In a war of belief, faith is a virus, and it's spreading fast.
Remnants of an alien nanotechnology infest the surface of the planet, Deception Well, giving rise to deadly plagues that make the Well uninhabitable—or so most believe. Jupiter Apolinario saw it differently. He believed the planet was host to an ancient, alien mechanism of transformation meant to embrace all life forms in an ecstatic communion. Jupiter disappeared on the planet along with a handful of followers, though whether they were taken by death or transcendence, no one could say.
Ten years later, Jupiter's son, Lot, stands at the center of conflict. Like his father, Lot has a seductive presence, and a charismatic nature that seems more-than-human. People are helplessly drawn to him. Their faith in him is strong and their numbers are growing, but Lot is beset with doubts about his father's teachings. So he sets out to learn the truth about Jupiter, about his own powerful calling as a prophet, and about the real nature of Deception Well, where a razor-thin line divides bliss from damnation.
Enjoy all four books of the Nanotech Succession, a collection of stand-alone novels exploring the rise of nanotechnology and the strange and fascinating future that follows.
Fans of hard SF will find a rich and complex world in this third novel by Locus Award-winning author Nagata (The Bohr Maker). Charismatic prophet Jupiter Apolinario leads his army of fanatic followers to the world of Deception Well in the hope of finding some spiritual and physical form of communal ecstasy. He fails, leaving his son, Lot, to be raised in that world's only habitable environment, the sky city of Silk. Years later, as an adolescent, Lot leads a rebellion of youths against the city's elders. What makes Lot so powerful is his natural ability, his inbred political acumen and the nano-technology that causes Lot's body to exude psychoactive enzymes that can transform anyone into his willing and loving supplicant. Nagata skewers organized religion, the democratic process and youth culture in scenes where the senseless crowd gives in to its chemically induced love for the young hero. While Lot's quest to be reunited with his father ultimately lacks any dramatic payoff, readers who are comfortable juggling terms such as "Dyson spheres" will also be satisfied by the action-packed battle between generations. Predictably, the outcome leads to grudging mutual understanding as well as a more intelligent and reverential attitude toward the planet itself.