The creative forces at BOOM! Studios are about to release a new science fiction series this May called Arcadia, which is created by Alex Paknadel and Eric Scott Pfeiffer.
Arcadia takes place in what could very well have been Earth’s not to distant future, in which a viral and global pandemic has in essence killed more than half of the Earth’s human population.
It is in fact the resulting solution which is potentially the most fascinating aspect about this book, in that Arcadia represents an electronic reality in which the minds of four billion people now exist and live real-time in a simulation of reality; existing entirely in the ether world of the Cloud.
The interplay and dynamic between those minds still living in Arcadia’s Cloud based reality and those remaining humans still alive in the physical world is in fact the nexus of this story. Both worlds are essentially dependent on the other, while at the same time both worlds are beginning to be at odds with each other over ever precious resources.
On the one hand, Arcadia serves as a safe haven for those dying from the monster virus running amok in the real world, with those electronically saved souls reliant on the living souls still on Earth to maintain the precious servers which house the very fabric of Arcadia’s reality.
While on the other hand, those still alive are still susceptible to the pandemic and are likewise relying on the intellectual abilities of the smartest minds now residing in Arcadia to find a cure to the virus.
Interestingly however, the power demands of maintaining Arcadia’s reality are indeed increasing in the physical world, while there seems to be a spark of anarchy in the digital and dream-like reality of Arcadia.
The Meat as the remnants of Earth human population is referred to by Arcadia’s cyber population, seem to be in a desperate place where tough decisions must be made within the demanding and rapidly dying real world. Whereas the evolving consciousness within Arcadia seems to be equally concerned with its own continued existence.
It would seem then that the real juxtaposing aspects of BOOM’s Arcadia are the very questions behind the definition of life and human consciousness itself.
Arcadia in fact calls into question the very nature of reality while also begging the reader to think about just how exactly artificial intelligence and the human soul can be defined in a world where consciousness alone may be equated with life.