Earth is overpopulated. Human beings are now too many. Years of technological progress across the board have decreed their almost exponential increase decade after decade.
Any attempt made to curb growth has been in vain. Expansion into space has not delivered the desired results. Earth is exhausted and humanity on the verge of a near extinction. Thousands of hypotheses are made, thousands of solutions examined, thousands of researches are conducted and subsidized. Nothing is left out. Everything is examined. Even the most abstruse ideas and most imaginative conjectures are studied thoroughly.
It is in this mess of ideas, in this swamp of thoughts that the solution arises. A solution as simple as absurd and yet apparently possible: shrinking the whole of humanity.
An unknown path that once undertaken cannot be reversed but, although everyone keeps saying yes, are we sure that all the dangers have been taken into consideration?
Targeted Age Group:: 9-99
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I was watching a documentary on tv about ants and termites. It showed a nest around one meter deep that gave shelter to couple of millions of them. My first thought was – we could save so much space if we were so small – and, right after that, like a flash, I had the main story-line of the book in my head.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The main characters, Jenny and Pedro, represent on one side hope fueled by an unshakable fervor and dispiritedness and discourage on the other. While the first, unwilling to backdown would meet its demise rather than accepting defeat, the other one, risk adverse, would restrain both backing down.
Two sides of the same coin that, through confrontation, spur each other on.
The rest of the characters that orbit around them represent several aspects of society, behaviors and ambitions like, for example audacity, tenacity, friendship, reflexivity, sacrifice.
Wealth was everywhere and work — as it was intended before the great little step of human evolution — was no longer the same. Actually, every citizen was called to work only a couple of months a year; apart from this, everyone could devote themselves to what made them happy without any social pressure. Even lying around drinking beer all day and not lifting a finger was considered a worthy occupation if it contributed to the happiness of the individual as long as it did not harm anyone else. There were also people who decided to work all their lives or for years in a row and this too was fine. The very foundations of society had been changed both by abundance and by easy access to everything.
The riskiest and only truly necessary jobs were maintenance of infrastructure, power plants, farms, and stock farms from the giants’ era, that were now completely automated and run by robots. Such robots allowed the new micro-humanity to live the new way, so they had to be maintained and what they produced had to be collected. This was why everyone — with no exceptions — was educated and instructed so that every member of society knew how to face and solve almost any technological or mechanical problem that could arise.
It was a sort of golden age of everything that sublimated the soul and human creativity — both artistic and technological — and the icing on the cake was that human impact on Earth had diminished and its ecosystem was self-healing really incredibly fast because of this. Biodiversity regained strength and vigor until it even resumed an evolution that human supremacy had seemed to have blocked and aborted forever.
Everything was fine. Not perfect, of course. Perfection does not belong to humanity but mankind had never been closer to it at that time.
Until a strange thing happened. Something that nobody had expected. Something that changed everything forever and turned hope and joy into terror and fear.
It all started on a very normal late spring day in the refunded city of Angkor Wat. Two maintenance teams had been called by observers and sent together with a platoon of soldiers to check for strange reports detected by the instruments from the nearby power plant. Little more than extraordinary maintenance. Two teams of ten maintainers and a platoon of forty soldiers. Everything absolutely normal.
The maintenance teams boarded their transport drone, the soldiers theirs and the convoy was further escorted by four more defense drones. Standard procedure Nothing abnormal. The journey was uneventful. A couple of birds were driven away using the eagle call — a day’s work, it always happened. When they arrived at the plant, they landed on the roof. From the roof, the maintainers and the soldiers went to the control room. There, they identified the source of the abnormal signal. The maintainers thought it was the usual mouse gnawing wires. A team of maintainers and half the platoon of soldiers were sent to fix everything. Weapons were set up on ultrasound for mice. As always, mice were easily chased away, wires repaired, sprinkled with a brand new miraculous mice-chaser substance (they were the ones that caused the most damage) and they all went back to Angkor Wat. Everything was all right.
As soon as they returned, however, they were called back by the observers: the problem had reappeared immediately after their homecoming. They promptly left again, as per protocol.
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