Ram-2050 Joan Roughgarden
A Ramayana Epic for the Future The age-old battle between good and evil plays out from Hawaiian forests to Caribbean coves in this innovative retelling of the classic Ramayana. CEOs replace kings, sects of professional geeks replace sects of priests, and the hero has superhuman abilities from genetic engineering rather than divine intervention. This action-packed philosophical tale explores the boundary separating humans from animals.
Joan Roughgarden is an evolutionary biologist and ecologist from the University of Hawaii and Stanford University. She's published fieldwork from California and the Caribbean. She's produced eight nonfiction books, including Evolution’s Rainbow (2004) and The Genial Gene (2009). Ram-2050 is her first novel.
From Marc Bekoff, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder and author of The Emotional Lives of Animals and Rewildling Our Hearts: Building Pathways of Compassion and Coexistence: "Studies in human-animal interactions (anthrozoology) are hot topics nowadays. In Ram-2050, renowned biologist turned novelist, Joan Roughgarden, offers readers a gripping story that probes the boundary between humans and other animals. In this engaging book, Dr. Roughgarden seamlessly weaves ancient wisdom into a futuristic setting. Portraying well-known characters and grounded in solid biological principles, her first novel is an exciting read for anyone interested in conservation biology, animal rights, South Asian mythology, and post-humanist studies. I learned a lot from Ram-2050 and highly recommend it. I hope Dr. Roughgarden will write more books such as this." [Dec. 29, 2014] From Simon Levin, George M. Moffett Professor of Biology, Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University and author of Fragile Dominion: Complexity and the Commons: "This delightful book reshapes a classic South Asian tale of good and evil, courage and deceit in a futuristic scenario that pushes the frontiers of modern biology and explores the boundaries between humans and other species. The exceptional ecologist and evolutionary biologist Joan Roughgarden demonstrates that she is also a wonderful story-teller, in this gripping and entertaining saga." [Jan. 28, 2015] From Mandakranta Bose, Director, Centre for India and South Asia Research, Institute of Asian Research, University of British Columbia, editor of The Ramayana Revisited and author of A Woman's Rāmāyaṇa: Candrāvatī's Bengali Epic (with Sarika Priyadarshini Bose): "As a reprise of the Rāmāyaṇa, Professor Joan Roughgarden’s Rām-2050 is innovative indeed but it also reaffirms the relevance of this ancient Indian epic to the 21st century. An exciting and incisive exploration of the modern world as the perennial battleground of good and evil, of beauty and the beast." [Jan. 29, 2015] From Chase D. Mendenhall, Postdoctoral Research Scientist and Manager, Center for Conservation Biology, Stanford University and author of A Theory of Countryside Biogeography: "Technological innovation and boundless empathy are embodied in Ram, our leader in a brave new world where humans, animals, and machines are all citizens in an interconnected biosphere. Roughgarden's imaginative retelling of the Ramayana demonstrates the power of cooperation to vanquish evil and to foster a civilization capable of enduring deep into the future." [Feb. 3, 2015] From Anil Menon, science fiction writer, author of The Beast with Nine Billion Feet and editor of Breaking the Bow: Speculative Fiction Inspired by the Ramayana (with Vandana Singh): "Ram 2050 re-imagines the Ramayana in a remarkably inventive near-future setting. Wired with cool ideas and as fast-paced as a Bollywood item number, Ram 2050 cannot fail to please." [Feb. 4, 2015] From Michael Weisberg, Department of Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania and author of Simulation and Similarity: Using Models to Understand the World: "A fascinating and engaging retelling of an ancient epic that invites us to question entrenched ideas about relations between species and human uniqueness. To her groundbreaking theoretical work in evolution and ecology, Joan Roughgarden adds her wisdom and her vision of a better future." [Feb. 11, 2015] From Freddy Bugge Christiansen, Emeritus Professor, Bioinformatics Research Centre, Aarhus University, and author of Theories of Population Variation in Genes and Genomes and Population Genetics of Multiple Loci: "A humorous and wonderful epic, true to its ancient root in theme and style yet placed a full generation ahead. Through an account of Ram’s journey through life, like the Ramayana, the book reflects upon human societies and their business, environment and future. Thoughtful, fascinating and fun combination, where men at arms apply genomics and develop communication with animals." [Feb. 14, 2015] From Jeremy Van Cleve, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, University of Kentucky and author of Evolutionary Analyses of Genomic Imprinting and Other-Regarding Motivations: "A modern retelling of an ancient Hindu epic, Ram-2050 presents us with a unique picture of how Silicon Valley might reshape daily life by integrating technology, genetics, and ecology, possibly even for the better. The novel is rife with scenarios deeply enriched by Roughgarden's distinguished career as an ecologist and evolutionary biologist. I'd definitely recommend Ram-5050 to anyone seeking a positive vision of how science and technology might help humans coexist with other life on Earth." [Feb. 28, 2015] From Publishers Weekly: "Evolutionary biologist Roughgarden (Evolution’s Rainbow) reaches back two millennia to turn the Ramayana into science fiction, changing its poetry to hard science… staying faithful to the essence of the original stories… (Ram-2050) should satisfy fans of technical and naturalistic SF." [March 2, 2015] From Barbara B. Smuts, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Psychology, University of Michigan, author of Sex and Friendships in Baboons and editor of Primate Societies (with Dorothy Cheney, Robert Seyfarth, and Richard Wrangham): "This exciting retelling of an ancient fable uses cutting-edge science to envision a profound shift in our relationships with other animals. Roughgarden shows us why such radical change is both necessary for the survival of planetary ecosystems and compulsory for the human spirit." [March 4, 2015] From Tom Hasslinger, The Garden Island: "The Western world may not be as versed in the classic [Ramayana] as South East Asia [is]. Blending the tale of good versus evil with scenes in California and Kauai may change that… [Ram] learns through science and study an ability to communicate with animals around the beaches and scenes locals [on Kauai] will recognize. While communicating with animals is a trait of superhuman ability — rather than divine intervention — the book based in year 2050 isn’t dedicated to fantasy. Humans are human, cars drive on the road and places are distinctly [Kauai] North Shore." [April 5, 2015]
You may order the ebook via the Gumroad payment processing system in any of three formats. The ebook files will not contain digital-rights-management (DRM) protection, although the interactive pdf will be watermarked. You may also buy the ebook directly from Amazon and Apple's iTunes bookstore, as well as sources to which Ingram distributes -- these will attach their own DRM restrictions. The paperback book is available from Amazon and also via sources to which Ingram distributes. The paperback book is printed on demand.
Please click on your desired ebook format above. That will take you to a product page on Gumroad.com. Order your book with a credit card. Your credit card will be charged and you will receive an email with a download link to obtain your product. Your credit card charge will read "GUM.CO RAM-2050". The epub and mobi versions are formatted as "reflowable" ebooks, meaning that the font size and other details can be set to your preference when reading. The mobi format is for a Kindle and the epub format is for a tablet or smartphone. To load the mobi version on your Kindle, download the file on a computer and mail it as an attachment to the @kindle.com email address that Amazon uses for your particular device. To load the epub version on your tablet or smart phone, download and then open in an epub reading app such as iBooks, NOOK and others. The interactive pdf version is formatted for a 6"X9" standard page corresponding to the printed book. It reads nicely on a full size tablet. The table of contents has active links to the chapters, and the front and back cover images are included. The pdf is watermarked. Direct links to the product pages on the US stores for Amazon and Apple are below:
ISBN numbers are:
978-0-9862914-1-8 for paperback
978-0-9862914-2-5 for .mobi
978-0-9862914-3-2 for .epub
978-0-9862914-4-9 for .pdf
140,000 words, 362 pages printed
Click on image to download jpg of Ram-2050 mural.
Click on image to download pdf of Sita's Lament for cello and piano
Click here for mp3 humming of Sita's Lament.
Email to joan at Ram-2050 dot com