Boris Johnson thinks he wants democracy. But in the course of his adventures he discovers that democracy to him means freedom. It's a banned concept from the Millennium of Religion. Like God.
He finds himself dealing with a byzantine political situation worthy of anything from the banned past. The dictatorship is the Hegemony. Opposition is provided by the aptly named agents of C.H.A.O.S. Meanwhile, the Brotherhood of Assassins plays a game that no one can fathom. Whose side are they on? Whose fool are you?
Spinrad explores his philosophical theme in a manner all too rare in contemporary science fiction. The problem is that Order will always try to eliminate any random factors. By its very nature, it encourages opposition and that feeds the forces of chaos. But chaos has built in problems as well. Its victories cannot help but feed the forces of reaction, of order. The heroes in this novel ultimately opt for personal freedom. The villains try to establish a dictatorship over the very nature of reality itself.
And then Spinrad throws in the discovery of aliens. A starship sets forth to meet them, the Prometheus. The Hegemony doesn't like that....Continua