cross-posted from: > #ScienceFiction

Hugo Award winner for 2022 best Novella. Haven't read it myself yet, but other books by [Becky Chambers]( are quite good.

I came up with a sci-fi thought experiment/writing prompt - thoughts?
I came up with a science fiction writing prompt/thought experiment that I'd like to share. I'm aware this is a little silly. Background: There exists an aether throughout the universe which I am going to suggestively name "soul". Soul can congeal, and congealed soul can take on a multitude of different states. Consciousness is congealed soul, and the states it takes on are emotions. Organisms have evolved to interact with soul, and over time the emotions they are able to evoke have become less rudimentary and increasingly varied. The prompt/thought experiment: A utilitarian mad scientist designs blueprints for a soul virus, which causes the aether permeating everything to congeal and then permanently crystallize in a joyful state. It will spread and eventually unify all consciousness into one. This leads to the question of whether universal bliss is worth the price of a total loss of individuality.

On the rationalist fictions of Neal Stephenson

  • Jesse
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The Ice People - René Barjavel
**EDIT** I have finished reading the book. It was a really awesome story. Part explorer, part espionage, part war (with all the death and destruction of course), part love story, and part solarpunk utopia. If you can get over the extremely sexist overtones (women in the book are always referred to by their beauty, and several sex scenes that emphasis women's duty to make the man happy), then you'll really enjoy it. **End Edit** Has anyone read this book? It's on a reading list of mine that I've curated over time, and I think it would help me get into Sci-Fi a little more. I'm currently finishing up Dune at the moment and am wondering if it would be a good transition. **About** When a French expedition in Antarctica reveals ruins of a 900,000 year old civilization, scientists from all over the world flock to the site to help explore & understand. The entire planet watches via global satellite tv, mesmerized, as they uncover a chamber in which a man & a woman have been in suspended animation since, as the French title suggests, 'the night of time'. The woman, Eléa, is awakened. Thru a translating machine she tells the story of her world, herself & her husband Paikan & how war destroyed her civilization. She also hints at an incredibly advanced knowledge her still-dormant companion possesses, knowledge that could give energy & food to all humans at no cost. But the superpowers of the world are not ready to let Eléa's secrets spread, & show that, 900,000 years & an apocalypse later, humankind has not grown up & is ready to make the same mistakes again. First published in 1968 by Les Presses de la Cité. It was translated into English by C.L. Markham & a number of companies published The Ice People in the early 1970s.

> ...2. Have your Heroes Care About Something Besides the Broken System...

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