Our Dependence on Foreign Keys

Sinister Regard Publishers
Free sample

When high-tech partycrashers swarm his exclusive soirée high above the floodways of New York City, billionaire inventor Pell Franziskaner can't be sure whether it's a garden-variety annoyance or a prelude to murder. His own.


Environment, economics, and augmented reality collide in this tale of reputation, revenge, and artificial intelligences so advanced they run directly on the fabric of spacetime.

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About the author

Since his first publication in 1993, William Shunn's short fiction has appeared in Salon, Storyteller, Bloodstone Review, Newtown Literary, Asimov's, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Science Fiction Age, Realms of Fantasy, Electric Velocipede, and various anthologies and year's-best collections. His essays have appeared in On Magazine and Sybil's Garage. His work has been shortlisted for the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award, and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. His chapbook An Alternate History of the 21st Century appeared from Spilt Milk Press in 2007, and his novella Cast a Cold Eye, a collaboration with Derryl Murphy, from PS Publishing in 2009. Born in Los Angeles and raised in Utah, he now lives and writes in New York City.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Sinister Regard Publishers
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Published on
May 1, 2015
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Pages
42
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ISBN
9781941928677
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Science Fiction / Cyberpunk
Fiction / Science Fiction / General
Fiction / Science Fiction / Hard Science Fiction
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Seveneves, Anathem, Reamde, and Cryptonomicon returns with a wildly inventive and entertaining science fiction thriller—Paradise Lost by way of Philip K. Dick—that unfolds in the near future, in parallel worlds.

In his youth, Richard “Dodge” Forthrast founded Corporation 9592, a gaming company that made him a multibillionaire. Now in his middle years, Dodge appreciates his comfortable, unencumbered life, managing his myriad business interests, and spending time with his beloved niece Zula and her young daughter, Sophia.

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.

“This just may be my favorite true-life amazing-but-true tale—never has threatening an aircraft been funnier or more thought-provoking.” —Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother and Homeland


“I devoured the more than four hundred pages of this memoir in what was essentially one sitting . . . A welcome addition to the library of Mormon autobiography—educational and highly entertaining.” —Richard Packham, Dawning of a Brighter Day


1987. A faltering missionary named Bill Shunn lands himself in a Canadian jail, facing charges of hijacking and the prospect of life behind bars.


1844. A frontier prophet named Joseph Smith lands himself in an Illinois jail, facing charges of treason and the prospect of imminent lynching.


What binds these two men together? This riveting memoir—by turns hilarious, provocative and thrilling—answers that question in style, weaving from their stories a spellbinding tapestry of deception, desperation and defiance. Answer its call and you’ll never look at a Mormon missionary the same way again.


“You will read few other books as smart, funny, honest, and heartbreaking as The Accidental Terrorist, and I unreservedly recommend it to you as both a home-grown cautionary tale and a highly original coming-of-age saga.” —Michael Bishop, author of Ancient of Days and editor of A Cross of Centuries


“The book grabs you on page one and never lets go. Fantastically written, beautifully paced, The Accidental Terrorist reads like a novel instead of a memoir. Only in novel form, no one would have ever believed these events could have happened. Believe it. William Shunn lived every word of this book. That he can share it so eloquently is a tribute not just to his writing skill, but his strengths as a human being.” —Kristine Kathryn Rusch, USA Today bestselling author


Finalist for the 2015 Association for Mormon Letters Award

“William Shunn is one of those SF writers who, because they specialize in short fiction, are not given quite the recognition they deserve—no novels, no mass-market publication, so only the plaudits of the cognoscenti of the short form. Yet Shunn is a fine writer; ingenious, stylish, closely in touch with current global trends and expert in producing thought-provoking near-future SF, and at last he has a collection to show off that keen ability . . . including two impressive original novelettes.” —Nick Gevers, Locus Magazine


A presidential inauguration in a fascist America eerily similar to our own. A man who broadcasts his every sense and emotion to a national audience. A space station unequipped to deal with alien visitors. Welcome to an off-kilter 21st century as only Hugo and Nebula Award nominee William Shunn could envision it.


From time travel to nanoterrorism, Los Angeles to Lagrange Point 2, the six stories in this collection span not just the length of a century but the breadth of a unique and provocative imagination. Step inside, settle in, and discover a world that’s always surprising but never unfamiliar. Discover the 21st century.


“[These stories] tellingly and concisely ironize the clichés and tropes of genre SF, but without destroying their use as toolkit.” —John Clute, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction


“[William Shunn] has the sure instincts of a twenty-first century science fiction writer. He is keenly attuned to the present (in the twenty-first century, there's no point keeping track of the future). He recognizes those truly present-day moments that could only come now, today, in this futuristic present that we swim through without ever really seeing. This extraordinary book is a journey through our present. From the bitingly political (‘From Our Point of View We Had Moved to the Left’) to the sad and personal (‘Not of This Fold’—a gorgeous novella about faith and humanity that could only have been written by a lapsed Mormon sf writer), and everything in between, this collection is the kind of thing that you can never unread, a book that will awaken you to the present all around you.” —Cory Doctorow

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