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(Jon sez:)

Your Writer: Jon Kilgannon Mark sent me an email politely chastising me for expecting him to visually depict a chair rising out of the floor like liquid mercury and solidifying in place. His protestations notwithstanding, I think he did a stellar job. He also did a great job on Benjamin's lost, crestfallen look on this page.

Speaking of the chair: It looks suspiciously like the Martians use nanotechnology for commonplace items, doesn't it?

Nanotechnology is a theoretical branch of engineering in which molecule-sized machines are used to build, dissolve, or move objects for human use. There are a number of authors (some of whom are otherwise respectable engineers or scientists) who believe that nanotechnology will in the foreseeable future allow us to effectively end aging, create diamonds from dirt, and perform other Harry Potter miracles without end. I'm more sanguine on the prospects for nanotechnology, and would prefer to see actual commercial applications of the science before making wild pronouncements about its eventual effects on the world. However, since this is a work of fiction I can dispense with hard rules of evidence and imagine the possibilities.
(Mark sez:)

Your Artist: Mark Sachs Remember, kids, reading is FUNdamental! The Bible of nanotech is K. Eric Drexler's surprisingly readable Engines of Creation, while a good introduction for the non-technical is Ed Regis's Nano: The Emerging Science of Nanotechnology. Fictional treatments of nanotech include Wil McCarthy's Bloom and of course the seminal work, Adam Warren's The Dirty Pair: Sim Hell. I would have recommended some of the late Charles Sheffield's books here too except they're not really very good.