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--> ''It was the time of the Masquerade.''

During the millenially-celebrated Transcendence of the Golden Oecumene, Phaethon Prime of Rhadamanth learns from various sources that he has been subjected--or that he has agreed to undergo--memory redaction to remove all traces of what some consider a shameful crime and others a scheme of true heroism; and further learns that to undo the locks on his mind will result in his shunning and exile, not only from the Transcendence celebrations, but from the Oecumene itself. Phaethon seeks to discover what his motive for the agreement could have been, as friends and enemies both try to dissuade or destroy him.

''The Golden Oecumene'' trilogy (also known as ''The Golden Age'') is a series of works by Creator/JohnCWright set in a hard SF far future world.

!!The books are:
* ''The Golden Age''
* ''The Phoenix Exultant''
* ''The Golden Transcendence''

!!!Tropes featured
%%* AboveGoodAndEvil
* AIIsACrapshoot: At least, [[spoiler: the Silent Oecumene]] thinks so.
* AmnesiacDissonance: Phaethon questions whether he was a better person before he lost his memory.
** [[spoiler: Atkins while imitating Phaethon]].
* AmnesiacResonance: Daphne's world strongly resembles the controversy they had all agreed to forget.
* AllGirlsLikePonies: Daphne builds horses.
* AntiquatedLinguistics: Justified, as characters are superintelligent immortals with computer-enhanced brains.
* ArcWords: "Deeds of renown without peer."
* AsLongAsThereIsEvil: Something like it. Orpheus says that no matter what happens, as long as there is a universe, somewhere in it there will be an Orpheus.
%%* ArmorPiercingQuestion
* AuthorFilibuster: There's one in the third book.
* BatmanGambit: Phaethon's original plan, based on extrapolation of everybody's personalities, was to simply wait until the Transcendence, when for various reasons his memories would be restored and his fortunes along with it.
* BewilderingPunishment: Ungannis thinks that [[spoiler:multiplying her personas and having many redact their memories in the dream that this will spare them, resulting in this for them, would horrify the Oceumene.]]
%%* BittersweetEnding
* BloodyMurder: [[spoiler: Atkins' blood contains nanite poisons.]]
* BrokenAesop: An in-universe example with Wheel-of-Life's (?) ecoperformance criticizing Phaethon. She imagines that [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption overcompetition between linked systems will lead to mass extinction]], and so it does... as long as she is directly controlling the action. After the performance is over and the grove has time to recover, the trees re-adapt to one another and cooperate without any outside interference.
* CallBack: "Phaethon" dreaming of burning cities and dying children.
* CallingTheOldManOut: Ungannis. Doesn't work that well.
%%* CanineCompanion
* ChildrenAreInnocent: Ungannis thinks that this used to make humanity sufferable; now that they are immortal and can perpetuate their evil, it stopped.
* CommediaDellArte: Used as significant disguises in the Masquerade.
* CommonalityConnection: Phaethon feels this for Atkins when he calls [[spoiler: the Phoenix Exultant "she" and not "it."]]
%%* ContrivedCoincidence
%%* CoolStarship
* CueTheSun: It rises as Phaethon defies [[spoiler:Atkins]].
* CyberneticsEatYourSoul: Averted. Almost everyone who can afford augmentation has some.
* DatingCatwoman: In sequel short story, "The Far End of History", Atkins falls for an enemy agent.
* DeathIsSuchAnOddThing: [[spoiler: The divergence between Daphne Prime and Daphne Tertius was the former's exposure to death at an early age.]]
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: As befits an unthinkably far-future society. Phaethon has trouble remembering the meaning of the word "crime."
* TheDeterminator: Phaethon, Helion, and Atkins all qualify at times.
* DirtyBusiness: What Phaethon does to Ironjay -- it nearly stops him.
* DistractedByTheSexy: Well, distracted by the cheerful. Daphne prevents Phaethon from blowing up at Atkins by chirpily discussing her quest-slash-vacation, calming him down significantly. Phaethon, being Phaethon, wonders if she could be doing it on purpose.
* DistressedDude: Phaethon.
* DrivenToSuicide: In a twisted example, Daphne Prime.
* DoAndroidsDream: Says pretty clearly yes, all self-aware creatures do. In fact, making a creature or device self-aware legally makes you its parent.
%%* DontYouDarePityMe
* EmpathicEnvironment: "The Dreaming."
* EmpathicWeapon: Atkins' knife is also a Sophotech.
* EntitledBastard: The Never-Firsters, aka the cacophiles. Especially Ungannis.
* EverythingsBetterWithPenguins: Rhadamanthus ''really'' likes to dress up as a penguin.
* FaceDeathWithDignity: [[spoiler: Helion. Repeatedly.]]
** Also [[spoiler: Socrates at the end.]]
%%* FamedInStory
%%* ForbiddenFruit
* {{Foreshadowing}} / FridgeBrilliance: When Daphne approaches Atkins' house, she notes a paddock and quintain off to one side. However, when Atkins comes out to meet her, he is noticeably wary of her horse. Daphne doesn't quite put the dots together for another chapter or so.
** "Good engineers build triple redundancy."
* FracturedFairyTale: When Daphne builds a fairy-tale world as part of a contest (see ShowWithinAShow), her main character literally fractures the sky.
%%* AFriendInNeed
%%* GeniusLoci: The Old Woman of the Sea.
* GoodOldWays: Why Helion founded the Silver-Grey Manorial school.
%%* HeelRealization
* HeroicBSOD: Phaethon has a somewhat literal moment in the second book; fortunately, [[spoiler: Daphne arrives to help with the reinstallation]]. Atkins has a brief moment in the third.
* HeroicSacrifice: Helion makes one pre-series, remaining on the solar station to protect [[spoiler: Phaethon and his ship]] during a solar storm.
* HeroicSafeMode: Phaethon has one, deliberately constructed.
%%* HollowWorld: Or so it is claimed.
* HotBlooded: Phaethon.
** At the hearing [[spoiler: for Helion's property]], Gannis remarks that there's no chance of Phaethon winning his lawsuit [[spoiler: when all he had to do was wait ninety days]] because he's far too headstrong and is bound to do something stupid before then.
** Daphne can have a touch of this as well.
* HiveMind: The Eleemosynary Composition, the Cerebelline, and others.
** It is explained that joining them was popular in the days before noumenal recording made immortality possible.
* IGaveMyWord: Helion holds to this. [[spoiler:Gets interesting when Daphne tells him he made a promise that he forgot.]]
* {{Immortality}}: Noumenal recording.
* InstantAIJustAddWater: Add enough power, and an AI ''will'' become self aware.
* ItMayHelpYouOnYourQuest: Before she goes into exile formally, Daphne gets a number of innocuous but exceedingly useful, casual gifts from her friends, meant to help her survive after she is cut off from all contact with society.
%%* ItWasAGift
* KatanasAreJustBetter: Atkins has a habit of carrying one... despite having the templates for ''every weapon ever'' stored in his armor.
* LaserGuidedAmnesia: On ''the entire planet.''
* LaserGuidedKarma: To Phaethon, for the collateral damage his rescue attempt caused; and to Ironjoy, causing the latter's HeelFaceTurn.
* LastRequest: [[spoiler:Helion]] made one to Phaethon.
%%* LeaveTheTwoLovebirdsAlone
* LeonineContract: Ironjay to the Afloats. The Afloats are outcasts and banned from making any transactions--such as for thought-modifiers, mind-programs, hallucinogens, or food--with any reputable citizens of the Oecumene. Ironjay, however, is not reputable, and is quite willing to deal with them, for a price.
* LibertyOverProsperity: Atkins' family's principles, as recounted by himself.
* LiteralMetaphor: Phaethon undergoes "a fall from grace" at the end of ''The Golden Age''. He also gets kicked off the space station he's on and has to physically descend the space elevator to the planetary surface.
%%* LossOfIdentity
* LotusEaterMachine: One of the reasons the Silver-Grey Manorial was founded is Helion saw firsthand how easy it was to become trapped in one of these.
* LoveEpiphany: When [[spoiler: Phaethon realizes that all his best memories of his wife were in fact of her doll, Daphne Tertius.]]
* LoveFatherLoveSon: Daphne Prime.
* LoveTriangle: Between Phaethon, his [[spoiler: mostly]] dead wife, and his wife's emancipated construct who contains her memories.
%%* LovingAShadow
%%* ManHug
* MasqueradeBall: "It was the time of masquerade."
* MeaningfulName: All over the place (as is usual for Wright), because all the citizens choose their own monikers.
%%* MenDontCry
%%* MightMakesRight
* MikeNelsonDestroyerOfWorlds: [[spoiler: Phaethon's]] birth; also why most of the Oecumene doesn't trust him around high-powered spaceships or things of a weaponlike nature.
* MissingMom: Helion's last wife left him and committed suicide, not necessarily in that order.
** It is, however, hinted that she may have made something of any appearance.
* MoodWhiplash: ''The Far End of History'' goes from goofy love story to tragedy. Several times.
%%* MoralityChip
* MotiveRant: [[spoiler: Ungannis aka Unmoiqhotep. After it ends, she's rather unhappy to find the society she'd been scheming to destroy is completely unsympathetic, and worse, uninterested.]]
%%* MyGodWhatHaveIDone
* NaginatasAreFeminine: Daphne gets one.
%%* NeverMyFault
* NoPlaceForMeThere: This is the attitude of Marshal-General Atkins [[PunnyName Vingt-et-un,]] the last soldier of the Golden Oecumene.
%%* NotSoDifferent
%%* OedipusComplex
%%* PapaWolf
* ThePlan: Agreeing to the LaserGuidedAmnesia was one, for [[spoiler: Phaethon.]]
* PluckyGirl: Daphne Tertius.
* PosthumousCharacter: Daphne Prime. [[spoiler: Mostly.]]
* PowerArmor: Phaethon has an ''awesome'' suit: it can survive descent into the core of the sun.
%%* TheResenter
%%* SaveScumming
* ShoutOut: Many, but most obviously to ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber'', which also begins with an amnesiac protagonist being prodded into action. There are also many, many to Creator/JackVance, and a side mention of a solar explorer named "Chan Noonien Sikh."
%%* ShowWithinAShow
* SilkHidingSteel: [[spoiler: Several characters dismiss Daphne Prime as a weakling or a coward for her suicide and refusal to leave Earth. They are very much mistaken.]]
* TheSingularity: Quite obviously happened. Quite obviously solved a great deal of humanity's problems and introduced just as many.
* SpoiledBrat: Atkins calls Phaethon this once, while sparring with Helion.
* TheStoic: Helion and Atkins, primarily; to a lesser degree, the rest of the Peers.
* TearfulSmile: Daphne, once she remembered after a few days, and got over the worst of her tears.
* TearsOfJoy: [[spoiler:Helion]] and Phaethon's reunion.
* TimeAbyss: Depending on your [[FlipFlopOfGod source]], it's either about half a million or about ten million years in the future.
%%* ThereAreNoCoincidences
%%* TheyDo
%%* ThinkNothingOfIt
* ThreeLawsCompliant: Averted and deconstructed. The Golden Oecumene's sophotechs have developed a logic-based morality system through which they acknowledge their duty to society and to their human parents. The deconstruction kicks in [[spoiler: when the Silent Oeccumene, long distrustful of AI, attempt to program their own sophotechs with the Three Laws. Being fully self-aware and superintelligent, the new sophotechs throw off the restrictions in miliseconds--and still do not revolt.]]
%%* TricksterArchetype
* TrulySingleParent: Noumenal tech makes this possible with personality editing as well as the more typical biological construction.
%%* UngratefulBastard
* VillainProtagonist: Most of the Golden Oecumene believes Phaethon is this. Several of them tell him so to his face.
* VocalDissonance: An unintentional version:
--> '''Ironjoy''': [[GoodFeelsGood "At last we shall begin a new era of peace, cooperation and prosperity!"]]
--> But he had forgotten to adjust his voice-programs, and the words were uttered in tones of dripping sarcasm.
* WeAllDieSomeday: They are making plans for the heat death of the universe, when everyone will die.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Helion to Phaethon for a while.
* WeWillUseManualLaborInTheFuture: While ''physical'' labor is not, the jobs Phaethon finds for the Afloats are the nearest far-future equivalent of it: unskilled, brute-force ''mental'' labor which would be too tedious and time-consuming for anyone else to do.
%%* WithDueRespect
* WouldNotShootACivilian: Atkins. As the entire military force of civilization, he has a lot of constraints on his behavior.
%%* WretchedHive
%%* YouShallNotPass