Blueprints of the Afterlife: A Novel

Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
15
Free sample

A tour de force novel from the “wickedly talented” (The Boston Globe) and “darkly funny” author of Misconception (The New York Times Book Review).
 
It is the afterlife. The end of the world is a distant, distorted memory called “the Age of Fucked Up Shit.” A sentient glacier has wiped out most of North America. Medical care is supplied by open-source nanotechnology, and human nervous systems can be hacked.
 
Abby Fogg is a film archivist with a niggling feeling that her life is not really her own. She may be right. Al Skinner is a former mercenary for the Boeing Army, who’s been dragging his war baggage behind him for nearly a century. Woo-jin Kan is a virtuoso dishwasher with the Restaurant and Hotel Management Olympic medals to prove it. Over them all hovers a mysterious man named Dirk Bickle, who sends all these characters to a full-scale replica of Manhattan under construction in Puget Sound. An ambitious novel that writes large the hopes and anxieties of our time—climate change, social strife, the depersonalization of the digital age—Blueprints of the Afterlife will establish Ryan Boudinot as an exceptional novelist of great daring.
 
“Duct-tape yourself to the front of this roller coaster and enjoy the ride.” —The New York Times
 
“Challenging, messy and funny fiction for readers looking for something way beyond space operas and swordplay.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
“The absurdities are cleverly crafted and highly entertaining. Imaginative [and] heartfelt.” —Hannah Calkins, Shelf Awareness
 
“Ingenious . . . Frenzied, hilarious, and paranoid . . . A bracing dystopian romp through contemporary dread.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“Probably the strangest post-apocalyptic novel in ages.” —io9
 
“What an inspired mindfuck of a book!” —City Paper (Baltimore)
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About the author

From the “wickedly talented” (Boston Globe) and “darkly funny” (New York Times Book Review) Ryan Boudinot, Blueprints of the Afterlife is a tour de force.

It is the Afterlife. The end of the world is a distant, distorted memory called “the Age of F***ed Up Shit.” A sentient glacier has wiped out most of North America. Medical care is supplied by open-source nanotechnology, and human nervous systems can be hacked.

Abby Fogg is a film archivist with a niggling feeling that her life is not really her own. She may be right. Al Skinner is a former mercenary for the Boeing Army, who’s been dragging his war baggage behind him for nearly a century. Woo-jin Kan is a virtuoso dishwasher with the Hotel and Restaurant Management Olympics medals to prove it. Over them all hovers a mysterious man named Dirk Bickle, who sends all these characters to a full-scale replica of Manhattan under construction in Puget Sound. An ambitious novel that writes large the hopes and anxieties of our time—climate change, social strife, the depersonalization of the digital age—Blueprints of the Afterlife will establish Ryan Boudinot as an exceptional novelist of great daring.
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4.1
15 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
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Published on
Jan 3, 2012
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9780802194749
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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This is the story of attorney Sean O'Reilly and psychologist Carmen Estrada who marry in the year of 2120. He belongs to a hard-drinking Irish family, has two brothers, one in the military, and the other owns a commercial real estate firm. Carmen is of African-American and Honduran ancestry. Her brother is a biologist. Women are at the forefront in academics, professions, business, government, politics and other white collar pursuits. America has had several female Presidents. The strength and aggressiveness of men is no longer necessary because robots and androids do most of the things that men used to do. Until a new law was passed, half of all births were accidental with the less educated women having the most children. Congress, where women are the majority, passed legislation allowing birth control medication to be put in the water supply. Prospective mothers must apply, be tested and obtain permission from the government to have a child. Designer babies, who are now free from most illnesses, outnumber naturally born children. Birthing labs are available so women do not have to carry the baby. Sean and Carmen are intent on having a designer baby, called a Tudor, but problems occur. Black women have been mating with what is called "the cream of the white males." This infuriates a small number of the African-American men who believe America's white culture is overrunning their race. A minority of these black men formed a cabal which worked to stop the mixing of black and white races. Nanotechnology has come into its own. Due to this miraculous technology, Androids are almost human, have high IQs and have become companions to humans. Many humans live only with an android. They have detailed human female or male gender characteristics of body and mind built into them at the factory. Our sexual paradigm has changed radically toward the liberal persuasion. Some people still get married or register their domestic partnerships, but many men and women live together without any legal status. Murder and other crimes have lessened in civilized society, but atrocities still happen, more often in nations of the Third World. Many people still do adhere to religion, but others wonder about theories that different entities may have created the Universe. Perhaps by Intelligent Design, an almighty God, or perhaps by random chance. Humans continue to attempt to obtain equal justice for all.
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