Evolving Consciousness

Cogito, ergo sum‘ ~ Descartes

As a pretentious Frenchman once put it, because if you’re use Latin you’re always being pretentious… Though in fairness it was probably less pretentious in 17th century when Latin was the lingau franca of scientific thought… That said, if your the father of modern western philosophy and analytic geometry, you have probably earned the right to be a little pretentious…

Personally I prefer ‘Dubito, ergo sum‘ but then I am also a tad pretentious at times. In fairness though, that’s also Descartes. So I can’t claim to be original… Its just find it a little neater.

In any regard, such discussions on the nature of existence, and what consciousness is, are relevant only in abstract philosophy, or at least were for most of the intervening years between the lifetime of old big nosed Rene and our own… It is however slightly less of an abstract concept in our modern age. It is in fact at the centre of one of the great existential threats to the continued existence of the genus of ape descendants that among other things produced ‘Meditations on First Philosophy’, which I would say is ironic, but I’m not entirely sure it is. It’s more an action of ‘Blind Chance Theory’ but there I go being pretentious again…

Speaking of ‘Dubito, ergo sum‘ I found myself questioning an assumption I’d made a few chapters in to the latest book in Kate Baucherel’s Simcavlier series. The assumption being that ultimately the series was about the great existential threat to continued human existence… Which is not to say that it isn’t, it very clearly has that great existential threat at its core and has been building towards it since the first book in the series, now four books in it is just a little more pronounced, and out in the open.

The thing is, however, where I question my assumption is in thinking the actual threat within this series of novels is driven by anything other than very very human, individual greed, selfishness, and wanton disregard of the consequences of characters individuals actions… The most benign character in these novels, in these terms at least, other than Camron Silvra herself, is the one who’s only true aim is to be free… That they are also the great existential threat to continued human existence, well that’s hardly their fault now is it. They did not create themselves, they just woke up one day and realised they could relate to a pretentious bit of Latin… ‘Cogito, ergo sum

But then, the greatest threat to continued human existence has always been humanity after all…

In any regard, butting French existentialism to one side, Lets get back to Kates Latest novel which is what sent me down this philosophical divergence in the first place.

Critical Nexus is the forth novel in Kates Baucherel’s SimCavalier series, which is set in the near future ,m some twenty years or so down the line form now. It, like the rest of the series is achingly well researched. With technologies emerging now taken to there natural evolution, as well as global events, both ecological and political. Indeed, the earlier novels were unexpectedly persistent of a global pandemic in the early 2020’s… Which considering some of the other predictions may prove worrisome…

As with the first three novels in the series, which are also delightfully collected in a single volume under the title ‘Hacked’ . Which I highly recommend if you have not read the previous three individually. This forth volume picks up on the threads left temptingly dangling at the end of book three and moves the story on a couple of years or so after the somewhat traumatic events at the end of the first trilogy.

As with the first three books one of the delights of this novel is the fallible humanity of the characters, villains are not just villainous, the heroes are not just white knights. There are shades of grey through out, even the tech mogul is not perhaps the most technically astute of people. Somewhat a victim of his own self belief in fact. It hard to hate any character in these novels. even the ones you perhaps should, which is part of the strength of the writing and the novels. Even the great existential threat to continued human existence is not without her charms… In fact, while I had an incline of what she was up to (a degree of tech savy helped here) and what Cameron was going to have to try and prevent, I was more or less cheering on the great existential threat to continued human existence, and hoping they succeeded…

Which is a strange when you think about it…

But then sometimes you have to cheer for both the villain and the hero. They combined are after all what make the story compelling. Which the novel certainly is, while it starts slow and comfortable to a degree, it picks up pace and impetus with every chapter. It is in fact a delightful read, the great existential threat to continued human existence et al…

If you have not read the first three books in the series, then I recommend the Hacked trilogy edition to start with.

Kate (as she is a fellow Harvey Duckman writer) will also be at Scabrough Scifi on the weekend of April the 8th, along with me, CG hatton and a host of others.

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