Well, if you're David Lindsay from Arbroath, you get the hell out of there and don't return. Not for at least fifteen years. Until Nicola Cruickshank - yes, that Nicola, the girl you always fancied but never had the guts to approach - gets in touch and asks - no, demands - that you go back for a school reunion. To the place where it happened. The place you've been running from for fifteen years. Of course you go. Not to belatedly lay your mate to rest, but because you still fancy Nicola.
The thing is, if you are David Lindsay, then returning to Arbroath isn't going to lay any ghosts to rest. And when someone else takes a dive off the cliffs - an act the locals have taken to calling 'tombstoning' - while David's there, he has a choice: run away again, or finally find out why people keep dying around him . . .
One beautiful autumn day, while he undergoes a routine medical procedure, something goes irrevocably wrong. Dodge is pronounced brain dead and put on life support, leaving his stunned family and close friends with difficult decisions. Long ago, when a much younger Dodge drew up his will, he directed that his body be given to a cryonics company now owned by enigmatic tech entrepreneur Elmo Shepherd. Legally bound to follow the directive despite their misgivings, Dodge’s family has his brain scanned and its data structures uploaded and stored in the cloud, until it can eventually be revived.
In the coming years, technology allows Dodge’s brain to be turned back on. It is an achievement that is nothing less than the disruption of death itself. An eternal afterlife—the Bitworld—is created, in which humans continue to exist as digital souls.
But this brave new immortal world is not the Utopia it might first seem . . .
Fall, or Dodge in Hell is pure, unadulterated fun: a grand drama of analog and digital, man and machine, angels and demons, gods and followers, the finite and the eternal. In this exhilarating epic, Neal Stephenson raises profound existential questions and touches on the revolutionary breakthroughs that are transforming our future. Combining the technological, philosophical, and spiritual in one grand myth, he delivers a mind-blowing speculative literary saga for the modern age.