James P. Hogan
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The world of the past eventually died in the conflagration toward which it had been doggedly heading. A more fragmented and diversified order has emerged from the ruins and . technology has reappeared to a greater or lesser degree in some places and not at all in others.
Unique among them is the nation-state of Sofi, with an exceptional population that has rediscovered advanced science. However, as the old patterns that led to ruin before begin to reassert themselves across the rest of the world, a scientific-political movement within Sofi embarks on a years-long project to build a generation starship that will enable them to create their own world elsewhere.
The circumstances and thinking of future generations growing up in the totally unknown situation of a space environment cannot be known. Accordingly, the mission will include different groups of idealists, reformers, misfits, and dissidents who are not satisfied with the world-in-miniature that constitutes the original mother ship, to go out and build whatever they want. Hence, what arrives at the distant star generations hence will be a flotilla of variously run city states, frontier towns, religious monasteries, pleasure resorts, urban crushes, rural spreads, academic retreats, and who-knows what else.
The trouble began, of course, when all the old patterns that they thought they were getting away from started reappearing . . .
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surely to try to anticipate nothing, but to build in the flexibility that would enable the people concerned to create their own style of society as they went. And since, from the disagreements that had precipitated the whole debate in the first place, one form of society would never suit everyone, this would have to mean “societies.” There was no need for ideologues or experts to specify in advance what kind of geometry the descendants in years hence would inhabit, the way their society would be
in the first place, so what was so strange about seeing them put together to make the same thing again? “But you didn’t see anyone putting them back together the second time,” Masumichi had persisted. “I didn’t see anyone put them together the first time, either,” the robot responded. It was always the same pattern: eminently logical, but missing the whole point. Behavioral research on human infants had shown that by even a few months of age, they formed the notion that a physical object
animated signs advertising everything from current shows and attractions to specialty clubs and sex partners given to various penchants. Plenty of people were about, the regular numbers of browsers and sidewalk-table patrons swollen by the new arrivals from the ferry and others on their way to catch it before it departed. There were colorfully dressed groups, here to party and have fun; guys checking the scene; girls doing their best to get checked; and the inevitable sprinkling of loners
they picked Marney as a possible. Some of their people made contact inconspicuously and started to sound him out. But that was where they miscalculated. Marney may have ideas that challenge accepted ways of thinking, but he’s straight. If he ends up heading the Directorate one day, it will be legitimately, through the system, not via anything underhanded.” Lois made a throwing-away motion with a hand, as if the rest shouldn’t really need spelling out. “Marney came to me and asked what he should
processors, too.” And then, into the phone, “I’m on my way back. See you in a few minutes.” “Check,” Iver acknowledged, and hung up. As far as Masumichi had been able to make out from legends of old and the records that had survived, the world had never seen anything quite like the Aurora project. He tried to picture what it meant as he sat with several others in a capsule speeding noiselessly through one of the communications transit tubes running to every part of the ship. Undertakings on