Summary:Technologically augmented cross-country competitive running…

The Minerva Sierra Challenge is a grueling race across the Sierra Nevada, a day-long run, possibly a 70-mile journey if “across the Sierra Nevada” is taken literally. “Runtime,” S.B. Divya’s sci-fi novela, focuses on a cyborg who doesn’t have the resources to enter the race, scavenging and pulling in every resource to make it into the race. From the blurb,

“The Minerva Sierra Challenge is a grueling spectacle, the cyborg’s Tour de France. Rich thrill-seekers with corporate sponsorships, extensive support teams, and top-of-the-line exoskeletal and internal augmentations pit themselves against the elements in a day-long race across the Sierra Nevada.”

The book itself sounds like it’s a conversation about economics hidden under science fiction, I mean that in a positive way. There’s an interview with the author on Androids and Assets, a podcast focused on the economies of sci-fi, that may help inform this brief little article. The book also tackles issues of race and immigration, which at least one reviewer said may be a little bit ambitious for 120 pages. I look forward to the read.

Culture/History: Divya’s story features genderless, mutated humans who’ve modified their bodies into avatars of competition, all streamlined and optimized. The main character doesn’t have any of those percs, another challenge for her. As an extreme end to technological enhancement and competition, this seems like a great window into a very believable corner of a consumerist sci-fi future.

The author S.B. Divya blogs and podcasts at