Williams, Walter Jon. Aristoi. New York: Tor-Tom Doherty Associates, .
Blurb on back jacket cover describes Aristoi as "the logical outgrowth of the world [WJW] . . . created in his novel Hardwired," which is a legitimate reading of both novels. Aristoi is set in a far-future, very high-tech., multi-planet (post)human, post-holocaust (of Earth1) world that is based on control of gravity, faster-than-light travel, nano technology, terraforming, VR, and instantaneous communication. For almost everyone, the primary universe of the novel is a utopia. It is, however, a utopia like that of Thomas More or, more directly, Plato: emphatically not a democracy, but a literal aristocracy: rule by the Best (aristoi), administered by the administrative class (therapones) all for the good of the People (demos). The aristoi have brain implants, called "renos," and almost unlimited access to the VR of the oneirochronon (oneiros: dream, chronon: time), which allows full activity, including sex, in a tech.-mediated "dream-time." Aristoi also have access to their daimones, independent parts of their personalities that can be invoked and used for multiple tasking. An aristos "in" the oneirochronon, having one or more daimones taking care of business while the main personality engages in sex images a (post)human with a cybernetic device within, figuratively encompassed by a vast mechanism that contains dreams, demons, and whatever instinctive components we wish to assign to sex. (Cf. and contrast F. Pohl's "Day Million.") The plot of the novel involves the discovery that rogue aristoi have set up what might be called more "natural" worlds, as alternatives to the utopia of the Logarchy (utopia as rule by the Word, discourse, science, law, reason). Cf. and contrast A. Huxley's Brave New World: the "Grand Inquisitor Scene" between the Savage and the World Controller; the Savage could well speak for the rogue aristoi, the Controller for the orthodox. (RDE, 28/12/95)