Zero Percenters is a somewhat scary look into a future where people are no longer made of biological material. The story takes place in Silicon Valley at a company in Menlo Park, California called 5s2. Chris Lapin, CEO, and Diego Ripall, Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, work closely together in the AI lab to create an app to help humans suffering from pancreatic cancer. Nikita Chaminsky, something of an AI genius and the number one AI person at 5s2, works on an algorithm to create a chip that can replace a diseased pancreas. This is where the ethical line is crossed, in my book. Once they figure out how to digitize a pancreas, what is to stop them from digitizing more parts of the human body? The answer is…nothing. And that is exactly what this book is about.
What if all of our human organs, including our skin, were digital? What if enough of us was digital that our organs actually became vestigial? What if we could live forever? There are so many questions to be answered about this utopian/dystopian world. It seems too good to be true, doesn’t it?
Anja Lapin, Chris’ adult daughter comes back from a trip to Transylvania. She loves traveling to far off places to meditate and “find herself”. In this book, the digital “humans” have robotic helpers called concierges. People who are one hundred percent digital are called zero percenters because zero percent of them is biological. When Anja is ready to come home, there is no longer customs at the airport and there is also no food to purchase. Anja realizes why when she meets Diego at the lab. Zero percenters do not need food because their organs don’t actually work. They are robots with the memories of their human past. They can also morph into many different things. Furthermore, Anja is taken aback and is dumbfounded when people start praising her for the research that she did on AI.
Anja is then given her own concierge whom she names Vicia. The relationship between Anja and Vicia is very special in this story. It is very much like a mother-daughter relationship. Anja and Vicia go through many adventures together, learning about the new world they live in.
This book was wonderfully written because it was easy to understand the concepts, the characters were very likable and had great, fun personalities, and it also makes the reader think deeply about what this world is coming to in terms of science and technology. I know I was thinking about the book long after I finished reading it. An excellent read for fans of realistic science fiction.
This page was created by an City Book Review staff member.
|Author||Scott T. Grusky|
|Page Count||275 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|