Richard Morgan


This has been a tough one, and I owe a great deal of thanks in a great many places. I have begged, borrowed, and stolen from just about everywhere to get Thirteen written.

It being a novel of science fiction, let’s start with the science:

The original idea for variant thirteen was inspired by the theorizing of Richard Wrangham on the subject of diminishing human aggression, as described by Matt Ridley in his excellent book Nature Via Nurture. I have taken vast fictional liberties with these ideas, and variant thirteen as it emerges in this book is in no way intended to represent either Mr. Wrangham’s or Mr. Ridley’s thoughts on the subject. These gentlemen simply provided me with a springboard—the rather ugly splash that follows is of my making alone.

The concept of artificial chromosome platforms is also borrowed, in this case from Gregory Stock’s fascinating and slightly scary book Redesigning Humans, which, along with Nature Via Nurture and Steven Pinker’s brilliant The Blank Slate and How the Mind Works, served as the bulk inspiration for most of the future genetic science I’ve dreamed up here. Once again, any mangling or misuse of the material I found in these outstanding works must be laid solely at my door.

Yaroshanko intuitive function, though my own invention, owes a large debt of inspiration to very real research done on social networks, as described in Mark Buchanan’s book Small World. And I’m personally indebted to Hannu Rajaniemi at the University of Edinburgh for taking the time to (try to) explain quantum game theory and its potential applications to me, thus giving me the basis for the New Math and its subtle but far-reaching social impact. Thanks also must go to Simon Spanton, star editor, for patiently helping me wrangle the technical logistics of Mars—Earth cryocapping.

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