David Louis Edelman
'MultiReal' trade paperback cover

On the Surinas

The line of scientists, politicians, freethinkers, and programmers that began with Sheldon Surina is perhaps the greatest dynasty humankind has known since the Caesars. Not only did the Surinas lead the way out of the chaos of the Big Divide and give the world trust in technology again; they also enriched that world in ways no family had done before or has done since.

Sheldon Surina (-41 to 116)

Like most of his peers, Sheldon Surina was taught to shun the achievements of the scientists and programmers who led to the Autonomous Revolt. During Surina’s formative years, the world was still feeling the aftershocks of that cataclysmic event and the disasters that followed it (although by this time the world had regained a modicum of order, and New Alamo’s fanaticism was already beginning to taper off). His parents sent him to the Gandhi University at Andra Pradesh for a spiritual education. It was during his long apprenticeship at the Gandhi University that Surina became enamored with the ancient wonders of biotechnology. Against the warnings of his proctors (who considered the sciences to be a heretical course of study), Sheldon embarked on a project to recreate the achievements of the biologists of antiquity.

When he was 41 years old, Sheldon published his seminal work, Towards the Science of Bio/Logics and a New Direction for Humanity. The first words of this manifesto were a shocking call to arms: “There is no problem that scientific innovation cannot solve.” He then proceeded to outline a new discipline of science that would allow computer programs to interact with the systems of the human body. Surina called his new discipline “bio/logics.”

The work caused a firestorm of controversy in the academic world, with many educators denouncing Surina as a heretic bent on causing another Autonomous Revolt. Within a decade, Surina had crafted the first working bio/logic program: HeartMonitor 1.0, which could make rational decisions about cardiological treatment on the fly. Using this and several other successful prototypes, Surina raised funds for the first bio/logic corporations. His investments in these firms eventually made him and many of his protégés phenomenally wealthy. One of his disciples, Henry Osterman, founder of the OCHRE Corporation, would be a lifelong collaborator (and sometime competitor).

Surina’s growing fame and influence began to upset the balance of power among the fragile nation-states. Many of these states owed their survival to delicate anti-technology treaties supposedly designed to prevent another Autonomous Revolt. During the years 35 to 37, Surina became the target of numerous assassination plots hatched by the splinter East and West Texan governments. These threats largely ended with the overthrow of the West Texan regime in 37.

In the years that followed, Sheldon Surina had a hand in nearly every major technology to come down the pike. He created or co-created the key tools and practices of the bio/logic programming industry (including MindSpace and bio/logic programming bars). He made important contributions to the development of the multi network, and with Henry Osterman sat on the board of the original Dr. Plugenpatch company.

Growing fear of the power of bio/logic corporations led to the creation of the Prime Committee in the waning years of the Reawakening’s first century. Sheldon Surina decried the Prime Committee as an “insidious evil” and became the world’s leading opponent of centralized governmental authority. (Surina and Osterman had widely divergent views on this issue and eventually ended their friendship over the formation of the Defense and Wellness Council.)

Surina spent the opening years of the second century railing against the Council and the Committee and seeking their dissolution. A firm believer in individual empowerment and unbridled personal freedom, Surina believed that any centralized authority (no matter how limited) would lead to totalitarianism. The majority of public sentiment was against him, however, and in his last years Surina even began to advocate open rebellion and violence. He died in 116, a bitter man with waning political influence.

Prengal Surina (80 to 185)

Prengal Surina was never as tempestuous a figure as his grandfather Sheldon, but many have argued that his influence on modern society was even greater.

Because of the family’s vast bio/logic fortune, Prengal was raised with great wealth and privilege in India. He followed in Sheldon’s footsteps by attending the Gandhi University at Andra Pradesh, and eventually attained a permanent post on the faculty. Prengal tended to shy away from politics, however, despite the increasingly desperate urging of his grandfather and other anti-Prime Committee forces. Upon Sheldon’s death, Prengal and his companion Ladaru organized Creed Surina in his honor, but disappointed many by insisting that the group be strictly apolitical.

At the age of 42, Prengal published what many consider to be the most significant scientific breakthrough of humanity since antiquity: the Universal Law of Physics. Prengal’s theorem neatly tied together the previously disparate fields of quantum and classical mechanics. By revealing the ways in which matter and energy are intimately connected throughout the universe — in ways that transcend space and time — Prengal made possible the fields of teleportation and anti-gravitation. Without the Universal Law of Physics, multi projecting over great distances would be impossible.

Prengal Surina’s breakthrough was poorly understood for many years. Unlike his father, Prengal was not a charismatic figure who trumpeted his own accomplishments. As his work grew in stature and importance, however, the system began to view him with an almost mystical reverence.

When he did become involved in the political arena, it was only at the urging of his old friend, High Executive Toradicus. In direct contrast to his grandfather’s beliefs, Prengal Surina became a spokesperson for centralizing power in the Prime Committee. The current system of L-PRACGs pledging support for the oversight of the Prime Committee largely owes its existence to the lobbying of Prengal Surina and the hard-nosed politics of Toradicus.

Prengal lived the last decades of his life in quiet seclusion at Andra Pradesh, remaining neutral in the great battles between big business and government during the term of High Executive Par Padron. He died in year 185 of the Reawakening.

Marcus Surina (247 to 313)

Unlike his predecessors, Marcus Surina did not seek a life of scientific achievement. He spent much of his youth disavowing the wealth and “decadence” of the Surinas in Andra Pradesh and the creed that was his ancestor’s namesake. Marcus became a drifter and adventurer out in the orbital colonies, where records were scarce. He had much wider experience in the world than either Sheldon or Marcus, and in his time he gambled, piloted starships, formed L-PRACGs, and ran a number of reputable and disreputable companies.

Marcus originally entered the science of teleportation as an investor. TeleCo was one of many pet projects he funded with Surina money. He had very little scientific training and only became involved in the development of the science after several of the principal players resigned from the project over frustrations with his management.

It was at that point that Marcus Surina experienced an epiphany of sorts and devoted himself to perfecting the science of teleportation. He made up for lost time by delving into the research and development processes with more single-mindedness than any of his predecessors. By the end of the century, Marcus had transformed himself from a playboy and dilettante to the leading scientist and entrepreneur of his age. His passion for teleportation fueled the fortunes of TeleCo and, indeed, the entire economy.

Marcus spent the last decade of his life in a feverish struggle to perfect teleportation. He became a public spokesperson and pitchman not only for his own technology, but for the bio/logics industry in general. He engaged in a great public struggle with Len Borda, the newly appointed high executive of the Defense and Wellness Council, over the dangers of the project. Their dispute remained unresolved, however, when Marcus died suddenly (along with many of his top advisors) in a shuttle accident in the orbital colonies.

Rumor and innuendo attributed hundreds of illegitimate children to Marcus, who allegedly was an incessant womanizer. Whatever the truth of those claims, he left only one legitimate child and heir, a daughter, Margaret.

Margaret Surina (301 to present)

The only (legitimate) child of Marcus Surina, Margaret has assumed the family mantle as Bodhisattva of Creed Surina; the professorial chair at the Gandhi University held by every Surina since Sheldon; and head of the various family investments. She also founded the Surina Perfection Memecorp, but its aims and goals remain unknown at the present time.


Excerpted from “Infoquake” by David Louis Edelman. Copyright © 2006 by David Louis Edelman. Reprinted by permission of Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books. Excerpt licensed under a Creative Commons License.