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   Gravity Dreams, by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.  
  Novel, first publication in July 1999 , latest edition in July 2000
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    Buy Gravity Dreams by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
       Additional Information  
      A Zen master in a primitive society gets turned into a nanotech-enhanced "demon" by a mad, malicious mushroom-farmer. The master, now gifted with superhuman strength and senses, must flee his fearful Luddite fellows or face death. The similarly gifted, space-faring Rykashans take him in and use more "nanites" to bring their low-tech stray up to speed. Pssht! A spray can of nanites teaches the master the rudiments of Rykashan society. Pssht! He then learns to be a space janitor. Pssht! He later becomes a "needle jockey," a sort of interstellar flying-ace/truck driver, who even gets to talk to God (or a god, at any rate).

    Leave it to L.E. Modesitt, Jr. (Fall of Angels, Ghost of the Revelator) to pull this sort of weirdness. But, as should be expected from such an inventive author, the quirky mise-en-scène serves a purpose: setting a story of personal transformation against a Twilight Zone-ian backdrop of contrasting societies, ethics, and tech levels. Although flat in spots and maybe a little pokey, Gravity Dreams is a winning little SF drama, the tale of one man's realization that true knowledge doesn't come from a can.

    Source: Paul Hughes,

      Related theme(s)  
  • Genetic Engineering/manipulation - Bio-engineering
  • Nanotechnology
  • Supermen - Human Species Evolution - Future Man - Superheroes - Mutants

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