It is September of the year 2085 as Nanoman: Perfect Courage by Jack Rice begins. The United States of America no longer exists as the country has politically fractured into far smaller regions. What is left of the former USA calls itself the “United States of Freedom” and controls a chunk of the northeast as well as a few other places. It is a country where artificial intelligence rules everything thanks to the ability to monitor everyone in their every thought, behavior, and action. They do this through nanobots that are now infused into nearly everything.
It is a semblance of control craved by those in charge desperate to keep whatever power or money they have. Climate change is destroying countries just as fast as plagues, lack of food, and chemical storms are destroying the people. Britain is nearly gone because of sea level rise as are vast areas of the coastline of the North America. Africa is a wasteland nearly depopulated of humans thanks to the climate issues as well as disease and bioweapons. The world economy is essentially gone as governments created by multinational corporations seek to control everything. These super corporations rule various countries/regions as they are the government. There are some people that by luck of a very bad draw or by deliberate action live far outside the security zones making do as best they can since the power grid went down decades earlier. No matter where you live, the very air itself is incredibly dangerous requiring one to be fully covered from head to toe at all times when outside.
For Dr. Asante Jefferson life isn’t exactly easy, but he is aware that things could be worse. He gets around by way of his powered wheelchair due to the permanent pain he deals with and other issues, He is a government bureaucrat that is used to his life, such as it is, and though aware of others potential suffering does not think too much about it as he goes about his job. That job is as Assistant Secretary in the Ethics Enforcement Division of the Department of Justice. Things could be much worse as he has a job, a place to live, and confirmed status with his Official Citizen Card. Lose that card and all is lost as one becomes an outcast living on the edges of society. One’s status as an Official Citizen can be lost very easily as there are far too many people for the resources available to the United States of Freedom. Not that he is too worried about his own status as it isn’t as he is some line worker somewhere that can be dismissed at the drop of the hat. Dr. Asante Jefferson’s assignment this day is to go to Molecular Fabrications, Inc., located in NUBethesda Security Zone One and investigate their compliance regarding ongoing research regarding nanotechnology.
It should be fairly simple visit as this is an informational meeting and very preliminary in his review. It becomes obvious though by the sheer numbers of folks gathered to meet him after he rolls out of his transport vehicle that others intend to slow down the process and make their objections and influence clear. What was already a bad day due to his pain and how he feels is not made any better by their interference. Once he finally gets beyond all the boardroom talk with those assembled who think they have the right to tell him how to do his job, he is escorted to the research area by the lead scientist, Dr. Mali Phatipatanawong who is also not having a good day. Her issues go far beyond the visit by Asante. Yet, as she warms to her topic and interaction with Asante, it becomes clear that what MFI is working on could very well change the future of all mankind on the planet. They have made a technological leap that might result in the ability to stop the effects of decades of bioweapons, viruses, and other things on citizens. It just might be possible to walk outside and breathe freely despite the dangerous substances in the environment all around. For Dr. Asante and numerous other folks, this is a day when their lives will change forever.
Nanoman: Perfect Courage by Jack Rice paints a picture of dystopian future that could easily happen if things continue to go forward the way they have politically, environmentally, and economically. This is a book that takes the constructs of today and logically pushes those forward by several decades to shape the reality in this book. At the same time, that technology that has brought incredible suffering and death to this future world of ours might turn out to the savior for what is left of mankind.
Part cautionary tale of a future gone mad and part adventure style story Nanoman: Perfect Courage is not a simple read where everything is black and white and predictable. A complicated and very good book that offers a glimpse of what could happen while also giving readers one heck of an action adventure style read.
Nanoman: Perfect Courage
Word file provided by the author in exchange for my objective review.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2016