Welcome to the fractured future, at the dusk of the twenty-first century.
Earth has a population of roughly a billion hominids. For the most part, they are happy with their lot, living in a preserve at the bottom of a gravity well. Those who are unhappy have emigrated, joining one or another of the swarming dense thinker glades that fog the inner solar system with a dust of molecular machinery so thick that it obscures the sun.
The splintery meta consciousness of the solar-system has largely sworn off its pre-post-human cousins dirt side, but its minds sometimes wander…and when that happens, it casually spams Earth’s networks with plans for cataclysmically disruptive technologies that emulsify whole industries, cultures, and spiritual systems. A sane species would ignore these get-evolved-quick schemes, but there’s always someone who’ll take a bite from the forbidden apple.
So until the over minds bore of stirring Earth’s anthill, there’s Tech Jury Service: random humans, selected arbitrarily, charged with assessing dozens of new inventions and ruling on whether to let them loose. Young Huw, a techno phobic, misanthropic Welshman, has been selected for the latest jury, a task he does his best to perform despite an itchy techno virus, the apathy of the proletariat, and a couple of truly awful moments on bathroom floors.