The Golden Age (John C. Wright novel)
- The Golden Age (John C. Wright novel)
name = The Golden Age
author = John C. Wright
pub_date = 2002
pages = 342
isbn = ISBN 0-312-84870-6
followed_by = The Phoenix Exultant
"The Golden Age" is a science fiction novel by the American writer John C. Wright.
The author's first novel, it revolves around the protagonist Phaethon (full name Phaethon Prime Rhadamanth Humodified (augment) Uncomposed, Indepconciousness, Base Neuroformed, Silver-Gray Manorial Schola, Era 7043). The novel concerns Phaethon's discovery that parts of his past have been edited out of his mind-- apparently by himself.
"The Golden Age"'s story and plot is continued in the books "The Phoenix Exultant" and "The Golden Transcendence".
The novel includes many classical literary references. Phaethon's name and character as well as his father Helion are direct references to the Greek myth of Phaëton who stole his father's (the sun god Helios) chariot and rode it too close to the Earth. There are also references to works of the SF canon: the title and characters conform to the mold established by Robert A. Heinlein in the 1940s and 50s that constituted the "Golden Age" of SF. The book's subtitle also describes itself as a "Romance of the far future," not far removed from "Scientific Romance" works of H.G. Wells.
The book is set in the late future. Everyone is immortal except those shunned by society or choosing to live on the edges of society. Telepresence is no longer something done by phone or even video-phone. The Manorials rarely go anywhere in person and live most always connected to the Mentality, their version of the Internet. There is only one remaining court, the Curia and they rarely hear cases. The entire military is made up of one man, Atkins, and he is only awakened when needed. The most powerful groups are the Hortators and the Peers. The Hortators serve to convince people to act in a way beneficial to society. The Peers are the most wealthy and powerful.
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