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A combination of nanotechnology with the networking technologies can completely change the world. But does the world want to be changed?

The NanoTech Network

Science Fiction novel by Alexander Lazarevich

If you prefer to read off-line, click here to download the file NANONET.ZIP (87 Kb) containing the complete text of "The NanoTech Network" (ASCII-text file compressed with PKZIP)

On-line version
Table of Contents

Foreword to the preliminary English version


Foreword to the preliminary English version

What I present here is a preliminary text of the English translation of a novel that was originally written in Russian and published on the Russian version of my web-page in August 1997. Since then it has spread throughout the Russian-speaking world, was included in the majority of the on-line libraries of Russian science-fiction and CD-ROM collections of texts. I probably must explain here that Russian attitudes towards making works of literature freely available on-line are much more liberal as compared with the West. Not only most of the Russian writers don't mind when their works are freely available in electronic form, they actually consider this a good advertising, the idea being that after a reader has looked through a novel on a computer screen or has read it printed out on loose pages, he might want to go to a book shop and buy a nicely bound book that he can put on his bookshelf. At least that's the rationale put forward by compilers of numerous CD-ROM text collections, who never pay a penny to the authors whose texts they use. Despite the enormous amount of advertising through electronic circulation that the Russian version of "The Nanotech Network" has been enjoying for the last year or so, I still haven't received any proposals from "real" publishers (by "real" I mean those publishers who pay royalties to their authors), so I'm beginning to doubt the validity of the above rationale. But on the other hand, the subject matter of the NanoTech Network is such that it would be a little embarrassing for me to receive money for ideas about the coming moneyless society. I feel that this kind of ideas must be made available to the world free of charge. But still on another hand, the brave new world of NanoTech has not yet arrived and won't arrive for quite some time I guess, while the author has to somehow survive in the today's imperfect world where money is still a very important aspect of life.

That's why, although I decided to make the English version available free-of-charge in electronic form, I still reserve for myself the rights to the publication of a "real" book and possible screen adaptations. You are encouraged to copy the electronic text of "The NanoTech Network" to diskettes, print out hard copies and give them to your friends for free. But if you start selling these copies for money without sharing the proceeds with me, I shall consider this an infringement of my copyright, and take appropriate steps.

And now a few words about why I prefer to call this text "English version" rather then "translation". Although all the ideas that were in the original Russian version are still there, it is not exactly a word-for-word translation. In a few places I had to add short explanations about some aspects of Russian life or Russian language that are generally unknown to a reader from abroad. I deleted references to the titles of a couple of Soviet movies that don't say anything to a non-Russian reader anyway and would have been an unnecessary distraction. And, surprisingly enough, I even found and corrected a few errors in the original Russian version, so the English version is actually in some respects better than the original (as a curious example of such an error I could cite the expression "cold thermonuclear fusion" that can be found in the Russian version. Only when I tried to translate that into English did I realize that it's either "cold" or "thermo", but not both!).

But since English is not my mother tongue, I believe that there must be lots of mistakes in the English version that I can't even notice however hard I read and re-read the text. I can only suspect that there must be quite many instances of incorrect use of the articles ("a" and "the") and tenses. Some words may look to a native English-speaker to be too colloquial, or, to the contrary, too bookish and formal, for this or that situation described in the book. That's why I consider the current text of the English version as preliminary. I hope that native speakers of English won't hesitate to send me their suggestions as to how this translation could be improved via e-mail to lazarevicha@online.ru

I plan to incorporate such suggestions into the final version which eventually I hope to publish on my home page (http://webcenter.ru/~lazarevicha) .

Alexander Lazarevich

July 28, 1998

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