time is the fourth millennium. The storyteller is a robot,
Pentser, a lone relic of times lost, a museum piece of electronic
memorabilia, an automated antiquarian of long forgotten information
and, in his own humble opinion, mankind’s most perfect
creation. The premise is simple: what if you created your
user, a 600-year-old-but-doesn’t-look-a-day-over-twenty
man, Govil, is unhappy. Although he—and everyone else
on Earth—lives in a luxurious, genetically designed
paradise of eternal health and ceaseless pampering, Govil
wants something more. He doesn’t know what it is, but
he wants it anyway.
finds this new world mankind has installed while he was packed
in a foam-peanut limbo unacceptable and absurd. But what can
he do? Operating machines are taboo and the best he can fare
is an outlaw’s existence within the confines of Govil’s
estate. There he is reduced to acting as Govil’s diverting
but sarcastic manservant while observing this new rather visceral
age with a jaundiced lens.
provides plenty of grist for Pentser’s critical mill.
After it eliminated human death, mankind eliminated birth,
as well as human coupling. Ecological balance is maintained
with careful biological bookkeeping. And the books are kept
in tidy order by one great, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent
human institution, the Genie Corporation, or GenieCorp™.
is where Govil works. He’s a Neer, stranding DNA to
create the various biological entities that make life perfect
in the fourth millennium: Mades© that attend their manses,
DreamWeavers© that spin them fanciful garments and Foodstruders©
which provide flavorful sustenance. There are even cute teddybear-like
creatures called HuggiWugs© and ever-loving dog-like
PuppiLuvs©, who bark “I love you,” instead
is an intelligent but nerdish Neer whose major vice is his
seemingly unwarranted dissatisfaction with the predictable
side of paradise. His exasperated mother, Juune, advises him
to, “Stop trying to be so clever all the time. Figure
out what you want and hit The Mall.” His best friend,
Moord, suggests he try out a Beddinbuddy©, Govil’s
latest bio-concoction, a self-contained, multi-functional
sexual pleasure organism. “Nah, I don’t like to
take work home with me,” is Govil’s glib reply.
needs are relieved by neither a Beddinbuddy© nor by his
illegally re-animated robot, Pentser. Through a random turn
of events, however, Pentser hits on something that might fulfill
Govil’s hopes: the creation of a deliberately ordinary
woman, a helpmeet, an “Eve.”
is a radical and even immoral concept in the fourth millennium.
Human beings are no longer created, and all created life is
recycled. To create Eve, Govil must break the law. “But,
what harm could she do?” Govil reassures Pentser. “She
won’t be any more dangerous than I am.”
one night, when everyone is at home, Govil and Pentser sneak
into GenieCorp™ and act. Eve is born, like a middlebrow
Venus on the half-shell, the answer to Govil’s prayers.
isn’t bored any more, and neither is Pentser. This newest
creation of theirs is definitely unpredictable, to Govil’s
delight and Pentser’s dismay. Eve, however, is not just
another DNA strand Govil shaped any way he wished. She is
a unique, living, thinking, feeling human being. She is naïve
and ignorant of the world, but, with Pentser’s help,
she learns fast.
clandestine violation is detected, and GenieCorp™’s
Intelligence Officers, three clones with oversized brains,
pursue the case. They know somewhere out there a creature
exists that unbalances the books, the perfect equilibrium
of life and mankind’s paradise on earth. This dangerous
creature must be found and, quite literally, liquidated.
the GenieCorp™ IO’s conduct an elaborate yet incompetent
search for Eve, Eve discovers her new world and embraces it.
But as her namesake did in paradise, she soon yearns for forbidden
fruit. Or is it left for her to find, because somewhere in
the garden there is a serpent?
a carefully calculated world of perfect balance, Eve is the
wildcard in everyone’s hand. Her ultimate survival is
a matter of both skill and random chance, and as in all such
games, someone has to lose.