The Post-Self Cycle
And thus grew a new world, a world that was not built for death…
From the very beginning of the consensual dream of the System, the members of the Ode clade, all forks from the same core personality, have dealt with fear each in their own way. Do they search for greater ways to control their lives? Do they hunt for yet deeper emotional connection? Do they hone their art to the finest point?
From roots in political turmoil to the building of a new society, the story is there to be found, and the Bălan clade is there to tell it.
“All artists search. I search for stories, in this post-self age. What happens when you can no longer call yourself an individual, when you have split your sense of self among several instances? How do you react? Do you withdraw into yourself, become a hermit? Do you expand until you lose all sense of identity? Do you fragment? Do you go about it deliberately, or do you let nature and chance take their course?”
With immersive technology at its peak, it’s all too easy to get lost. When RJ loses emself in that virtual world, not only must ey find eir way out, but find all the answers ey can along the way.
And, nearly a century on, society still struggles with the ramifications of those answers.
Features the bonus novella Gallery Exhibition: A Love Story.
“I am saying that you trust me — really trust me — and that life in the System is more subtle than I think you know. You let me into your dreams, my dear, and your dreams influence this place as much as, if not more than, your waking mind."
No longer bound to the physical, what lengths should one go to in a virtual world to ensure the continuity of one’s existence?
Secession. Launch. Two separations from two societies, two hundred years apart. And through it all, so many parallels run on so many levels that it can be dizzying just keeping up. The more Ioan and Codrin Bălan learn, the more it calls into question the motivations of even those they hold most dear.
“Do you know how old I am, Dr. Brahe? I am 222 years old, a fork of an individual who is…who would be 259 years old. I am no longer the True Name of 2124. Even remembering her feels like remembering an old friend. I remember her perfectly, and yet I do not remember how to be earnest. I do not know how to simply be."
The cracks are showing.
Someone picked up on the broadcast from the Dreamer Module and as the powers that be rush to organize a meeting between races, Dr. Tycho Brahe is caught up in a whirlwind of activity. And as always, when the drama goes down, there is Codrin Bălan to witness it.
When faced with eternity in a new kind of digital world, however, old traumas come to roost, and those who were once powerful are brought to their knees
Growth is colliding with memory, and the cracks are showing.
“To be built to love is to be built to dissolve. It is to be built to unbecome. It is to have the sole purpose of falling apart all in the name of someone else."
Even the grandest of stories can feel small and immediate when it’s just one person’s life.
One of the most well-known names from one of the most well-known clades on the System, the avatar of political machinations and cool confidence, has been brought low. With help coming only from Ioan Bălan and the most grudging of support from her cocladists, all True Name has left to save herself is the ability to change.
Features the bonus novella Selected Letters.
Bonus Novella: Motes Played
She played because she was play. She played because that was her role in life, because that is just who she was. She played with color, played with life, played with death.
She played with fire.
Motes played, because how could she not?