Maker Messiah, the Novel

What do you call a man who stands the world on its head, overnight and without permission? Megalomaniac? Infidel? Messiah? Philip Machen didn't talk about changing the world until he'd already done it. By then it was too late. Curse him, worship him or ignore him, the rest of us had to figure it out for ourselves. … [Read more...]

The Messiah Business

One thing about the messiah business is you can pretty much see where it's headed, right from the start, though only a fool would say it helps to know what's coming. People still want to be saved, often as not. Just ask them when they're down or they're broke. Yet as a job class, messiahs rank below process servers. Most folks can't be bothered to sniff the sample jar of anything new or different in the way of world-views. Tell them it's free and all they need to contemplate is their navels, and … [Read more...]

Serious Imagining

My name is Ed Miracle and I care about the future. I want our futures to be better than the status quo, so I've done some serious imagining of how one technology might enable genuine social progress. The passion that drives my writing is the conviction that progress is not only possible, it might be inevitable. Got freedom? … [Read more...]

Coming to a World Near You

The Maker Advent will not be violent. You will not see it coming. But beware the aftermath. Every business, every bank, every market will fail. You will lose your job, your retirement and all the money you have. You will share and trade and hustle just to stay alive. You will build a Freemaker community, where most goods are free and the remaining “jobs” are shared. Or you will join a Tory militia, to save America from Philip Machen's atheist Freemaker insurgency. Got freedom? … [Read more...]

Economics in Science Fiction

In the June issue of Asimov's, James Patrick Kelly laments in his “On the Net” column, the absence of economics as a structural component in science-fiction stories. I hope James will read this post because a new source of economic power creates plenty of trouble in my novel, Freemaker. It's not just the unintended consequences of the new technology, though plenty of those arise. It's the intended consequences of Philip Mahen's machines that create the biggest problems and the nastiest … [Read more...]

Tech-driven Morality in Maker Messiah

Can lifeless technology improve human behavior? In his book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, psychologist Steven Pinker argues that Western societies have already altered our baser natures for the better, partly through technology. But could a single technical advance create lasting moral improvements in weeks or months, rather than over decades or generations? Despite steady progress in science and technology, there hangs a vast suspicion today over the very idea of technology advancing … [Read more...]

What’s in a Name? Freemaker is a composite.

FREEMAKER is a composite with more than one meaning. Foremost in the novel, Freemaker is a label, a title for the protagonist, Philip Machen. His name, Machen, means in German to make, and as the father of Makers, he is the source of Freemaker devices, concepts and dreams. He is the Freemaker. Could he also be a secular messiah? Freemaker is also intended to evoke sharing as a consequence of effortless production. Philip invents Makers and gives them away. He also urges people to copy … [Read more...]