Post-human

ResistanceWhat is the first thing you’d do if you fortuitously acquired superpowers? Would you promote biodiversity? Curb deforestation? Stop fracking? Maybe you’d rob a bank? There are a lot of things you could possibly do.

There’s a moment in Resistance, Samit Basu’s eagerly awaited sequel to Turbulence, when everyone in the world is granted temporary superhero-like abilities. No one, however, cures cancer or ends terrorism. “The first thing everyone did after getting powers,” reports Uzma Abidi, “was post on the Internet.”

Well, so much for the potential of post-human evolution. If superheroes are too busy updating their personal websites (like the rest of us), then what’s the point? People with extraordinary abilities should be using their unique gifts to make the world a better place—to take it forward. It’s a responsibility, Stan Lee would argue, that comes with great power. “It’s a burden they should bear.”

According to the novel’s continuity, it’s been 11 years since the First Wave turned hundreds of people into superhumans. In 2012 a Second Wave occurred. And now people were anticipating an inevitable Third Wave. Like it or not, humanity was slowly slipping away. Regular folks were becoming irrelevant in the new post-human world.

A few heroes, however, were working overtime to keep the earth from spinning off its axis. The United Nations Interception Team (the Unit) has been on the job since the First Wave hit back in 2009. Together it has ended the Middle East crisis, ended the America-China proxy war in central Africa, and freed Tibet. The group even pitched in to squash Bug/human mutants in Prague and rampaging kaiju monsters in Tokyo. (btw: we knew we were going to enjoy this book immediately after reading the very first sentence: “A giant lobster rises slowly out of Tokyo Bay.”)

Despite its best intentions, the Unit knows that the real crisis is that humans have become a second-class species and there’s a bloody war on the horizon. “Supers and humans are now enemies,” says Norio Hisatomi, a Japanese billionaire trying his best to wipe out the superhuman scourge. There have always been hostilities between the powerful and the powerless. So it goes. It’s a shame, however; just when you think your life is going to be exactly like a comic book, superheroes have to ruin it for everyone.

[Resistance / By Samit Basu / First Printing: July 2014 / ISBN: 9781781162491]

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