Ailsa Santamaria whores for food on the killing streets of Protectorate 13477 as she struggles to break her daughter Texa's screen addiction. She won't trade control of her mind for a slim chance at a better life. She's not like the others.
But uplift arrives in Protectorate 13477 nevertheless. Ailsa discovers a way out for her and Texa, but it may not bring the relief she seeks. She thought she had nothing left to lose. That was a lie.
In PAINKILLERS, Simon Ings deftly teases out his knotted story that, with its many conventional elements, could have run a risk of overfamiliarity: sinister Oriental Triad gangsters, their even more sinister wives, a speedy Hong Kong with its ruthless Brit yuppies and its nightlife ridden with drugs, strange sex and violence. Shooting back and forth between a glamorous Hong Kong, in 1990, and a straitened London, in 1998, Ings sustains suspense by dropping hints but never telling enough.
Adam Wyatt and his wife Eva run a small café near Southwark Market. They bicker a lot, Adam drinks and visits to their autistic son Justin tend to go awry. But underneath Adam's drinking are secrets from their previous life in Hong Kong, when he worked for the Independent Commission Against Corruption and got in with some very dubious local society types; one of whom includes 'Call me Jimmy' Yao Sau-Lan, 'a big nasty man, in a big nasty suit', whose father just happened to kill Eva's grandfather. When Jimmy's widow and sons come calling, Adam knows he's in trouble.
Malise has a problem. She's come downwell to Earth, but years of space combat have ruined her: her muscles have wasted away, her past is a confused torture of events and her brain is wired to addictive military hardware that's illegal on Earth.
But with an AI mining probe returning to Earth, having bred and grown until it is hundreds of miles across, Malise is in the firing line again. The probe is indestructible and it is insatiable for more metals. No one knows how to stop it. Malise doesn't know she has a blueprint for humanity's survival wired into her head.
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.