Autonomy – a novel

Posted in: by jean-michel on April 16, 2013

The Struggle for the Future of Human Evolution Begins


When Cal Sheldon puts himself into an artificial coma and loads his mind onto the advanced computer he and his university colleagues secretly designed, he leaves behind a dying Earth and discovers new life in the world they’ve created. This breakthrough gives rise to an underground community and launches an illegal scientific renaissance. But can they stay ahead of those who would destroy them? And do they have the courage to embrace a radical plan for survival, one that might give them the freedom they seek, but could cost them their very humanity?

Autonomy explores some of the many directions human evolution may take and confronts the conflicts within our human culture that threaten the present and future potential of our species.


S3: The Smith Sexagesimal System

S3: The Smith Sexagesimal System is a detailed treatment and modernization of the ancient base-60 numerical system first developed by the Sumerians around 3100 BC. S3 combines ancient and modern mathematical concepts, unifying them with quantum physics and general relativity. The result is an innovative new system that enhances arithmetic intelligence and simplifies difficult physics concepts.


Reference – Autonomy : The Author’s Canon

An “official” overview of the Autonomy universe as envisioned by its author, Jean-Michel Smith.


LOGS: micro-fondements d’émancipation sociale et artistique contains 5 excerpts of essays embedded in 4 chapters of the French translation of an earlier draft of “Autonomy: Freedom of Thought,” as part of a collection of essays on free culture and collaborative artistic endeavour. It does NOT contain any text that appears in the current revision of the novel.


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  1. Hi Jean-Michel,

    I thought you should know that’s it’s impossible to post comments on your blog ( and that there’s no other clear way to contact you.

    I’ve made a userscript that converts decimal numbers into sexageismal and thought that you might like to know.

    If you have Firefox and Greasemonkey you can get the script at:



    Comment by Vaerer — March 18, 2009 @ 10:15 am

  2. Hey Jean-Michel

    Your Autonomy novels is one my favourite sci-fi novels/ebooks of all time. When are you planning to write the sequel? I read your novel back in 2004 and I’m still waiting for updates to the site on your progress on the sequel? Also I think you need to make the comments link more accessible and visible on this site so readers can post comments to you.

    Comment by nmatrix — June 23, 2009 @ 5:15 am

  3. I’m delighted you enjoyed Autonomy, and thank you for the compliment. I am working on a sequel, set 20-30 years after the events in Autonomy, but between work, travel, and an overseas move it’s been going rather slow. Thanks for the feedback on the website…I’ve changed the settings to allow comments on the main page, and moved this thread there.

    Comment by Jean-Michel Smith — July 1, 2009 @ 7:04 pm

  4. Hello Jean-Michel

    How is Volume One – Autonomy Ascent coming along? Also have you put up a wiki page yet for the Autonomy series?

    Comment by nmatrix — November 16, 2009 @ 2:09 am

  5. Is it still possible to get the current revision of Book 0? I was given a copy that is © 2005, and would be interested in reading the latest version, if possible.

    Comment by dopeghoti — February 22, 2010 @ 9:05 pm

  6. The annihilation of .9 grams of antimatter will result in an explosion equivalent to about 20 kilotons of TNT, not 200+ megatons as described in the novel (and that’s the full load too…). So, there should have been a mushroom cloud after all. That spoils the impression a bit.

    Comment by xen — April 15, 2013 @ 10:09 am

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