so perfectly normal when they occurred.

March 4, 2010 Posted by | News Updates, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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