Heads is a short novel by Greg Bear
about a science outpost
on the moon, a thinly veiled scientology
religion, and the politics of a future world. The book is a prequel
in the same continuum with Slant
, Queen of Angels
, and Moving Mars
. The events that occur in Heads are hinted at in Moving Mars, when the disaster at the Pit
on the moon is mentioned.
Two science projects proceed simultaneously in the book. One scientist has acquired a group of "corpsicles", people who had their heads cryogenically preserved so that they could be revived in the future. Her goal is to be able to map the locked memories of the human brain, and a huge political turmoil erupts when it is discovered that one of the frozen heads belongs to none other than the founder of the "Logology" religion, who had supposedly transcended.
Her experiments succeed, and the truth about this self-proclaimed messiah is discovered, to the dismay of the leader of the huge political faction which has grown from this religion.
Meanwhile, another scientist is exploring the composition of matter, the information stored on the quantum level about particles. He starts learning to modify that information directly, and causes a disaster that serves as a warning for future generations about the responsibilities of scientific knowledge.