Been meaning to post here for a while… since last report I’ve read Existence by David Brin, which I really enjoyed. It’s an interesting homage to Stand on Zanzibar in some ways,
I wasn't going to read this anytime soon (six Brin novels this year was quite enough thank you) but goddamn it Klaus
don't tempt me with Zanzibar comparisons.
It's definitely intentional on his part, in as much as he's trying to give a wide picture of what this future would look like whilst advancing the plot as well. It doesn't have some of the "data dumps" that Zanzibar does, but it does use the term "Scanalyzer", for example... and the waning of nation-state power in favor of corporate entities. The AI question is much more in the forefront, as one would expect given where we are today. The second most important issue in the book after trying to answer the Fermi Paradox is what it means to be human in the context of emerging AI, increasingly merging our brains with technology, and genetic advances that allow the rebirth of Neanderthals, among other things.
One of the truly fascinating ideas is that what we call "autism" may in fact be a subcategory of humanity whose advanced information processing abilities have been misunderstood because it comes with problems in normal communication skills... and that the merging of human and computer mind might not only set them free from that limitation but also provide them with an information-rich paradise in cyberspace which they are uniquely qualified to utilize.