Angie Lathrop’s story “Radical Abundance” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 29 September 2017.
What if the means for radical abundance—in the world of this story, strong nanotechnology/ Anatomically Precise Manufacturing Machines/molecular assemblers/von Neumann machines (the butterflies)— were put directly into the hands of people who might really need it?
How would those people be able to sort out what they needed?
Molecular manufacturing technology has the potential to usher in an age of abundance, when every material human need can be met cheaply and efficiently, but switching to an abundance mindset versus a scarcity mindset is not necessarily easy. In this story, policy-makers are slowing the dissemination of or withholding this technology entirely to avoid short-term chaos. Many interests, both political and corporate, could experience losses if anatomically precise manufacturing technology suddenly became widely available.
However, this story started out with a single image: a character waking alone in the Judean desert near the Dead Sea. As I wrote, I had to figure out who she was, why she was there, and who would help her. Everything I write takes a radical turn toward science fiction at some point, and so the nanotech theme eventually took shape.
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