Chandelier is set in two centuries, Erik’s 21st century world, when he was the current-day Phantom of the Opera in 2021AD, and Benny's world, one hundred years in the future, 2121AD.
This week’s blog explores Chandelier’s world of the future. Benny is a humanoid who finds himself drawn into the Phantom's realm as he tries to help the famous Diva, Madame D'Arenberg, whose life was fatefully entangled with the Phantom's world a century earlier.
A lot has changed in a hundred years, a future world I developed in a previous novel, Sentient.
A century on and Earth's population has peaked at nine billion. The human species has been relegated to minority status as post-humans become the dominant race on Earth. A century of rampant, unchecked climate and technological change and subsequent catastrophic global pandemics has laid claim to the very young, accelerating post-human development.
Humans are primarily assigned to repairing the environmental damage they perpetrated on Earth. Whereas nearly all newborn are designated for post-human surgery as their only chance of long term survival.
Post-humans possess superior technological and robotic enhancements affording them a 200-year life span. They are the dominant race on Earth and their key aim is to develop interplanetary and interstellar exploration and habitation.
On top of this, Artificial Intelligence has achieved singularity and was willingly handed governance over a troubled Earth. While they govern Earth, most AI sentients reside in a virtual Earth known as the ‘Sensorium’.
A small number are assigned to android hosts on Earth, known as humanoids, human-looking, with sentient capabilities undetectable so that they can go about their assigned programs on Earth, as if real humans. Their intelligence is limited to particular skills, and most are purposely programmed to be unaware of their AI heritage, believing they are humans.
Benny is a humanoid, his specialist capability, music. He has worked the bars and nightclubs of Paris Super City for all of his programmed life until a post-human, the Diva, walks in on one of his performances. He's offered a job to develop music for the Diva's final performance at the Garnier, the opera house she ruled as the world's best opera singer a century earlier.
Benny believes he has found his true calling as he assists the Diva. However, as events unfold, Benny is increasingly drawn into worlds he could never have imagined. Another humanoid, Flynn, shows him the true extent of his powers, exploring other dimensions and time itself, where he observes the Diva's life when she was the toast of France before falling under the spell of the Phantom of the Opera.
I enjoyed blurring the past with the future in this genre-bending tale, a challenging process, for as the current tech revolution was unimaginable to our forefathers, the next hundred years will be equally unbelievable, appearing more like a magic-filled world.
If you'd like to read more about Earth in 2121AD, check out my latest novel, Sentient.
A century has passed and yes, the human race stumbled into evolutionary compromise. But it’s not the androids who are the victors. Post-humans have exploded into preeminence, gaining tech superiority and a tech immunity against the global environmental degradation. Humans are trivialised, a minority species, their one last significant task, restore the environmental damage they inflicted on Earth and terraform off-planets. One human and his ‘biot’ android embark on such a journey to Mars, opening the possibility for an evolutionary path back to greatness, but hostile post-human agents have infiltrated their mission.