Brasyl

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McDonald, Ian. Brasyl (sic). Amherst, NY: Pry, "an imprint of Prometheus Books," 2007.

Speculative, philosophical, and arguably theological SF using the many worlds/multiverse/world-as-information hypotheses. A key formulation in the novel includes as part of a long stretch of exposition, "Everything is connected information in time, and we have a word for that: it's computer. The universe is one huge quantum computer; all matter, all energy, everything we are, are programs running on this computer. […R]eality is a multiverse, so these computations are being done in many universes at once, so in fact all the multverse is one vast quantum computer. Everything is information. Everything is … thought" (251; "Our Lady of the Golden Frog" chapter; apparent ellipsis mark in original). In the urban areas of near-future Brazil, there is constant surveillance by miniaturized CCTV and drones called "the Angels of Perpetual Surveillance": "Like angels, the robot planes fly endlessly; they need, and can, never touch the ground again; like angels, they see into the hearts and intentions of men" (24; "Our Lady of Production Values"). Note also combination of low-tech and very high tech in "Q" knives, each with "quantum blade," which will slice through anything, and keep on going — and arrowheads made with the same technology and used with a high-tech bow: "an appallingly beautiful piece of killing gear" (309; "Our Lady of All Worlds").


FICTION, RDE, 05-06/VII/11