After plague and war decimate the human race, a small group of survivors build a protected, isolated island community called The Republic, modeled on Plato’s vision of the perfect society, but rigidly totalitarian. We learn about the history of The Republic via the oral examination given by the somber members of the esteemed Academy to Anax, an earnest young scholar who has prepared long years for this event in hopes of admission. Anax’s subject of specialty is the revolutionary, Adam Forde, whose subversive actions brought down The Republic many years before. A serious and captivating aspect of Adam’s history is his relationship with a robot possessing highly advanced simulated-consciousness technology, and their discussions about the nature of consciousness are incredibly gripping and thought-provoking.
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