Peter Wiesner


Xtremus is a dystopian satire about the aftermath of a cataclysmic demise of technology that takes place in post-apocalyptic Southern California. Eco terrorists have unleashed a computer virus killing the ruling class whose power and life force were dependent on sophisticated brain implants through which they communicated and held sway. The story follows the quest of Condor, leader of a group of “hackers” who survived Cybergeddon because of the immunities they received, albeit without the firepower of the halcyon days of techno splendor. Condor and other “hackers” are sworn to protect The Well, the only remaining database from the high-technology past that now resides in brains of the Bionicans. Condor’s mission is to determine whether The Well’s secret database could be hacked by other survivors outside of Bionica to develop weapons of mass destruction and wreak havoc again. Condor’s quest obliges him to deal with all three surviving clans in Southern California, each bent on imposing their unique ideology in this post-apocalyptic world: his fellow Bionicans, a drug besotted lot who communicate telepathically through The Well; the crude and romantic Goths, who love gladiatorial combat and motorcycles, and treat bad poetry as a capital crime; and the decadent Greeks whose work to revive of the Classics from Homer to Plato is supported by slavery and guided by sexual politics.

Condor’s quest is transformed many times by the women he conquers and manipulated by the woman who finally conquers him. His exploits turn into a power-grabbing adventure of murder, intrigue, and betrayal. By the time he learns about the true nature of his quest, it is too late for our hero to prevail. Xtremus is a morality tale and a satire of the Information Age, as we now know it. It pokes fun at the ideological mélange of the 1960’s that gave rise to environmental awareness, consumerism, sexual freedom, gay liberation, vegans, Eastern religion, mythology, New Age healing, motorcycle-based rebellion, and drug-induced alternate states of consciousness. It also takes on those whose blue-sky tunnel vision of technology is painting our future into a corner where wildlife and civil society cannot thrive.

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