S. B. Divya’s 2023 Meru is a stand-alone science fiction novel whose publication date I only just noticed. ARCs (Advanced Review Copies) — the perks of being a reviewer.
The Constructed Democracy of Sol provides stratified equality to all in accordance with their capacity, with constructs and human-derived cyborgs (Alloys) at the top and bumbling humans somewhat lower down the scale. For the last five centuries, humans have been assisted by their superior cousins to embrace appropriate roles — Earth-bound, limited in numbers, and unambitious — but now a new discovery may change that.
Exo-planets are hardly rare but until now, all of the known worlds have been such that a baseline human would perish without significant technological assistance. Meru may be an exception, a world where humans could survive, even prosper. Should they be allowed to do so? Human history suggests not.