This acclaimed series begins with the invention of the "fax," a high-tech device capable of reproducing material objects and, later on, living creatures. People live in self-sufficient houses, controlled by obsessive Artificial Intelligences which see to their physical and emotional needs. Or try to, anyway! Widespread social fragmentation results, on Earth and, in a more limited way, in space. Eventually, the invention of "wellstone," a form of programmable matter, and "collapsium," a deadly crystal composed of miniature black holes, give rise to a unified interplanetary society known as the Queendom of Sol, whose long history extends for thousands of years afterward.
While technically rigorous, this series is certainly the most
lighthearted of the author's works. Many reviewers have
described it as a "high-tech comedy of manners," although
it is more properly a work of superscience-type hard SF, with
extensive adventure and mystery elements.
The Collapsium . . . . Nebula Award Nominee / Amazon.com "Best of the Year"
The Wellstone . . . . The Eagerly Awaited Sequel
Lost in Transmission . . . The Saga Continues
To Crush the Moon . . . . The Final Volume
Magnetic braking of the sailship Viridity for rendezvous with neutronium barge (illustration by Stephen Youll).
Bruno de Towaji and Cheng Shiao beneath the surface of Mercury (illustration by Ed Cox)
Click here for comments from the author
Moreso than any other Wil McCarthy work, the writing in The Collapsium and The Wellstone has been compared to a weird assortment of other authors.
An excerpt from The Collapsium (Chapter 1 and the first half of Chapter 2) is available at Amazon.com.
The Collapsium includes an extensive appendix, which is provided here for reference and edification. There is also an appendix in The Wellstone, but you'll have to buy the book to see it.
Download a Free Audio Book of The Wellstone!
See the Camp Friendly Rotating Globe.
Queendom of Sol Poster Side 1 (2.89 MB - Requires Adobe Acrobat)
Queendom of Sol Poster Side 2 (86 KB - some format problems in translation to PDF)
"The Dream of Houses": Analog, November '95 (Locus recommended reading list)
"The Dream of Castles": Analog, April '97
"The Dream of Nations": Analog, Oct '98 (Locus recommended reading list)
"Once Upon a Matter Crushed": Science Fiction Age, May '99 (Sturgeon Award Nominee, Locus recommended reading list)
"Garbage Day": Analog, December '02
"Programmable Matter: A
Retrospective": NATURE, October 06 2000
Here was a rare opportunity to blend cutting-edge science and science fiction: Britain's prestigious NATURE magazine, as part of its millennium celebration, ran a series of bogus science articles from the future, each penned by a different science fiction author. My contribution was cribbed largely from the appendices of THE COLLAPSIUM.
"Hacking Matter": Basic Books,
This is a pop-science book detailing real-world developments in the field of programmable matter!
From here, you may return to Wil McCarthy's fiction page or home page.