When Earth's axis tilted, a fiercer new world was born.
After science had slipped out of the hands of scientists into the hands of political fanatics, there finally came the time of the Great Burning, followed by centuries of disaster, the tilting of the world's axis, the shifting of the continents, and the slow horrid rise of Newer Order of mankind...
Out of one of the last strongholds of stability, the Citadel of the Serpent, came the young man Shai. At first a student believing the fabrications of an unnatural faith, then thrust into the terribly changed world by a catastrophe the Serpent could not prevent, Shai's first quest became a testing for manhood among the ruins of the older barbarisms once called Civilization...
A power action novel of future adventure by a master of the fantastic, translated by C.J. Cherryh, and introducing a hero of legendary porportions.
Here, over the portals of my fort, I shall cut in the stone the word which is to be my beacon and my banner. The word which will not die, should we all perish in battle. The word cannot die on this earth, for it is the heart of it and the meaning and the glory. The sacred word: EGO.
The quote from Ayn Rand's Anthem says it better than any long commentary could put it. In an age which has a deep distrust of the individual even while it seems to give him preeminence, it seems most appropriate to underline the fundamental difference between creative individualism and that sort of egoism which expresses nothing but a sick and bitter mind. Individualism may be humanity's saving grace, but egotism is its blackest curse.
So I think it useful and necessary in this The Book of Shai to take a stand opposed to Ayn Rand's overwrought work, in which the author, under the pretext of advancing a kind of Stalinesque collectivism, scarificed every meaningful aspect of social life and maintained that only solitary madmen, as champions of this liberal, progressive society, were capable of rescuing the world from a slide into stasis, into economic and psychological degradation of the human race.