Re: Moreaus?

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Fri Oct 06 2000 - 10:07:48 MDT

Christian Weisgerber wrote:
> [Non-member submission]
> Michael S. Lorrey <> wrote:
> > > As nifty as these ideas are for a novel, assuming we could, why
> > > would we possibly want to [create moreaus]?
> >
> > The easiest reason in the world: because the bad guys would already be doing
> > it...
> This already assumes that there is some kind of economic or other
> value attached to creating moreaus. Swann's scenario where most of
> the moreaus seem to have been created as cheap supersoldiers doesn't
> seem very plausible to me.

Nor to me in the context of CURRENT society. We currently share the western
ideal that a soldier defending a society should be a vested member of that
society, a citizen-soldier. We dislike mercenaries. However, this is changing,
as we've seen in the Katanga conflicts in the 60's and the recent successes of
mercs (until the UN got involved) in Sierra Leone against geurrillas, and where
more and more assets are being vested in fewer and fewer high tech weapons
platforms, the only weapon this trend of concentration of assets and force has
not followed closely in is the infantry soldier. When these other advanced
weapons make life impossible for an infantryman, there will be pressure to apply
similar R&D to the infantry soldier. The small hand held anti-aircraft missile
is an early precursor of this potential trend. I think that Swann also assumes
that as fewer and fewer members of society actually serve in the military, and
enjoy high tech lifestyles and value their lives more, that it will become
necessary for some sort of recruitment of military members from outside society.
Using immigrants is one possibility, but difficult in an age when espionage is
such a large part of military work. Using homegrown personnel, who's only home
where they are accepted is the military, and who are large and strong enough to
carry all the advanced high tech weaponry tend to lend itself to the genetic
augmentation of animal species.

> > I just read _Forests of the Night_, which I am guessing is the second of the
> > Moreau novels.
> Actually, it's the first.
> #1 _Forests of the Night_
> #2 _Emperors of the Twilight_
> #3 _Specters of the Dawn_
> There's also the rather recent _Fearful Symmetries_, subtitled "The
> Return of Nohar Rajasthan", which I haven't read yet, but I guess
> the subtitle says it all (i.e. it's a sequel to _Forests of the
> Night_).

THanks, I will look for these.

> > I've already read Swann's _Hostile Takeover_ trilogy, which occurs in the
> > same universe, a hundred or two years later.
> It's really a single large novel, broken up into three volumes for
> publishing reasons. I don't want to recommend the Moreau novels in
> an Extropian context, but _Hostile Takeover_, comprising
> #1 _Privateer_
> #2 _Partisan_
> #3 _Revolutionary_,
> is of some Extropian interest:
> - The setting is the anarchist planet of Bakunin, covered by a multitude
> of very different communes that only agree on one thing: They don't
> want a government. Internally, the communes follow all kinds of
> lifestyles and social organizations, and then some, but their external
> relations are as libertarian as you can get.

Yes, it is rather interesting to read, a very good effort by Swann, though he
does portray Bakunin to be far more violent than I would expect such a world to

> - Nanotechnology has been banned after some unfortunate incidents
> in the solar system (on the jovians? I forgot). Those are never
> detailed, but the implication is some gray goo type catastrophes.
> However, on Bakunin, which is outside the bounds of law and any
> kind of government rule, there is a lone nanotechnology commune,
> well-isolated and under explicit threat of being immediately
> nuked by the other communes should there be any incidents. The
> protagonist eventually visits the commune, which turns out to be
> (in the terms of this mailing list) post-singularity.

Actually, its existence is known to few even on Bakunin. Dominic Magnus knows
about it because of some deals he had done with them years before.

> - AI has also been banned, though I have forgotten whether for
> any inherent reasons or because it was a staple of The Race, the
> first alien species to mess with greater humanity. For alien
> moral reasons, The Race tried to subvert human civilization
> without direct action--Terra returned the favor by sending some
> warships, and that was it for The Race. A surviving Race AI is
> one of the protagonists.

Yes, The Race is the source of the evil 'franks' found in _Forests of the
Night_, who are found to be manipulating the US political system (via campaign
contributions in the billions from black market synthetic diamond sales) to kill
off space exploration, high tech research, and foment racial and inter-species
civil unrest. When Nohar Rajasthan helped catch the five Race infiltrators,
their AI's were seized by the US and used to engineer propaganda/meme campaigns
against genetic engineering, AI, and nanotechnology, which forced non-human
constructs to flee Terra to found the Seven Worlds Alliance.
The protagonist AI in the Hostile Takeover series is actually an amalgam of
several Race AI computers, who actually founded Bakunin both to hide in and
establish a political and economic black hole they use to bring down the Terran
Economic Council (TEC) which is sort of a fascist UN interstellar government.

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