Earth is long since dead. On a colony planet, a band of men has gained control of technology, made themselves immortal, and now rules their world as the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Only one dares oppose them: he who was once Siddhartha and is now Mahasamatman. Binder of Demons. Lord of Light.
Lord of Light is set on a planet colonized by the remnants of a destroyed "Urath", Earth. The crew and colonists from the Star of India found themselves on a strange planet surrounded by hostile indigenous races and had to carve a place for themselves or perish. To increase their chances of... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Lord of Light is set on a planet colonized by the remnants of a destroyed "Urath", Earth. The crew and colonists from the Star of India found themselves on a strange planet surrounded by hostile indigenous races and had to carve a place for themselves or perish. To increase their chances of survival the crew used chemical treatments, biofeedback and electronics to manipulate their minds to manifest superhuman powers. The available technologies also allowed near-immortality through reincarnation using the growth of new bodies and electronic mind transfer.
Over time, the crew gain great powers and manage to subjugate or destroy the native non-human races (which they characterize as "demons") while setting themselves up as "gods" in the eyes of the many generations of colonist progeny. Taking on the powers and names of Hindu deities these "gods" maintain respect and control of the masses by maintaining a stranglehold on the access to reincarnation and by suppressing any technological advancements beyond a medieval level. The "gods" fear that any enlightenment or advancement might lead to a technological renaissance that would eventually weaken their power.
The protagonist, Sam, who has the ability to manipulate electromagnetic forces, is a renegade crewman who has turned down god-hood, believes that technology should be encouraged for the masses, and the right of reincarnation should be available to all. Sam introduces Buddhism as a culture jamming tool and strives to cripple the power of the "gods" with this new religion, as well as murder and outright rebellion.
In many ways, the story of Lord of Light mirrors that of the novel Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.
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