Requiem of the Human Soul

a novel by Jeremy Lent

Synopsis

Eusebio Franklin, a school teacher from a small community, is faced with the most terrifying dilemma imaginable: should he carry out an act of mass terrorism in order to save the human race?

Eusebio has been chosen to defend our human race in a special session of the United Nations. It's the late 22nd century, and most people are genetically enhanced; Eusebio is among the minority that remain unimproved, known as Primals, consisting mostly of the impoverished global underclass. The UN is on the verge of implementing a "Proposed Extinction of the Primal Species" and Eusebio's been picked to represent his race in a last ditch legal effort to save the Primals from extinction.

It's a hearing like no other. Our human race is on trial. Our own sordid history – the devastation we've caused to indigenous cultures around the world, the destruction of our environment and of other species – becomes evidence in the case against our continued existence.

But as the hearing progresses, Eusebio is faced with a terrible decision. He's secretly visited by Yusef who represents the Rejectionists – a renegade group of Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus refusing to accept the d-humans' genetic optimization because it prevents them from knowing God. Yusef urges Eusebio to take the only meaningful action to save the human race from extinction: detonate a nuclear bomb hidden in the UN building in New York where the session is taking place.

As the story develops to its dramatic climax, Eusebio finds himself increasingly alienated from the d-human world, while Yusef's plot places him in an agonizing moral dilemma: whether to engage in an act of nuclear terrorism to preserve the human race.

In this novel, the reader faces challenging questions about spirituality, history and global politics: Could our race "evolve" itself to a higher plane? At what cost and benefit? If we lost what is now the "human race" as a result, would that be so bad, given our sordid and shameful history? On the other hand, is there something special, our soul, worth keeping at any price? Ultimately, the novel forces the reader to grapple with the fundamental question: what does it mean to be human?

"In the pages of his brilliant debut novel, Jeremy Lent raises timely, pertinent, and thought-provoking questions about life, freedom, and the true global impact of humanity itself. An enlightening, engaging read, Requiem Of The Human Soul is a highly recommended instant classic."
– Josee Morgan

About the Author

Jeremy Lent, the author of The Requiem of the Human Soul, was born in England in 1960 but has spent most of his adult life in the United States, now living in the San Francisco Bay Area.

He received his BA and MA in English Literature from Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 1981, before coming to the United States, where he met his future wife, Molly, in California.

After several years traveling in Latin America, Jeremy earned an MBA at the University of Chicago and began a business career in management consulting. In 1996, he founded an Internet company which went public in 1999. This company, NextCard, was the first in the world to enable people to apply for a credit card and get accepted online, in real time. In 2000, he stepped aside from the CEO role to help look after Molly, who was suffering exacerbations from a chronic illness.

Since then, Jeremy has pursued a vocation in writing. The Requiem of the Human Soul is his first novel.

Praise

"In this ambitious and thought-provoking novel, Jeremy Lent's meticulously imagined future society is used as a means to take us to the very heart of the human condition. Intercut with gripping asides about how his imagined future world came to be, Lent's story focuses on Eusebio, his humane, everyman narrator, who is faced with a terrible decision.

There are very few science fiction works out there which speak to both the head and the heart, but Lent has produced one, a book which stimulates both intellectually and emotionally. This is a genuinely great read, and a profound one, written with intense and audacious ambition, but without ever losing the human element. Read it – you'll be glad you did."

– Ed Lark, author of Grief
(nominated for the British Science Fiction Association Book of the Year, 2005)