by Ramez Naam
The drug Nexus-3 lets people connect mind-to-mind. It’s also a controlled substance and usage of it and other potentially destabilizing drugs fall under the purview of the ERD, the Emerging Risks Directorate, along with other “threats” to humanity. Kaden Lane is a brilliant researcher who, together with his friends, have engineered a new version of Nexus, one that isn’t flushed out of the body and can serve as a substrate for an operating system. He runs afoul of Samantha Cataranes, an ERD agent with a dark history of her own and, before they know it, they’ve been sent to a neuroscience conference in Thailand in the hopes that Lane will be recruited by Chinese researcher Su-Yong Shu. A fascinating examination of the inflection point where human becomes transhuman or even posthuman.