The Bohr Maker (The Nanotech Succession, #1)

By Linda Nagata

Rating: 4 stars

Nikko is effectively the first post-human, designed to be able to live in the vacuum of space. But the world into which he is born is conservative in the extreme and the licence that allowed his creation enforced an ‘expiry’ of thirty years, and Nikko’s time is running out. Only an illegal nanotechnological machine known as the Bohr Maker can save his life. Of course, it’s not as simple as that, and a poor illiterate girl called Phousita ends up being infected by the Maker and they must both go on the run for their lives.

Nikko’s world is full of nanotechnology but very tightly regulated by the Commonwealth Police, led by Kirstin Adair, the ecological-fundamentalist chief who fears what nanotech would do to Mother Earth. The parts of the book seen through her eyes paint a picture of an ultra-focussed, driven and terrifying woman who will stop at nothing, including the law, to stop Nikko.

Nagata has created a dystopian world with very stark differences between the haves and the have-nots and the technology is very interesting. The technology in the book is rarely discussed and exists merely to push the plot forward, and although the ‘ghosts’ of the book, uploaded copies of a person that can go and speak to others over the ever-present network, are important, there isn’t much in the way of discussion of what that could lead to (a la Altered Carbon).

At times, the book can be confusing and I did sometimes lose track of who was in what state and where and why, but it doesn’t matter that much as there’ll be another big set-piece along in a moment that changes the state of play anyway.

A frenetic, exciting book with a decent adventure at its heart, bringing change to a conservative society and highlighting the force for change that inequality can be.

Book details

ISBN: 9781937197025
Publisher: Mythic Island Press LLC
Year of publication: 1995

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