It is 2062 and the world is a very different place. It is 40 years since a series of natural disasters and earth changes have caused the world’s economy to collapse and destroyed the old world system. Unable to protect their citizens from plagues and a climate out of control, nations and political systems have shown themselves to be impotent and inept. They have been replaced through the rise of self contained city states. The Earth’s remaining population of approximately 500 million is now restricted to living within the confines of the 250 newly constructed citadels located worldwide.
By their mutual consensus, it has been agreed that outside of these metropolises, the land is to be purposely depopulated and left to nature, so that the environment might heal and repair itself. With nations no longer fighting over control of natural resources, there is no more need for war. Citadels have replaced armies with strong internal security apparatus to police their citizens. Then there are the military Rangers who police the environment and relocate or cull any unauthorised population.
Throughout the world, there are still small communities of outlanders who refuse to live in the new citadels. They stay hidden and live beyond the pale and control of these urban metropolises. They live a subsistence lifestyle which is both free and harsh, but they live in balance with nature and trust it to provide for them. Their inspiration is spiritual and they see the city dwellers as soulless automatons.
One such outlander is a smart young Hopi with a unique physiology living in what was once the State of Colorado. He breaks cover to save the life of a security officer. As a result he is seized and taken against his will to be processed as a new citizen of the New Denver metropolis. Within its high perimeter walls, the citadel is an elitist technological dystopia where comfort, order and protection compensate for loss of personal freedoms and control. The people embrace transhumanist principles and many of the elite enhance their intelligence and bodies by integrating technology. They view the past as a history of failure, and believe that they have reached the pinnacle of civilisation. They look down on outlanders as primitives.
The young Hopi becomes the friend and house guest of the older security officer and his family. He soon finds himself seduced by both the glamour and excitement of city life and with his host’s daughter. When he falls in love, he becomes an unwelcome guest, but unable to leave. The law requires him to stay and the prospect of escape means leaving her behind. He knows his spirit will suffer if he stays and he will compromise everything that makes him unique. However there are those outside that have not given up looking for him, and New Denver has a lot more adventure and intrigue in store for him.
There is an underlying theme to this story which examines the pros and cons of the integration of technology into all aspects of humanity. Society is at the dawn of a transhumanist transformation which is using technology to master nature. The question is asked of the reader whether this is necessary for humans to evolve by design, or whether it hinders humanity in its natural evolution which may be along the spiritual path of transcendence.
The Pale (An Pháil Sasanach), was the part of Ireland that was directly under the control of the English government in the late middle ages. By the 15th century it had been reduced to an area about twenty miles radius of the garrisoned city of Dublin. Beyond the pale suggested that anything outside the authority’s jurisdiction was uncivilized.
In truth, it was a matter of perception, the area beyond the pale was the rest of Ireland which had a well developed culture that predated the civilization of England. The problem lay in the fact that it remained outside of the control of England.
The pale in this scenario is the walled citadel of New Denver, but in a broader sense it refers to the control and transhumanist influences of the post apocalyptic society that numbers less than 500 million who are now confined to live within the bounds of the 250 metropolis worldwide. The areas outside are purposely depopulated and left to nature. However many residual outlanders refuse to live in the new citadels.
Society is at the dawn of a transhumanist transformation which is using technology to master nature. However some outlanders that remain beyond the pale feel that they are at the dawn of a transformation through transcendence. There is a dichotomy in their conflicting beliefs.
The subject of Transhumanism and Transcendence is pursued throughout a novel which I have just self published called ‘Beyond the Pale’. I wrote with the succinct idea of making these conflicting views the background to the story. They are an ever present running theme but they do not dominate the plot which is fast paced and event driven. I am very interested in this dichotomy of views which I personally believe will soon enough hijack the potency and vehemence of the religious & atheist debates that rage across the world presently. However, I didn’t want to force the idea down people’s throats, thus I placed these arguments subtly as the backdrop to the story.
Currently it is available only as an eBook on Amazon Kindle, and there are links to it, and a description of the story on this blog. (Beyond the pale –dawn of the transhuman). It is not expensive and I hope that you might read and enjoy it, and perhaps even give me a reader’s review on Amazon. It is my first novel and I would greatly appreciate your support.
Senan Gil Senan