cross-posted from: > #ScienceFiction

Hugo Award winner for 2022 best Novella. Haven't read it myself yet, but other books by [Becky Chambers]( are quite good.

I came up with a sci-fi thought experiment/writing prompt - thoughts?
I came up with a science fiction writing prompt/thought experiment that I'd like to share. I'm aware this is a little silly. Background: There exists an aether throughout the universe which I am going to suggestively name "soul". Soul can congeal, and congealed soul can take on a multitude of different states. Consciousness is congealed soul, and the states it takes on are emotions. Organisms have evolved to interact with soul, and over time the emotions they are able to evoke have become less rudimentary and increasingly varied. The prompt/thought experiment: A utilitarian mad scientist designs blueprints for a soul virus, which causes the aether permeating everything to congeal and then permanently crystallize in a joyful state. It will spread and eventually unify all consciousness into one. This leads to the question of whether universal bliss is worth the price of a total loss of individuality.

On the rationalist fictions of Neal Stephenson

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