Michael Joyce is Associate Professor of English at Vassar College. He is the author of several books, including Othermindedness: The Emergence of Network Culture; Of Two Minds: Hypertext Pedagogy and Poetics; and The War Outside Ireland. He has also written many hypertexts, including Twilight, A Symphony and afternoon, a story.
Corey Grace—a handsome and charismatic Republican senator from Ohio—is plunged by an act of terrorism into a fierce presidential primary battle with the favorite of the party establishment and a magnetic leader of the Christian right. A decorated Gulf War Air Force pilot known for speaking his mind, Grace's reputation for voting his own conscience rather than the party line—together with his growing romance with Lexie Hart, an African-American movie star—has earned him a reputation as a maverick and an iconoclast. But Grace is still haunted by a tragic mistake buried deep in his past, and now his integrity will be put to the test in this most brutal of political contests, in which nothing in his past or present life is off-limits.
Depicting contemporary power politics at its most ruthless, The Race takes on the most incendiary issues in American culture: racism, terrorism, religious fundamentalism, gay rights, and the rise of media monopolies with their own agenda and lust for power. As the pressure of the campaign intensifies, Grace encounters betrayal, excruciating moral choices, and secrets that can destroy lives. Ultimately, the race leads to a deadlocked party convention where Grace must resolve the conflict between his romance with Lexie and his presidential ambitions—and decide just who and what he is willing to sacrifice.
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.