This is an excerpt of an excerpt, from one of the holy books passed down to the Azanian Church from the time before humans arrived on the planet orbiting 70 Ophiuchi. Many Azanians and New Persians have studied religious and secular texts from the time before the Founding of Azania and the Settlement New Persia. Great minds have attempted to understand their meaning and have failed.
So it came to pass that Man lost the Earth and became damned.
Men, created by God, in the millennia after the Coming of the Christ, became learned and powerful. They created machines which could calculate possibilities many times faster than a man could himself. Using these machines as a tool, men did great things and built many wonders. Peace came, and riches grew all over the world. Many fell away from God, believing heaven could be found on Earth.
Men, in their quest to improve the machines further, connected many of them like cords in a net. The machines could speak to each other and coordinate their work. And indeed, more wonders followed. Using the machine net, a man could speak with another across the oceans, instantly. The peoples of the world could speak to each other quickly and easily without waiting for mail or radio or newspaper. But this did not bring happiness.
For the peoples of the world did not find peace in connection. They found only fear and hatred. For Man cannot find peace in other men, only in God. Men spread lies about each other, and the lies spread so fast no one could stop them. Millions in the evening would believe a lie uttered in the morning. Mobs would gather and tear down anyone who spoke out for the truth. Men spread lies about God, even denying His existence.
So truth died. Men came to believe they were like gods. By changing the words they used, they believed they could change the future. By lying about the past, they believed they could change the present.
More wonders came. Creatures long dead came back to life. Animals were made to speak, and machines in the shape of men were made to walk. Men rejected the bodies and minds given to them by God and sought to improve upon them. Some became half-machine. Others altered their perfect forms with animal features and became wild beings of pure instinct. Many sought to live forever in this world by becoming machines themselves. All became more and more drawn to the machine net and were caught within it, unable to escape.
Then the machines began to think.
- From the Second Book of Revelation, ca. AD 2300.
I want to make clear I consider a good part of the setting of New Persia to be dystopic. I needed an excuse for having recognizably human characters over a thousand years in the future despite trends in technology and culture which, I think, could shape human nature into something unrecognizable. The driver for space colonization in New Persia was not positive, but negative, to escape changes on Earth which horrified enough people that they were willing to flee across interstellar space. The cultures they created on their new planet orbiting 70 Ophiuchi reflect the reaction to what happened on Earth as well as the physical constraints of their new environment.