I’m a longtime fan of science fiction who got tired of dystopia, pessimism, and narratives of endless, inevitable war and conflict, driven by gadgetry and magical technologies deployed to avoid the difficulty of the actual scale of the universe. In the words of James Murphy, who wisely said “The best way to complain about things,” I’ve set out to write a book that reflects the world as I dream it could be, if the biggest change in human history is not the next big machine the solves everything, but a philosophical framework that changes how we deal with each other and the world.

—Joe Wall, 2019