In a novel that challenges our expectations at every turn, acclaimed author Wil McCarthy sweeps us into the future as only he can imagine it. Here is a thrilling odyssey of discovery and adventure aboard a ship of exiled rebels coming of age in an eternity that may be a lot shorter than anyone ever guessed.
Brash and idealistic, they were rebels without a cause in a world governed by science, reason... and immortality. Banished for their troubles to the starship Newhope, they now face a bold future: to settle the worlds of Barnard’s Star. Now King Bascal Edward de Towaji Lutui, former prince of the Queendom of Sol, together with Captain Xiomara “Xmary” Li Weng and her lover, first mate Conrad Mursk, face a perilous voyage with thousands of their fellow exiles. The journey will last a century, but with Queendom technology it’s no problem to step into a fax machine and “print” a fresh, youthful version of yourself. But what this crew of rebels will find is far from the paradise they seek. Before long, their optimistic young colony has started to show signs of strain. And worst of all, death itself has returned with a vengeance.
Wil McCarthy (born 1966) is a science fiction novelist, Chief Technology Officer for Galileo Shipyards (an aerospace research corporation), and the science columnist for Syfy. He currently resides in Colorado.
Wil McCarthy invented the Wellstone, or Programmable matter concept: Programmable Matter smart material is any bulk substance whose physical properties can be adjusted in real time through the application of light, voltage, electric or magnetic fields, etc. Primitive forms may allow only limited adjustment of one or two traits (e.g., the "photodarkening" or "photochromic" materials found in light-sensitive sunglasses), but there are theoretical forms which, using known principles of electronics, should be capable of emulating a broad range of naturally occurring materials, or of exhibiting unnatural properties which cannot be produced by other means.