Free eBook: Everyone In Silico

Free eBook: Everyone In Silico

By: Jim Munroe
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Canadian author Munroe's third novel (after Flyboy Action Figure Comes with Gas Mask and Angry Young Spaceman), set in Vancouver, offers a fresh and amusing take on how technology can be used or misused in a consumption-obsessed society.

In 2036, a new technology called Self is available to download individual consciousnesses into a shared digital existence where anything is possible for a price. As most people abandon this polluted, intractable world, a few holdouts try to help recreate nature. Those who resist the allure also try to find out what's happening to the "meat" bodies of the multitude who've opted for Self. The narrative switches focus among a small cast of more or less wary holdouts, and Munroe exuberantly studs the action with grotesque extrapolations of politics and advertising that most people accept unthinkingly.

Stolen clothing doesn't just set off an alarm, for example; it bursts into flame and kills the shoplifter. Such images prompt a chuckle but also make us wince because they're so close to what we accept. At the same time, the novel allows that Self could be a place to begin escaping familiar, strangling limitations. Munroe balances the danger and the hope waiting in our future. His characters are so stuck in their preconceptions that they have trouble seeing new choices; maybe readers can do better. Those who value deft, witty SF should be well pleased. Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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