“Golden Age” by John C. Wright is a true book of gold.
There is discontent in Paradise. When all physical needs are taken care of, when there is no poverty, no crime, no want, and phenomenal personal liberty, what is left to fear?
There is a dream so terrible, so horrible, that the keepers of civil order have forbidden all from remembering it, and threaten permanent exile from paradise to all who violate the ban.
“Golden Age” spins a strange and wondrous future 10,000 years in the future. The entire solar system is colonized, vast artificial intelligences aid humanity in all of the myriad new forms available. Yet this Utopia has real limits to resource uses (for example: you cannot turn Saturn into a new star, and leave it a gas giant nature reserve at the same time), and clashes of differing philosophies.
Above all it is the ancient tale of personal ambition vs. a static society. When all is prosperous and stable, can all of this be risked by one man seeking to accomplish greatness? Without innovators and dreamers, how can civilization continue to grow?
“Golden Age” is a must-read for hard-sci-fi fans, lovers of space-opera, and futurists. It is a tale into a fantastic future unlike any I’ve read.