Commonwealth, II.XXXV: “Owners and Custodians”

Commonwealth, II.XXXV: “Owners and Custodians” April 2, 2021

Commonwealth: A Novel of Utopia, part 2, chapter 7

Author’s Note: This is an excerpt from my novel Commonwealth. The rest of today’s installment is free, but only on my Patreon site. If you want to read the next part today, it’s already up on Patreon as well. You can sign up for as little as $1/month, or $2 for exclusive author’s notes and behind-the-scenes material. There’s also a table of contents for all published chapters.

Reinert took them to an office high above the foundry floor, with a wide window that looked down on the hive of activity. There were a hundred different kinds of industry visible at a glance. Fire spurted, furnaces glowed, molten metal flowed in rivers, cranes swung back and forth holding machine parts, lasers pulsed, welders crackled blue-white.

But beneath the seeming chaos, Rae could glimpse hints of a greater overarching pattern. She could tell that each individual work station was playing a part in that pattern, like the way the firing of neurons in the brain adds up to coherent thought, or the playing of a hundred musicians weaves together into a grand symphony. It was an emergent order arising from the interaction of many smaller components.

“I’m new here, as you may have heard,” she said. “I only know a little about this place. Tell me, what do you do?”

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