Aristoi (1992)

A future interstellar society, the Logarchy, is ruled by the class of the Aristoi, who are the only ones who have full access to the most powerful technologies of their time and rule supreme over their own domains. When one of the Aristoi gets murdered, our hero (also one of the Aristoi) follows the trail to discover something that will change the Logarchy forever.

The strength of the book is the setting, it has many of the transhuman tropes, superpotent nanotech, virtual realities en masse, body modifications and much more, mixed into a coherent vision of the future. While Utopian, the bad guys think the Logarchy also has gotten stale and try to avoid that fate by trying something new, but like always, since they are the bad guys, their methods leaves something to be desired. In the end, Pandora’s box is opened and nobody knows how the long term ramifications of these actions will play out.

The book doesn’t have any answers, only the options of either a Utopian and stale society, or a not-very Utopian but still vigorous society, we’re only left with the perspective that indeed the Logarchy will change. I wondered if the option of Utopian and vigorous would have been possible, but then there would have been no story. It might be that a part of the Logarchy will develop into a society that is exactly like that, but that’s utopian, nah extropian.