Wednesday, November 07, 2007
'Faith Awakened', by Grace Bridges, describes a virtual utopia inside a post-pandemic dystopia. It's "Second Life" and "Earth 2" on steroids, where you are your own avatar, wired directly to the network (thanks to a cable punched through your forehead.) As for the dystopia, while your body whiles away the years in solar-powered cryosleep, the rest of the world perishes, thanks to a genetically-modified air-borne ebola.
There are two interwoven narratives. The first describes life in dystopia and the events leading to the pandemic. Then there is the discovery of utopia, and a hurried escape into it. Finally, there is an emergence into a world reborn: safe, clean … and massively depopulated.
The second narrative describes an idiosyncratic utopia, modelled by a computer in response to programming performed by its inhabitants before their entry into it. The virtual reality software takes care of the details -- when it works.
There is spirituality here too: both narratives refer to an Awakener, a semi-personal figure who brings them out of darkness into light, who meets them in both the real and the virtual world, and who is somehow involved in their physical and spiritual salvation. Who is he? That remains to be revealed, it seems.
© Copyright Bruce M. Axtens, 2007