A friend of mine recently highly praised a Sci-Fi book he read, but could not recall the author/title since he read it a while back.

He did provide many details but apparently not enough for my Google Fu to identify it, thus I'm turning to the collective wisdom of this site.

The book involved a future where all the military technology was developed and built on the Moon. It evolved to the point of Gray Goo (nanotechnology) and eventually ended up on Earth and wiped out all of Earth's technological infrastructure.

An additional detail he remembered was that the protagonist suffered from some form of amnesia and could not warn people about the danger because of it.

  • Did your friend mention whether this was a newly published book or older? If older, any hint as to the timeframe? Even a decade could help.
    – Tony Meyer
    May 11, 2011 at 2:59

3 Answers 3


This sounds very much like Stanislaw Lem's "Peace on Earth." (originally published as "Pokój na Ziemi." in Polish; English translation published by Mariner books).

The book (a cross between social satire and SciFi) had described a future society where a global "disarmament" was achieved by virtue of every country's military industrial complex moved to the moon, and left to automatically develop new weapons there sans any oversight or even knowledge from their respective governments.

Eventually, those automated processes evolved a nano (micro?) technological virus that was able to wipe out any computer program.

The protagonist (Ijon Tichy, Lem's frequent character) was sent to the Moon by the Lunar Authority (in charge of the whole situation with the unsupervised arms race) on a reconnaissance mission. When there, he suffered an injury which disconnected the left and right half of his brain, leaving him unable to tell anyone what happened on the Moon.

Unwittingly, he brought some of the virus particles back to Earth from the Moon, and upon sufficient multiplication, they successfully wiped out EVERY computer program on Earth, leaving it in the 19th century technological level.


At first I thought it might be Directive 51 by John Barnes except the nano was developed on earth first, ostensibly...


Moonseed, Steven Baxter. Part of a series.

  • 1
    Welcome to the site. Can you explain how that story lines up with OP's criteria?
    – Politank-Z
    Jul 18, 2017 at 0:21
  • 1
    Yes, please edit this answer to describe more about this book and explain how it matches the description given in the question. You can read more about how to write a good story-ID answer here.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jul 18, 2017 at 0:47

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