I must admit outside of the CTV series Flash Forward, Robert J. Sawyer’s work never truly held my attention. But curiosity of hearing a sci-fi novel where Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi becomes Prime Minister intrigued me (NDP take notes, for it is the end of Mulcair’s leadership and Nenshi’s ascension that led to you forming a government in 2020 in this novel).
Not wanting to deliver to many spoilers from this excellent work, it is set against the backdrop of Quantum Psychology, and truly raises some intriguing ethical questions as humanity is broken down into a 4:2:1 ration (yup all 7 billion of us) into the following categories:
- Q1-P-ZED’s-Philosophical Zombies those that exist within life with no internal dialogue, essentially no extra consciousness. The largest group, the followers that are easily used as cannon fodder.
- Q2-Psychopaths is the second largest group, yes it is jarring, those that feel nothing outside themselves.
- Q3-Awakened- these are the truly conscious within the world, those that feel and interact with life.
The ethical question within the story is if you had the ability to awaken psychopaths (essentially cure it) and move P-ZED’s up would you? And the real hinge of the decision is that those who are awakened may become psychopaths?
What is your decision? What is your choice?