Book Review #3 All Tomorrows
All Tomorrows is a book about the speculative evolution of humanity by C. M. Kosemen. Speculative evolution for those who don’t know is a branch of fiction that deals with possible ways that a species could evolve in a hypothetical situation.
The book starts with humanity conquering Mars, the Martians wanting independence from Earth, and a subsequent war between the two. When the space dust settles both sides agree to never do that again and genetically engineer the human race into the Star People so that they can conqueror the galaxy. They have a great run of it and conqueror whole star systems until one day they find an odd fossil on a distant planet. In a world of copper-boned aliens, this creature had bones like ours. After examining it the Star People find it was from earth and realize that only other intelligent life could move it from one planet to another.
That life is the Qu, a race of dragonfly-like aliens that are over a billion years old and believe that all life is not only inferior to them but is also theirs to do with as they wish. They take humanity and turn us into all sorts of warped creatures.
Some humans are turned into elephant-like beasts with muscular lower lips that can be used as limbs, others are turned into pets of the Qu and are given lowered intelligence and a paradise planet. One unlucky group of humans resist the Qu and repel them twice, and as punishment, they are turned into the planet-wide living flesh carpet known as the colonials, which are made to process Qu waste and have their full sapience so they can comprehend what they have become.
The book introduces a horrifying possibility of first contact, one that is worse than the aliens simply killing us, and also shows the reader a full menagerie of gleefully warped post-humans. It is an incredible work of fiction within both the Body Horror and Speculative Evolution genres. A highlight of the book is when the post-humans evolve into intelligent beings again and recreate the galactic empire, only to be destroyed by another human offshoot called the Gravitals who have merged themselves with machines and believe themselves to be the true heirs of humanity.
The book encapsulates a beautiful feeling of victory every time you hear about one of the post-humans regaining their intelligence and keeps a sense of dread throughout the whole thing, as the reader knows that the Qu could return and start the whole process over again. The book’s timeline spans millions of years and thanks to the open-ended nature of the civilizations that it has discussed the book’s robust community can fill out the blanks themselves and has created tons of art and videos based on the story.
Despite the horrifying premise, the book ends on a positive note and tells the reader that despite the fate of humanity its end doesn’t matter because the true value of human life is found in its day-to-day activities and that people should embrace all tomorrows.
Final Rating: 5/5 colonials