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Wil McCarthy

The Queendom of Sol

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.
 
 

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