Winner of the Famous . . .

Maker Messiah by Ed Miracle

Eliminate poverty and scarcity for all time.

That should be a good thing, right?

Like half the world, Everett Aboud was stuck in his own personal dead-end until . . .

Philip Machen changed everything for everyone. Overnight.

Philip never talked about subverting the world’s power elites or empowering millions of ordinary people, until he’d already done it. By then, it was too late. Curse him, worship him, or ignore him, Everett had to figure it out for himself. Before the Tories came for him too.

Are Philip’s Maker machines a Trojan horse to destroy civilization? Or is he a secular messiah bent on releasing humankind from their eight billion existential ruts?

You’ll love Maker Messiah because it’s more than the sum of its parts. It’s a vision to die for.

Get it now.

https://edmiracle.com/maker-messiah-the-novel/

Serious Imagining

EdMy 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?

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 Freemaker insurgency. Got freedom?

Economics in Science Fiction

In a recent 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, Maker Messiah. 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 dilemmas.

Economists study how we allocate scarce resources via markets and money and enough statistics to circle the planet. Ho-hum. Until that is, Philip deliberately vaporizes the lynchpin of all economic behavior. When his Maker machines threaten to replace perpetual scarcity with universal plenitude, the wheels come off every economy in the world. Microcapitalism for the masses becomes Armageddon for the power elites, but it’s just the beginning of a new moral sensibility. And the realization of Philip’s dreams.

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 the human condition. Smartphones and cancer drugs, yes. Compassion, not so much. Even in fiction, powerful new technologies almost always portend dark and brutish futures.

Instead of examining the potential flaws in this perspective, or arguing that the proverbial glass is half-full rather than half-empty, Maker Messiah dares to ask: What sort of technology could plausibly change human behavior for the better? Not 100 years from now, but tomorrow.

If Maker tech blows through our assumptions about scarcity, what happens to the moral sensibilities we have based on those assumptions? Notice the technology comes first, with the rationalizing and explaining (morality, religion, philosophy) following along afterward.

Could Philip Machen’s Makers become a reality? Are the 3-D printers being tested today harbingers of true matter replicators? If so, no one would be more surprised than I. Yet if matter-energy transmutation is possible on a practical scale, I believe it will be done. Then we will really have to pay attention. Got freedom?

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

 Maker prototype

Maker prototype scale model

Freemaker is a composite with more than one meaning.

Foremost in Maker Messiah, 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 Maker 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 their Makers, and to share them without compensation, to establish new social expectations of ubiquity and goodwill. In other words, Makers should be free because they constitute the economic backbone of Philip’s new sharing-based morality, which becomes the social basis for Freemaker communities.

In this last context, Freemaker acquires a political meaning, as some citizens embrace Makers while others (Tories) oppose them. In the story, a loose movement of Maker owners coalesces to support Makers, perhaps even to support Philip’s Maker enclaves and his sharing sensibility.  The success of his Maker advent depends ultimately on the judgment, courage, and goodwill of strangers like Everett Aboud. Just as the success of the novel depends on readers like you, ordinary people will decide.